GRIQUET, N.L. — Jamie Ellison's botanical tour of northern Newfoundland provided a whole different kind of nature lesson when he looked out to a local bay and saw an iceberg with a distinctly masculine flourish.
The Nova Scotia-based horticulture instructor and 10 tour companions stood slack-jawed on the shoreline in Griquet as they took in the impressive ice formation and its clear phallic protuberance.
He says their quiet awe quickly turned to giggles, while prompting some "rude comments" as they came up with a name for the soaring structure.
"So someone threw out 'penis-berg,'" he said with a laugh from Hubbards, N.S., on Monday. "We all had a good chuckle and were laughing and just thinking, 'Oh my gosh, this is very phallic.' We actually didn't expect to see quite what we saw!"
Ellison, who also runs Green Optics photography, says he and his mates were heading to coffee when they spotted the iceberg in a little bay in the area and decided to stop to get a closer look. He said it was one of many icebergs that would show up on a daily basis along that coastline, where he and the group of largely American botanists were studying Newfoundland's alpine flora.
When he first saw it, he says he thought it looked like the bow of a ship.
So he grabbed his powerful 600-millimetre lens and snapped a picture only to find that he had captured a much racier image — a long, tubular piece of ice reaching skyward over a larger mass of ice.
"We were passing by and I thought, 'Jeez, I gotta get a shot of that — it's just too good to be true,' and I didn't realize, you know, quite how phallic it was," said Ellison, who teaches at the Nova Scotia Community College in Kentville. "But there was no guessing with the naked eye. Trust me."
He says the unique iceberg that he estimated was several stories high was gone later in the day, likely pushed by strong winds, to make the rounds further down the coast or out at sea.
Ellison, who has seen many icebergs before this, joked that "Mother Nature expresses herself in an interesting manner sometimes."
- By Alison Auld in Halifax
The Canadian Press