Monday, August 31, 2009

Darling Laila

This is Laila, my German Shepherd dog, who is just 10 years old. I have thrown a twig out in the water for her and swims out to fetch it.

My darling puppy went on a hunger strike while I was in Canada and lost all energy. Sean thought it was because she missed me. Poor thing. If only they understood that I would be back. But we offered canned food, and the hunger strike ended swiftly. Jenny, her partner in all canine crimes, was so anxious to get to the canned food, that she was literally jumping into the bowl before it was set down.

What a good girl! Here she is coming back with the twig! Oops. She bit it in half and has to go back for the pieces!

Here she comes again with a piece of the broken twig.

"It was here somewhere..."

Isn't she the prettiest doggie you've ever seen? I just taught her a new trick. It is called 'find mommy's pill'. She is brilliant at it when I drop one. Trust me.

Some endangered native vegetation at the watering hole.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Mon Voyage À L'Acadie: Part 6: Grande-Anse & Anse Bleue

We drove to a camp we planned on sharing with our cousins [more on that later] that was close to Caraquet and then explored the area of Grande-Anse to see the local coves and beaches.

We found a private drive, and the sign said "Welcome friends," in French, so we felt we could go in since we are friendly people. No one was at home. But look at their view!

Have you ever seen anything like this?

Look how clear the water is! Of course they had two kayaks ready to go. I was ready to take one myself for a little paddle.

Talk about a private swimming area!

Mom got this shot of me day dreaming of swimming in this pristine water! Look how clear it is!

Then we got back into the car and drove looking for beaches. This one is a pay beach. For $5 you get public showers and this tiny patch of sand, complete with disgusting muddy area [near the split rail fence].

Here is the free beach. Gorgeous isn't it? It was really hot out, so I don't know why nobody was swimming. It was a work day though.

Vasco sprints across the beach, as if he has waited the entire trip to do so!

And then, Vasco takes a plunge into the water. Just what I would love to do!

Here are some driftwood heads that somebody put up.

This is a sculpture that seems to have some sexual themes.

Here is a normal Acadian residence that is decorated for the Festival.

Compare the house at top to this little house in Anse-Bleue. We drove there looking for someplace to eat dinner and I photographed this house because their decorations for the Festival acadien are really over the top!

Click to enlarge the photo above and you can see his little head watching us in the wooden swing! Another view is below.

We did find a bar, aptly called, 'The Bar', but they had stopped serving dinner. What they did have, however, was a free plate of hot steamed mussels for every customer! Mom and I were all over that! One of our cousins joined us in slamming a plate of these native tasties down. They were wonderful, tender, fresh and delicious! They were the best mussels I ever had! I am sure that the buckaroo in the photo below is probably smiling because he just finished a plate, and not because of the pretty girls at his table.

More Canada is on the way!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Mon Voyage À L'Acadie: Part 5: Mi’kmaq First Nation Peoples

On our way back, we passed through Pointe-à-la-Croix, the town that is home to the Mi’kmaq. We went to a shop called Woodpile Handicrafts.

Once I laid eyes on these moccasins, I had to have a pair, even though they are not Mi’kmaq. Actually, we bought 3 pairs, one for me, one for my mom, and a pair for my twin.

Here is a closeup of the beading on the toe:

Then I espied this lovely beaded belt that was made by a Mi’kmaq woman and I bought it!

Here are some photographs of the shop's displays. That is a goat skin and deer skin next to the snow shoes. I really wanted the deer skin, but it was out of my price range. It cost money! Then I thought about what my dogs would do to it! Yikes!

Look at this gorgeous display! I would so buy myself lace up moccasin boots! I see me prancing around in them everywhere! They are so fantastically adorable! Don't you think? Wouldn't I make a cute Pocahontas in those?

They also had the neatest leather jackets. They were each a piece of art and one-of-a-kind with embossing, metal and leather appliques and small carved stone fetish animals applied to the back, lapels, sleeves, pockets or breasts. One jacket had a bear motif and was perfect for Sean. Alas, it was $800. Oh well.

Here is their address and phone no.:

Woodpile Handicrafts
32, route 132
Listuguj, Québec G0C 2R0
Phone: (418) 788-5876
Fax: (418) 788-5458

Stay tuned; much more Canada awaits!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mon Voyage À L'Acadie: Part 4: Percé Rock, Quebec

Finally we had made it to Percé Rock on the tip of a peninsula of the Gaspé. As we walked around the town and came upon this school, we headed over the hill and were able to see the dock and a tour boat that was much like our own. Click photos to enlarge.

Unfortunately, it was quite foggy! But I guess you'll rarely see photographs of Percé Rock in the fog!

Here is the infamous rock as we saw it the day before from 'Surprise' lookout point. Note how there was little fog the day before.

And here it is the day we took a tour boat out to see it! Where is the top of it??? Note the other large tour boat that is in front of it nearing the hole.

Here is a closeup of the hole which is 15 meters high (50 feet).

This was a hole, but broke through some time ago.

This is the far side of the hole.

This photo was taken looking back at the rock as we steamed towards Bonaventure Island.

Bonaventure Island shelters many seals which I found challenging to photograph!

But, Bonaventure Island is most important for housing the largest colony of Northern gannets in the world with over 100,000 birds. See all of the white dots on the cliffs? Those are gannets!

Our boat even powered close up to one of their nesting rocks, and of course, this blogger was in exactly the right place on the boat to get a photo! I could have reached out and touched a bird! I was in the prow leaning on the railing while the Captain had the front of the boat almost touch the rock! I was afraid to move and scare the birds away! Isn't this a great shot!

I was disappointed though because I wanted to see an Atlantic Puffin [to add to my life list] and we didn't see a one!

Below is our capable and bilingual tour guide, Guillaume.

It was also too foggy to see whales. Well, that was what happened the last time I was on a whale watch too. I must be jinxed!

Stay tuned - there is so much more Canada!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mon Voyage À L'Acadie: Part 3: Paspébiac & Bonaventure, Quebec

The next day, we headed off with our cousin hosts for the town of Percé in Quebec by crossing over the J.C. Van Horne Bridge. Along our drive there is much forested land with views of the Bay of Chaleur and some very small towns. The most prominent architectural feature of these towns are the churches; most notably the Catholic ones as the Protestant ones are made of wood and painted white, just like the houses. Sometimes, the only differentiation is the spire and windows. Churches like these can be seen all over New England, but are smaller than those.

Below is a photo of the Roman Catholic Church in Bonaventure. Note the silver metal roof and stone siding. These are typical architectural features of Catholic churches in Canada. Some have brick masonry instead of stone. As can be seen in the next photo. Click to enlarge.

This photo was taken in the town of Paspébiac in Quebec.

This was a wharf and fish processing area that is now not used. The building above has been retrofitted into a restaurant. As you can see, there is nothing else in the area at all but trees! But, one fishing boat was at the dock, so I photographed it mostly because it had the town's name on the stern.

Flowers are amazing in this area of Canada! They don't suffer the extreme heat and have a very short growing season. Just look at the glory of these purple petunias! Have you ever seen anything like it?

And how about these nasturtiums and rainbow chard! Wonderful, eh?

Here I am purchasing a souvenier for Sean. This artisan, Hector Legrisley, has been crafting sailing boats in wood for 45 years. You see them everywhere! I bought the one he is holding for only $35 Canadian! Priced to sell, eh? My mom bought a smaller one like those on the second shelf from the bottom for only $15! He could be charging so much more for these! They are just gorgeous and he sells them from his driveway! Incredible!

Stay tuned... We are getting closer to Perce!