Puffins – They Are Sooo Adorable!

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2019 Destinations Finalized

Please check them out – in case we are visiting near you!

and 2020 started!

Sunrise Mesa Arch, Canyonlands – MagnaShade

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Superstitious – Friday the 13th

A recent post on Richard’s Photography Blog about shorebirds in Quebec.

Please visit to read complete post

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Maritime Cultural Quirks

While Richard is busy with his beautiful photography, I look around for interesting “quirks and quarks” of local culture. Newfoundland and New Brunswick did not disappoint.

First were the many, many piles of firewood. Some like works of art forming walls or fences near private homes. Others within sight of the highways, having been cut in the woods and brought out by sled to age/dry for at least a year before being ready to use. (See previous blog)

Then we started noticing large wooden or metal boxes at the end of private driveways near the road. What could they be for, we wondered.

Many were octagonal in shape. Others were a variety of shapes, paint work and decorations.
A few metal ones had been fashioned from old household oil tanks and other objects as a way of recycling metal.
Some were beautifully color coordinated with the house and its various outer buildings and “stages”.
The level of detail on some was quite extraordinary. Even curtains on the windows.
Some imitating the Jelly Bean houses of St. John’s NFLD
Wonder if this one helps the children learn to put things away.
Some brought back memories of a favorite product.
Some resembled local landmarks

All this to provide a safe place for residential garbage to prevent wildlife, birds or even stray dogs from creating a mess. And the local waste collectors/recyclers leave the lid up to let the home owners know they have been by to collect. Certainly much better looking than the alternative.

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The Art of Firewood

Most of us know the joy of sitting in front of a wood fire, whether it is an outdoors campfire, in an outdoor fire pit, or indoors in a fireplace or wood burning stove. Some of us take pride in chopping our own wood, others have a local provider deliver it.

Those that live in Newfoundland have truly turned this into an art. 

Stacked like a Work of Art

First the trees are cut down in long lengths. If it is in winter they may be transported on a sled pulled behind a skidoo. Historically these sleds would be pulled by Newfoundland ponies. Wood is then moved to a staging location where it is allowed to age for at least a year. It stands on end to allow the sap to run to the base. Then it is laid flat.

Various stages of aging the wood
Sled for Moving Wood

Once dried, it is cut to the correct length, split and then stacked.

Some lengths might even be taken to a local mill for building lumber. The outer scrap pieces are kept and added to the wood pile.

Ends after planks have been milled
Ends are useful to help keep logs stacked

Once the stacks are moved closer to home for ready access they are covered in a variety of ways. For some they have a special wood shed, others use their garage

Great pride is taken by all in the amount of firewood and how well it is stacked.

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