Friday, 28 June 2013

travelling the eastern shore of Minas Basin

So last time I told you of our meandering day trip of Sunday past. But I barely scratched the surface of all the beautiful things we saw, so...

Watch your step...
 Perhaps you recall what a big derelict building fan I am. The textures and faded colours fascinate me and of course who can resist a leaning tower of a barn!
especially when they come in two's!
any old barn will do!
Sometimes a derelict is absolutely creepy so I bumped up the creep factor a few notches just for fun

 This lonely house on the hill is much more common on the south shore where the fisherman's cottages are much smaller and more windswept.
A sheep farm and vineyard

 Grazing is a sheep's job
Sheep walk...notice it's gait especially the back feet as one foot goes right in front of the other like a model on the runway

 Further down the road these gorgeous horses, stallions separated from the mares, are grazing as well
Seaside lunch. These stallions are handsome fellows, obviously of a certain breed. 
 It was low tide that afternoon and as usual it sucked the inlets almost dry
 We had taken this route home along the eastern shore of the Minas Basin on purpose as we finally had the time to go a little out of our way. Across the Basin you can see Blomidon as it looms through the low cloud cover.
 And finally we arrive at one of our destinations that day, a tiny lighthouse that is maintained by community volunteers who value their local history. It sits at the entrance to an inlet where ships would come in to pick up their load of Barite, a mineral that was mined in the area.
Here, I am looking down to the main floor from whence I came; the narrow steps to the right await my ascent. (I shot these pictures in case I never made it back, so those who found me would know my terrible fate....You guessed it; I don't like heights) 
Looking up the steps I'm about to ascend to the top floor.

And now I'm at the top looking at the lighthouse ceiling
Ted Burgess, volunteer, has left us a note.
I do love handmade signs
A view from the cliff to the right of the lighthouse
And a view across the inlet from the lighthouse. I adore cross sections of forest, how the trees create a curtain like the backdrop for a theatre. See the little trees out front as actors in the play?
The Barite mines silos, all that remains after the fire many years back
A sample of Barite ore.
We were lucky to meet an ex-miner who told us that Barite is often used in women's make-up.
I'm guessing it must make a fine powder.
And a view of the inlet with the Barite silos to the right. The lighthouse makes the faintest red dot to the left of the silos.
 Another fabulous curtain of landscape
And the road that takes us on our way

Lupins invade a hilltop cottage. Let's call it Lupin Cottage.
The old garden gate
a willow grove in the woods

Huge boulders of gyproc, the mineral drywall is made from, lay by the side of the road as we near the village of Gypsum Mines.
Two Purple Cows, not...
I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one, but I can tell you anyhow, I'd rather see than be one! (author unknown)
a woodland pond
A Faerie Lupin Garden
Can you believe I have MORE pictures to show you because only 2 days later, Wally wanted to go strawberry picking now that it is high season and he had found an organic pick-your-own?!
 So next time I will share those and another mermaid.
Be well, be happy, be kind

Monday, 24 June 2013

an old-time summer day

The solstice has come and gone, all so fast somehow. Still, summer stretches out before us, and we intend to make the most of it. Yesterday we took another day trip out to Stewiack and back home along the eastern coast of the Minas Basin. My pictures are in no particular order today, except to tell a pastoral story...

This wonderful abandoned farm lays along the eastern shore of Minas Basin where so many houses are for sale. Too far from the "action", it requires a certain amount of self-reliance
 to live in so lonely a place.
So many of my pictures are taken from a moving vehicle hence the blurriness, but I find the composition of this one interesting.

Old farms are carved out of the heavily wooded countryside of Middle Stewiack.
We interrupted this lovely threesome during their midday munch.
Many of you may already know of my fascination with cows. They are truly exotic to me.

Such a massive, generally docile animal, they fascinate me.
This girl, in particular, was my companion for the few minutes spent with her.
She was curious about me too.
I felt so lucky to spend this little bit of time with her.

The fields of this area feel special somehow.
There is so much beauty upon closer inspection
an abandoned church in a hayfield
a barn, now a garage
a bench over-looking the Minas Basin at the Anthony Picnic Park
a magnificent Buttercup Meadow at the same park
In Upper Stewiack there is a little historical museum where vignettes of daily life, such as this kitchen, so cute it could be in a doll's house, are displayed throughout.  Wally got great help finding the location of his old Uncle Tom's wooded acreage. They even printed up some pictures of Uncle Tom for Wally. What a coup!

Great graphics on the old oven door from the kitchen above.
An old school photo, one of many in the collection, from 1951.
Isn't it great how the photographer made sure to put the boys with the striped shirts together in front!
and another from much earlier times
a school textbook

and my greatest score: the chance to photograph a collection of old children's playing cards.
I just love the wear and tear, the wrinkles and foxing, a term for the oxidation on paper.
and just as much I love the defacing of the pictures, coloured in and written on by little hands

These pen and ink reproductions are very much of their time and remind me of John Tenniel's illustrations for Alice in Wonderland

"where are your spectacles?" someone has written in pencil
Peace and Contentment.
There are so many more pictures to share with you. Perhaps another day.
Til then, please find time to commune with nature in your own way. You won't regret it.