Sunday, February 7, 2016

February 7 th ... Really ?

February 7th and the weather was above zero with little snow to be seen anywhere.

Last year was such a nightmare with one ice storm after the other, that we feel we deserve the gentle Winter we're getting this year.  We've had a couple of storms but the snow really hasn't lasted through the subsequent mild spells and rain.

I know there are those who long for snow, but I am quite happy with things as they are.

Today I couldn't decide if I was going to take Wendy and Sooki to Rainbow Haven or Conrad's Beach.  I didn't know until I drove right past the turn off to Conrad's that I was going to Lawrencetown Beach instead.

There is a long parking lot behind Lawrencetown Beach and several boardwalks to choose from.

Or perhaps you'd rather walk on the grassy trail behind the beach ?

The dogs like to do both.  

Well actually it's Wendy who prefers being close to the water, while Sooki would rather be a bit more out of the wind on the grassy trail.

I brought the throw stick and Wendy's bright orange ball.  While she chased the ball, Sooki posed for a photo; well really she sat 'coz she knew she'd get a treat.

The boardwalks that lead to the beach are being "eaten" by rocks.  I think this beach used to be much more sandy than it is now.

This boardwalk (below) had ramps rather than steps so that the disabled would be able to reach the beach.

Well.    Ummmm.    Errrrr.

The rocks have "eaten" the bottom of the ramp and even if they hadn't, because there's no sand there anymore there's no where for a wheelchair to go.  

BTW we apparently have a "snow event" rolling in late tomorrow, so soon those Nova Scotians who are hankering for snow will soon get their wish.

Me?  I can't wait for the NEXT thaw.  lol

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tags ...

How many photos do you have stored on your computer ?  3,000 ?   4,000 ?  How do you organize them all ?

I give all my photos "tags".  Helpful little descriptors that say something about the image.

One of my more unusual tags is, "What is it?".

Feel free to take a guess at a few of these by leaving your guess in the comments section.

1.  Snow in summer ?  Nope.

2.  Snow on the beach ?  Nope.

3.  I think this one might be easier to figure out.

4.   Kudos to you if you can guess what this is and what it's for.

5.    Oh, the odd things you see at the beach.

6.   Impressions in the snow.

7.   Took this a couple of years back when I had a different car.

8.   Not stone, but  something much more fleeting.

9.   At the beach.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hike to Gaff Point ...

Late Saturday "Scotian Hiker" posted this ...

Short notice, but I'm opting for a coastal hike on the south shore: less snow and better trail conditions (snowshoes probably not required, but bring them in your vehicle if you have them), plus temperatures, great scenery, short and not too difficult, and wind-driven surf. Optional rope climb down to Sand Cove. It WILL be windy, so dress appropriately. Meetup is at the Hirtles Beach parking lot at 1130am. Bring water, lunch, whatever you need to shield yourself from wind. Terrain is sand/cobble beach, coastal forest path (possibly some ice underfoot), rocky shoreline. Dogs are fine, but may need to be leashed at times due to cliffs at Gaff Point. Directions: take Hwy 103 Exit 11 (Blockhouse/Lunenburg), proceed due south into Blockhouse. At 4-way stop, go straight for 10 minutes. At next stop, turn right and drive for 1 min. At stop, go straight and follow winding road for 20 minutes. Watch for Rose Bay Convenience Store/NSLC on right, and turn left toward Kingsburg. Drive for 5-10 mins, come down hill into Kingsburg (ocean will be in view), turn right towards Hirtles Beach.

I hummed and hawed about whether I'd join the group. The drive was just over 100 km.  I'd need to leave by 10 a.m.  It was only when I woke up to an encouraging note from Mr. Hiker that decided to eat brekkie, fix a lunch, fill the car with gas and head out at 10:10 a.m. to meet up with Le Gang at the Hirtles Beach parking lot.

The group met up just after 11:30 and set off within 10 minutes.

It was several degrees above zero and unseasonably mild.  Gaff Point is at the end of that spit of land to our right.

The wind whipped layers of foam up the beach.

Not snow.

I was delighted when my new South-shore chum, Kelly joined us on the hike.

The trails were well kept and much of the land is owned by The Nature Conservancy of Canada. The NCC is one of my pet charities.  It purchases sensitive, significant or endangered habitats to keep them protected and safe from future development.

I've gotta get me some of them thar hiking poles.

The scenery was lovely.  The trail often leading us to beautiful outlooks,

or along seaside rocks where the waves crashed noisily with stunning blue waves the colour of THAT lake near Jasper, Alberta;  you know the one I mean ?

