Info on NFLD since you asked.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bunnyhunter12, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    Sackett, since you asked in my "choice of 12ga. slugs" thread about many aspects of my Province I'll try to print some info for your own interest and the interest (maybe) of others.

    The "barrens" around here are not REALLY tundra per se. I'll try and explain this way, over the course of the last few ice ages most of the topsoil was scraped, by glaciers, off of the island and in to the sea. This combined with our weird climate (I'm actually at the same latitude as central Montana but my weather is affected by the fact that I'm stuck out in the North Atlantic) makes for pretty poor growing conditions. The barrens are wide areas where the only thing that grows is low shrubs like kalmia, or Labrador Tea, and scrub pines though their growth is stunted. Caribou spend most of the spring, summer and fall on the barrens where they feed on mosses and lichens and the terrain here lends itself to some very nice hunting. You have wide open terrain of rolling hills interspersed with only a regular sprinkling of boulders cast of by the ancient glaciers and some brooks and streams.

    I say it's not really Tundra because the vegetation is different and we do not have perma-frost in the soil.

    As far as wooded areas go, vast portions of the Island are forested and forestry has been a major industry here for generations. We have various varieties of pine, fir, juniper and birch as well as other kinds I can't think of right now but easily 90% are coniferous. Actually my father works with a guy, (on supply ships, they work a four week rotation) who uses old logging roads to save time and gas to get from his home on the south coast to St. John's on the east coast.

    The caribou spend most of the winter in these wooded areas for shelter and to feed beneath the trees where snow is thinnest.

    WE have about two and a half good months of summer weather with spring and fall being cold and rainy. Winter being mild as compared to mainland Canada or even the Northern states, brings regular snowfalls and it's not uncommon to have three feet sitting on the ground in some areas.

    As for fish caught in our waters, it used to be mainly cod but as some of you may know, there have been severe restictions placed on cod because of over fishing. We also have commercial fisheries for crab, squid, shrimp, redfish, polluck, flounder, haddock, hake, halibut and salmon. The only real kind of fish to be found in our fresh water system are several species of trout. There is a type of eel that people eat and a tiny fish we call "stickle-backs" but we have no bass, pike, crappie or anything of that sort

    Our big game species are limited to caribou, moose and black bear. We have coyotes that crossed to the island on the ice in the 1980s and sometimes you may even spot a lynx or bobcat in the woods. Small game species include snowshoe hare, some arctic hare, ruffed grouse, spruce grouse, rock ptarmigan, willow ptarmigan and partridge. We also have weasels, mink and the endangered Newfoundland Martin. We have ducks in plenty in many different species and Canada geese and snow geese. We also hunt the common murre (we call it a turr) for food, it's a seabird with VERY dark and greasy meat, very tasty.

    A big controversy of late also involves our hunting practices. We have, every year, the annual Seal hunt. We hunt them for pelts, the oil from their liver (high in omega-3 fatty acids, good for what ails ya) and as much as the Liberal media argues this issue, yes we do hunt them for food. The controversy comes from mostly celebrities who come here every spring to view the hunt and say how evil we are for killing the "poor baby seals". They are basically looking for donations to their various organizations like PETA or WWF and we make convenient targets. The fact is that it is illegal to kill "white coats" or newborn seals, their pelts are worthless and the amount of oil that can be recovered is not worth the cost of the bullet and that's all I'll say on the issue. Paul McCartney and his now ex-wife Heather Mills were the last to take a swing at us.

    Our tourist trade is mainly based on the scenic fjords of the west coast, the quiant little fishing villages dotted along our shore and the fact that, as is happening right now, this is the cross roads for ice bergs headed south and humpback whales heading north. Makes for some beautiful pictures when you can catch a humpback breaching the surface in a mating display with a HUGE iceberg in the back ground.

    And herein lies another emerging industry of what we can harvest from the sea, WHALES. No I'm kidding, it's icebergs. There are now companies bottling iceberg water, like Evian only from icebergs, and we are now producing under the clever brandname, Iceberg, our own vodka, rum and gin made from iceberg water.

    Some trivia just for the fun of it:
    We celebrate everything first here as we have our own time zone that's one half hour ahead of the east coast of Canada or the U.S.

    We were the last province to join Canada. This happened in 1949 and until that time we drove on the left as all good British subjects should.

    A Newfoundland cummunity was the only cummunity in North America to recieve a direct hit from a Nazi war ship in World War II. The town was on the island of Bell Island and its dock facilities were hit by an errant torpedo fired at an iron ore freighter anchored off from the docks' iron ore loading facilities. Here's one for Polish and Pistol to argue over, what were the names of the ships sunk by a Nazi u-boat at these docks on Bell Island, Newfoundland during World War II?

