We haven’t done much this summer… our camper has been sitting in the driveway and only recently did we obtain the required safety inspection before licensing the trailer. Summer is nearing its end and with so much going on locally and pandemic numbers increasing we have stuck close to home.
When the walls close in we jump into the car and go exploring close to our village. One of my favourite drives is the road, if you can call it that…, between Harrison Settlement and Yorke Settlement outside of Parrsboro. The first time I drove it we discovered Chanterelle mushrooms in abundance. Since then more mushrooms have emerged but with my limited knowledge of the different varieties and their edibility I am sticking to photographing rather than harvesting. Here are a few images from a late afternoon drive.
As we pulled into the driveway the clouds parted and revealed the most impressive light.
Sticking close to home isn’t too bad when you live in the Bay of Fundy area… There is always something to see and a place to explore.
Last Saturday afternoon provided an opportunity to give back to the community at large. I had the amazing luck to participate in two guided, free tours offered by the GeoPark this summer (Thomas Cove and Five Islands Provincial Park). When the notice arrived that volunteers were needed to help with the shore clean up on September 18th we signed up at the location closest to us, Five Islands Lighthouse Park on Broderick Lane in Five Islands, a 20 minute drive away.
The weather was cooperating despite a 30% chance of rain. Our host was Caleb, who had also led the tours we participated in. He greeted us by name which made us all feel so welcome. What a great memory he has!
We were soon on our way to the beach. Three groups veered to the right, our little group turned left. To our surprise and relief we soon discovered that this particular beach was in a very clean state. We chatted with some locals and they shared that they keep their beach clean, picking up trash on a daily basis. It showed!
I made a strong effort not to immerse myself in photography but it was very difficult to just keep my eyes on the beach to locate trash…
The sky over the Five Islands was forever changing and just called out to be documented. And then there was the typical beach “litter” the tide deposits twice a day. The mixture of sea weed, sea lettuce and dulse always calls out to me.
There were three in our group and together we collected 12 lbs of trash, of which the 2″x4″ construction trash contributed most of the weight.
We were happy with the small amount of trash we collected. There will be another clean up event next spring. Meanwhile, we keep picking up trash during regular beach excursions. Every little bit helps, right?
It’s good to know that this beach is in pretty good condition considering it has never had an official clean up event. We loved spending the two hours with like-minded people, some who have lived in the area forever, and many of us who are relatively new and have come by choice.
Thanks to the UNESCO Fundy GeoPark for organizing this worthwhile event. Looking forward to participating in 2022. Best wishes, Anna
A post on the local FaceBook Buy&Sell site invited anyone to take advantage of an abundance of fruit in this apple orchard last weekend. The poster was willing to share so she could connect with the community at large. All we had to do is send her a quick message to let her know when we would arrive. There were a total of 42 cultivated trees (the majority of the Cortland variety, which is close to MacIntosh) and the owner knew that she could not possibly use all the apples herself. What a treat to go and harvest. I knew that this type of sharing is common here and now I can report the experience myself.
It’s a great opportunity to not only pick some apples but also to meet like-minded people and reduce the waste along the road sides. Tessa’s orchard is on Glooscap Trail in Lower Economy overlooking the Bay of Fundy, just a short drive for us. We helped fill the basket for the Baptist Church while we were there.
We brought home a couple grocery shopping bags full with three variety of apples. This will keep me busy for a while.
The dehydrator has been working overtime… and the InstantPot helped in making quick and delicious apple sauce (sorry, no images for the apple sauce) which is already in the freezer for winter.
And, since we are back to getting together with our “Covid Bubble” friends, German Apple Streusel Cake was on the menu for Sunday afternoon tea. I love the scent of vanilla and cinnamon, don’t you?
This was our activity for mid-day Saturday. Check back tomorrow for what the afternoon had to offer. Enjoy your day, Anna
The apple trees along the roads are dropping their fruit and I see the abundance going to waste. I wish we could all band together and harvest the surplus, incorporate the fruit into desserts, perhaps dry some and putting it up for winter. We are going picking later today… but our small household will not make much of an indent in all that is available!
Red apples, ripe rose hips and plump beach plums against green leaves are a strong reminder that we are moving into fall with breakneck speed. I have a feeling that the colours are changing earlier than last year but the verdict is not yet in. I measure the colours against last year’s experience. We arrived in Parrsboro on October 16th and by the time we emerged from quarantine the leaves had dropped. I am looking forward to experiencing the full autumnal colour show from start to finish for the first time this year.
The trees are in transition and each day I notice more red maples. I feel as if I am channeling Tom Thomson, especially his painting “Autumn’s Garland”, one of my favourites.
And how is this for the money shot today? This place offers produce for sale all summer and fall. I just had to capture the pumpkins when I walked by the other day. Thanksgiving and Halloween are saved once again! No shortage of pumpkins for bakers and carvers alike!
Wishing you all a fantastic weekend! Stay safe and enjoy some downtime. Best wishes, Anna
…and ever-changing vistas! I treasure my early morning walks about town. I usually embark on the same loop starting from home on Willow Street alongside the Aboiteau, across Two Islands Road and through the overgrown green space behind the Fundy Geological Museum where this morning I came across this sight:
It was the time between low and high tide and the river was gently rising bringing with it the catch of the day, perhaps?
Bejeweled cobwebs and wild sunflowers lined the path as I moved toward the access point of Pier Road.
First Beach never disappoints and everyone I know has the same expression when they arrive at the Pier: “This view never gets old!”
I do enjoy the view toward the light house and beyond but I get equally drawn in by the small treasures I discover along the way. Every day is different, today I actually stumbled across a (nearly) heart-shaped piece of sea glass! And then there were those seagull feathers tucked between the seaweed covered rocks… such unexpected jewels of nature!
When the tide is not up too far I can access Second Beach to pick up Haws Road which leads back to Pier Road where signs of fall are beginning to emerge.
