Jul 15 2012

Free Fallin’

I remember my first trek into Walton Glen gorge and falls along the Bay of Fundy coast, partway between Alma and St. Martins. In particular, I recall the magical sense of wonder and adventure as I navigated inland from the cobble and sand beach where we had camped for the night. Entering the impressive Walton Glen gorge with its 30 to 60m high walls, all sound save the brook’s gentle gurgle fell away. For a moment, I stood still in this cleft of rock, breathing reverence.

Aug 16 2011

Falcons of Fundy

They’re called ‘the wanderers’, from the Latin peregrinus meaning ‘coming from foreign parts’.

So named for their lengthy migratory tendencies, the fascinating Falco peregrinus or peregrine falcon has once more resumed its wandering along the shores of the Bay of Fundy…thanks to a little help from some friends.

Making a slow, but remarkable comeback from the threat of extinction, the peregrine was upgraded by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) from an ‘endangered species’, so designated in 1978, to a ‘threatened species’ in 1999.  By the next review, the Canadian Wildlife Service is hopeful the status will once again upgraded, this time to ‘special concern’.

Aug 16 2011

It’s in the Genes

excerpted from Atlantic Salmon Journal, Winter 2004 / photography and text © Deborah Carr 2004

Birthed in an era that predates the Ice Age, the waters of the Upper Salmon River in Fundy National Park have tumbled over massive rock outcroppings, carved deep pools, then meandered along more gentle grades to the Bay of Fundy for untold millennia.

Standing on the bank of the river named for its once plentiful bounty, park eco-scientist Renee Wissink exhibits a curious mingling of sadness and optimism.  His quiet gaze traces the river’s current where clear water persistently polishes a riverbed of smooth multi-coloured rubble, the geological remnants of ancient mountains that once could rival the Canadian Rockies. The late summer sun filters through a canopy of green, casting dancing shadows on the rippled surface.

This should be salmon heaven.

Aug 16 2011

A Symphony Takes Flight

There are defining moments in life, when one is truly humbled and finally able to grasp their place in the world as a participant, an observer, a protector…this one was mine.

Moving as if to the sweep of a conductor’s baton, they flow off the beach like a tide of liquid mercury, then swoop into the air, a darkly ribboned smudge against the August sky.

As if on prearranged cue, they bank as one and the flock metamorphoses, revealing the flashing white of ten thousand underbellies caught in the glory of the setting sun. A dance of precision and grace.

Jul 06 2011

Tongue & Cheek

(2012 Bronze, International Regional Magazine Awards; 2011 Honorable Mention Professional Writers’ Association of Canada Features Writing category)

Each time I travel to Newfoundland’s Gros Morne National Park, I visit the Broom Point Fishing Exhibit, a family cabin and fish store restored to the way the buildings were in the 1960s when the Mudge family lived there each year, April to August. What was once a family’s home and business is now a historical site, designed to preserve the memory of Newfoundlanders who made their living from the sea.

Over the years, I’ve come to know some of the interpreters who, with the beauty of lilt and brogue and language, are the spirit of the place. They are the reason I return, time after time, to Broom Point.

On my last visit, I met Louise Decker. As the cool Gulf of St. Lawrence winds rattled the windows in the cozy fishing cabin, and softwood snapped in the stove, the tiny, 4’ 11” Louise related her story.

Aug 23 2009

Of Moose and Magnificence

Mount Carleton Provincial Park “If it’s moose you’re wanting to see, you’d best head up to Bathurst Lake in the early evening.” I'd been told if I wanted to know where and when to spot wildlife at Mount Carleton, then "Dale’s your man". I found Dale holding court at the neatest campsite I'd ever seen; clearly one of those local characters you're blessed to meet in interesting places, a seasonal resident in Mount Carleton Provincial Park’s Armstrong Brook Campground. He told me he's explored every inch of the park…several times over. I follow...

Aug 16 2009

The Return of the Revolving Light

On September 12, 1875, a three-masted barque named Revolving Light slid from the slipway at Turner Shipyard in Harvey Bank, NB, amid cheers of onlookers. She lurched forward as a tugboat towed her, pennants flashing, through the tidal waters of the Shepody River and into the Bay of Fundy. At 196 feet long, the 1,338-ton ship was beautiful, graceful and sturdy.

Aug 16 2008

Slice of Life

(Saltscapes Magazine, Sept/Oct 2008)

It’s hotly debated whether the best part is the smell or the taste. But for baker Lorenzo Richard, fresh-baked bread is about family, tradition and culture.

By noon, the loaves are lined in rows like kernels of Indian corn. The crisp brown crust varies in shades of golden brown to mahogany. To do the bread justice, it should be cut thick while still warm, then slathered with butter and molasses. It’s been hotly debated whether the best part is the aroma, the taste or the remembrance of kitchens past.

With a history as old as civilized culture, any bread in its purest, simplest form has the power to evoke vivid memories.

Aug 16 2007

A Tour of a Lifetime

(Saltscapes Magazine, Jul/Aug 2007; Atlantic Journalism Awards Silver in Atlantic Magazine Best Profile)

Silhouetted against windows overlooking La Dune de Bouctouche, “The Woodchuck” hunches over his workbench. Close at hand are his tools – chisels and mallets made by his brother – and over his shoulder, a charcoal likeness of Jesus. Above the bench, one of his first relief carvings. Reminders of grace and how far he has come.


May 16 2005

The Light with an Image to Keep

Dennison Tate faces into the wind as he gazes over the turbulent Bay of Fundy, one hand resting on the lighthouse that altered his life’s course.  An unexpected squall, already racing up the bay, mimics the frequent turmoil he weathered while preserving the Cape Enrage Lighthouse and turning it into a life skills training ground for kids and one of the province’s premiere tourist attractions.  But Dennison knows, as the tide shifts and the wind stills, peace will replace the gale, and smooth sailing may be possible once more.

He turns with a smile and a shrug, “Until the next time.”