In search of The Great Auk

In search of The Great Auk



A recent overnight trip to Fogo led to an impromptu hike for which I wasn’t prepared. My daughter has wanted to do the The Great Auk Trail/Joe Batt’s Point Walking Trail for some time and so……of we went.

I donned a couple of t-shirts underneath my long sleeved shirt and blazer type cardigan, borrowed a scarf from her and wore  ‘my always on hand’  dollar store gloves and I was ready.



Neither of us had brought a backpack, so Susan suggested using the camera bag to pack snacks and extra clothing for her 5 year old daughter.

Because it was for our granddaughter, my husband had no objections to emptying the bag and just wearing the camera around his neck….all other attachments were left behind


The trail is 4.6 k (return) and winds across barrens, bogs and the beautiful shoreline. It is  unusual to see this amount of ice along the shoreline and in the coves and bays at this time of year (June), but it is delightful and picturesque from an hiker’s point of view.

Why hadn’t I heard of this one before? Thankfully my daughter shares my passion for hiking.

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Our granddaughter is an amazing hiking companion.


Todd McGrain is the artist who sculpted the Auk and his project, The Last Bird Project is quite fascinating to read about. The Auk is sculptured in bronze and is quite beautiful in its stark and barren setting……but we aren’t there yet.


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No hiking shoes but I think my red Seibels look quite nice against the white landscape.:)



“When human beings lose their connection to nature, to heaven and earth, then they do not know how to nurture their environment or how to rule their world…….which is  saying the same thing.”  Shambhala The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa

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The world famous Fogo Island Inn


IMG_9258 (800x533)……and on we go.


Despite the cold, icy, backdrop, it really is quite good weather for hiking.


Artists’  Studio, amazing architecture along the trail.


Learning, learning while out and about.


“Pools, walls, solitary trees, are natural halting places.”   Thomas A. Clark

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Photo by L. Fudge

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Roseroot……………. they have a female and male plant and the leaves, root and stem are edible. Thank you to FB group Wildflowers of Newfoundland for helping me ID this one.


Merrily we hike along.

Gulch……hmmmm wonder if our granddaughter has heard that word before?


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Please can we have our snack now!


High and dry!


A little slippery, Stella gets a little help along this section of the trail.



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Best picture ever!


St. Lawrence Bird’s-eye primrose/Laurentian Primrose…stunningly beautiful.

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Still going….

IMG_9355 (800x533)Finally, mommy says it’s snack time…we are almost there.

IMG_9366 (800x533)Stella’s  treasures.

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We are close to our destination.

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The Great Auk…….sculptor, Todd McGrain

Please Goggle and watch his video,  Todd McGrain:The Last Bird Project – You Tube.

“Looking, singing, resting, breathing, are all complementary to walking.”

In Praise of Walking    Thomas A. Clark

I so enjoyed hiking this trail with my three companions. Thank you.

Photos by L. Fudge



“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.” J. Brotherton

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.” J. Brotherton

Visit their website, TTT 2017 in Norris Point is happening soon.

Treks Trails & Tales

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I just received my TTT newsletter for 2016 and unfortunately I can’t attend this year, but I certainly recommend this festival.   Norris Point and Woody Point are breathtaking!

This festival provides everything I love…hiking, entertainment, meeting new people and exploring new places. People come from all over Canada and the United States for this event. Trails Tales Tunes May 20-29 2016  what an adventure it will be!

Norris Point with the Tablelands in the background.

After sipping refreshments on the dock outside of The Cat Stop Pub and Grub, we did a little hike. Amazing vistas, but the seaweed is slippery! A little over zealous when surrounded by such beauty, I took a little dip in the water!

One of the guided hikes we did.  Layers of clothing were removed the further we walked.

Yes, that’s a moose.  It was like walking through a dead forest, the moose do so much damage here.

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Searching for Spring on Snowshoes!

Searching for Spring on Snowshoes!

………a short tale…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

IMG_8881 (800x533)Tiptoeing through the tulips in my Easter bonnet on April 2, 2017

Snow is not unusual for us in April; however, this amount is ridiculous!  It feels as if  it has been snowing forever, and we won’t even talk about the winds!

Yesterday we had a bit of a reprieve and decided to go snowshoeing, it was beautiful.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn.” John Muir 

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Thankfully we found the Easter bunny’s tracks!

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I was in awe of the grey hues in the sky. I have been looking for a grey paint and wished that I could take a sample. Bight Frost?  Cold Mist of April? Wild  Bight Grey? Wouldn’t it be delightful to see these colour samples in paint stores!

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“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.”  Carol Welch

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Do you see him? My husband did.

