Saturday, June 4, 2016

Freezing'ish, In St. John's, Bowring Park

A month or so back, when we were passing through New Hampshire a bit too early for the Spring, we got to talking about our plan to arrive in Newfoundland earlier than the usual 'summer' season. 

We knew that our potential for very cold and wet weather was quite high but we had gone four and a half years in some similar situations sans heater.  Those times though we could easily flee the uncomfortableness by changing our location on a whim. 

It is a bit difficult to flee an island on a whim - especially when the ferry runs only twice a day (in good weather).  So, when we discovered that a Walmart we were driving by had a Buddy Heater on sale for $30 less than retail; we decided that it might just be time.

      We have not regretted having our Buddy along on this part of our journey.

We could however do without the doubled price of the 1lb propane canisters... Canada.

It has been nice to be in a position to be flexible due to undesirable weather.  Here we are driving to St. John's about three weeks earlier than planned... in the rain and fog.  We were told that the terrain would change and the mountains would fade as we went east.  While they aren't the Rockies, we're just going to say that Annie and her transmission disagree.


One of the best things about our plan to take the short ferry to and from the island is that we are required to drive the same highway twice.  There is only ONE highway that cuts across the island (the TCH - Trans Canadian Highway).  There are many smaller roads and loop drives that branch off from it but in the end everything pretty much leads back to the TCH.  So, anything that we have missed by moving east faster than planned can be seen as we make our way back west to catch the ferry home.


We arrived in St. John's with a weather prediction of a little sunshine the next day.  At the very least, it would not be raining.  So, we ventured out to visit Bowring Park to take a walk and look for some lifers.

Although we were not able to get a good picture of it, we saw our first lifer almost immediately.

                       This is the backside of a female Blackpoll Warbler.

                          This is a poor shot of a male Blackpoll Warbler.

       Seeing the Myrtle variant of the Yellow-rumped Warbler is always a treat.

                            Not the Boreal Chickadee. Maybe next time.

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  It was very cold on this day but we were starting to see the first signs of spring - Daffodils

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                                                   and Tulips.

        Small critters (like this curious chipmunk) were beginning to stir, as well.

                  We spent several hours walking around this beautiful park.

                         The are a wide variety of patterns in Rock Doves.

Just before we left the park, we witnessed a conflicting (for us) series of events.

                        We were very excited to see our first Mute Swans.

                          A very territorial male and his nest-sitting mate.

What we didn't expect to see was what happened next.  The male, set off across the lake and made a beeline for a group of baby mallards and tried to eat them.

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                                  He attempted a divide and consume method.

                                     Mama did her best to defend her babes.

                                         Though it didn't always go her way...

While it may be a "natural" event, the whole scene was really quite disturbing.  It drew a big crowd with children yelling at the swan to STOP IT! 

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                         It wasn't just the human children yelling either!

We chose another alternative and approached the female swan on her nest which quickly distracted the male and led him to the other side of the pond.  The baby mallards were safe, for a little while anyway.

And, that was our Bowring Park experience.