Thanks for joining me on my short morning walk recap. Check back tomorrow for more signs of seasonal changes. Have a great Friday. Best wishes, Anna
I woke up before sunrise yesterday morning and decided to embark on an early morning walk. I clocked 10 km before 9 a.m. What a way to start the day! I had hoped for the sunrise to paint the sky brightly, instead the colours were soft… I called it a ‘cotton candy sky’ in my Instagram post.
The day passed quickly with several meetings and facilitating a lengthy Zoom session. When I was finally ready to sit down for dinner I looked out the living room window and discovered a virtual painting created by Mother Nature. I grabbed my camera and headed outside. The view from the east facing deck caused me to pause and take a look to the west… I have no words but I have images to share! Enjoy.
Who thinks watching the sky is wasting time? I can’t get enough of Mother Nature’s master pieces. Have a wonderful day. Best wishes, Anna
… and watching the tide go out from the salt marsh, this particular crow caught my attention as it was undeterred even when I approached.
This behaviour prompted me to conduct a little research. The crows we have here along the beaches and our backyard are large. In the beginning, I thought they might be ravens but the beak and tail feathers don’t meet the criteria. So, I settled for the fact that they were just very large, well-fed crows. But, I just discovered that there is a species of crows that is referred to as Fish Crows and after reading the description below I believe “our” crows here are indeed Fish Crows.
According to https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Fish_Crow/id# : “Fish Crows fit the standard crow shape: hefty, well-proportioned birds with heavy bills, sturdy legs, and broad wings. At rest, Fish Crows’ wings fall short of their medium-length, square tails.”
I love the crows in our backyard! Here is an image I captured right after we moved into our house.
There are at least two crows on this tree most days. I will keep my eyes open to create images when they congregate close to the house again.
Wishing you a day filled with sunshine and laughter. Life is too serious too often. Best wishes, Anna
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run; To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, And still more, later flowers for the bees, Until they think warm days will never cease, For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells … – John Keats
I am heading into a contemplative and quiet day to start the week out well. Best wishes, Anna
The Glooscap Trail is an alternate route to take when traveling from Amherst to Truro. Yes, it is significantly longer but if you have the time do yourself a favour and veer off. The Trail leads you through Parrsboro and along the Bay of Fundy and the views are magnificent. How lucky are we to live on this amazing road. We travel it regularly when we have appointments in Truro or its surrounding villages.
We finally took the time a couple of weeks ago and stopped into the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark Welcome Centre in Central Economy (also known as the Cobequid Welcome Centre). The staff and volunteers are well informed and their passion for this region really shows in the personalized tours they are willing to lead.
This hard-to-overlook landmark is one of the main attraction for tourists. The WW II watch tower was moved from Jacob’s Lane Beach to the location along the Glooscap Trail in the 1990s. Community fundraising efforts have put this monument on the map.
We really enjoyed our interaction with the staff and when Anita offered to take us up the tower we accepted… Well, I am not one too fond of heights and it took some serious self-talk to get me out of the stairwell and onto the observation deck at the very top of the tower.
The 360 degree view is spectacular! From the Cobequid Mountains in the north and east to Parrsboro and Cape Split in the distance looking west and the vast tidal flats of the Minas Basin this was worth the climb up the narrow staircase and emerging high above the parking lot.
We learned a lot of the significance of this area during WW II, the geological discoveries and Colin might have found another lead that will prove beneficial in his genealogical research on his mom’s side.
… the Fundy Shore is always a treat! We attended Thursday Night Story Time last night. After a day of running errands in Truro we arrived back in Parrsboro and had barely enough time to put the groceries away and head to Ottawa House Museum. The rain had held off until just before we arrived at our last destination for the day.
At first I was drawn to the heavy raindrops suspended from the fruit-laden tree..
With time to space I aimed the camera at the shoreline toward the town of Parrsboro…
…and then toward Partridge Island and East Bay!
The waves were lapping at the shore and perhaps it was my imagination, but the sounds were muffled with the heavy mist shrouding the magnificent landmarks. I decided to take the time and hurried down the path to the beach to get a better look.
Just before I tucked away my phone I decided to zoom out and that was the precise moment when the landscape transformed…
Presenting my favourite image from last night… mysterious and mesmerizing. Taking the extra minute to get down to the beach for a better look was definitely the best decision I made all day.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend filled with magical moments like this! Best wishes, Anna
What happens when you are out looking for edible mushrooms? You don’t always find what you seek. However, it pays to keep your eyes open for unusual discoveries. I kept my camera close by and when I was drawn in by the orange glow of these fungi I just had to capture them. It is called Red Tree Brain (Peniophora rufa), also known as Stereum rufum, and Cryptochaete rufa, the species bursts out from bark and fallen limbs and logs.
It was the texture and bright colour that drew me in… and just a little further down the path more orange called to me!
Yellow Fairy Cups (Bisporella citrina) are categorized alongside Slimes, Jellies and Crustlike Fungi in my Audubon Field Guide to Mushrooms. It states that these mushrooms grow on decaying wood throughout North America. I have previously discovered these tiny colour bursts in British Columbia.
As the days get cooler and shorter, nature’s colours change foreshadowing fall. I am actively observing how our surroundings adapt. Check back soon as I capture and share these autumnal changes.
Wishing you a day filled with unexpected discoveries and the presence of mind to deeply enjoy them. Best wishes, Anna
I rediscovered one of my books in my library the other day and have found it a wonderful way to escape for a few minutes each day as I open it up at random and immerse myself in a page or two of the writing.
The book is “The Photographer’s Playbook”published by aperture and edited by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern. It contains interviews and great suggestions to hone one’s creativity with a special focus on photography. I came across the following passage by Melinda Gibson just this morning and it took me back three years when I was dealing with retinal tears and the possibility of losing my sight… The essay resonated deeply within me. I hope you find it as inspiring as I do.
