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Life in Newfoundland

Blizzard at Torbay Point

This week there’s no need to imagine what it feels like to be inside a blizzard, but just in case you’ve never experienced one, here’s a blizzard picture I took on Torbay Point a few years ago:

East Coast Trail blizzard - Cobbler Path

East Coast Trail blizzard – Cobbler Path

Now just imagine the wind howling around you like a freight train, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of a winter storm in Newfoundland!

Moonlit icefall

While pitch black nights are usually best for night photography, sometimes a bright moon is just what you need to illuminate the scenery in front of you:

Frozen Whirly Pool Falls - Stiles Cove Path

Frozen Whirly Pool Falls – Stiles Cove Path

I took this photo 7 years ago today on a very cold night which had turned a familiar waterfall into an unfamiliar icefall.

With the town lights lighting up the incoming fog, it was quite a surreal scene; in fact with all this ice and strange light you may not even recognize where this shot was taken, it’s Flatrock’s Whirly Pool Falls, #4 on my list of Easy hikes on the East Coast Trail.

First look at 2017 sea ice

Every season is different from the next, and so is every year. In some years there is very little sea ice, in other years a lot, and these ice movements are closely tied to the number of icebergs you can expect to see along shore in spring.

For this reason, I check the sea ice conditions whenever I get the chance, all you need is a sunny day and a satellite to look down from space:

2016-01-24-nl-sea-ice

January 24th sea ice moving down iceberg alley, Newfoundland

If you visit NASA’s worldview yourself you can easily click through time, see the satellite views from other years and months, it’s very cool and very informative. Over the coming months I’ll keep a close eye on the sea ice progress, and I’ll share the news here 🙂

Sun and snow on Stiles Cove Path

When the sun comes out in winter there is no way you can keep me inside. Outside is where I want to be: with a broad smile on my face I’ll take in the glorious winter scenery from any viewpoint along the coast, happily walking through miles of deep snow just to get there.

Here are some photos from a beautiful snowy hike on the East Coast Trail from Flatrock to Red Head Cove, on Stiles Cove Path:

Snowy trail - Stiles Cove Path

Snowy trail – Stiles Cove Path

There were plenty of tracks from the trailhead to the bridge at Big River, but after that it was all clear, virginal snow all the way up to Red Head:

Undisturbed snow - Stiles Cove Path

Undisturbed snow – Stiles Cove Path

Approaching Red Head, the forest opens up to frame the snowy cliffs:

Red Head in a forest frame - Stiles Cove Path

Red Head in a forest frame – Stiles Cove Path

Because the winter sun doesn’t reach very far into the depths of Red Head Cove, there’s only a short window of opportunity to have some light in a picture of its cliffs:

Winter in Red Head Cove - Stiles Cove Path

Winter in Red Head Cove – Stiles Cove Path

Above the cove itself there is another attraction though: a small babbling brook that together with the wind regularly forms a freezing reverse waterfall, coating the entire area above in a sparkling layer of ice:

A thick coast of ice on everything - Stiles Cove Path

A thick coast of ice on everything – Stiles Cove Path

This amazing effect happens several times every winter, so if you have the time I highly recommend you check it out for yourself!

2016 Geminids over Newfoundland

The Geminid meteor shower is one of the best meteor showers of the year (and my personal favourite), but this year its beautiful ‘shooting stars’ will have to contend with a full moon which makes the night sky so bright it will be hard to spot any but the brightest of fireballs.

Add to that an official Winter Storm Warning from Environment Canada and you’ve pretty much got a good excuse to stay in bed instead… That said, I always go outside for the Geminids: as long as I can get somewhere safe I’ll take my chances and see what happens.

If you’re like that too and you’re aching to see this year’s meteor shower, here are the usual tips: dress warmly, find a dark location away from city lights, look up from midnight to 6AM the following morning (tonight and tomorrow night), and of course avoid looking at that pretty but far too bright full moon!

Stay safe and have fun!

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