15 February 2010


(Satellite image of L'Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland, by NASA's Earth Observing System.)

I never throw away any writing. Instead I dump all discarded passages into an "outs" file. This is left over from my film editing days when the outs bin was a treasure chest of previously sorted material that you knew was good enough to have wanted once, and maybe good enough to want again, maybe even better in a new context. On tight deadlines, my "outs" writing file has proven a lifesaver more than a few times. I love the feeling of recycling words.

Working on this blog, I've been going through my "outs" file more than usual and found myself saddened that some of the good stuff that really should have been included in the new book, Deep Blue Home, got dropped. Some of it I intended to reintroduce but lost track of. Oh, well. Here's part of one passage:

"The distinctive landscape of Newfoundland has nearly identical sisters on the far side of the North Atlantic. Separated by 2,500 miles of ocean, yet connected by oceanic rivers--the Gulf Stream and its northern reach, the North Atlantic Current--the heathlands of coastal northern Scotland and southern Norway nourish the same plants and animals as Newfoundland. What appear to us as disparate continents are inescapably linked by the circulating watery bands of the deep blue home."

The graphic is by Jack Cook at the Woods Hole Oceanagraphic Institution. It shows some of the surface and subsurface currents of the North Atlantic connecting Newfoundland to Norway. From the WHOI site:

"Colored arrows approximate two of the major current systems flowing through the North Atlantic, with red representing the warm surface waters of the Gulf Stream, North Atlantic Current, and associated flows, and blue roughly representing the cooler, bottom-flowing Deep Western Boundary Current."
You can see how the waters bring the landscapes closer together, carrying messengers in the forms of marine life, birds, plant spores, insects.

This Atlantic puffin, for instance, and the fish, could be from either North America or Europe.

(Photo by Erik Christensen, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)

The enterprising puffin is actually from Faroe Islands. 
These landscapes, one in Newfoundland, one in Norway, look almost interchangeable.


Top: Lodalen, a valley in Stryn municipality, Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway. (Photo by Aqwis, courtesy Wikipedia.)

Bottom: Panorama of Gros Morne National Park, overlooking Bonne Bay, Newfoundland, Canada. (Photo by Tango7174, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.)

Even the sheep have managed to cross the sea.

Post a Comment