Sunday, January 31, 2010

Z - Zoos

Today's photos were taken in Shubeneacadie Wildife Park, Nova Scotia in 2008. Years ago I refused to photograph animals that were locked in cages, however, these days most zoos have enclosures which are much bigger than the cages of the early 70s. When animals are close to the fences that keep them in (and keep visitors safe) the wire cannot be avoided. This was the first time I intentionally photographed animals so close to the fences.

The wolf shown in the first photo was walking around the enclosure close to the wire mesh. Even though I was making photos just a few feet away, it didn't acknowledge my presence. It was not a bit curious about me; probably because it sees so many people every day. The raccoon was staring at something and it also ignored me. The large black bear looked directly at me as I took this photo.

To be honest, I still hate to see animals "locked up", but I realize that these animals are there because they may have been injured in the wild and brought there to be saved. They cannot be released back to the wild for a number of reasons, one of which is that they now have no fear of humans.

We have no wolves or raccoons on the island of Newfoundland. We do have black bears and I have come close to one while hiking which made me very nervous. As much as I love photographing wildlife, I didn't want to get any closer to a wild black bear than I was. Zoos provide opportunities to get close to animals that most people would never see (or want to see) in the wild.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Y - Yard Art

There is a house on the main road in Victoria (located on the Avalon Peninsula about an hour's drive from my home) that I have photographed several times because of the colourful yard art which has captured the attention of thousands. The person who owns this house has spent a lot of time, energy and money to create this display which is possibly the most photographed house in the area. There are For Sale signs on the two red, white and blue posts as well as in the large window so I assume the owner sells the yard art.

I drove by one day and saw a man mowing the grass, which I thought must be very tedious if he has to mow around all the figures. When I look at the grass, however, I suspect he pulls the figures out of the ground as he mows. Either way, it would be a tough job to mow this lawn. :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

X - Xyloglyphy (wood-carving)

Last summer I photographed a wood carver at Ross Farms, a living farm museum located in Nova Scotia. He was carving spoons to be used as props for an upcoming movie. I sent 5 other photos of his work on September 3, 2009 and you can check those out on my Photo of the Day Blog.

As he worked and explained the process, I made close-up and wide angle shots of him as he started the bowl of a spoon. The gentleman showed his skill as he used specialized tools to slowly shave the wood from the piece of wood. I liked the close-ups of hands at work!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

W - White Ibis

I have photographed the white ibis every time I visited Florida. The individual shown in today's photos was foraging for food in a small body of water and I really liked the reflections of the brilliant white bird. These birds are fairly skittish so I used my 70-300mm lens to capture closer views without scaring the bird away. Today's images were cropped from the originals.

One day a young boy asked when I was going to finish my collection and when I asked what collection he was talking about, he referred to my "picture collection". I chuckled at the time and, after thinking about what he said, told him that my collection will probably never be finished because as long as I can see photos, I want to take them.

Recently someone asked if I get bored going to Florida so often and I responded that I didn't because there was always something different to see there. While each year I make similar photographs, they are all different and because the weather is usually good, I get ten to fourteen days of photo ops in a row that I wouldn't have at home.

Each and every bird I photograph in Florida is an "exotic" bird to me because most are not birds I see here in Newfoundland and Labrador. As well, Florida birds are more used to people and they don't fly away until I get fairly close.

Feel free to check other white ibis photos at:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

V - Victoria

My family visited Victoria, British Columbia in the summer of 1978. Beaconhill Park was one of my favourite places to make images because of the amazing variety of trees and other plants. Today's photos were scanned from slides taken 32 years ago and the young boy in the photos is my son Mark who was three at the time. How fast time flies!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

U - Upper Island Cove

Upper Island Cove is small town (with a population of around 2 000) located in Conception Bay and is a 40 minute drive from my home in Holyrood. I have visited there fairly often and have enough images for another few more "alphabetical themes". I don't have many photographic subjects beginning with U, so I may have to make another tip there soon. :)

The photos I have chosen show the cliffs near the town, small boats in the harbour and a view of one of the narrow streets which shows how little property they have in front of their homes. I first photographed Upper Island Cove in the early 1980s and will scan the slides I took then in the next while. Of course, I will share any interesting images from that time.

Monday, January 25, 2010

T - Thistles

Thistles have evolved an amazing method of protecting itself from plant-eating animals. You can see sharp thorns growing on the base of the flower as well as on the leaves of the plant. I have felt these thorns and they are very sharp!! Of course, there are other types of plants that grow thorns as a form of protection and I am sure you have seen and/or "experienced" them at some time in your lives.

I made these photos in Bay Bulls growing near a cattle farm. To be honest, I don't see thistles in many places around Newfoundland and Labrador!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

S - St. Shott's

This tiny town is located on the southern tip of the Avalon Peninsula. I have visited St. Shott's several times since moving to the east coast of Newfoundland in 1981. The reason I visited often was to photograph the woodland caribou herd which numbered close to 5 000 and which migrated to the area every summer.

I chose photos this morning that will give you an idea of what the landscape looks like in this area: fairly flat, no trees, and a fairly big river running by the town. A while ago I mentioned that sometimes I include roads to provide visual details about towns and villages.

If you are travelling along the Irish Loop, I recommend a 10 minute drive off the main road to St. Shott's. If you happen to be there on a foggy day, which happens often in this part of the province, don't let that deter you for I have several great photos taken in St. Shott's and surrounding area when it was enveloped in thick fog.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

R - Random Passage

Some of you may have seen the television series "Random Passage" which was based on the novel by Bernice Morgan from St. John's. The series was shot near Trinity and the set has been preserved as a tourist attraction. When I visited this site in the summer of 2007 it was like walking back in time.

Imagine living in this tiny village hundreds of years ago: no electricity, no stores, no modern conveniences at all! They had to grow enough vegetables and pick enough berries to last through the winter. I assume they were able to kill animals for meat and, of course, fish was very plentiful. Still, food was scarce at times I suspect.

The scenes today look quiet and peaceful, but I wouldn't want to be living in these shelters during a harsh winter storm with winds howling and snow drifting through the community when the temperatures were below zero. I didn't see R-20 insulation in any of the small buildings, only moss between the logs, so I imagine it got pretty cold at times.

I know I have shared photos of Random Passage before and I apologize if I have sent the same photos again. After sending photos for seven years, I will probably send duplicates from time-to-time without even realizing it.

More photos of Random Passage can be found at:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Q - Quidi Vidi Village

I don't have a lot of photographic subjects that begin with Q, but I do have lots of photos of Quidi Vidi Village which is located in the east end of the City of St. John's. It is a quaint little village that I have photographed many times.

In the Spring of 2008 an iceberg floated into the small harbour and thousands of people visited the area to see the interesting site. The photos show the size of the iceberg as compared to the people in the foreground. I bet there aren't a lot of places where a person can get so close to an iceberg without a boat!

In 1981 I lived in Pleasantville, just minutes walk from Quidi Vidi Village, and photographed the entire town and surroundings for a slide show I was working on at the time. I have been scanning slides since November and am still working on those I took in 1980. In a while, I will soon scan some of the slides taken in Quidi Vidi and share a few of them at a later date.

Brent's Cove

Brent's Cove I visited Brent's Cove in the Fall of 2023 and created a Facebook Album in which I shared the photos I took.  It's ...