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!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

St John's Great Fire Mural

wise words, but education is important

Chicago isn't the only major city with a great fire story to tell, the Great Fire of 1892 is depicted on McBride's Hill and is 21 metres long. It was completed in 2017 by artist Julie Lewis.  If you click on  the link there is even a video showing her at work.

The Great Fire started on the evening of July 8, 1892, in a stable at the top of Carter's Hill, on the north side of the St. John's harbour.  Within just a few hours, flames were barrelling down the hill, destroying homes, stores and warehouses. Hot dry weather conditions and strong winds further compounded the situation. By morning 11,000 people were homeless and left with little more than the clothes they were wearing when they fled their burning homes. Only 3 people died as a result of the disaster but more than two thirds of St. John's was in ruins.

Although a 113,650-litre water tank was located just metres from the stable, it was almost empty because firefighters had forgotten to refill it after a recent practice drill. The fire prompted government officials to restructure the city's fire departments and to provide firefighters with better training and equipment.

Here's a video on YouTube about the fire.  I especially like the bit at the end talking about St. John's after the rebuilding and the artchitectural story that lives on.

Linking up to Monday Mural.

Tarrying in Tomahawk

Tarrying? You are reading that right, sometimes a girl needs a new verb.  I've dawdled and lollygagged quite a bit, it's time to throw in a new word that means the same thing.

Is Jewel thinking: What is wrong with this guy?

After finishing up early with appointments in Merrill and Tomahawk on Wednesday I took an hour walk, then went back to the camper Wayne had parked at a friend's house in Tomahawk and took the kitties out for a stroll.

What was that noise?

They really like exploring Howard's yard every time they come visit, and this time Jewel even ran down the hill to the little creek for a look around.  No tarrying for her!

Here she comes!

In the morning we woke to temperatures below 50F and drizzling rain so it was off to Rhinelander to run errands.  We stopped at the Golden Harvest market where we dilly-dallied while admiring their selection of natural and organic items.  

In addition to a fine selection of gourds and pumpkins they had the largest heads of cauliflower I think I've ever seen.  And when I got to the register I found Seattle Chocolates for the first time since I left Seattle - Score!

When we got back to the cabin Wayne and Howard had a light fixture in need of repair, so I took off for a hike on the Ice Age Trail.

 Whenever I'm in the Merrill and Tomahawk area I seem to be in a rush and never found time to investigate the Harrison Hills Segment.

 The entire segment is 14.4 miles, so to complete that I would have needed to start much earlier in the day, not to mention have a car waiting at the other end!

Instead I lingered when the mood struck, finding fall fungi along the way.

Fall color is at about 25% in northern Wisconsin at the moment, next weekend it should be glorious.

Red Oak leaf on fallen birch tree

This segment winds past little lakes that are home to beaver and when I approached one of the lakes for a look three different groups of ducks took wing, startling me as much as I startled them.

What took me an hour going in only took half an hour going back out, giving me a round trip hike up and down the little ridges above the marshes of about 3 miles.  So, only 13 miles of that segment to explore another time...

I wasn't the only one dawdling, back at the cabin the rest of the gang had arrived hours ago to ride their "machines" but there they stood in the driveway talking instead.

And I know I've tarried at getting out those last few Newfoundland posts, but I've got to come clean and tell you that I have San Diego ones not done also!  I guess I better quit monkeying around and get to work!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

As Different as Chalk and Cheese

I finally get around to talking about Castle Hill National Historic Site, where the British and the French battled for control of the cod industry during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The cod on display is the real thing, just ask Chris he can probably describe the smell for you in detail.  Fortifications at Castle Hill go back to 1693.  The Basque, Spanish, Portuguese and French were fishing the area for a century before the French founded a permanent settlement in 1662 and named it Plaisance.

The fort atop the hill protected the colony from attack from British warships.  I can't even imagine warships in the harbor!  Though just a mile or two around the way by boat there were warships and planes in Argentia during World War II...I can't imagine that either!

We watched the short filmstrip which described how the fort was built and Leacey gave us a demonstration on how to chop the head off fish.

