Sunday, August 7, 2016
Another Day in Gros Morne Park
Photos: August 3, 2016
We hiked to Western Brook Pond. It is not a difficult hike. On the way you pass many ecosystems - meadows, bogs, forest...
I am always impressed by how life adapts to its surroundings - flowers grow in abundance, yet their variety is amazing from the iris growing in the wet area near a pond to the many wild flowers found in the fields and near the roadside.
This is cotton grass; we saw a variety in the arctic that grows much larger. The inuit used it as wicks for their oil lamps. Different growing conditions create variations.
Mosses and lichen grow on the bogs.
A raven called out from a treetop in a creaky voice - searching out others? Declaring its territory? And then it flew off.
We took a boat trip up and down the pond, which had been carved out by glaciers many thousands of years ago. When the land started to rebound, the pond was sealed off from the ocean. The water does not have a lot of nutrients so the variety and number of fish is low for a lake this size.
The cliffs tower over the pond. We were told that caribou climb down from a meadow on one side and swim across the lake and then climb to a high meadow on the other side.
Waterfalls cascade down; they continue to cut a path through the rock. There is also evidence of several rock slides.
There is so much wilderness in this country. Two young men got off our boat at the far end of the lake. They were about to do five days of back country hiking.
To get to and from the head of the trail to Western Brook Pond, you drive through a small fishing village, Sallys Cove. At one time much of Newfoundland's coast was accessible only by boat. This is still true for much of the southern coast. Villages like this would have to be very self-reliant. Now roads connect these villages and services are more available.