Losing an Eye
“One has to lose the use of an eye for a substantial period to find how life is altered in its absence.” – Oliver Sacks
“Left or right? Which eye is the most dominant (the one that you use when looking through the viewfinder)? Now cover this eye with a patch, tape, or stickers – anything that ensures complete coverage. Not with your hand, since you can peek through your fingers! Venture out with your forced disability and start photographing. Sitting here, writing this with with my right eye covered, I understand the difficulty of this task. Everything I see, I have to really look at. My balance is off, and I move more closely toward objects to make sense of their shapes. Words and sentences take longer to read and there is a slight blur, a softness around the edges. But what is incredible is how “losing and eye” fundamentally alters the way we perceive and understand the environment around us and how much more we see when we are really forced to look. Remove your patch after and extended period of time and then start photographing with both eyes again. See just how much brighter, more balanced, and more focused this view is, but how quickly we revert to the “old ways” of looking.”
This exercise can easily transfer to any art discipline. I found it valuable to be reminded how precious sight is for all of us. Wishing you a day filled with colour and light, Anna
Have you heard about shinrin yoku simply translated to “forest bathing”? It gained popularity in Japan in the 1950s. Shinrin yoku literally translates to “forest bath” — it is the practice of “bathing” in the atmosphere of the forest. Participants in early Japanese shinrin yoku experiences would simply walk through the woods and enjoy the presence of the trees as they absorbed the quiet benefits of forest therapy.
While it started out as a simple meditation practice, researchers quickly began to discover that the simple practice of taking walks in the forest created a host of long-lasting health benefits for body and mind alike. Before long, science began to credit the practice of shinrin yoku.
Participants in shinrin yoku increase their well-being by taking walks in a forest environment alone or with forest therapy guides who help them access the relaxing power of walking through nature. It is important to mention that forest therapy isn’t the same as exercising. Shinrin yoku does not necessarily involve raising your heart rate as hiking or jogging would. The focus here is on the mental health benefits of immersing yourself in the natural world and letting your own mood guide your activity. It’s essentially a chance to step back from the cares of everyday life and simply be.
The weather can change quickly… in the Bay of Fundy!
We took the road less travelled from Harrison Settlement to Yorke Settlement over Glasgow Mountain last Saturday. Every time I arrive at this point of the mountain I very much enjoy the view. I have witnessed Cape Split shrouded in mysterious fog, full sunlight and with the rain approaching. I cannot decided what my favourite presentation of this view is…
The last image is taken looking west toward Advocate and Apple River. By this time the wind was driving the rain sideways!
We moved to Nova Scotia from Saskatchewan which displays “Land of the Living Skies” on its license plates. “Canada’s Ocean Playground” has vivid skies and impressive vistas wherever I look! I can’t wait to do this drive again soon and check for fall colours and impressive clouds.
Hurricane Ida presented us with 85 mm of rain (according to a neighbour’s rain gauge) and a quiet day at home. At times the rain was running off the roof in sheets, too much for the eaves-troughs to handle. We suffered no ill effects, no leaks, dampness in the basement or other issues… except the yard needs attention as the grass and weeds are thriving.
During my walk yesterday morning I could hardly believe the size of the choke cherries! I swear they increased by at least 30% this week. I need to research how I can utilize these free berries! Then I had a thought… I wonder how the mushrooms are doing? A quick text to my friend Laura confirmed that she was curious herself and within 15 minutes we were off to one of our mushroom patches, collecting baskets in the back seat.
It was a great time to venture into the woods. Mushrooms were plentiful but not all are edible. However, where there are poisonous mushrooms there have to be edible ones as well.
The woods were teeming with mushrooms, many decimated by slugs, rodents and insects. We found a lobster mushroom which is touted to be a real delicacy but, once we harvested this monster from a rotten tree stump, it was obvious that it was beyond the point of salvaging even a small portion to taste for ourselves. We hope to return to the area and find more, if not this year, perhaps next year will present us with a specimen that is worth waiting for.
I found two patches of so called hedgehog mushrooms (Hydnum repandum). The first patch presented me with perfect specimens, barely touched by slugs and just as the mushroom reference book pictures. I was sure I had a winner! A little further in there was a patch of Chanterelles. They are easy to identify by their distinct colour and structure. Just as I was about to turn and head back to the road I saw some gnarly looking apricot coloured mushrooms I wasn’t too sure about. The insects and slugs seemed to find them tasty, they looked a bit worse for wear. I picked them out of curiosity. I posted a few pictures on a mushroom identification group based in New Brunswick fully expecting them to be inedible when within minutes I was told that they are a type of hedgehog mushrooms referred to as “sweet tooth” (Hydnum repandum) and that they are quite delicious.
I oscillated back and forth, took a little bite from one which was not that great, I must admit. I think my imagination was playing tricks on me and for a moment I felt like my tongue was going numb. I read and reread the passages in both highly ranking mushroom ID books we own, and decided to take the plunge. I cleaned them well, sliced them and fried them in butter with a little garlic and onion powder. They turned a most delicious golden and emitted a fantastic smell. That was all the convincing we needed. We ate them for dinner… and we are still doing well about 12 hours later.
Exploring the woods and less travelled paths while foraging is something I have grown to love here in Nova Scotia. Instead of turning around after we filled our baskets I carried on, following a road we had been on before. Before the heavy rain, that is…
The sky was blue with amazing clouds, we emerged from the forest and the road was beginning to show signs of erosion. When I arrived at the puddle I was about to turn around. Instead I exited the car and picked up some rocks to throw into the huge puddle. The centre proved to be quite deep. I could not see the rock hit the bottom but the splash was quite high. I threw a few more rocks closer to the right edge. That convinced me to move through the water. I couldn’t resist taking a couple of pictures and once I made it, I stopped and took a picture to prove that I made it safe and sound. We carried on and I was glad the car has 4-wheel drive. It was only the second time I used that feature. The road had washed out significantly and Laura kept chuckling that “It looks just like a river bed, especially with the water still running off.” We crossed a small wooden bridge that had obviously been flooded during the storm. Debris had washed up along the edge of the bridge, it was quite the scene.
