Thursday, 14 December 2017

first snow and a trip to Ikea

Still doing the last bit of November catch-up, including this:

our first snow!
It's unusual for us to see snow here in November, our 5th in Nova Scotia.
Usually we're lucky to get it by New Year's.

Our little Harelson Apple tree is still wrapped in netting to keep the birds off the apples.
But the apples were all wormy this year, and discouraged, we left the netting up and the apples as groundfall.

The trees and shrubbery still provide great pleasure, with the empty field beyond.
This sugary beauty all disappeared within a day however. Ho hum.

The following weekend was our 2nd since Connie had been gone and we were itching for some fun so we hit the road south to Dartmouth, passing the white cliffs of Gypsum Mines just beyond Windsor.

This rough terrain with its sheer bluffs are just further down the highway as we climb Mt. Uniak.

A rainy day, I still felt it was worth keeping some blurry highway shots of the kind of mixed landscape we see in the space of an hour, from farmland to these great boulders and rock cuts.

I love the lighting on this little forest pond.

Here is another larger pond,

and one, larger still.

In the grand foyer of our destination, Ikea,
this crisp bedroom was done up so that one could walk all around it.

In fact, all Ikea's displays are done in the round and people are encouraged to sit on the merchandise.
Wally was quite taken with this display, wondering if we should put some more of the trendy brass into our décor. We already have a vintage lamp and some sculptures so that's probably enough for our little house.

That's the thing: our house is pretty full as it is though I love the eye candy of interior design.
There always seems to be an accessory here that we find to update the energy of our old house with its secondhand furniture.

I got that linen tea towel on a previous trip, but I do love the modern country style incorporating the black and white ticking for the duvet cover, and metal furniture.

Oh, I didn't do Wally justice taking our picture in this bathroom mirror. I probably saw him from a different angle, but it does show the teeny camera I've used all these years for the blog.

We spent a good little while inspecting this sophisticated "Besta" modular wall unit that we both liked for the living room as we, old fogies that we are, still have a LOT of videos that we'd like to store out of sight but handy. As it is, we keep them in the blanket box coffee table and baskets, scattered throughout the room, inconvenient to say the least. Since we didn't have a tape measure handy I asked Wally to "reach for the top" to help us estimate how this arrangement of modules would fit in our low-ceilinged room.

We couldn't stay late on a Sunday, not only because Wally had to work the next day, but also because the doors shut at 6pm. That was probably a good thing; otherwise we might have moved in.

Well, I think that finally winds up November.
Thank you for coming along while I play catch-up to this present moment in time...
as if that's possible on the internet!
Still, it's good to have you along to share these experiences.
thank you!

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

dusk in hall's harbour

Hi again. Still culling photos from our quasi holiday with my friend Connie on her week's visit in early November. I say quasi because it really was a working holiday for Connie who had committed herself to helping us wade through old financial stuff that had paralyzed Wally and me.

One Sunday evening, we stole her away for a trip up over the North Mountain and down to Hall's Harbour, a trip that only takes us about 20 minutes.

The light was low, the tide was low, and the road was closed where we stopped on this quiet night.

Looking across the harbour you get a feel for the steep slope of the North Mountain
as it comes down to the Bay of Fundy.

A sailor's knot for a boat tied well below the pier.

We strike out across the pebbled inlet, Wally already walking back before I've begun to make it out.

Intrepid explorer that I am (ha ha) I wobble my way out along the shallow stream of outflowing tide, 
looking up at the pier on the opposite side.

At the end of it you can see the last bit of sunlight in the west,
and then it's gone, setting over New Brunswick.

Ahead of me, to the north across the bay is the other side of Nova Scotia.

To my right, some little houses lining the shore with their stairs to the beach.

Despite the brightening of this photo, it has become almost too dark to see, lights coming on automatically in the dusk. Connie and I head back up the shifting pebbles, careful not to fall. It's getting tricky.

A little boat on a trailer on the other pier that we cannot access tonight.

A parting shot of Connie on the curve down to the docks where the road was closed.
I think she enjoyed it though it was reminiscent of her world back in Ontario on Lake Huron.

Just as we were leaving, a little fishing boat was wending its way home.

And with that, my pictures of our first week of November are over. Connie left on the 7th, working up to the last minute to help us through a small mountain of paperwork, then gone like Santa Claus, into the dark Canadian sky. Of course we've talked many times since, but the visit, well, she was most welcome.

Friends. The embodiment of kindness.

