One of Nova Scotia’s best kept secrets is the “Noel Shore” along the Minas Basin between the Avon River at Windsor and the mouth of the Shubenacadie near Truro. The deep clay soil supports large, lush trees, and the rolling scenery is only surpassed by stunning views of the Basin.
Recently, we were lucky to stay a week at Shore Haven, at Tenecape near Burntcoat Head. The beach is grand to explore at low tide. Such a contrast with the water lapping at the cliffs at high tide.
If high tide occurs toward the end of a sunny day, the water can actually be quite swimmable, as it gets warmed by the sand as it comes in.
I just made a video, combining images from this visit with another 4 years ago.
One of her tunes, “Stone and Sand”, from the Rose Vaughan Trio’s 1993 Fire in the Snow album, is featured in this video:
Rose’s songs have been going around in my head lately, as well as on my DVD player, because she recently hired me to get her songs online so people could buy them digitally.
I was delighted to be asked, as I’ve known Rose since the 1990s and even played a little accordion on her Winter Rose album. Cathy Porter, a consummate musician who did most of the Trio’s arranging and has gone on to be a sought-after side performer with some of Nova Scotia’s biggest stars, also enhanced the sound of bands I was in back then – much smaller stars in the firmament, I assure you.
Their music was part of my life in the years after I returned to Nova Scotia and before I had my family. They’re lovely human beings whom I feel privileged to know.
Each of Rose’s songs paints a story. The music is gentle and melodic, and the lyrics thoughtful and introspective. I can’t claim to be objective because of the nostalgia factor, but I’m truly enjoying listening to the albums again.
This stunning video by Nova Scotia’s tourism folks features flyovers of the Bay of Fundy coastline, especially dramatic Cape Split. The Bay of Fundy, including its inner Minas Basin is a fascinating place to spend time watching the world’s highest tides. The video gives you the high speed flyover, but if you can spend a few days along this coast, taking in the changing landscape at a slower pace, you won’t regret it.
An iconic sight in the waters of Mahone Bay and beyond, Dorotheahas taken hundreds of young people on maritime sailing adventures as part of the Nova Scotia Sea School.
It’s the kind of intense, group adventure that teenagers crave and need for their development, and that schools don’t usually provide.
Lives have been changed.
Dorothea needs an overhaul. Compare the $30,000 they’re looking for to the cost of rebuilding Bluenose II! Small projects like this are very satisfying to support as they can have a huge positive impact on individual lives.
Storms don’t always coincide with high tides, but today’s nor’easter did.
Tide was 2.2m (7.2 ft) late this morning (see this link for tide chart), and near the causeway to Oak Island the road was covered with several inches of water. In 8 years of watching storms here, this was the highest storm surge we’ve seen, with water flowing completely over the road.
I always thought of Staghorn Sumac as a bush, not a tree – until we moved to our present house, where two gorgeous Staghorn Sumac trees grace our yard. They are particularly beautiful in autumn.
The house is about 23 years old, and I presume the sumacs are around the same age.
Sumacs generally sucker like crazy: shoots come up from their roots and will grow as big as competition allows. But apparently, if you mow around the tree, allowing only one sumac stem to grow, it will grow to the height of a small tree, about 18′ (5.5m) tall. These trees still grow suckers, but they tend to appear some distance from the tree. Presumably they don’t grow as readily on older roots.
The leaves form an umbrella to catch the light. We have to prune them regularly along the driveway on their southeast side where the branches have grown too low. Branches on the inside of the umbrella die off and break off easily.
The root system must be fairly weak, as both trees lean away from the direction of the strongest winds. One of them (not the one in the picture) reportedly toppled over in Hurricane Juan. The previous owner pulled it upright with his ATV. It still stands, but since it is getting harder to mow under it on one side, it must be gradually leaning more and more, like the Tower of Pisa before they fixed it.
I have successfully removed two other sumacs on the property by sawing them down and removing any shoots that appeared for a couple of years. So they are not too persistent.
Our sumacs are great climbing trees for young children, as the branches are low. Birds are also drawn to them for the seeds that grow in attractive fuzzy red spikes. The spikes stay on the tree all winter, making the sumac a most attractive tree year-round.