NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"Sissy" Roadtrip - Salmonier Nature Park

My sister-in-law had the day off so we thought we'd go out for a drive and when she mentioned that she'd never been to Salmonier Nature Park, off we went with our sons in tow.  I'd been before with Wayne and Cory back in 2010, but it was a lovely 3 km walk through great habitat so why not go again?  And it's free!

Cory and his cousin Mark walking into the Caribou enclosure

We didn't see most of the animals on this visit, but the Caribou were out and easy to see.  Unfortunately for them the flies were having an easy time finding them as well and every few minutes one of them would shake themselves and jog a little ways in an effort to escape them.

Louise's favorite was the Snowy Owl which is native to Labrador and not uncommon to spot in Newfoundland.  I ran across a few articles about rescued owls that the park has helped, including this one.

Snowy Owl is white under tree in center of picture

We also saw the Great Horned Owl but he was in a cage and had his back to us so I just got a close-up of the Snowy Owl instead.  So handsome!  Judging by the markings I'm guessing it was either an immature male or a mature female.  Older males will be almost purely white and immature females have more black markings.

Since so many of the animals were no-shows (which is not uncommon in the summer) or their enclosures were temporarily closed I focused on the vegetation as much as the wildlife.

The White Fringed Orchid can be found growing in sphagnum and other acidic moss or wet meadows.  It made a nice companion to the Snowy Owl in its enclosure.

Platanthera blephariglottis

Another bird we spied was the Peregrine Falcon which again is native to Labrador but is also a winter migrant to Newfoundland.  He kept busy keeping his eye on every person who passed from his hiding place in the tree.

 I was surprised to see the Blue Bead Lily, and Louise confirmed it was a plant that she personally hadn't seen before therefore it probably isn't common in the area near Placentia.  It was very common in Munising when we visited, and I loved seeing it again today.

Clintonia borealis

 We didn't see the Arctic Fox or the Woodchuck, but I found a blog post of someone who did if you'd like to see them.

See the tiny Creeping Snowberries?

I kept a lookout for Creeping Snowberry which grows in acidic and neutral soils in open woodland and forest verges, particularly on wet ground such as in or on the edge of bogs, often near tree stumps.  My niece Emily pointed it out to me when she took me up to the blueberry patch on top of Cemetery Hill and said it tasted like mint.  Sure enough, I tossed half a dozen of the tiny berries in my mouth and got a mild wintergreen aftertaste from them.

Gaultheria hispidula

You'd think I'd be berried-out by now, what with the handfuls of blueberries and raspberries I've been tossing in my mouth as I go for my morning walk every day.  I even found a couple of late Bakeapples and a new one called Crowberry.  I'll share pictures of those on another post.

They are putting in a new visitor center and I was a bit disappointed when we passed through the old one and they didn't have any nature guidebooks for sale.  They advised I try the MUN Botanical Gardens but I didn't have the time to go into St. John's to look.  I did have time to stop on the side of the TCH on our way back and buy some Partridgeberry jam and some bakeapples for my mother-in-law.  Nothing like a little roadside bartering to complete a day out!

Thanks for a great day, "Sissy"!


  1. You made it to Newfoundland - yay! Your day sounded wonderful, esp with Partridgeberry jam and bakeapples! Also raspberries and blueberries - yum. Yesterday Jimmy and I picked about eight cups of gorgeous ripe blackberries at our campsite in Tillamook, Oregon. You know how it goes - one for the bucket, one for the mouth! We made a cobbler last nite and loved it! Hope you have a lovely visit.

  2. Looks like a great place to go. That snowy owl is beautiful and what a thrill to see the caribou!

  3. Looks like a great place to go. That snowy owl is beautiful and what a thrill to see the caribou!

  4. Looks like a great place to go. That snowy owl is beautiful and what a thrill to see the caribou!

  5. I think there is an echo in here about how beautiful the snowy owl is. Love the White Fringed orchid too. I've never had partridgeberries or their jam. I'm definitely game.