Thursday, January 19, 2012

Remembering the "Lord Ashburton"

Fifty-five years ago today, the 1,009-ton barque Lord Ashburton, under command of Captain Evan Clarke Crerar, of Pictou, while bound from Toulon, France, for Saint John in ballast, ran ashore and was totally wrecked at the north end of Grand Manan in a northeast snowstorm at 2 a.m. on January 19. 

Eight men were saved, twenty-one men, including all the officers, perished.  Most of the bodies were so badly mutilated that they could not be identified. 

The headland where she struck is now known as "Ashburton Head".  She was built at Brandy Cove, St. Andrews in 1843 by Joshua Briggs for Nehemiah Marks.  One of the survivors, James Lawson, originally from Denmark, following his convalescence, returned to Grand Manan and settled there.  His oft retelling of the story of the wreck of the Lord Ashburton etched the story indelibly in Island lore.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Snow With Your Winter

For those of you who would like some snow with your winter, I have decided to feature a winter lighthouse print this evening: "West Quoddy Winter"

West Quoddy Light, near Lubec, Maine, is the easternmost point of the United States.  At the northeast corner of the US, this lighthouse sees its share of snow storms.  In fact, because the ground there is so often covered with snow, the lighthouse was painted with red stripes so that mariners out at sea could more easily see the lighthouse on winter days against the backdrop of snow.  During the day, a lighthouse used to be a more essential visible landmark to allow a mariner to reckon his position.

In keeping with the sense of nautical heritage that is harkened when we think of pre-radar, pre-GPS navigation, when mariners needed to see their landmarks, I have included a schooner in the painting.  And, of course, snowy ground.

So, although we don't have any snow on the ground around Our Cove, we can enjoy the white stuff in a painting or print on the wall.  Actually snow in a painting isn't really white (but don't get me going on that, since snow really reflects the colour and intensity of light with which you see it), but you know what I mean.  And of course, black in a painting isn't really black, but reflects a variety of colours and intensity, as can be seen in the lantern cap

So enjoy your snow vicariously, in a painting or print; snow you don't have to shovel, or trudge through, or get stuck in.  Actually, I am just fine with an open winter, but we Canadians think we have to have snow with our winters, so here is some that won't melt and won't freeze your toes.