Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Brigus South

Many times I have driven by the exit to Brigus South. On last Sunday it became a destination and a worthy one at that. Brigus South is thought to have been first settled in 1636 by the French. The name Brigus translates into harbour of turmoil and tides. Yet, the harbour is beautiful and looks tranquil. The beach is not accessible by car which adds to its mystic and beauty.

With the capelin now in shore there were many sea birds scooping them up. Among them were Black-legged Kittiwakes, other typical gulls, Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills.

This was my first time to see Razorbills from shore. When I first walked out to the rocks, I spotted a dark-headed gull among the kittiwakes on the rocks. By the time I lowered my binoculars and raised my camera, it was gone. The head was the light it is hard to say if it was dark brown or black. I did see the legs clearly and they appeared to be a deep maroon. I walked quite far out on the rocks and sat to wait it out. After 15 or 20 minutes, it didn't return. I scanned the many birds flying around but never saw it again.

 Should anyone be going that way, keep a watch for that mysterious gull.

Ironically, I had traversed several areas of treacherous rocks without incident. On the trail returning to the car, I stepped up on a small mound to take the picture of the fishing shed above when my foot slipped on the grass. Down I went scraping the palm of my hand on a jagged rock as I tried to break the fall.

Well, my old Nemesis reared its ugly head! When I saw the blood and not knowing how deep the cuts were, I immediately put pressure on the palm of my hand and sped up in my attempt to get to the car before I got sick.

I did make it to the car and put my head down but it was too late, the sickness had a grip on me. I stumbled to the closest clump of grass before I became totally weak that I couldn't even hold the keys that were in my hand. The cold sweat took over and the nausea was indescribable. This was not a first for me as it does happen about once every two years or so when I see blood, especially around the hands. Don't know why and I can't control it.

I was very grateful to have had a friend with me and two others who added some water to the cause and helped to elevate my feet. After being doused with water and with a bit of time, I began to feel better. All in all it was about 15 minutes of misery. Once it all passed, by contrast I felt so good that I was able to go on about the day as if nothing had happened. This little incident reminded me how important it is to not go out alone. It is sometimes the least expected moment when a mishap can occur.

The picture of the goose above is a Greylag Goose that has been a long-time resident of this community.

Oh, yes, I almost forgot. There is a very different structure across the harbour that is worth mentioning. It looks to be made of aluminum and was built by a man from Norway. The story goes that he came to the community and built this Norwegian cabin by the sea with no door, mind you, and returned summer after summer to reside there. Then, without notice, he stopped coming. I don't know how I missed taking a picture of that.

So there are several reasons for returning to Brigus South: 1) To find the mystery gull; 2) to take a picture of the Norwegian Cabin; 3) to see the Razorbills; and 4) to just drink in the beautiful scenery now knowing more of the history of the community.

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