Still, let us remember that the closest friend we have is ourselves, the one who keeps us on track.
Starting with that initiative we can make a better world for ourselves.
with peace in our hearts, releasing the troubles of the mind, we-

like a little fishing boat-

wend our way home

Friday, 8 December 2017

evening in peggy's cove

"So Soon?" you ask. Well, this Peggy's Cove trip was a rare treat for us so of course I took scads of photographs. If I don't post them soon, they'll fall into the abyss of Never Was. So here we are again.

My last post watched the sun go down at the famous lighthouse. My friend, Connie, and I walked the short road down alongside the sheltered inlet.

We passed the same lobster shack seen at the beginning of my last post,
here with a boat decked out in netting and buoys. 

Coming round the front of this same building, lobster traps in a row,
we can see the tide is a bit lower than when we arrived about an hour earlier,
the natural breakwater at the front of the cove dark-rimmed to show the water line.

On the other side of the street are a few commercial spots now closed.

This one, with its rolled up awning and areas for sitting, seems to be a café of sorts.

This newer style of building seems to be a semi-detached,
perched on rock with a mat of grass that looks like a bad toupée. 

the right side of that same building with the wild rose hips adorning the front view

looking back from whence we came as the road rises

a little further along we rise to an uninhabited stretch

its rocky barrens still beautiful in the evening light

another otherworldly stretch of rock covered in what may be low laying blueberry bushes

Not much of a biologist, I do know that these fern-like plants that turn this lovely orangey gold
are bracken.

Well, maybe this thick matting of scrub are not blueberries after all.
(After posting this earlier today, I received a message from my dear Saskatchewan friend, formerly a P.E.I girl, who advised me that this is most likely the Northern Bayberry.  Deer and salt resistant, growing in poor but well-drained soils- even sand- they provide their own nitrogen/fertilizer. The leaves provide a pleasant scent, often used in candles, though repellent to insects. Thanks Jane!)

Turning once again from this new vantage to catch the waning light over Peggy's Cove.

The lights are on at the Sou'Wester Gift shop and restaurant.
Is that the peak of the light house I see at the left end of the gift shop roof?

The sky is doing its best baroque/William Turner homage.
I think it was Oscar Wilde who said that we relate more to an image that is pre-identified for us by an artist. I think this must be true for most concepts in life, that we hinge on something that we once heard in the past. If only we could, as a species, build on that.

Across the road is the once home, now gallery of William de Garthe, a Finnish born artist who, as a young man in 1930, left his job and art training in Montreal on a quest for "the most beautiful place on earth". Taking the train to Halifax to catch a boat for Brazil where an aunt lived, he was struck by the rugged beauty of the Atlantic coast, reminding him of the island home he grew up in on the Swedish border.
Painting commercially, then resuming fine art,
it wasn't until the early 1960's that de Garthe learned to sculpt.

In the late 1970's de Garthe decided to carve  "a lasting monument to Nova Scotia fishermen".
On a 100 foot granite outcropping behind his home, the 10 year project was about 80% completed when he died in 1983.

At the far left end, St. Elmo, shelters the fishermen, women and children of the sea.

By way of interest, St. Elmo was originally Saint Erasmus, who may have become the patron of sailors because he is said to have continued preaching even after a thunderbolt struck the ground beside him. This prompted sailors, who were in danger from sudden storms and lightning, to claim his prayers. The electrical discharges at the mastheads of ships were read as a sign of his protection and came to be called "St. Elmo's Fire."

Another point of interest: besides being the guardian of all mariners, St. Elmo is the patron saint of children with colic,
abdominal pain,
intestinal ailments and diseases,
cramps and the pain of women in labour,
as well as cattle pests. 

More people of the sea memorialized by William de Garthe.

Here is a plaque erected by his widow. It reads:

by William E. DeGarthe, artist and sculptor
This work of art is a lasting memorial to the gallant men of
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, whoharvest our oceas. The monument
depicts from left to right: fisherman's family; Peggy of the Cove;
Fishermen at work.
This monument was donated to the province of Nova Scotia by
Mrs.P. Agnes deGarthe in 1984 in accordance with the wishes of
her late husband, William E. DeGarthe.

We finally leave lovely Peggy's Cove but not without one more stop to capture the sun's fading glow over a group of fishing piers in another inlet on St. Margaret's Bay.

Another quintessential fishing dock scene

And so, good night.

We were quite buzzed from this mini holiday and touched down at home long enough to feed the cats before heading out to a Mediterranean supper in Wolfville to polish off our Saturday night. 
We haven't had so much fun for a long time. Did I mention we had a 1940's soundtrack on the last evening of our use of a brand new car, leased for our day out, with Sirius radio.
What a hoot to travel in style.

hope you got a sense of the magic
I hope, too, that you are finding it in your own life.

peace and lovingkindness