Eventually we made it back to the highway and continued home. We decided to check out our other mushroom hot spots another day. One road adventure was quite enough.
Thanks for riding along today. Wishing you all a fantastic weekend, Anna
I am always grateful for my eye sight, especially since I try to witness and capture the landscape from distant horizon line to the smallest detail up close.
In early June my friend and I ventured out to a beach that is less popular as it requires a steep walk downhill (which is not an issue) but, every time I am heading back to the car the hill seems to have gained a few degrees of steepness leaving me short for breath on occasion. Short rests really help… 😉
We tend to do little walking once we reach this particular beach as our attention is drawn to the cliffs close to where we access the beach. We approach these cliffs with great respect and carefully assess the situation as the shattered fragile rock pieces at the foot are a constant reminder how quickly a layer can give away and wreak havoc.
The hours pass quickly as we slowly move along and examine the colours and textures of ancient geological formations.
Every time I review these slideshow images I smile for various reasons. I adore the colours, textures, lines and layers. I find them intriguing and I am mesmerized by the diversity that presents itself along such a short stretch of these Bay of Fundy cliffs, not to mention I am always in awe when I consider the age of these formations and that at one point this geographical area was actually connected to Africa…
And then I burst into laughter: When I first posted a selection of images that include those in the slideshow above on FaceBook one comment was “I definitely see a nude or two in these.” Well, I am obviously not a painter. Perhaps my imagination is not as developed as I thought it to be but, no matter how often I scroll through the images I cannot find those nudes. 😉
I will continue to marvel at nature while exploring and capturing awe-inspiring scenery and great details. Have a wonderful day, Anna
…That is how I observe the geology here along the beaches of the Fundy GeoPark. I equate my walk to Clarke Head several days ago to opening a new book, one filled with knowledge ready to be explored and applied. Positioning the camera close to the diverse surfaces of the rock cliffs that line the beach piques my curiosity time after time.
The images above are close ups of Gypsum. The common colours include pink, white and/or grey. Gypsum is so soft you can scratch it with your fingernail. It is classified as a chemical sedimentary rock. These originate and were formed in warm climates where minerals like Gypsum and Halite (salt) bonded as the seawater evaporated. These rocks are soluable and respond well to erosion. Therefore they are not commonly found as beach pebbles.
I captured them close to the cliff edge where they had been dislodged by the latest tidal action.
My first response when discovering these Chabazite veins along the cliffs was “The earth is bleeding…!”. With its dramatic colour ranging from pale orange to a deep red it always catches my eye instantly, since the very first time I spotted them last November. I have brought home small fragments that lose their intense colour quickly when the mineral is exposed to sunlight. Chabazite occurs most commonly in voids of basaltic rocks.
Upon further reading I discovered that Chabazite is found across the globe in India, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland, Bohemia, Italy, Germany, along the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, Oregon, Arizona, and New Jersey. Yes, in Canada the only place to explore Chabazite it is the Bay of Fundy. How fortunate for all of us who live here! No need to venture far.
Today’s slide shows focused on only two discoveries I have made over the past ten months. There will be more sharing in the future. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed today’s eye-catching discoveries. Have a wonderful day and try to find some time to explore your own environment. Best wishes, Anna
Three full months of daily blogging… I didn’t think I had it in me when I first began to plan this journey of combining my photography and humble attempts at contemplative writing as a new path. Well, I made it, this is post #93 since June 1st, 2021. The Fundy Contemplations Blog is well on its way, evolving still and hopefully not boring and predictable.
What have a learned? I now know that I can follow through with new goals. It wasn’t all that hard to sit down every day to select images and weave sentences together that offer some aspects of interest for you, my loyal readers. Thank you for signing up and following along on my path of exploring the Bay of Fundy and other areas of my new home province.
Here is my promise to you: I will continue to create images and content of interest centering around photography and the history of Nova Scotia. It is truly amazing when I assess what I have shared thus far and how much more there is to discover and elaborate on. I have only pushed the proverbial door open a tiny crack. No words like “Open Sesame” are necessary as the images and history present spill forth, waiting to be repackaged for sharing.
Your feedback has been invaluable. I appreciate local friends who share that they follow along with interest, that opening my blog has set the tone for their day. I love to hear from those of you who tune in and take the time to comment below a post any post. Engagement like that provides the encouragement needed for a blogger to push on. If words are not your “thing” I will be honest, clicking on the “like button” will put a smile on my face every time. So, please keep the feedback coming and I will invest my time in sharing my discoveries.
All the best for a new month! Stay safe and stay well, Anna
The longer I live here, in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, the more grateful I am! I used to love tavelling as it offered countless opportunities to explore, capture special discoveries and breath-taking scenery with my camera only to move on in the hope that I was there at just the “right” time to make the best image… and we all know that this rarely happens. These days travel is not so easy and I have come to realize that revisiting the beaches I explored already offer new perspectives and fresh insights every time I return.
When I first made strides to settle into our new surroundings I could often be heard exclaiming “This is my favourite beach!” or “There is no place better than this for photographing…” These days I can’t decide which beach is my true favourite. Each and every exploration yields new insights and photo opportunities I never considered before. It’s not just the scenery that changes constantly due to the tides, cloud formations, weather conditions and the seasons. I have come to really appreciate all I have ever learned about light and its properties and how to optimize the nuances to get closer to my perfect image.