    We used to have our very own species of wolf, the Newfoundland wolf, a subspecies of the grey wolf but we killed them all. :(

    We used to have an indigenous tribe of natives, the Beothuk, but we killed all of them too. Not our finest moment, used to be a bounty on them and we brought in M'ik M'aq indians to help us hunt them down.

    We have one of the major hyrdo-electric producing plants in North America but our original Premier (like a governor I guess) sold it to Quebec on a 100 year lease for around 100 dollars if I remeber correctly.

    We have four major oil fields (at least) off our coast but the Federal government is screwing us out of most of that money too.

    The first trans-Atlantic wireless signal was recieved by Marconi in Newfoundland.

    The first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable streched from Ireland to Heart's Content, Newfoundland.

    Amelia Erhardt took off from a grass strip in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland on the trans-Atlantic leg of her Journey. My Grandfather was one of the last people to shake her hand in North America.

    I'm sure I can dredge up some more from the old memory banks if you guys are interested.
  2. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    Here's some pics, I didn't take them but I'm away from home base right now at my apartment in St. Johns and can't get to the pictures on my home computer. The red and white candy-striped lighthouse is at cape Spear, Newfoundland, the eastern most point in North America (52 degrees 37 minutes W longitude).

    Attached Files:

  3. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    The Silent Witness Memorial in Gander, Newfoundland.

    Here's the story.

    Attached Files:

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  4. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    Wait, no, HERE'S the story.

    Gander, Newfoundland

    On December 11, 1985, Arrow Air flight MF128-5R, a Douglas DC-8-63, US registration N950JW departed Cairo, Egypt on an international charter flight to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, USA, via Cologne, Germany, and Gander, Newfoundland. On board were eight crew members and 248 passengers. The flight was the return portion of the second in a series of three planned troop rotation flights originating at McChord Air Force Base, Washington, USA, and terminating in Multinational Force Observers (MFO) to transport troops, their personal effects and some military equipment to and from peace keeping duties in the Sinai Desert. All 248 passengers who departed Cairo on the 11th December 1985 were members of the 101st Airborne Division (United States Army) based in Fort Campbell.

    The flight departed Cairo and arrived at Cologne on December 11th, 1985 for a planned technical stop. A complete crew change took place following which the flight departed Cologne for Gander at 11:20 pm Gander time.

    The flight arrived at Gander at 5:34 am where passengers were de-planed and the aircraft was refuelled and serviced. The flight departed Gander on runway 22 from the intersection of runway 13 at 6:45 am. The aircraft gained little altitude after rotation and began to descend crossing the Trans-Canada Highway approximately 900 ft beyond the departure end of runway 22. The aircraft continued to descend until it struck down sloping terrain approximately 3000 ft beyond the departure end of the runway.

    The aircraft was destroyed by impact forces and severe fuel-fed fire. All 256 occupants on board sustained fatal injuries.

    The accident occurred at 6:46 am during the hours of darkness at an elevation of 279 feet above sea level. The Arrow Air Crash was the worst air disaster ever on Canadian soil.

    On June 24th, 1990, a dedication ceremony was held in memory of the 101st Airborne Division . This memorial depicts an unarmed soldier standing atop a massive rock holding the hands of two civilian children. The children, a boy and a girl, each hold an olive branch, indicative of the peace keeping mission of the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles" on the Sinai Peninsula. Behind them rise three tall staff each bearing a flag, Canadian, American, and Newfoundland. As the trio stands looking into the future, they are surrounded by trees, hills, and rocks of the actual Arrow Air Crash site, overlooking Gander Lake in the direction of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. These natural surroundings are the "Silent Witnesses" of the precise moment when 256 dreams ended and the hearts and imaginations of an entire world were captured.
    The memorial was designed by Lorne Rostotski of St. John's, Newfoundland, and sculpted by Stephen Sheilds of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, USA.

    In June 1990, the statue was dedicated with several hundred people in attendance, including American family members and friends, local dignitaries as well as representatives of the Canadian and American Governments and Military.

    The aircraft came to a final rest in what was once a heavily wooded area - now a peaceful grassy field. On December 12th, 1995 - ten years after the disaster - a memorial service was held with representatives of the Canadian and American military present, as well as local, provincial, and federal officials. At that time, a cross was dedicated to the memory of the lives lost ten years earlier.

    (Text taken from two commemorative plaques.)
  5. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    These pics are kinda small but they're of my town. The big building with the red roof is my church and the small barn is my neighbours shed. The boat is a trap skiff of the type that we use for the inshore crab fishery.

