Category Archives: Newfoundland

Thanks For Voting

I want to thank my many, many readers who took the time to vote for their favorite pictures of Newfoundland.  I asked last week which photos I should print up to display in our home.  I couldn’t believe how many people responded on Facebook, by e-mail or on my blog. Since you voted for such a variety of choices I decided to make a whole wall of photos.  Here it is!  And thanks ever so much for reading my blog and voting. 

Other posts………

Help Me Decide

Who’s Right My Husband of Me? 

They Left Us Everything

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Help Me Choose

I want to frame a couple pictures from our trip to Newfoundland to display in our home.  Here are the ones I am considering.  Which three would you vote for? 



2. loster-cove-hike-nfld


4. bonavista-nfld

5.  plant-at-the-arches







9.  bathrooms nfld





You can see all my posts about Newfoundland here. 


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On the Rock

I know I’ve written lots of blog posts about our trip to Newfoundland.  Here is how I summed up our visit in my newspaper column for The Carillon. Publishing it here on my blog also gives me a chance to post a few photos I hadn’t fit into any other posts.

bonavista-nfldI’ve been on The Rock for the last two weeks. The Rock is Newfoundland’s nickname. It’s fast becoming one of Canada’s most popular travel destinations. Many of our bed and breakfast hosts reported being fully booked before the tourist season even began. When I told people in Manitoba we were going to Newfoundland I was inundated with suggestions about what to see and do by previous Newfoundland travelers eager to share their enthusiasm for the province. duo-falls-in-coxSo why is everyone going to Newfoundland? There are economic reasons like more affordable airfares and the low Canadian dollar, but I think other things are drawing folks to a place that’s often been portrayed as bleak and inaccessible by historians and novelists.

loster-cove-hike-nfldThere’s the varied landscape. We hiked the Skerwink Trail along the Bonavista Peninsula. The ocean views were spectacular. We photographed eagles, saw the village of Trinity Bight where the movie The Shipping News was filmed, marveled at huge rock formations, stood on cliff edges looking out to sea and traipsed through pine and birch forests. We hiked repeatedly in Newfoundland’s gorgeous Gros Morne National Park exploring deep fjords, tablelands of stunning ultramafic rock, traditional lighthouses, tiny fishing villages, teeming tide pools and rocky shorelines.

lobster-traps-gros-morneThen there’s the fascinating history of Newfoundland. Reading the book The Colony of Unrequited Dreams on our trip I learned about the Beothuk, the first indigenous people of Newfoundland. We stopped at a statue of John Cabot. He landed in Bonavista in 1497. We visited the cable station in Heart’s Content where the first permanent telegraphic communication across the Atlantic was established in 1866. We spent time in Joey Smallwood’s birthplace. We learned how he brought Newfoundland into Canadian confederation in 1949 and how he forcibly resettled thousands of people whose families had lived in remote fishing villages for centuries. The Rooms Museum in St. John’s was an architectural delight. Its name alludes to the summer fishing stations called ‘the rooms’ which Newfoundland families used to establish on the shoreline. The museum explains how the history of fishing is essentially the history of Newfoundland.

Having supper in the two hundred building that houses the Stone Jug restaurant in Carbonear

Having supper in the two hundred year old building that houses the Stone Jug restaurant in Carbonear

Then there’s the food. We ate moose burgers, cod dinners and seafood chowder. At the Bonavista Social Club we dined looking out over the ocean and strolled through the gardens, greenhouse and grounds to see how every single thing we ate was grown or raised on site. Even our dishes were made in the adjacent woodworking shop. We visited the wine vaults where Newfoundland’s famous Newman’s port was aged. On Thanksgiving Day we had a traditional jiggs dinner at the Rocky Harbor community hall.

lobster-cove-headThen there are the friendly people. Our bed and breakfast hosts were kind and helpful. Our restaurant waiters called us ‘loves’ and ‘dears’ and smiled as they served us. The guides on hiking trails, in museums and lighthouses, and at tourist information centers were informative and happy we’d come to Newfoundland. We met an old friend who lived in Steinbach for a time. We hadn’t seen her in years but she took time off from her busy schedule to have dinner with us and answer our endless questions about her home province.


Although we visited Newfoundland in October when whales, puffins and icebergs were no longer on view and when many tours, historical sites and boating trips were shut down for the season, we still had a wonderful time. The autumn foliage was stunning and we lucked into almost perfect weather with plenty of sunny days ideal for exploring. The Rock was the only province in Canada we hadn’t visited, but now that we have, I’m sure we’ll go back.

