Newfoundland 2-Day Dry Stone Walling Workshop

Each morning a pair of loons fly from the high forest pond behind the house to the wide ocean bay at the bottom of the road. In the evening they make a return flight. They punctuate their daily routines with an intermittent call and response, stuttering laughs that draws me out onto the deck to watch them wing past. This is high entertainment in the TV and internet-free environment I’ve been living in the past two weeks. The radio here is powered by a hand crank. After five minutes of broadcast the signal cuts out and I have to decide if the listening is worth the effort to recharge the battery.

Perhaps it’s the lack of influence from the outside world that makes the stay at English Harbour, a small, outport community at the terminus of a dead-end road, something to be savored. For two weeks during  the past four summers my transportation around the neighborhood has been a BMX bike; pedaling to work, to visit with friends, watch whales and pick wild blueberries.

My work is instructing groups in dry stone craft. The second EHAC workshop brought six stone enthusiasts from around the province of Newfoundland, and one from Wisconsin, for the weekend. Sherrie, Jerry, Margaret, Stan, Mike and Jim continued building the maze mockup begun by the first week’s workshop group. It was great to have Wendell participating in both workshops. His good nature and attention to detail helped fuse the production of both groups into one project.

A special treat for Elin and me was to have our friend Peter Mauss with us for a while. Not only did we get out-and-about the island together for some sightseeing, but Peter pitched in as “sod wrangler” to put the finishing touches on the project.