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Twillingate may have Queen Victoria’s profile  in a cliff outcrop but Comfort Cove has Sir Franklin!  IMG_8902 (800x533)Did he just blow in with the storm…. or?………. quite refined, wouldn’t you say?

“Is there life before death?” Jon Kabat Zinn………………………for sure, just make it!

Here’s to winter in spring! May it not last too much longer.

A Trek Through 2016

A Trek Through 2016

We lose the flavour of walking if it becomes too rare or too extraordinary, if it turns into an expedition; rather it should be quite ordinary, unexceptional, just what we do.  In Praise  of Walking Thomas A. Clark

Musgrave Harbour on a cold January day.

Canoe Rocks

A trek to the top of Doctor’s Hill in Comfort Cove gives us this great view.

Devil’s Eyebrow

Whites’ Wharf on a Winter’s Day

How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roasted chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea.  Nikos Kazantzakis

…………and then came the ice storm in Comfort Cove February 2016


Summerford Hiking Trail with two of my little peeps.

Children are certainly too good to be true. Robert Louis Stephenson

We must take adventures in order to know where we truly belong. Author Unknown

Trekking through Italy and England in May.

Isle of Capri


Copthorne area, England

London, England

……and I am pleasantly surprised that we can walk all over the city.  We walked to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the Tower of Big Ben …just everywhere…and we walked back from the theater at night. We were tired from trekking but really enjoyed the show, Motown and all that London had to offer.

Greenspond Hiking Trail

Windmill Bight

Lower Little Harbour Hike

Sunnyside Hike

We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.  Another Unknown

Twillingate and Beothuck Interpretation Centre, Boyd’s Cove, NL

Today I celebrate color.  Gratitude Janice Deal, Marie D.Jones

Up and down the Viking Trail

Eastport Peninsula, NL

a “Going Out For Business Sale” in Burnside

We walked all around Burnside and saw this unique sign.

A miracle is often the willingness to see the common in an uncommon way.  Noah benShea

Hope your Holiday Season is filled with seeing the world through new eyes.

Photos by L. & C. Fudge

A Trek around the Cove.

A Trek around the Cove.

A chilly December morning but everything still looks scenic.

“Silence begets Reverence”…… Adventure Canada Video

Through my father’s eyes.

The crow is busy eating his breakfast on Uncle Allan’s bench and I love the colourful buoys with the mussels still attached.

Bittersweet Nightshade   Solanum dulcamara

Identified with the help of the Wildflower Society .  Todd Boland’s  field guide, Trees & Shrubs of Newfoundland and Labrador is also an excellent reference. Another handy reference, Wild Flowers of Newfoundland Canada by Bill and June Titford is usually in my knapsack when I hike. This is a much older book but is still very useful.

Continuing on our walk, we come to what used to be Lewis and Elsie Head’s store. When I was a child, every Saturday morning one of us would have to walk here to buy groceries for mom.

The tide sure is high this morning.

And then we walk to the end of Cove Road and turn down Church Road. The roads had no names when I was growing up here, simply ‘up around the cove’ or ‘in the back way’.

Bethel United Church on the left and then this unique blue building on the right.

I always grin when I pass this building, not so much because it is a blend of two architectural styles, but because it is a blend of two religious denominations!  When I was growing up here, the longer one (with truck parked in front of it) was the Salvation Army Citadel and the one with the higher peak and white doors, was the United Church. People from the Salvation Army went to one school and used the back road in the community and people who were United attended a different school and used the cove road to get there! Many years later, the local fish plant obtained them and eventually joined them together and here they stand………. harmoniously together:)


Continuing on our trek, approaching Newstead or already in Newstead? I am not sure where the boundary is.

Wharf Demolition.

The old Government Wharf in Newstead has been deemed unsafe and is being torn down.

Solomon’s Island Bird Sanctuary

Solomon’s Island and Newstead Harbour

Trekking along down Harbour View Drive or is  it Ocean View …..will have to take a closer look on my next trek.


Saw this interesting contraption by the side of the road and thought it was handmade……I have seen some interesting and imaginative creations being used and driven here. The owner was nearby and so I asked him if he had made it, but no, it was bought somewhere in St. John’s.

 Our 5 km trek has come to an end, hope you enjoyed the scenery.

Our life is frittered away by detail….Simplify, simplify.  Henry David Thoreau

All photos by L. Fudge

A Tale of Dottie the Mouse’s Trek

A Tale of Dottie the Mouse’s Trek

Our family home is a somewhat large, two story house by the ocean. A few years ago my brother, SH retired and returned to live there. My mother who was in her late eighties at the time and had Macular Degeneration  used to walk slowly and really move close to everything so she could better see. She would quite frequently go to the kitchen window and peer out over the back garden and into the cove. My mother also wore what I call ‘boot slippers’……. ankle high, lined with fleece and quite easy to put on. She used to shuffle around the house issuing orders and requests to all who were near.