    Attached Files:

  6. Sackett

    Sackett Member

    Nov 29, 2003
    SW Mississippi
    Thanks so much Bunnyhunter. I can't tell you how interesting that was. Newfoundland looks like a beautiful place. Mrs. Sackett teaches a lot more about Canada than I get a chance to, so I'm sure she will enjoy this info as much as I did. She'll probably use some of it in class.
    We both went to Montreal in 2000. Took an Amtrak to NY and then got on another train to cross borders. Montreal was beautiful. It reminded us both of New Orleans, but ya'lls city was a lot cleaner.
    I have been to Banff and Jasper and would like to take her there again one day. Maybe we will get back to the eastern side of Canada and see Newfoundland as well.
    I appreciate your tour. You're a good guide.
  7. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    Thanks for the interest Sackett, as you can see I love to talk about my little neck of the woods.
  8. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

    Jan 1, 2003
    SW MS
    I can hear Mrs Sackett squealing from here. ;)

    Cool info, bunnyhunter; thanks for sharing it with us.

    I just have one question: how in the world did y'all come up with a 1/2 hour time zone??
  9. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    The only answer I can give to that SoMo is that we Newfies are a little "different":D . Actually it's because the island lies in the eastern half of the Atlantic Standard Time Zone and since we were a seperate dominion of the British Empire when the time zones were established, we chose to go with our own, half hour time zone. In 1963 the Newfoundland government tried to get us to switch to Atlantic Standard Time but everyone objected so they gave up the idea. We LIKE being "different".
  10. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    Something for the history fans out there. This is an excerpt from a Wikipedia article called "Naval Station Argentia". This is the link. hope it works.

    --On August 7, 1941 the heavy cruiser USS Augusta carrying U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt arrived in the anchorage at Little Placentia Bay off the base. Roosevelt inspected the base construction progress and did some fishing from Augusta over the next few days. Augusta was joined by the British warship HMS Prince of Wales carrying British Prime Minister Winston Churchill on August 10, 1941. While in the Argentia anchorage from August 10–12, the two leaders and their delegations managed to negotiate what was called the "Atlantic Charter" which established the basis for UK-US military cooperation and objectives. This history-altering agreement was signed on August 12 whereby both vessels departed for their home territories at high speed. The "Atlantic Charter" was publicly announced in a declaration on August 14, presumably after Prince of Wales had returned to UK waters.


    The Naval Station at Argentia, Newfoundland was also the destination of the USS Pollux, USS Truxton and USS Wilkes when they ran up on the rocks in heavy fog, 40 miles from the base on 18 Febuary 1942. I posted a brief story from this event in another thread, the shorter version of which is this; after the grounding the survivors were taken to shelter by locals who tried their best to tend their wounds and clean the black scum of heavy fuel oil from their bodies. One sailor however just would not come clean no matter how they scrubbed him, he was the first African American the townsfolk had ever seen.
  11. Beautiful pictures Bunny hunter! My family and I were up in Maine, and New Brunswick on vacation. I wish we could have gotten on over to your neck of the woods! One thing I noticed in both New Brunswick and Maine, in the parks in the interior they had the highest density of poison ivy I've ever seen!
  12. bunnyhunter12

    bunnyhunter12 New Member

    More "stuff" about home:

    Around 1,200 years ago, Leif Erickson and crews of Norse explorers (Vikings) established a settlement at Lanse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland. We've rebuilt parts of the settlement, complete with sod long-houses.

    St. John's, Newfoundland, our capital, is the oldest city in North America. The city hosts the oldest, continuous running sporting event in North America (The Royal St. John's Regatta) and George Street in St. John's has the greatest number of bars per square foot in Canada.

    Stephenville, Newfoundland is an alternate landing site for NASA space shuttles. The only city in Canada on the list.

    A Newfoundlander... built the world's first artificial ice arena, invented the gas mask, was once govenor of Northern Rhodesia, was with Abraham Lincoln at Gettysberg.

    We have two, not one, but two of our own dog breeds. The Newfoundland dog and the Labrador retriever. (The full name of the province is Newfoundland and Labrador)

    Shannon Tweed, Playmate of the year 1982 and the long time girlfriend of KISS frontman Gene Simmons is a Newfie.

    What we call "The Long Range Mountains" on our west coast are actually part of the Appalachian Chain.

    For all of you allergy sufferers, Ragweed does not exist on my Island.

    There's no trains in Newfoundland. We used to have a railroad but for some reason we used a proprietary narrow gauge track and it prooved a financial failure.

    Our Provincial Motto is "Quaerite prime regnum dei " or "Seek Ye First The Kingdom of God."

    Newfoundland is the 16th largest Island in the world. Keep that in mind if you plan to visit. 10 days is considered the bare minimum to see the sights.

    The Mayflower put in at Renews, Newfoundland in 1620 for supplies on its way to present day Massachusets.

    --I think that's enough for now, and I must admit cheating on looking up some dates and more obscure facts like "16th largest".
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