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.

IMG_9229 (800x533)

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.

 

IMG_9232 (800x533)

 

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

IMG_9243 (800x533)

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

IMG_9284 (800x533)
Photo by L. Fudge

IMG_9281 (800x533)

 

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?

 

IMG_9302 (800x533)

Please can we have our snack now!

 

High and dry!

 

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

 

 

IMG_9386 (800x533)

Best picture ever!

 

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

IMG_9350 (800x533)

Still going….

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

IMG_9366 (800x533)Stella’s  treasures.

IMG_9382 (800x533)

We are close to our destination.

IMG_9337 (800x533)

 

IMG_9411 (800x533)

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

 

 

Searching for Utopia

Searching for Utopia

I fell in love with this giant sculpture in the piazza della Signoria in Florence.

 

IMG_6098 (800x533)

……and when I read the plaque, I loved it more. It is slow to find, is it not?

Jan Fabre is a Flemish artist and this sculpture was only recently brought to Florence.  Like it or hate it……..

 

……it certainly makes a statement among these very old and historically beautiful sculptures.

I remember Florence as a beautiful gift. I hadn’t done much research on the city before the trip and everywhere I trekked, I found new delights and learning  opportunities.

IMG_6118 (800x533)

Tut, tut…using cell phone while driving. 🙂

IMG_6117 (800x533)

Seeing and hearing while we wander .

IMG_6089 (800x533)

Tripe soup anyone?  It was too early in the morning for me but I did enjoy getting a view through the window. He was most obliging in holding it up for us.

20160523_112116 (450x800)
And then there was Pinocchio.

 

As we neared Florence, I noticed all things Pinocchio and so at a rest stop I bought a couple of pencils painted in the colours of the Italian flag with Pinocchio’s head at the top. My new found friends had a great laugh …. “You come to Italy and buy Pinocchio pencils  made in China.”   I simply replied, “The author of Pinocchio was Italian you know and not only will my grandchildren use these pencils, they will talk about Pinocchio and as an added bonus, they will now know the Italian flag!”:)

Later our tour guide gave a long talk about Pinocchio, its author Carlo Collodi, and pointed down a lane to where Carlo Collodi had lived. Throughout the group I heard laughter and my name being mentioned.  I rest my case.:):)

 

20160523_132317 (450x800)
Carlo Collodi lived here.

I later bought the book  Pinocchio The Adventures of a Puppet, a shorter version of the original  and what a lovely book it is!  “While the puppet was swimming, all of a sudden, out of the water popped the horrible head of a sea monster, coming straight at him with its mouth wide open like a deep chasm, showing its three rows of sharp teeth which would frighten you just to see them painted on paper.”  Quite a long sentence and what a description! No wishy washy nonsense here! I love it!

 

A sudden heavy downpour in Florence and within minutes vendors were everywhere trying to sell us umbrellas and ponchos. I admire that kind of business sense.

 

20160523_201916 (450x800)
Duomo di Firenze Cathedral

The interior of the Cathedral has 463 stone stairs and reaching the top offers a stunning view of the city. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to climb them.

Florence, city of history, detailed architecture, amazing sculptures, great paintings, and fun!

 

Photos by L & C Fudge