Elliston’s special treat

Along the highway from Bonavista to Elliston, garden plots dotted the side of the road (featured photo). This was where locals grew their vegetables before the harsh winters. Wouldn’t people stop and steal their crops? No, I was told. No one had experienced this kind of theft according to locals. I also spotted root sellers in Elliston and Maberly. These were where an earlier generation once stored their food like an outdoor refrigerator. It couldn’t have been fun traipsing outside to collect vegetables and whatever else they stored in them during the winter. But I was headed to a peninsula just out of Elliston to see puffins.

Over 90% of Atlantic puffins breed in Newfoundland. On the Bay Bulls whaling tour I’d seen the largest colonies from a distance, but in Elliston I observed them up close. Across on a stack, breeding pairs were busy around their burrows. I’m guessing the ones on the cliff where I sat were those without partners. They were within a metre of me where I enjoyed their antics.

One waved a piece of grass in its beak as if to signal to a female, look I’m ready to help with a nest. When two birds started an argument, another puffin waddled to the pair to break up the disagreement. I could have watched them for hours, but an annoying photographer with her huge lens nudged in front of me even though there was plenty of viewing space seeing there was only the two of us at the time I visited.

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