Tuesday, December 27, 2016

One name on a tree.

I love how at this time of year you can come across decorated Christmas trees in the most unusual of places.

This one is in Shubie Park; one my favourite off leash parks in Halifax.

This tree deserved more than a cursory, admiring look.

There were notes on the tree ...

 notes of support, and hope and caring.

But the notes were not really what grabbed my attention.

It was the ornamental glass balls ...

They had names on them.

Names and dates.

Names and dates and ages.

This was no ordinary tree.

When I got home I Googled "Jamie Hubley" and found an obituary in that name and a headline from a CBC news story: "Gay Ottawa teen who killed himself was bullied".

Jamie was 15 when he killed himself.   

The only openly gay boy at his high school he was tormented and bullied. He changed schools; the bullying continued.

He'd been a championship figure skater but quit, after endless bullying and being physically attacked in grade 7.

Jamie loved singing and pop music.  He just wanted to be accepted for who he was and to be allowed to love who he chose.

In the wake of Jamie's death, his father, Allan Hubley ,  a Councillor for the City of Ottawa, spearheaded a mental heath drive which raised $800,000.  A year after his son's death as Mr. Hubley was talking about the need for LGBTQ support within schools, anti-bullying measures and the need for mental health supports, word came of the suicide of Amanda Todd in British Columbia.

Trees like this start conversations and raise awareness.

I just wish we didn't need them.

But since we do, let's talk...

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Birthday outing ...

Blogging buddies Sara and Kelly and I always make sure to get together on each other's birthdays.

For Kelly's recent birthday we agreed to meet up in Port Williams, a tiny town on a tidal river of the Bay of Fundy.

We met up for a marvellous lunch at The Noodle Guy.

Holding pics from birthdays past.

Part way through lunch I asked what time it was and then I tore outside to check out the unusually high tide.  The water had almost reached the girders on the underside of the bridge.  

My past visits to Port Williams have been around low tide when the mud flats are exposed and the water is 35-40 feet below the bridge.   Like this ...

It's a very different view at low and high tide looking across the river.

The dogs often romp in the foreground water-logged grassy area that is covered by water at high tide.

Walking along the top of the dyke.

Kelly is such a good sport.  She wore her Birthday "tiara" throughout the day and received Birthday greetings from everyone we met.

We sauntered along the dyke for half an hour and were rewarded with this distant view of Wolfville with the prominent white silhouette of Acadia University. 

We turned and walked back to Port Williams as we had something else to check out. 

Kelly had heard of this antiques barn that she felt we should check out.

I'm not normally one for antiques stores but this place left me breathless.  Three floors of the most chaotic clutter !   

We could have spent hours and hours exploring.   Each of us was looking for something in particular.  Kelly found some glass insulators.  Sara found a glass bowl that usually would hold flowers in individual holes but was going to put it to use for holding pens and pencils.  And I found a marvellous bottle that I have turned into a terrarium.

If you're ever in Port Williams make sure you check out the barn !

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Seriously ?

Seriously ?   My last blog post was in September ?  I blame Facebook.  Well Facebook or Donald Trump.   

I can't believe that my last outing I told you about was to LaHave.   That means I haven't told you about Micou's Island,  the Port Williams Dyke hike, the "bully walk rally" in Halifax, Kingswood Park, Rainbow Haven or Grand Pre and Horton's Landing ! 

Where to start ?

Micou's Island was my latest outing with Sara and Kelly so let's start there.  

Like many amazing places here, I have driven by the turn off to this kewlest of kewl places many times without knowing it.  It's just off the road to Peggy's Cove and about 40 minutes from my home.  You wouldn't believe how many marvellous places are under an hour from my home.

Once more the girls suggested we meet up at a nearby bakery prior to our hike.  How do they know about all these damn bakeries ?   And how on Earth could I have driven by this bakery and not noticed it before ?   I mean, look at it  !   

So we met up.  Had sandwiches made for our lunch, got a HUGE piece of carrot cake to share, and set off.

The unique thing about 22 acre Micou's Island is that it's only reachable during a 5 hour window around low tide.   You can rest assured that we checked the tide schedule before we went, and arrived NOT at low tide but a couple of hours before to give ourselves that window.

The spit of land that appears for 5 hours at low tide connecting the island to the mainland.

The island is protected public land with trails and a building maintained by a group of local volunteers.

Did I say they maintained the trails ?   Hmmmm.

The trail that led into the woods was most promising at first, but then it vanished forcing us to backtrack and opt for the shore trail instead.

The shore trail wove its way through the woods too but we were never far from the shore.

Don't be fooled.  Just because they call it "Sandy Beach Trail" does not mean you're walking along a sandy beach.  See.

Notice how high the water comes at high tie.
A memorial to the donors of the island.  

We did manage to find a spot along the shore to eat our lunches; and eventually the trail lead through the trees to a lovely open area,

where we sat and admired the view for a while,

or went down to the shore to photograph the nearby island.

Once back on the trail, it curved back inland and soon brought us to a meadow with a beautifully restored fisher's cottage.   

The weathered wood is so beautiful and I took shot after shot ...

I even peered in through the window.  

Apparently members of the stewardship association who take care of the island occasionally stay in the "cottage".   

I would love to do that -- just not in Winter !

Perhaps if we sit at the door someone will let us in.  

Sara and Kelly.

Though we'd been on the island for several hours the spit of land was wider when we left that when we arrived.  I know we'd all been secretly worried about discovering it gone and having to wade back to the mainland.  Silly us !   

Sara, writes for a local newspaper and our walk at Micou's Island was mentioned in her article about the joy of walking.  You can read it here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

If it's Saturday this must be LaHave ...

Some friends who were touring the Maritimes contacted me recently to say they'd be in the Bridgewater area on Saturday and could we get together ?   

I don't know that area well so contacted a friend who lives in the area for suggestions about places to meet and go.

She suggested that I meet my friends at the LaHave Bakery and then head to a nearby beach.

So after meeting up at the Bakery we drove 15 minutes down the road to Cherry Hill Beach.  

Even though it was a weekend and the weather mild we only encountered 6 or 7 other people on the beach and most of them we paddle boarders.

We strolled down the beach while Wendy chased the ball and Sooki did "zooomies' along the shore.

It's wonderful how works of art pop up every where I go.
Betty and her grand daughter. 

After a few hours of walking the glorious beach we popped back in the car to head back to the LaHave Bakery for lunch.  On the way I got drawn down a road called "Wharf Road".  Do you know how many "Wharf Roads" there are in Nova Scotia ?   I wish I could drive down each and every one of them because I'm never disappointed.

We peeked into this place as the door stood open.  Sadly, attached to the door was a "stop work order" dated last June.  And now it seems to have been abandoned.

Just up a short path from this road we found another cove with old fishing huts.

From here we finally made our way back to the Bakery for a delicious lunch out on the deck.

The hand-painted sink in the bathroom.  The red building is the bakery. 

 Lots of freshly baked goods and a marvellous atmosphere.

This lovely old dory was pulled up next to the dock where we had lunch.

We made a little sign to send greetings back to an old friend back in Peterborough.
We watched as this sailboat heeled over ever farther.
After that all-too-brief visit I mid my friends "safe travels" as they hit the road to continue their adventure.   So glad they looked me up and I got to explore a couple of new places.