Sunday, August 28, 2016

Meet me at "The Wave".

If you're down on the Halifax waterfront and want to meet up with someone, the go-to meet-up  place is "The Wave".

 The Wave is a popular iconic sculpture that has been a fixture on the waterfront for 28 years.

It's a piece of art that is treated more like a piece of play equipment.

The signage is totally ignored.

In fact some parents even climb up with their children.

A couple of years ago in acknowledgement of the siren song of The Wave, extra padding was added to the ground around the three and a half meter high sculpture.

it was probably a good idea.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Another day another adventure .

After sharing  my latest blog post about the High Head trail hike to my Facebook timeline I heard from an old chum who said "any time you're over this way let's go for a hike".

"This way" turned out to be Kentville.  I checked the map for places I hadn't been that were near Kentville and hit on Baxter's Harbour which had a waterfall listed as a nearby feature.

The old chum, Sue, and I worked together in the early 70's in Ontario and hadn't seen each other since.  And yet here we were, forty years later agreeing to meet up at Baxter's Harbour for a hike.

Typical of Nova Scotia, the signage is awful.  There wasn't even a sign indicating the harbour's location.  Baxter's Harbour Road ended at this sign  I took at guess and turned right.

The road curves down a hill to a parking area that looks out on this view.  It was breath-takingly beautiful.

Glancing to my right I coul see the waterfall.  

I gather that in the spring the flow of water is so great that it arcs out from the cliff face and it's possible to walk behind it.  After the dry summer we've had I was amazed that there was any water at all coming down.

BTW did you notice how high up the cliff the algae is growing ?   Yep.   You don't want to be standing where Wendy is standing when high tide arrives.   As low tide was 11:15 a.m. we made sure we arrived by 10 a.m.  which gave us a few "safe" hours to explore the shore.

Several hours later as we were leaving, the rising tide had reached this boat and it was being piloted out into the bay.

I think these small "islands" are called "flower pots".   Well at least that's what I call 'em.  lol
Look at the rocks.  Lots of bubbles of lava turned into rock.

How's that for precarious?

We scrambled over boulders and along cobbles marvelling at the beauty that surrounded us.  Just a few miles from here Sue had stopped to ask locals for directions to the "Baxter's Harbour Falls"; they hadn't heard of it.  It's so sad that so few Nova Scotians know about the stunning scenery that lies on their doorstep.

A lil' Green Crab.

The spires of Cape Split in the distance.
Love this eroded ripply rock.

Me 'n Sue.
The tide is clearly rising behind us.  A good hint that it was time to go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back to High Head.

On my first trip there, High Head Trail was shrouded in fog.  The sea, the rocks and the sky were grey.  Where the sea ended and the sky began was a mystery.

Last Friday dawned sunny and clear; a perfect day to introduce my chums, Sara and Kelly to this marvellous hike, and an opportunity for me to see where the sea ended and the sky began.  

See ...

Foggy or clear, the scenery is amazing.

Here I s'pose I should insert some pithy comment about the single tree, blue sky and barren hill.

Sara spotted this piece of found art near the shore.

So many photo ops.

It's hard to know how far we walked as we stopped so often to take selfies, admire the scenery, photograph a massive glacial rock or stop for a sandwich lunch.

The only thing better than exploring a trail is exploring a trail with friends.
Wendy and Sooki are marvellous walking companions.
Before walking back to our cars after several hours of exploring we found this spot where we could look down on the nearby hamlet of Prospect.

What is amazing is that this scenic walk is far from unique.  So many country roads ending at the Atlantic or the Bay of Fundy leads to similar stunning walks.

What is surprising is how few Nova Scotians know about these marvellous not-so-hidden gems.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Living every day ...

The other day a dear friend reminded me of the importance of living each day to its fullest, so yesterday I went on-line to check tide times for Hall's Harbour and once suitably reassured that they were safe for a long beach walk, I went for a drive across the province to the marvellous Bay of Fundy.

Driving across the province isn't as onerous as it sounds; the distance from my door to Hall's Harbour is about 110 km or about just over a one hour drive.

Cruising through Centreville I felt compelled to stop at Charles Macdonald House as for the first time the flag was out and it was open.

