Thursday, 16 November 2017

jaunt to the airport

The ocean cold is gripping us here and even temperatures above draw the bitter damp right through you. But that's November.

On the first of the month we set off to the airport to gather up our honoured guest and old friend, Connie, who came for a week's visit. It was a gorgeous afternoon, not the rainy forecast we'd been expecting.  But that's becoming normal, these false alarms.

It wasn't always easy to get a good exposure in the contrasting sunlight but I thought this fine old house was worth sharing with its 2 chimneys and 3 dormer windows, the middle one larger than those flanking it. Three is the magic number, used again in the covered porch with its 3 groups of 3 windows.

a modern cattle farm

closer to the cattle

more cows in the afternoon sun

another large operation near Hantsport

along the Gaspereau River as it begins to widen into a huge "S" before it spills into the Minas Basin

Silos with supportive equipment

just beyond the Freddie Wilson overpass, colour still glowing

looking Southeast over the mountains

Falmouth, built on lowland, with the mountains rising in the distance

Birch and White Pine

outcrop of gypsum

another gypsum outcrop

gypsum cliffs
FYI: Gypsum is a soft mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, that is 2nd only to coal as a mineral resource in Nova Scotia, whose mines are the largest in Canada. Quarrying began in Nova Scotia in the 1770s, when farmers in Hants County first found gypsum deposits on their land and started exporting to the United States. By 1818 the industry employed over 150 men locally and 50,000 tons were being shipped annually. These early quarries were chiefly around Windsor, Falmouth and Hantsport. Subsequently, even larger mines were opened around the province.  In 1953 the huge open-pit quarrying began at East Milford, Halifax County began and is the world's most productive mine of Gypsum to date. Originally used as a fertilizer and paint filler, Gypsum, is the main constituent in many forms of plaster, blackboard chalk and wallboard,  the latter commonly known as Gyproc.

As we begin to climb the rising Mt. Uniak, spruce on the rocks

Despite a late getaway, we got to the airport in time to meet Connie.
First stop: Pier 21, landing place, gateway to Canada for one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971, of whom Connie was one at the age of 4 years old. 

More to come of our jaunts over the week that she was here, the only time Wally and I seem to get out of our fix-the-house rut.

Til then....

peace dear ones

Thursday, 9 November 2017

driving the 101 in autumn

So much water under the bridge, so much catching up to do.
I will start with the 2nd of our 3 trips to Ikea in October as we attempted to design, shop for and finish our new bathroom upstairs in honour of Connie's visit over this last week.

We made that 2nd trip on October 18th which proved to be a lovely autumn day.
Formerly the Bog Road Bridge, this is now the Freddie Wilson Overpass.
In 2007, a few weeks after Freddie's 53rd birthday, this honorary sign was hung.

Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia,  Freddie, the oldest of 4 brothers, had complications at birth which left him with brain damage.  From age 6 to 18, he attended a Truro training school for mentally challenged children and moved back home in 1973. It is around then that he started waving to vehicles from this overpass, living only a minute's walk away. He particularly loved eliciting honks from passersby, particularly the truckers. I can't remember seeing him in the 5 years that we've been here. He'd be 63 now.

approaching the Hantsport and Mt. Denson exit on this lovely day.

The views to the south were almost obliterated by the bright sun.
I love this pasture amid the forest.

down to Falmouth with Mt. Uniak in the distance

another southerly scene with old mountains rolling in the background

a hilltop home

looking down at a Falmouth community

Windsor from the highway

scrubbier trees in the lower land

The highway views start to blend for a while

but little pockets of focal points stand out

coming into the Municipality of East Hants

The terrain is more rugged the closer we get to the ocean,
with this lovely northern lake to catch the eye.

Climbing Mt. Uniak, the light is getting low and I abandon my picture taking.

Wally out in the partking lot of the new Ikea at closing time with a stainless garbage bin for the new bathroom among other things. I couldn't capture the surreal enormity of that sign and the fact that we are planted on the edge of a cliff overlooking Dartmouth Crossing a wasteland of big box stores. Maybe another time.