I embarked on studying photography in a formal way nine years ago. I had enrolled in an online travel photography course which wet my proverbial appetite to learn more. Then I took the plunge to not only embrace the practical aspects of photography but also learn the technical side. It was a whole new adventure of reading, comprehending and eventually applying the knowledge I was gaining. I was finally getting to know my camera settings, what they can do to aid me in meeting the proper white balance and aperture settings, which lens and filter to use when, how long the exposure setting should be, and when it was more advantageous to shoot in Aperture instead of Manual setting. I also learned to clean my own camera sensor, tested for dead pixels in the sensor and so many more things that are good to know, just in case. I received my Diploma in Photography in 2013 but the path to learn has continued to lead me forward.
The topic of light is always in the foreground, in focus (pun intended) so to speak. Light conditions change constantly, minute by minute, day by day, from season to season. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to explore the outdoors as the sun does not travel so high in the sky. The sun’s lower path yields richer colours naturally. As the days shorten we don’t have to get up so early to capture breath-taking sunrise scenes and we don’t have to wait so long for the Golden Hour near sunset for more richly illuminated images.
In this post I am sharing the same view captured and spaced about 15 minutes apart and near sunset. Each image presents a certain allure, but just look at what happens when the sun slips closer to the horizon…
I hope you found this post interesting and educational at the same time. The images I present on my blog are captured with my iPhone XR, no post processing, no filters and no special apps or special tricks. I look for natural light and utilize it for the most optimal outcome.
May your week be filled with ever-changing sunlight and countless photo opportunities along the way. Best wishes and happy shooting, Anna
“Fragile white lace sprigs Cascading across green leaves ~ A force of nature.”
From the Slocan Valley in British Columbia all the way to Nova Scotia I have come across this invasive plant. It seems to grow well in a warmer climates. In our neighbourhood I witnessed its rapid growth from early spring till now and decided to do a little research. The haiku above was inspired in combination by the images I captured and the information I gleaned:
Japanese Knotweed is an aggressive semi-woody perennial plant that is native to eastern Asia. In the 1800’s it was introduced to North America as an ornamental species and also planted for erosion control. It has since spread throughout the United States and Canada. Japanese Knotweed is often mistaken for bamboo; however it is easily distinguished by its broad leaves and its ability to survive winters in Canada. Japanese knotweed is especially persistent due to its vigorous root system, which can spread nearly 10 metres from the parent stem and grow through concrete and asphalt. This invader is very persistent and once it becomes established, is incredibly difficult to control.
In Canada, Japanese Knotweed is established from Ontario to Newfoundland and is also found in British Columbia. In Ontario, it is mostly established in southern and central areas of the province where it mostly grows in gardens, along roadsides and near old buildings or former building sites.
When the opportunity arose to join a friend for a sunset hike at the beach earlier this week I suggested Clarke Head as the destination. I had blogged about Clarke Head as the first post here but, I had not had another chance to return all summer.
As soon as I stepped onto the beach time stood still. This beach is not too rocky and therefore not as difficult to navigate as others in the area. I don’t think I need to describe this visit in a lengthy essay, instead, I invite you to click on each image to enlarge them and ponder them at your leisure.
The best part about venturing out later in the day is the light…
…and this time the sky rewarded us with wonderful and ever-changing cloud formations!
Tranquility aided by ocean sounds… the perfect ending to a beautiful summer day. Thank you for tagging along this morning. Enjoy your weekend, Anna
Colour, texture and pattern all play a vital part in the way I observe my environment. Two hours on a foggy evening revealed so much. The filtered light was perfect as I did not have to fight my own shadow or that of larger rock formations looming in the background obscuring the sunlight.
I will refrain from commenting on individual images. I do hope you find the slideshows as inspiring as I do. Best wishes and enjoy your day, Anna
Remember my post about a sunset excursion to a foggy beach? As always, there is so much more than what one sees at first. The hours pass quickly when I am completely engrossed in close up studies of texture and subtle colour changes. I will not even attempt identifying and labeling the individual rocks. I am not a geologist, I am an artist and as such approach my subject matter without judgement, I avoid placing labels, I respond emotionally!
The following slides are those that captivated me for an unmeasured amount of time. I hope you find them as intriguing as I do despite their monochrome existence.
Each image speaks to me in a language I am still trying to decipher. I cannot tear myself away from their dimensionality and depth!
For those of you who find colour more inspiring… stay tuned! Tomorrow’s post will surely speak to you. Enjoy your day! Best wishes, Anna
We stopped into the Fundy Geological Museum yesterday afternoon. It’s reminiscent of a mini version of the Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, AB. It is compact but covers the local natural history in depth. I can’t wait for the grand-kids to come and visit. Dinosaurs are everywhere!!
I loved the interactive displays, especially this time-laps screen illustrating how the super-continent of Pangaea split apart. The fact that Parrsboro was once connected to Morocco is always difficult to grasp intellectually. However, these graphic images are self-explanatory.
When I taught Kindergarten eons ago we always told the story of Rock Soup… a different kind of rock soup, mind you… but this took me back! I decided to take images of the information as it might convey my personal fascination with each and every beach (and rock or pebble) I have explored thus far.
And every soup needs salt… Have you ever wondered where Windsor Salt derived its name from?
Have you heard of Eldon George? We saw him years ago on a Land & Sea episode on CBC. He was instrumental in establishing the museum while sharing his passion as a “rock hound” across the country.
A little more local history… from pre-historic times to the not so distant past!
The mighty Bay of Fundy put into perspective!
We had a fabulous time at the Fundy Geological Museum. Their gift shop has a great selection of local lore, books and even hand-crafted items. Here is the book we decided to pick up:
It’s a fantastic resource, filled with coast to coast to coast facts and information. If you come across it, you will find it as difficult to put down as we do.
Hope you enjoyed the short recap of yesterday’s excursion in images. Have a fantastic day. Best wishes, Anna
After the rain stopped it was time for a walk to stretch my legs. I realized I had not taken many pictures while exploring the town we call home. Let me make up for this today! I love the time after a good rain, everything appears so lush and clean and finding the occasional raindrop suspended from a berry is a bonus!
