The last day of April, my late father’s birthday, my deadline yesterday.
This treatise is brought to you today by the letter ‘t.’ You can’t spell ‘tea’ without it. ‘Tee,’ neither. Not, ‘tease.’ Nor, Thursday. Today.
‘T’ is a very nice letter, really. There are others. They all are. I am getting ahead of myself. You, too, I guess. Happy May Day!
This is bird season, too, don’t you know? Go, figure. Robins made it official weeks ago; and big blackbirds were found building nests in the stove pipes of a lobster fisher’s shed at Frenchman’s Cove just the other day. Smoked him out, they did. Remedial measures were employed by Bill and Gordie. How it was done was with screen mesh over the top end of the pipe, a ladder and no fear of height getting it done.
Moving on, ducks, shags, hawks, eagles and other big aviaries are already here finding niches in their continuing quest of reproduction and survival. There has this year so far also been a mating pair from a species of ebb-tide shore feeders yet to be identified. Smaller shorebirds, forest and grassland dwellers make their way north as well this time of the season.
Segue to the ‘Tern and Tickle and Tatty Times’ — proposed inclusive new nomenclature awaiting official adoption by powers that be — which is now barely two months away. The annual kick off to summer festival fun quietly evolves in hometown McIvers.
Like birds, though, time flies. The community makes ready.
Growing the identity of its summer garden party and outdoor music showcase four years on, the hometown McIvers Volunteer Fire Department, indeed the whole community, has benefitted from strong attendance at the annual TattieFest.
Proceeds from the fundraising event — held at school-closing time welcoming the first days of summer — are used to supply firefighters with personal protective gear and life-saving equipment.
The unique locale, old potato grounds by the bay long since turned into a ballpark and children’s playground area, offer an accessible panorama of fantastic regional geography and open sea. Photographers also avail opportunity in the presence of the abundant wildlife. Coastal fishing ledges are another nice way to relax nearby. All blend well with the music and memories of warm and lively parties by the seashore most years, if you don’t count the weather some days. Wet gear is less a fashion statement and more good sense. Mitts, scarves, layers work at times, too.
Social fare, family-friendly times with activities for children, happy neighbours, food and refreshment compliment a well-honed crop of local performers and visiting musicians.
The mobile concert stage for TattieFest overlooks the intriguing McIvers Island Tickle in the magnificent backdrop of Blow Me Down Mountain on the beautiful Bay of Islands scenic southern shore.
Barely 120 metres of open water separates McIvers’ seasonal seaside music venue and the town’s distinct and proximal islet, where wildlife competes in the circle of life, death and rebirth since time immortal.
Generations of nesting common and Arctic tern (sterna paradisea), four-ounce kingfishers locally known as stearns, have long made McIvers Island their annual love nest. Aerobatic divers, they feast in surrounding environs and multiply to thousands before flying south in mid-August.
Captured in death
Interesting news from the outports this week includes the morbid fascination seen shown with the carcass of a blue whale that washed ashore in Trout River. The rotting body of the ocean behemoth, reported some 82-feet long, is attracting lots of impromptu tourists seeking a close-up look at one of the world’s largest mammals and for pictures, too, of course. Two more of the gigantic creatures lay decaying on the shores of Gros Morne National Park. The dead whales are quickly becoming challenger to Frenchman’s Cove Point in Bay of Islands and George Street in St. John’s among the most-notably photographed sites in Newfoundland and Labrador. Good thing cameras can’t capture smell. Residents, tourists and other observers are advised that contact with such carcasses can be hazardous to the health of people. They can take years to decompose.
Tasty season starts
Tickle-ass easterlies (light easterly wind) made it good on the water for setting out crab and lobster traps for the start of the season on crustaceans in Bay of Islands this week.
Prospects were good for quick quotas in the first few days of crabbing with fishers landing hundreds of pounds with each haul.
First-day catches of lobster on Wednesday brought measured success as well.
Meanwhile, skippers attached to the spring herring fishery in Bay of Islands have been seen testing their engines and mending their nets in preparation to test the waters. They bring work to hundreds of people in local fish processing plants which go idle in winter due to the seasonal nature of the harvest. Herring, capelin and mackerel drive the economy for many in the region.
Ready to rumble
In all, 19 co-ed volleyball teams will vie for the Janelle Blanchard Memorial Trophy this weekend at Templeton Academy in Meadows.
With two successful campaigns behind them, fans are again expected to be out in number in support of the third tournament scholarship fundraiser named for the young McIvers girl, a varsity athlete and community volunteer who died suddenly in 2012.
Teams of two male and two female players compete in the tourney, which is due to start 4 p.m. Friday and finish by 7 p.m. Saturday.
A fundraising bingo to help Dorothy Lovell of McIvers, who is required to travel to St. John's for medical treatments, will be held 2 p.m. on Sunday at the Summerside Lion's Club. Donations and prizes are being gratefully accepted by Mrs. Lovell’s daughter, Lorna who can be reached at 783-2388.
Dave White welcomes your Bay of Islands news and events information at 688-2003, or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.