Wendy was the only dog on the hike.
An off shoot of the trail lead to this amazing location.

                                Look at that lovely beach below.

                                    Do you think it's possible to get down there ?  

Why "Yes.  Yes it is."

See that handy knotted rope ?


As the others made their way down without hesitation, Kelly and I watched in awe and fear, and screwed up our courage,

                                          and with the encouragement of the group,

                                                                                                                     joined them.

A lousy photo of Kelly coming down via the rope.
I "thought" I was smiling.  Actually this pic is of me coming back up later.
On the way down, someone held the rope taut at the bottom.

Can you see how proud we were of ourselves for overcoming our fears and making it down to the beautiful beach.

BTW Wendy just sauntered down the "cliff".  No rope needed.  Sigh ...

Kelly 'n me and Wendy.
It's called Sand Beach.  Luckily it was low tide.  At high tide the water would be to the base of the cliffs.

After hiking back up and walking a while through the woods, we found ourselves back on Hirtles Beach.  Kelly and I always seemed to be at the back of the pack but we were OK with that.  We'd get held up taking pics, helping each other put on and take off grippers and stuffing rocks into Kelly's pack.

That's the rest of our group waaaaaay in the distance.  Wendy doesn't like it when her hiking "pack" is not together.

As we got nearer the group we were amazed to see that three of them had doffed their shoes and socks and rolled up their pants,

                                                   and had gleefully run into the January-chilled Atlantic Ocean !

Scotian Hiker didn't even bother to roll up his pants !

What a crazy group !    

                                          That's why I love hanging out with them.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Life is a series of dog walks ...

Just got home from a lovely dog walk at Auburn Golf Club with Wendy and Sooki.

I thought at first it was going to be a cold walk but after a while I found myself pulling my mitts off and yanking off my ear muffs.

Wendy fetched her ball while Sooki followed Wendy ... or her own nose.

The snow wasn't really that deep, but still it was harder to walk in as I had to lift my  knees higher than they like to be lifted.

We encountered a few other people out walking their dogs or taking their kids sledding on the wonderful hills.  The man in the shot below was snow shoeing while his two dogs tagged along.

The golf course is very scenic with several covered bridges crossing a pretty river.  As I always have treats in my pocket, Wendy and Sooki come quickly when called.  They'll even put up with posing for a picture when a bribe is in the offing.

This is Wendy's "Throw the ball, throw the ball" look.

This was only my second time visiting Auburn.  I learned of it a week or so ago when I hooked up with a local Facebook dog walking group.

The photo below is from that first visit.  I love how there are no humans in the photo and the dogs appear to be on their own. 

I'm sure you can see why I went back again today.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day at Peggy's Cove ...

Christmas Day in Nova Scotia dawned sunny and unseasonably mild.  What better way to spend the day than with a road trip to Peggy's Cove !

Nearby there are plenty of lay-bys where you can park and hike to the shore.

Once there, look what we saw; a Seal out basking on a rock !  

After an hour of  walking we popped back in the car and drove 2 minutes down the road to Peggy's Cove.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who decided to visit this Canadian icon on Christmas Day. 

Guess who !

Look at that.  Shorts and bare feet on Christmas Day !   I told you it was crazy mild.

The most famous fishing cove in Canada.

Wendy and Sooki

  Hope you had a nice Christmas and that the Happiest of New Years awaits.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

You just never know ...

Recently I've gotten into Geocaching.  Have you heart of it ?   It involves a grownup (me), looking for hidden "caches"  using a GPS.   "Where are the geocaches?", you ask.  

Below is a map of the area near where I live.  Each of those icons is a hidden cache.  The nearest one to me turned out to be about 200 m from my front door !   BTW those four happy faces near the centre of the map are four that I have found.   Wherever you live, I can guarantee that there are caches nearby.

 That's it.  That's about all there is to it.  Geocaching is an excuse to explore places with fresh eyes and a challenge to see how many caches you can find.  Most caches include a log book for you to sign and even if they didn't you can always log your find on the web site.

Last week I went to Lunenburg to have lunch with some chums there.  I figured I'd also look for some caches while I was there.

One of them was hidden in an old rotted tree in the cemetery next to the Lunenburg Academy.

The cache in the tree.  Pretty small eh ?
However, sometimes what you find is not what you're looking for ...

While exploring the cemetery I was attracted to this pretty plot and was surprised by the sad message it contained on the two plaques.

Sophia's tragic story brought me up short...


Sophia, I am so sorry.  I truly hope that you did find your reward in Heaven; but I wish you'd had a full and wonderful life first.  I also wish I could travel back in time and smack your mother and give you a hug.