As promised, I am sharing the new project I started in October, working in a Dylusions black "Journal". I had bought the book a few months earlier and cooked on how to use it over the late summer months.

As one opens it, there is an envelope on the left for clippings. The journal is a cardstock sewn book attached to the back of the black bookboard cover that enfolds it.

Knowing that I wanted to use this book for autumn themes but much aware that I was a novice at using both its dark background and the cardstock pages, I decided to experiment with an eye toward semi-finished pieces. I began with a product I had never used before: Ranger's white opaque pen, something like a gel pen. I started on the right page finding the ball of the pen scratchy and difficult to work with. A 2nd pen in the set of two was easier to "roll" with though I had to go slow to keep from skipping. Between the two pens I used an amount of ink amounting to one pen's worth on these two pages; a little pricey I'd say. Regardless, I had fun.

Well, as I said, I have some catching up to do, but I'm somewhat undone by the pace we went between sight-seeing and doing taxes. So I may take a little break before I return. Wally just called on his lunch break and encouraged me to take a nap. I never nap unless I'm unwell, but, geez, I'm tempted.

thanks for dropping by! Til next time...


Monday, 30 October 2017


Late October Greetings dear viewers. Two and a half weeks away from my blog is something of a record for me.  My dismay over already low view stats ( blog viewing seems to be replaced by Instagram and other less "wordy" social media) has been aggravated by rampant "bot" views (automated views that advertise or can even infect a blog); they have caused some technical glitches over the last 2 years. But that's not why I've been away. Wally and I have gone into overdrive preparing our home for another person, my old friend Connie, who will be coming to stay for a week in November.

It was Connie with whom I went to Costa Rica, our epic trip, in 2012.

Now she will be coming to help us with our messy bookkeeping. (She has an extensive history in banking which will help, both technically and with bedside manner.) We want to treat her to a fabulous Nova Scotia holiday in return. She's looking forward, foremost, to exploring her family's landing in Canada at Pier 21 in Halifax back in the 1950's.  A lobster dinner is also on the books. We've got all kinds of sea experiences lined up for her, from walking the sea bed at Blomidon to exploring the World Heritage town of Lunenburg. But I still think the cherry on top will be Peggy's Cove which will be nothing short of spectacular this time of year. We've never been there in November.

Because we've been so busy (thank goodness for a deadline), I have a few pictures from 2 1/2 weeks ago that I took along the highway on our way to the new IKEA in Dartmouth Crossing (which was surreal; more about that another time.)

We were lucky to have good weather as we headed out with some lovely colour still left on the trees.

Passing the same brown farmhouse, I had mixed luck with my photographs taken from a moving car.

The new highway signage people have seen fit to put a sign at every lovely natural view. It was discouraging to say the least.  I've always enjoyed this rolling cornfield. Now I will never have an excuse to remember that it is outside of Grand Pre.

The Annapolis Valley is famous for its farming. Unfortunately I missed some prime shots of the apple orchards which once fed the world.

Some little farmsteads seem to sprawl into villages.

a little closer 

The country town sprawl of Falmouth

 A newer build , a bit like a Monopoly game house

An exceptionally long factory building from another era that I suspect had something to do with housing animals as it is so near the fairgrounds and the railroad tracks.

The trees are mixed making for some beautiful palettes.

The hills begin to roll again, part of the old Appalachian system of mountains.

another pretty tapestry

We're quite high now having climbed Mt. Uniak yet still higher mountains in the distance as the light fades causing for even poorer exposures.

As we come lower, a strange little road veering away from the highway.

It's been hard to find the time to prep pictures for the blog, so this is all I have for today. One last little squeeze out of October. But there's more. That will have to wait til a little later next month. I'll have plenty of catch up to do if I take my camera on those touristy jaunts to come.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are cozy in this northern change of season. My friend in Saskatchewan is already experiencing snow. We're in the midst of another wind and rain storm like the 2 day one we had last week. That's late October for you!