My sister who was visiting one day thought she saw a mouse/shrew in the porch and of course this just wouldn’t do!

Dottie the Mouse.

When I heard the story of the mouse, I found it quite hilarious and so I wrote this nonsense verse.


Dottie the Mouse

Harry and his mummy lived in a big house by the sea.

Oh Harry”, says mummy “you must take care of me!”

 “I’ve heard a strange sound from the stairs below.”

 “I wonder what it could be…..”

“I don’t suppose you would go………”

Yes, Mummy dearest”, says Harry with a sigh.

“Whatever shall I do? Oh my, oh my!”

and down the stairs he went

(using a few choice words to vent!)

Suddenly a little critter scurried to and fro

A mouse to catch, a job for a real pro!

Sticky traps were quickly bought

 so that mummy wouldn’t be too distraught.

They were placed around the basement floor

And Harry wondered, should he use more?

“Maybe just one near the kitchen wall”, said he.

“Just in case one climbed the stairs and we didn’t see!”

Everything was done and away Harry went.

Mummy shuffled to the window and over she bent.

And that very day, in their very own house,

Harry caught his mummy, Dottie the mouse!

Carol Fudge

Nonsense & Whimsy, 2005

A few years later, I bought two little mice for my daughters and made a little booklet with the poem. Every year Dottie the Mouse is placed in their homes at Christmas time. Eventually I found my mouse and every Christmas, Dottie is placed somewhere in my house, this year in the Christmas Tree.

Dottie’s home for Christmas 2016

Eventually, other mice were bought and my sister and  nieces acquired Dotties of their own…..I can hear mummy grumbling now!

Wishing everyone great treks and tales for Christmas 2016!

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!

Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!

Thy mists that roll and rise!

Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag

And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag

To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!

World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!   Edna St. Vincent Millay

…….actually it came a little too close in the above photo.:)

It was an early morning filled with brilliant sunshine in the Cove (the first in eight days), so we decided to go to Twillingate and hike in the rain:):).

Of course there is a story.

We went to the Women’s Institute Sale first and they were serving ‘light refreshments’……a non-alcoholic punch and homemade treats  that included fruit cake and an assortment of Christmas cookies. I just had to have a piece of fruit cake…….well two actually…….and then we went twacking (Dictionary of Newfoundland English defines it as ‘window shopping’, walking about).

Most all the craft shops are closed for the season but the drugstore in Twillingate is a must because they carry sooo many little home decor and seasonal items, plus beautiful scarves, socks, jewelry,etc. The Dollar Store (very little costs just a dollar) sometimes has  different items too and by this time it was time for lunch.

The Canvas Cove Bistro (check out their Facebook Page) served a delicious buffet lunch….what a spread……..and so I was so full, I had to walk.


Cousin Debbie introduced me to this trail, Lower Little Harbour, earlier this year but I hadn’t done the extra 3.6 km over the headland to Jonas Cove.

Northern Wild Raisin

This shrub caught my attention because of its lovely colour, it really stood out in the grey of the day. I find the  Wildflower Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and Todd Boland’s Field Guide, Trees & Shrubs Newfoundland and Labrador  very helpful when I am not sure of a plant’s identity.

All photos by L. Fudge

We usually take our hiking footwear and clothes on our travels, but this time I forgot my gloves…..


….but I did have an extra pair of socks which worked very well!

At first it was only overcast, then misty and then it rained, but the cool air and barren, rugged scenery were a joy.

Turr Hunters?

There are a couple of signs, one says Jonas, the other Jones….but they are referring to the same Cove………maybe Jonas Jones lived there once upon a time?:):)

The complete  Lower Little Harbour Trail is about 5km.

img_7917-800x533Juniper Berries

They are used in the making of gin, lovely added to a drink  with gin, and are also used when cooking wild game.

If you Google Lower Little Harbour Trail Twillingate, you will get mixed reviews on the difficulty of this trail, all however state that there are a couple of “challenging” areas.  Tripadvisor is a good place to check for reviews and photos.

Uphill and …..


…….down, the trail continues.

This had me laughing aloud with glee… the ocean rose at the entrance, came back down and rushed into the little ‘channel’, hitting the rocks with fury. Delightful!

 We reached Jonas Cove after a lovely hike and walked back out on a much shorter path to the community of Little Harbour, not to be confused with Lower Little Harbour.:)

Old church in Little Harbour, Twillingate.

If you would like more on this trail, please check my blog post of April 16,2016.

I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. Nathaniel Hawthorne