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!

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Take a Moment

Even when the snow is up past your knees,

Even when the wintry wind makes your teeth chatter,

Take a moment and look around you...who knows what you will see.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Winter on the Avalon

We were delighted to move to Newfoundland, and told everyone who asked about winter that the Avalon Peninsula actually was warmer and got less snow than Wisconsin.

November and December were warmer than Wisconsin, but once the snow started this year it just hasn't wanted to stop.  I've had people tell me they haven't seen the like of it in twenty years or more.

It's been great for winter sports, with everyone out enjoying their "skidoos".  I'd say they've sold more snowshoes in St. John's than they have in years as well!

Uncle John takes his grandkids out for a spin

Believe it or not our boat still makes it out of the driveway in this weather.  Turr hunting season is on the go, and you know Wayne's not missing any outdoor action after 30 years away.

They even saw a Minke whale the other day! Of course I've yet to see a whale in my whole life, but you're more likely to see chipmunks than whales when you prefer the woods to the waters.

There has been more sun than I anticipated, which makes for some nice pictures.

And I even still managed to catch a few stunning sunsets when I wasn't in my studio painting rocks!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Argentia - Before and After the Snow

If you want to see more pictures from Argentia, I have many! Just click the Argentia link on the left side or at the end of this post and you'll see why I love it there so much.

The last time I was there before the snow started falling I got to wandering and woolgathering and then noticed that sunset was around the corner and maybe I had better get a move on.

So I went straight up over the rock instead of crashing through the trees.  Why not, after all?

From the top is where you get the best views anyway.

With all the weather we've been having I haven't bothered making the 20 minute drive back over until a few days ago when our temps got up above freezing again.  I parked the car and followed the skidoo tracks up past the campground and the bunkers.

The last time I ended up in this spot I picked a few very late blueberries.  They weren't tasty after the frost, or plentiful, but there were enough to note that maybe it wouldn't hurt to come back next year with a bucket since obviously no one else had bothered.

This bunker hill is covered in blueberries come September

Any excuse to go wandering...

The following day I returned, this time taking my walk uphill from the Pavillion to Argentia Pond.

still knee deep in the shade

On my third day in a row in Argentia I went past Argentia Pond and kept going uphill.  The lack of fresh snow made it hard to get a snow angel going, but I did my best.  All that sun and walking had me feeling like myself again!

When I had the choice of following along the skidoo tracks or veering off toward a rock peak you know which way I had to go.

I was so hot I had to take off my hat and gloves, and without a breath of wind on my face I kicked back and admired the view of Argentia Pond. 

A few more catch up posts and then I should have lots to say about the other Maritime Provinces next week when I arrive in Nova Scotia!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Steps

As winter came along and the backcountry got covered in snow I started having difficulty finding a place to get out and enjoy the outdoors.

I was fairly surprised to find myself returning to the stairs that lead up the back side of Castle Hill at least once a week.

When the snow started coming down I was sure it would be hard to navigate that steep hill, but at least it was a defined path (not to mention a handrail), and what lovely views when you stop for a minute and look back.

When it started getting really deep I brought along a small shovel to add to the exercise.  Of course that meant more shoveling than walking, but at least I was outdoors.

I wasn't the only one taking a walk there, so the center of the stairs was packed down hard and often all I could do was brush off the sides.

Finally we got a warm up, and I took a sturdier tool along to start chipping away at the ice.

B'ys, let me tell ya, lying down in that cold snow felt good after I cleared off the first flight of stairs all the way across!

Of course, there were plenty of stairs left above to tackle another day.

I haven't been back in a week, and we actually got above freezing again the last few days.  But I needed a break from the steps so I did my walking in Argentia instead. I'm actually leaving tomorrow for my big trip across the Maritime Provinces so maybe by the time I get back Mother Nature will have done most of the work for me?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Rocking the Rock

Newfoundland is referred to by us Newfies as The Rock. And when you hide your painted rocks somewhere, you've "rocked" that place. So I've been Rocking the Rock regularly since September, and as a matter of fact I painted my 400th rock this week.

I won't show you all 400 rocks, don't worry.  The first 100 were a learning process and I've kind of been finding my way.  I've learned that just like everything else I do that I don't tend to want to do what everyone else is doing. For instance I painted a few Christmas rocks but quickly tired of it and after painting a few Christmas ornaments moved on to something else.

The rocks were so cute I painted wood slice ornaments to match!

And I don't want to hide them where everyone else is hiding them.  There are designated spots folks tend to hide, but the trouble with that is the first person along after you hide tends to scoop them all up. After reading that folks were getting disappointed not being able to find stuff I took a different approach.

I do more of a scavenger hunt with hints and photos on the NL Rock Art and Placentia Rocks Facebook pages. I put one or two in one spot, then move on to another. Feedback has been good, and everyone gets a chance to find something no matter where they live.  Of course there are a few I can't bear to part with, like the Newfoundland dory I painted below.  Eventually I will paint a duplicate and let it go.

The big project I decided to take on in November instead of the usual Christmas themes was starting a Harry Potter series.  This meant re-watching the movies and re-reading the books to get ideas.  One way to beat the boredom of winter!

Quite a lot of excitement was generated when I posted the pictures from The Sorcerer's Stone series, so it kept me going and each series got a little more intricate.  I've painted Harry with his owl 4 times because it was so popular, and Harry with his letter made his home with me for a few months until I painted an improved duplicate for myself.

Chamber of Secrets set

When I hide the Harry Potter rocks I put up advance notice of day and town so that those HP fans can be ready to hunt. To decide what I wanted to paint I had a list I made first and then searched the internet for illustrations and fan art.  Using those as I jumping off point I came up with my own blend, but sometimes I was such a fan of an image that I imitated it as exactly as I could. 

Prisoner of Azkaban - Aunt Marge and Professor Trelawney still live with me for now!

Prisoner of Azkaban had some great subjects I wanted to tackle, including Harry "blowing up" his Aunt Marge and his subsequent ride on the Knight Bus. And the set wouldn't be complete without "I Solemnly swear that I am up to no good", right?

After completing a Harry Potter set I usually look for something a little on the lighter side to paint, like my Cardinal series...

...and the adorable "Mice with Advice".

That's enough painting talk for today, but I'll catch you up again soon on my painting antics.  I've completed The Goblet of Fire set from Harry Potter plus a bunch featuring eyeglasses to give out to my accounts on my upcoming trip!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Stay Fly San Diego

I wish I could say that I was in San Diego, but alas these photos are from my trip there last April.  I can't go anywhere as for some reason I keep neglecting to send in my Canadian passport application.

I was cleaning up photo files that were unlabeled and found these two murals obviously done by the same artist. I must say, I'm a fan, though I'm trying to figure out what the symbolism is for having a wolf head crying a river on one hand and a bird mask too!  Some story there.

Beautiful mornings have been few in February so far. The weather has been either snowy or windy here more often than is normal for eastern Newfoundland, so I've been in the house painting a lot myself.  More about that in the next post, for now I'm happy to join in with the Monday Mural crowd again for the first time in a long time! And dream of a trip back to California next winter...