Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cashing in ... errrr ... I mean caching out.

You all know how much I like exploring the countryside with Wendy and Sooki.  And you all know how much I like exploring nature while I'm out on those doggie walks.

Well I now have one more thing to enjoy on our walks;  geocaching !   Geocaching is like a treasure hunt without the "treasure" payoff; instead the payoff is the act of finding the hidden item.  Caches can be any size from "nano" -- smaller than a film canister -- all the way up to "ammo" containers. 

An "ammo" container with some items inside for trading.
If you want to take an item, make sure you leave something.
The one thing all caches contain is a "log" -- a small roll of paper you sign with your caching nic- name and the date.

My caching buddy, "Jacqui Sum" signing a log.

Where are the caches ?   EVERYWHERE.   I bet there is a geocache within 200 metres of your front door!  Geocaches are located all over the planet.    

The screen capture (below) shows an area near me that is  just full of caches.  The ones that I have found have been changed from closed boxes to happy faces.



A friend, Jacqui, has mentored me in the wonderful world of caching.  I bought the same entry-level GPS that she had.  Step one is to choose which caches you want to look for and load the coordinates onto your GPS.  Along with the coordinates you can load a description of the location, a hint and  comments left by others who'd looked for the cache.

Our GPSs, a log and a bunny that was hidden with the cache.  Once we'd
signed the log we put the bunny back where we found him.

If it involves going for a romp in the woods, then the dogs are happy to go caching with me.   


Before heading to a trail I pre-load caches I want to look for on my GPS;  I then follow the coordinates to the area of the closest cache.


Finding an item isn't always easy as the coordinates can be "off" by up to 10 metres or the item may be very well hidden.

This one wasn't too hard to spot.
A lot of caches are camouflaged plastic jars of varying sizes; they may be hanging from trees, hidden inside logs or under tree roots.  


When Sandy was here for a visit she and I even did some caching at Blue Beach.



Occasionally you may find a cache that is very different. 


As in, when is a rock not a rock ?  

A tiny log inside -- don't forget to bring a pencil to sign it.

 When it's a geocache !

Let's finish off with my personal favourite found at Conrad's Beach.  Check out the tree below.  


A cute lil' Gnome with his log in his backpack.


Ain't he sweet ?


P.S.  Should you want to see if there are any geocaches in your area, go to Explorer and go to geocaching.com    In the middle of the screen you will find a field where you can fill in any location you like.  Lemme know how it goes.  
       

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Wonders alive and long dead

One day during Sandy's visit we made a mandatory visit to the Bay of Fundy.

On our way there we stopped at Sheffield Mills to see an Eagle or two ...  or twenty or thirty.



It is wonderful to stand under a tree and look up and see Eagles perched above us..



Yup.  There's Eagles in them thar trees.

I couldn't believe that I'd never dragged taken Sandy to Blue Beach before.  

So I rectified that.


Blue Beach, on the Bay of Fundy,  is a fabulous place for fossil hunters.  You can't take a step without tripping over fossils.  Unlike the more famous Joggins Fossil Cliffs, which is a World famous UNESCO site, Blue Beach is relatively unknown and (tah dah) free.


Oh and there were icicles; an entire cliff covered in icicles.


The scenery in the area is beautiful.  Even the "biffy" is beautiful !


The path from the parking lot to the beach was beautiful.


To add to our fun there was an Earth Cache at the beach.   The challenge of the Earth Cache was to find a fossil and take a photo of your GPS with the fossil.


Sandy poses with the fossil find and GPS.
We marvelled at the pans of ice floating by on the incoming tide...


... and wished that the darn tide would stop coming in so we could linger a while longer.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

A drive, a hike, a walk and a visit.

When Sandy comes we're always looking for new places to explore.  Since I'd never been to Graves Island on the south shore, so  we headed there.  In Summer it's a very busy campground.


On this particular day we had the entire island to ourselves.


Back on the road I just had to pull over for a shot of this abandoned antiques store.



And of course I just had to peer in through the window ...


And it was just a short drive down the road to Chester where our favourite TV show "Haven" used to be filmed.  This huge house was featured in one episode.


This one wasn't.


One day we took the dogs for a walk at Shubie.



On Friday, after choir, I took her to see our new public library.


It's a stunningly imaginative and beautiful building.  It's designed to look like stacked books.


The fifth floor hangs out over the street and affords a lovely view of the city from the Citadel to the harbour.

Looking down Spring Garden Road toward the harbour.

Inside the building is bright and airy.



From outside the windows appear to be covered in leaf patterns. Up close you realize that the "leaves" are formed by letters.


The purpose of the "leaves" is to stop bird strikes against the windows and also to create shade by regulating the internal temperature of the building.



Definitely worth a visit.  

Ask Sandy.

She'll back me up.

If she knows what's good for her.




Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What ? Sandy AGAIN ?

As I may have mentioned in the past, you know someone is a true friend when they visit you in Nova Scotia in FEBRUARY !

My good chum Sandy just did that.  AGAIN.

Though we did have a couple of cold days the weather really was rather unseasonable. Not once did we have to worry about snowy roads.

Though I must confess that the day I dragged her up Oland Hill it was BITTER cold.



So after our walk we treated ourselves to a yummy lunch at the Heron Restaurant and Tea Room at MacDonald House.


Sandy had the Chowder ...


We watched the waves rolling in on the beach below while we ate,


and planned what we'd do the next day.


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