The map below was an interesting look back in time - notice the beach of Placentia which today is completely covered in residences and other buildings was mainly used for drying fish and not as a permanent settlement.

Cousin Sarah works at Castle Hill for Parks Canada and if you visit she can help you with your questions whether you ask them in French or in English!

Cousin Sarah asks Cooper if he wants to try on some period clothing

Cousin Sarah became my hero of the day when she hauled out the period costumes that are used for re-enactments.  Heck, yeah!

Cooper and Chris strike a pose

I told Cooper to get up there in the woods and let's make it look real! 

We all laughed a lot as we staged the photographs, it was so great to have a young person along to get us in a playful mood.

All that was missing was the boom of a cannon, the flash of a musket through the trees.

Even though Cooper's brother Jack was in a leg cast we even got him to put on the coat and hat and get in on the game for a few minutes.

Brothers at war!

Jack and Cooper are as different as chalk and cheese...never heard that one?  Me neither until this trip home.  Research says it's an old English phrase that likely was coined for its short and snappy alliteration.  Being a fan of alliteration I'm down with that!  The English language is full of these phrases, think of the bees knees, chump change, hoity toity, and riff raff.  I could go on all day, but hey maybe someone will add a few more in the comments section...

Anyway, due to the cast Jack had to stay behind at the Visitor Center so we tried to make our look at the fort further up the hill as quick as we could.  But it isn't a visit to Castle Hill if someone doesn't sit for a photo on the canons!

Cooper climbed up on to the stone walls that were unearthed, disassembled and rebuilt in the 1960's when this park was established.  I encouraged this foolish behavior, of course.

Honestly I'm surprised they let me near him at all, I'm a terrible influence!

We didn't get a view of "Plaisance" on that day, but I returned on a different day when the sun was out and the fog was gone to get the view that I never get enough of.

On that day I walked down the hill to Placentia just like the soldiers would have done.  The path is easy to access just to the left of the canons above, and in especially steep portions stairs have been built.  But hundreds of years ago those stairs weren't there and the soldiers would walk up and down the hill carrying supplies or going back and forth to work side jobs.  Can you imagine the leg muscles they had?

Friday, September 28, 2018

Miners Memorial trail Part 2 - Creativity and Serenity

It was a beautiful evening when I started my walk on the trail in Ironwood back in early July, but I didn't know I'd be getting an art show while I walked as a bonus.

Unfortunately I didn't find any information about this display that even had a wind chime.

The park was full of Lupine and other wildflowers, making it a butterfly haven.

So what would be more appropriate than a Butterfly Garden?  Not just for the butterflies, but full of art for the people too!

I could imagine how much young children would enjoy taking a walk and trying to see how many they could find.

The Miners Park Butterfly Garden is officially certified and registered by Monarch Watch, a University of Kansas nonprofit education, conservation, and research program focused on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular fall migration.

I'll have to check my calendar and see if I'll be up that way again during migration!

And with fall color on the way the Upper Peninsula of Michigan makes a great destination.

But I started my fall color watch yesterday in Tomahawk in northern tomorrow!

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Miners Memorial Trail - The History

I always find new things to explore in places I've been before, and when I went to Ironwood, Michigan in July I took a walk on the trails at Miners Memorial Heritage Park.

The city exists due to the discovery of these mines, and the last ore mine closed in 1966.

Headframe on trail

The memorial is due to the mine collapse on September 24, 1926 when part of the hanging wall of the PABST "G" shaft collapsed.  Three men were killed and forty-three others trapped for five days which made the national news. 

After eating their lunches over the first day, the men had nothing to eat or drink for all the remainder of the time except water that dripped down from the ceiling. Some of them peeled pieces of birch bark off the mining timbers and made some nasty "birch bark tea".   If you'd like to learn more about this event a book is available called "Perfectly Safe: The Pabst Mine Disaster of 1926" and includes photographs and biographies of the men.

Informational signs and weather protected photographs are posted along the trail.

Artist Ivan Hellen spent many years collecting bricks from the area and created a display that features over 50 different bricks. These bricks are embossed with names or symbols of the companies that formed them.

This isn't the only art display in the park, more on that in the next post!