Not far from home I decided to turn onto Layton Street. I can see the church tower of the United Baptist Church from my kitchen window.
These shelf fungi always catch my eye and this time I made the images I had planned to create for ages. Layton Street leads onto Eastern Avenue. Turning right the road leads to Truro, I chose to turn left toward Main Street and the centre of town.
The old tree, as one approaches the intersection on Main Street, captures everyone’s attention. I love the whimsy of the mock bird houses.
Located immediately across the street are the Bandstand and a public art sculpture. The Bandstand is a popular meeting point for the locals. Every Sunday we get to enjoy a free concert while mingling with friends and meeting newcomers to the area. Any donations collected by the musical presenters go to a charity of their choice. It the perfect reason to come out and take in a weekly concert!
Parrsboro is a small town but it has its very own Tim Horton’s. I laid eyes on this coffee shop for the first time in 2008 and was really impressed by how well it fit into the town’s architecture. This is the only franchised restaurant in town. It is well supported by the locals as the only coffee take-out in town.
A few steps on we have our Ice Cream Shop which boasts long line ups when the Bandstand hosts a musical event or when Parrsboro Creative organizes the occasional Artist Pop Up Show. On a sunny day it is a popular destination as well.
I followed Lower Main Street for a short distance. From the local gas station and auto repair, the COOP Grocery Store, the Anglican Church and its hall where we have a weekly Farmer’s Market on Saturdays, the drugstore, antique store, souvenir store, Post Office, second hand clothing store, restaurants, the craft brewery and so much more are conveniently located on this main artery through town.
The arts are alive and well in our little town. Creativity has no bounds!
My errand led me onto Victoria Street past the library. Yes, we have a library and it is only about an 8 minute walk from our house.
Just a few snap shots before I return to Main Street…
…and probably the most photographed spot in town!
You can’t escape the dinosaurs in our little town. The Fundy Geological Museum is not far… just a short drive from here and down Two Islands Road after one turns left at the epitaph …
…across the bridge at the Aboiteau.
I turn left here onto Willow Street. Thanks for joining me on this short walk about town. It’s wonderful on a grey day and just imagine how brilliant the colours are on a sunny day!
And, if you are interested in a little bit of Parrsboro history, here is a link.
Wishing you all a wonderful Saturday. Best wishes, Anna
A late evening text surprised me with an impromptu invitation to join three creative women (two from Parrsboro, one from Grand Manan, NB) on a fibre expedition early the next morning. First stop, Deanne Fitzpatrick in Amherst! A place I had wanted to visit for some time and I can honestly say it is a place I will return to soon. Amherst is only about 45 minutes from Parrsboro and this shop is like candy for the knitter, crocheter and rug hooker. I found some Hundertwasser inspired, as well as alpaca- blend, sock yarns that are a dream to knit with.
Our next stop was GJDE Enterprise in Oxford, NS. Oxford is the town and central distribution centre for Wild Blueberries and other frozen foods. GJDE Enterprises is a fantastic store with a traditional, old fashioned Five-and-Dime vibe that made us all a little nostalgic. Claudia found a traditional Marble set, there were old-fashioned glass Christmas tree ornaments and board games, contemporary home decor items and so much more! I focused on the largest selection of Briggs & Little Wool I had seen since we closed our store in Calgary 20 years ago. I was so distracted that I missed taking some photos. Sorry, everyone… next time!
We continued our trip to Tatamagouche on the north shore of Cumberland County. By this time everyone was hungry and we stopped into the Chowder House on the Main Street. It was a busy place, service was a little hit and miss but the food was excellent. After this brief rest and nourished by good food some of us stopped at the hand-crafted ice cream store for dessert before we climbed back into the hot car. Here are a few images I made back in April when another friend and I went to Tatamagouche on a Farmer’s Market Saturday.
Our next stop was Lismore Sheep Farm. We made it just in time before their end of day. It’s an impressive destination, a working sheep farm with a huge barn designated to fibre enthusiasts and so many options for knitters, rug hookers, crocheters and those who are looking for fleece related products. They have wool-filled duvets, pillows, blankets, socks… so many things to choose from and reasonably priced. I focused on the yarns and was a little disappointed with the selection, but then again this may be due to our timing. Perhaps, with the restrictions relaxing slowly, they had more demand with walk in customers and were finding it difficult to keep up with supplies. I will return in the not too distant future. I did find a beautiful, hand-dyed skein in lace weight. It has already been dispatched to our daughter as a special birthday present, and I neglected to take a picture.
Soon it was time to get back into the car and try to reach our final designation on Coline’s list in Truro before closing time. Our driver did well and shaved off several minutes to get us to “Gwen’s Handmade Creations.” What a delightful place and we soon agreed that this was our favourite stop for the day! The owner, Gwen Mader, was so welcoming and as we navigated her tiny domain situated in the back of her property near the chicken run many “ooohhhs” and “aaahhhs” escaped our lips. It was hard to resist Gwen’s selections and excellent prices. I settled on some luscious spinning fibres for the colder seasons. Perhaps I will be giving it a whirl sooner than planned. We have heavy rains and a possibility of strong winds in the forecast for early next week. Tropical storm Henri is expected to make his way right up the Bay of Fundy… Here are some images from our stop at Gwen’s Handmade Creations.
And here are pictures of my personal haul (sans the skein that has been dispatched to BC already). It took little time to break into the Hunderwasser inspired sock yarn… I am working on a Fisherman’s rib cuff. That type of cuff is very stretchy and I love the ribbed texture I am able to achieve with just knit and purl stitches.
