When we travel to new and strange places we look for patterns as a way of understanding the cultural landscape. On our recent trip to western Newfoundland moose were such a leitmotif. Specifically I started noticing moose antlers mounted on sheds.
We speculated about mounting location (symmetry or balance), public display (did the rack have to be special), symbolism ( a manly trophy on the man building). The buildings were also charming (or at least the ones I bothered to photograph). One of our destinations was the reconstructed Norse site at L’Anse aux Meadows. The carved door arch to the reconstructed peat block house felt some kinship to the antlers. I could imagine there might be a sense of animal energy or protection when you passed underneath.
Some moose related services I noticed: Sam could help me get a moose or a caribou based on the antlers on his sign. And then Gord might prep my meat into a few hundred pounds of mince.
Antler cults are probably universal. A couple of years ago I noticed these examples of deer and moose on Digby Neck (the moose is beautifully outlined in orange lichen).
And a couple of other decorative themes we noted. Most of the buildings in communities we visited appeared to have been recently covered in vinyl siding. Some folks used siding to create vertical stripes in their gables. Felt very festive and if their shed had antlers too, we were sure to stop.
And finally I realized we were seeing round, metal fishing floats used on gate and fence posts. Sweet.
So there are some things seen on our way to visit real destinations (often we just paused to snap a picture out of the car window). They brought joy at the moment and joy again as I put together the little collections. I guess that’s why folks travel.