Other Newfoundland posts

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Maggie’s Story

An actress tells Maggie's story at The Rooms museum in St. John's

Actress telling Maggie’s story at The Rooms 

Her son was probably wearing a pair of socks she had knitted when he died.  At The Rooms museum in St. John’s Newfoundland I was intrigued by Maggie Osmond’s story. knitting-bagMaggie was just one of thousands of Canadians who knit socks for the soldiers overseas during World War I.  Conditions in the trenches were terrible. It was cold and wet and muddy and a lack of  soap meant a fungal infection called trench foot could develop that sometimes led to gangrene.  The only way to prevent this from happening was for soldiers to have extra socks with them.  So civilians at home knit socks for the troops. red-cross-knitting-instructionsWomen, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides and school children learned to knit socks from patterns provided by the Red Cross.  These knitters sometimes tucked a message into the finished socks for the soldier who would receive it. A typical note might read: “Into this sock I weave a prayer, That God keep you in His love and care.”

maggie-osmondMaggie Osmond of Moreton’s Harbour Newfoundland  was one of the faithful knitters on the homefront. She had a personal stake in her knitting since her son Douglas had enlisted in the Newfoundland regiment in 1914 and was serving in France. In 1915 socks Maggie had knitted were given to a Canadian soldier in France. She had put her name on a paper in the toe of the socks. That soldier happened to meet up with the Newfoundland regiment and asked if anyone knew the Maggie Osmond from Newfoundland who had knit his socks. Her son Douglas introduced himself and the two soldiers traded socks so Douglas was wearing the ones knit by his mom.

Newfoundland Regiment in 1915

Newfoundland Regiment in 1915

Unfortunately Douglas died at the Battle of the Somme where almost the entire Newfoundland regiment was killed or wounded.

Maggie’s story was a moving reminder of the tragic cost of World War I and how it impacted so many Canadian families in ways big and small.

The Rooms

Wars- Dread of Mothers

From Pale and Weak to Platoon Commander

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Getting to Know John Cabot

hello-john-cabotDave waves from behind a statue of John Cabot in Bonavista Newfoundland where the Italian explorer is said to have landed in 1497 and claimed North America for the British King Henry VII who had given Cabot money to seek out new lands for England. up-to-john-cabot

The plaque at the statue gave us some more information about John Cabot. He was born in Genoa in 1450 and named Giovanni Caboto by his father who was a spice merchant. John grew up in Venice, married a woman named Mattea and had three sons. One of them Sebastian followed in his explorer father’s footsteps. John thought he was on his way to Asia when he landed in Newfoundland with his crew of 18 men on a fast and able 50 ton ship named The Matthew. (There is some discussion about whether the ship was actually named The Mattea after John Cabot’s wife.)

Dave looks out over the spot where Cabot is thought to have landed.

Dave looks out over the spot where Cabot is thought to have landed.

Some historians say Cabot may have explored the eastern Canadian coast, and that a priest accompanying Cabot might have established a settlement in Newfoundland. John Cabot claimed North America for England, setting the course for England’s rise to power in the 1500s and 1600s. 

john-cabotWhen Cabot returned to England the king gave him a reward and support for another voyage. To celebrate the 500th anniversary of Cabot’s voyage in 1997 a replica was built of his ship and sailed from Bristol England to Bonavista, Newfoundland. 

Other posts……..

Discovering Sakagawea

Blown Away in South Dakota

A Bone Rattling Introduction


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Mars Survival Lessons in Newfoundland

dave-checking-out-tablelandsLast night the CBC program Ideas began a series called Generation Mars about the possibility of exploring and colonizing the red planet.  Last Tuesday President Obama said we will be sending people to Mars by  2030. On our trip to Newfoundland we went for a hike in a place that is helping scientists figure out just how people might survive on Mars. tableland-marylouWe hiked the Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park. dave-tablelandThe rocks which make up this desolate place originated in the earth’s mantle. They were forced up during a plate collision several hundred million years ago. boulder-tablelandsThere is methane in these rocks from deep in the earth and since methane is also produced on Mars, there’s the possibility that deep down in the crust of Mars, there could also be life. dave-rod-tablelandsThat makes the Tablelands a great place to test technology and equipment that will be needed for space missions to Mars. stream-tablelandScientists have discovered that the water flowing through The Tableland rocks while low in oxygen and high in pH is actually teeming with life. That gives them hope that there may also be life on Mars.  plant-on-tablelandI think its pretty cool that the Tablelands of Newfoundland are helping us discover how we might explore and even live on Mars in the future.

Other posts about Newfoundland


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Finding An Old Friend

home-to-bragg-island“I know that painting,” I said in surprise as I walked down the stairs at The Rooms museum in St. John’s Newfoundland.  “It’s Home From Bragg’s Island,”  I said to my husband.  

In 2013 the Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrated its 100 birthday by hosting an exhibit called  100 Masters.  As a guide in the education department of the gallery I gave countless tours of that exhibit and got to know the pieces in it very well.  One of them was Newfoundland artist David Blackwood’s painting Home From Bragg’s Island. Seeing it again in St. John’s was like seeing an old friend. 

black-well-home-to-bragg-islandThis isn’t the first time this has happened to me. Since the art for 100 Masters was drawn from galleries all over Canada and some in the United States, it isn’t surprising that if you visit art galleries in other North American cities you have a chance of seeing some paintings from the 100 Masters. 

I look forward to finding more old friends on my future travels. 

Finding an Old Friend in Quebec City

Kirchner at the Minneapolis Institute of Art

The Rooms

Thanks to the 100 Masters


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