From left to right (first image): Spinning fibres from Gwen’s, a Fleece Artist lace-weight skein I plan to over-dye (from Lismore Sheep Farm) and assorted sock yarns from Deanne Fitzpatrick’s. I also picked up a set of Knitter’s Pride double pointed metal square needles (at Gwen’s) which caused me to set aside the set of ebony needles I have loved and used for 25 years… the metal needles are a dream! I highly recommend them. I did mention, Gwen’s was everyone’s favourite place. 😉
Our drive home was filled with chatter and excitement full of anticipation for new projects.
Thanks for traveling along today. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Best wishes, Anna
No matter how often I walk the beaches at sunset the light gifts me with spectacular vistas. While I adore the landscape as a whole…
…I also watch for details like these illuminated plants!
Just moments earlier they were ordinary, not worth spending much time to look at. the moment the sun positioned itself at just the right angle the rose hips were so bright that it appeared as if someone had flicked a switch and each fruit transformed into a beacon of red. At the same time the beach pea plants across all stages of development, from flower to pea pod, glowed as if spot lights were positioned perfectly to highlight their strongest features.
This large driftwood specimen appeared bathed in gold with the sun at the perfect angle near the horizon!
I cannot recall how often I have walked past this ancient log and only seen the weathered grey wood. The setting sun made all the difference at that moment, as fleeting as it was.
Looking toward East Bay the salt marsh was slowly filling up with the change of the tide. The textures and reflections drew my attention and demanded to be captured.
Distant squeals from young children as they ran in and out of the cool water on Ottawa House Beach, the rocky beach against the water looking toward Partridge Island and Cape Split against the golden horizon… I cannot decide what drew me in and held my attention more!
The sun slipped below the horizon quickly, another day came to an end but I feel fortunate that I witnessed the last light.
Thank you for dropping by today. May these magical sunset moments help you navigate the day. Happy Wednesday, Anna
Six-and-a half years ago I had the privilege of visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain. Antoni Gaudi had captured my attention during my London City&Guilds art training in early 2000. His approach of looking to nature for inspiration was nothing new. However, his innovative approach of identifying key aspects in nature, translating these and applying them in his architectural creations truly pushed the boundaries then and continue to so now.
I am always intrigued by the ancient landscape I am exploring close to home these days. Stumbling across a quote by Antoni Gaudi last week gave me reason to pause and reflect: “The great open book that one must strive to read is the book of nature: all the other books are extracted from it and contain man’s erroneous interpretations. There are two revelations: one, doctrinaire, with Morals and Religion; the other, guided by facts, enclosed in the Great Book of Nature.” – A. Gaudi
My walk at Blu Sac Road in Five Islands near Parrsboro at low tide yesterday afternoon reminded me of how important it is to not only look at the larger picture, the landscape as a whole, but to also make time and pay close attention to the individual parts.
The ancient sea bed comprised of sandstone was created by the sheer power and weight of the last ice age. Walking on these outcroppings is a humbling experience. The air was still, the tide not quite at its lowest point. The sound of a distant ATV travelling along the red cliffs drowned out the laughter of the seagulls hunting for tasty morsels left behind by the receding tide. Soon the wind and sea bird sounds was all we heard.
My proclivity to seek details on the ocean floor soon drew my attention to this section in the sandstone. Like a painting Mother Nature was presenting a moment in time with a beautifully balanced composition using tiny snails and dried sea lettuce. Colour, line quality and subtle textural nuances made me stop and take a closer look with the understanding that the next high tide will completely alter this presentation.
How about another Gaudi quote? “Paintings, through the use of pigments, and sculptures turning to forms, express existing organisms: figures, trees and fruits… describing the interiors through the exteriors. Architecture creates the organism and that is what makes it adopt a law harmonious with those of nature; those architects that do not comply with the draw doodles instead of works of art. – A Gaudi
The image above fits the quote appropriately, or vice versa… what do you think?
I am freely admitting that the sequence of images presented here constituted the highlight of yesterday’s beach exploration. I don’t know how I could have missed this during my last time here… and yet, this natural composition could have just taken place yesterday. Such is the incredible power of the changing tides in the Bay of Fundy.
Linda and I took our time during our leisurely beach saunter. Sitting on a driftwood log, sipping our water and munching on a humble snack we witnessed five majestic bald eagles taking turns between soaring high above the red cliffs taking advantage of the thermal and searching for food in the shallow waters. Filled with gratitude for what we experienced we slowly ascended the hill back to the car. Sharing such wonderful experiences with a friend truly make them more special!
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you enjoyed our amazing beach exploration. Warm wishes, Anna
Whether I capture a flower or weed I move in closely to discover lines and textures, to immerse myself in the colour!
This practice has become my meditation, my mindfulness pursuit, my contemplative practice. I don’t see flowers as flowers or weeds as weeds. I relax, let go of preconceived ideas and expectations. I embrace what I see and the way it presents itself. This is a way of seeing that is free and fresh each time, this is the perception world of natural forms…
Join me, try to see the world and its parts with fresh eyes, each and every time! Happy Monday, Anna
The sea lies peaceful and vast around him, not yet sensing the heat of the day that has been predicted. The early morning mist keeps his skin cool at every step and that reminds him of why he is here.
This is his church, he shares with his companions. This is where he finds peace and solitude. He entertains himself by moving swiftly through the water, eyes downcast searching for unblemished dulse fronds. He bends, with a quick flick he detaches the fronds from the rock they have been attached to during their growing season. It ensures regrowth, he educates his companions.
The dulser moves steadily, bending, collecting, adding to the bag that is quickly bulging outward. We soon lose track of him. He has ventured out far beyond us, then turned around making a wide berth around us as he returns to the shore, bag heavy with treasure, encouraged by the turning tide.
Hope you enjoyed this Nova Scotia moment to set the tone for Sunday. Enjoy the day! Best wishes, Anna
…when the back country roads call with the promise of mushrooms.
I am getting much better with making spur of the moment decisions and when the text arrived yesterday morning if I was interested in checking “our spot” for a new crop of mushrooms I could not say no. There was nothing else on the agenda and soon we were on the road.