Built as a one-storey house in 1910 by Macdonald who own a concrete factory in nearby Kentville, the second storey was added around 1917.

Though I didn't get to see it on my tour, apparently the bathtub is made out of concrete too.

It's not just that Charles Macdonald's house was made of concrete; pretty much everything inside and out was made of concrete.  Even the birdhouse hanging in the tree is made of concrete !  The grounds once were littered with concrete  figurines.


The bather has just been refurbished.

At one point there was even a life-size Moose which sadly was destroyed when hit by a car many years ago.

I was happy to finally get to see inside this unusual house.  As you might imagine it had a very musty smell.   Not sure I'd want to live in a concrete house in our damp climate.

Yep.  A concrete table.
Painted concrete ornamentation.

The Living Room.  BTW the Deer head ?   It's concrete too.

Like many places in Nova Scotia, the Charles Macdonald House does not get the attention or assistance it deserves and exists only through the support of a dedicated group of volunteers. Should you wish to learn more just click here.

After my tour I hopped back in my car for the ten minute drive to Hall's Harbour.

Though it was only two hours after high tide when I arrived, the boats were already sitting on the bottom of the harbour.

The tides of up to 48 feet, translate to a the rise and fall rate of around  EIGHT feet an hour ! The tides are approximately every six hours; not exactly every six hours or they'd be at the same time each day.  Each day the tides vary by around 50 minutes so that if high tide yesterday was at noon then high tide tomorrow will be around 12:50.   'course I'm ignoring the fact there are two high and two low tides at day; I only pay attention to the timing of the daylight tides.  That's why it was so important that I checked the tide time before I even set out from home.

The tide table told me that high tide was at 11:15 am.   That meant the tide would be going OUT for six hours.  I could walk the shore till well past 5 pm without worry.   If however low tide had been at 11:15 am then I would have to keep an eye on the rising sea for my whole walk to make sure I didn't get trapped in a cove by the rising water.

The view down the shore.

In the above shot the rocks are covered with green algae; a good hint that they will be underwater when the tide comes in.

Donald Trump's "comb-over"?

Farther down the shore I came across this rock formation which loomed  several feet above my head. Notice that the rocks are covered with sea weed.  Another not-to-be-ignored sign that a few hours from now the water would be well over my head too.  In other words I was walking on the ocean floor.

Wendy and Sooki checking out the view.

It was a hot day but the  constant breeze off the bay made for a pleasant walk.
Looking back toward Hall's Harbour.  Gosh, did we really walk that far?

It was a long walk and the dogs got hot.  They cannot drink the water in the bay as it is salt water but they managed to find fresh water dripping off the cliff-face.  I had brought a thermos of water for me which I never walk without.

There had been a few people on the shore near Hall's Harbour but after half an hour of walking the dogs and I were alone.  It is amazing how even in mid-Summer you can have the shore all to yourself.  I guess that's because most folk just want to go to the classic "pretty" sandy beaches to sun bathe or swim while I avoid such beaches with the dogs in the summer.

There are some lovely rocks to be found here.  My book "The Last Billion Years: A Geological History of the Maritime Provinces of Canada" tells me that much of this rock is basaltic lava. The cavities in the basalt have been partially infilled with orange chabazite crystals.  Dunno what chabazite is but it's sparkly and that's enough for me.  ;-)

  I always come home with my backpack weighed down with rocks.

Dunno what it is but it looks kewl.
Crystals worn down by the tides.    

Love these bumps on the face of this rock.  Wish I knew what caused them.

Sometimes I have to remind myself to look up and not just down at the rocks below my feet.

Trees just barely hanging on to the cliff above me.  

At 4:30 I texted my daughter, Kaitlyn to tell her I was just walking back to the car and would be getting home just after six o'clock.

At six o'clock I texted her to say I had just gotten back to my car -- it was a longer walk than I'd realized !

Just as I was walking up to the parking lot I spied some writing on a rock ...

 I even love the graffiti here !

In the end I got home just before eight pm having left home at noon.  What a long wonderful day.  Not sure about the rest of them but I sure lived yesterday to its fullest !