Before the official end of winter yesterday, the snow in the Annapolis Valley and the South Shore had mostly melted. A layer of ice, the remnant of sunny days and cold nights, was the last thing to leave our lawn; it took days to melt.
We enjoyed a March Break trip to the Valley, and waking up to these expansive views.
Another storm is on its way. This one is the kind of blizzard you’d expect in January, with 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) of snow.
Atlantic Canada has been in the news lately with a series of storms in December, one week after another. If you just watched the weather channel you might think that we’re living in a disaster area and maybe that’s why I haven’t been posting frequently.
But where we live, we haven’t lost power for more than a minute, and we’ve escaped the brunt of the storms. The worst damage tends to be localized, and even though Nova Scotia is small, one side of the province often has very different weather than the other. Some weather systems track up the Bay of Fundy, for example, while others are phenomena of the Atlantic Ocean. And the Margaree Valley has received a lot of rain which seems to get trapped by the surrounding mountains.
The Annapolis Valley was hard hit by one storm which downed many trees, knocking out so many power lines that it took days to restore full service. Berwick United Church Camp, with its 500-year-old towering hemlocks, was badly hit, as was the Kentville Ravine which also has a stand of old growth hemlock. I’ve seen photos of damage in both places on Facebook. It is evident that some of the trees that came down were hollow and perhaps were near the end of their natural life. Thus the storm did what storms do: fell trees so that they can return to the soil and nurture new growth that will flourish in the sunlit openings they leave in their wake. Much as it feels tragic to those who love those trees – and I speak as one who grew up attending Berwick Camp every summer and loved its cool, shaded grounds and majestic trees – this is Nature’s way of renewing itself.
So we’ll take what comes – what else can we do? – and hope the power stays on.
Don’t just visit her blog, though. Go eat! The restaurant which she started with her mother, sister and aunt a decade ago is still going strong with Jenny at the helm. She comes from a family of great cooks. More than that however; the food is far from your ordinary fare. It is healthy and local, made from scratch, creative and delicious.
The Wick Pub next door, part of the same establishment, is home to an open mic Kitchen Party on Friday nights, hosted by Jenny’s dad, singer-songwriter and soundman Don Osburn. It is also a concert venue. All this information can be found on the Union St. Café website.
Apple blossoms were blooming in Lunenburg last Thursday, which means they’re past their prime in the Annapolis Valley already. The Apple Blossom Festival will apparently be blossom-less. Usually the organizers hit the blossoms right on with their timing, but this year it is generally agreed that spring is 2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule.
Not that we’re complaining … this is my favourite time of year, when the leaves burst forth. If it’s part of a long-term trend, however, it could be very disruptive to the natural balance of blooming and birthing, migration and munching, which governs the ongoing survival of many animals and plants.
Spring is early across Canada, not just in Nova Scotia, or so I hear. Is spring early where you live? Leave a comment below.
Nova Scotia has so many beautiful lakes. Some of them are lined with cottages. In Cape Breton family cottages are called “bungalows”. Other lakes are in wilderness areas and may hide traditional camping spots known to a few fishermen, hunters and back-country campers.
I camped out last weekend next to the cottage of friends on Lake George, on the South Mountain near Aylesford, in the Annapolis Valley. We swam and kayaked and wished we had a little sailboat there because it was windy. We hung out and talked and read books and ate. When it was cold we lit a fire. We grabbed the last bit of summer. That’s what cottages are about.