Our previous spot did not disappoint. All around the area Chanterelles were “glowing” and we soon filled one basket with pure deliciousness!
Learning from my friends Laura I brought along a sharp knife and a soft toothbrush to clean the mushrooms as we collected them.
It was worth the effort as once we arrived home we just weight our haul and divided it between us.
On the way home we explored some out of the way roads and discovered another fantastic spot with Chanterelles! They were even more fresh and by the time we gathered them we filled another basket half full. When we weighed them we had found 3 lbs of pure gold! They are all genuine Chanterelles and ready for preparation. I am dehydrating half of my portion and plan to prepare the rest in a cream sauce for tonight’s dinner. Mushroom season is the best. We are already planning our next excursion.
We stumbled across a number of other mushrooms but were not too sure about the varieties. We found one Boletus or King mushroom, I knew them as Steinpilz during my Childhood in Germany, you may know them as Porcini. It was partially eaten by slugs but now I know what to look for the next time! The jury is still out on the large white mushrooms we brought home to have a friend identify them as edible. White Chanterelle was mentioned but without a positive definitive identification I am not willing to chance cooking it up and serving it. More research is taking place…
Mushroom identification guides are on their way! This is a whole new area. I never thought I would be gathering mushrooms… During my childhood this was a Sunday afternoon autumnal activity with my mother and siblings and, truth be told, I wasn’t too fond of that somewhat forced activity. How times change and how we change interests. As the saying goes: “Never say never!”
When we rolled into town on October 16th last year we were really taken with the landscape surrounding Parrsboro. The rolling fields were a deep red and, upon further reading, we soon learned that this was due to the post-harvest stage of the blueberry plants. What a sight!
I have been watching the fields through the seasons and on Sunday our friend Reg pronounced that the blueberries are ripe and he would share with us his favourite spot. The area he likes is one that has not been sprayed (yes, they spray the blueberry fields…) and it is located right under a satellite tower so would not be accessible to the harvesting equipment.
The four of us spread out and within an hour had collected a good amount of berries. I was the slowest as I am a real stickler for not picking over or under-ripe berries or leaves. Makes for an easier time at home when you prepare the berries for freezing. Combined Colin and I put up about 20 cups of berries.
Another bonus for living in this area of Nova Scotia. We shall go back next week and get more berries, weather permitting. We are preparing for winter! Yikes! Can you believe I am thinking that far ahead?
Geometry governs the growth of many creatures, especially in the sea, where pentagonal shapes are common. The logarithmic spiral is also instrumental in the growth of of other living things (such as the fetal development of many animals), but it is most obvious where a concrete form like a shell is left behind. The spiral whorls of many seashells or the Dall sheep‘s horn are case and point. – from “Sacred Geometry – Deciphering the Code” by Stephen Skinner, Sterling Publishing, NY. ISBN 978-1-4027-6582-7
This is what I get when I haven’t been to a particular beach in a while. The inspiration is limitless and I see everything with fresh eyes. As I was reviewing the images from Saturday night I realized that a few faces crept into the plethora of images I gathered. Here are a few. Look at the image at the top. Can you see the face close to the top looking down on us?
Here is my own pre-historic creature looking across… (image above) and the full alligator below.
A sleepy giant?
A face flattened by time?
Who might this be peaking around the corner?
A Cubist attempt…
From blind laughter to an upside down face…
…two friends in agreement…
…perhaps no face at all?
And just so you are not haunted by some of the more ghoulish faces I will leave you with this mysterious images of Two Islands with the incoming tide.
I hope you enjoyed today’s variation of my beach walk impressions. Have a wonderful day, Anna
As promised, here is the next edition of Wasson’s Bluff impressions. I will not elaborate with words, instead I invite you to sit back, grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the images of colour, texture, pattern, some soft edges and hard edges. Keeping it simple: Enjoy!
Wishing you a fantastic start to the week! All the best, Anna
Wasson’s Bluff is one of my all-time favourite beaches to explore. It’s diversity in geological formations and vistas is second to none.
It’s been a while that I have been here. We almost didn’t stop in the parking area… there were several out-of-province trucks with trailers promising some unpleasant ATV noise. I am glad we decided to park and head down to the beach anyways. We soon left the people, tinny radio music and ATVs behind. A slight breeze was blowing keeping any insects away. We headed away from Two Islands toward a section of the beach I call “Mermaid Tears Beach.”
It felt as if I had been away for months… and soon I was engrossed in the rich offerings this beach holds. I have enough for several posts. Today I will just share some of the seaweed and other treasures that caught my eye and were left behind by the tide on the ocean floor. Enjoy!
While I spent much time looking down I am always taken by the majestic vistas, especially during the early evening.
The sun was moving behind the cliffs too fast once again. It was time to turn around and head back to the car. Imagine our delight when Two Islands were shrouded in mist upon our return to the starting point.
…and behind us the sun was moving close to the horizon while illuminating the clouds with an imaginary paintbrush…
Check back tomorrow for more Wasson’s Bluff impressions. Enjoy your Sunday! Warm wishes, Anna
We have had a fair amount of rain for the last couple of days. While the landscape is lush and green I am partial to the rising mist late in the day. This is what I came home to after a beach walk the other day. I spotted the mist as I was walking toward home and headed straight down to the water’s edge…
The river was so smooth reflecting the steel grey sky perfectly…
…with just a splash of colour from the parting clouds.
May these images set the mood for your day. Warm wishes, Anna
…there was time for a quick walk after dinner. And the beach was alive with colour!
The mist was rising at Partridge Island…
…and the tide was gently rolling in.
Our arrival at the beach seemed to trigger some light rain but once here we appreciated the deserted beach and just kept walking all the way to the lichen covered point. I have no idea when it stopped raining!
Once we returned to the car the clouds had thinned and revealed some soft pastels reminding us that sunset was not far off…