An impressionist’s view of winter in Martins Point

Late February: the best part of winter. The sun is shining straight through my office window in the semi-basement. How pleasant. Meanwhile, outside, all is white, hard and frozen. Last weekend, a couple of anglers walked about three hundred meters over the frozen sea in front of our house, carrying two chairs, a pack of beer and their fishing rods. They sat there motionless for hours, looking at the hole in the ice they had made for fishing, while drinking beer and having a good chat, I bet. Way to go!

Winter ice at Martins Point

The “Big Big” Railway Bridge near Truro

Looking west from the Big Big Bridge, toward downtown Truro.

When I was little, we lived in Valley, near Truro. We made frequent trips to town, and on the way home, my sister and I would beg whichever parent was driving to take us over the “Big Big Bridge, please!” We often got our way, because there were several routes home and this particular route was no longer than any other.

The Big, Big Bridge is not over water, troubled or not. It crosses over a railyard on the east side of Truro, probably the biggest railyard in Nova Scotia outside Halifax.  Passing through Truro the other day, my son and I walked across it – the first time I had ever done that.  Here’s the view.

Looking east from the Big Big Bridge near Truro

After the snowstorm

The storm predicted by the red sunrise in my last post has passed, leaving the world cleansed and transformed.

And so the shoveling begins.  We have about 3-4 inches of very dense snow here near Western Shore on the shore of Mahone Bay.  A friend near New Germany, inland, reports at least a foot and a half of “thick heavy snow”.  Meanwhile, someone in Kingsburg, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, has no snow at all!  This pattern is typical: rain near the coast, snow inland.

Here’s how a tidal inlet on Mahone Bay looked this morning:

Tidal inlet with snow
Jan. 13, 2011, after a snowstorm. Taken with a Fujifilm FinePix S1800 at the widest angle setting, equivalent to 28mm.

Nova Scotia Calendar for 2011

Nova Scotia Calendar 2011
The official Nova Scotia Photo Album calendar for 2011

Looking for a New Year’s gift?  (That excuse will buy you an extra week.)

I’ve put together a calendar of photos from the South Shore of Nova Scotia. You’ll find it in my CaféPress Shop. Price is $19.99 USD.

Yes, it’s printed in the US on demand by CaféPress and ships from the US.

Your results may vary, but I haven’t had to pay duty on printed material (on paper) coming across the border from the US to Canada by mail, whether from Amazon or CaféPress.  Clothing is another thing though, and mugs; I’ve had to pay duty as well as GST on those.

I’d love to hear of any CaféPress equivalents based in Canada.

New Panoramas in the Photo Album

Chester
Chester Yacht Club and Front Harbour as seen from the bandstand on a calm morning

I just added a few pictures to the Panoramas section of the Nova Scotia Photo Album. You’ll find the new ones at the beginning.

The Panoramas are perhaps the most distinctive feature of this website. They are seamlessly knit together from as many as 6 or 7 photos. How do I do it? There are many little tricks, and it can take me up to an hour to do each one. It’s a labour of love, I’d say. After having taken the pictures, making the panorama is the next best thing to being there.

The eye of Hurricane Earl? Video

Around noon, it brightened up, the wind died down and then shifted, and blue sky started to move in.  We weren’t expecting a well-defined eye, but when we saw blue sky, we got excited.

Was it really the eye? Perhaps it was just the sky just clearing after the brunt of the rain had passed, because according to the storm’s dynamics, most of the rain was ahead of the eye.

In any case, it was a nice moment.

Hurricane Earl approaching Mahone Bay

Hurricane Earl
Our T22 at 9 am near Oak Island causeway in Mahone Bay. Waves crash on the Marina's jetty in the distance.

We woke early to the sound of the wind, and the news that Hurricane Earl is tracking more easterly than predicted last night, and should pass us directly overhead. Right now it is just south of Yarmouth and has not made landfall yet.

Environment Canada calls it a marginal category 1 hurricane, though some other sources have downgraded it to a tropical storm.

Satellite image of Earl at 9:45 AT

The rain comes in waves.

I have fantasies of being able to photograph the eye if it passes overhead, but may not get blue sky behind.  The satellite image doesn’t show a clear hole in the middle.

Mahone Bay Regatta 2010

Mahone Bay Regatta logo
Click to go to Mahone Bay Regatta website

The Mahone Bay Classic Boat Festival, formerly known as the Mahone Bay Wooden Boat Festival, isn’t happening this year, but a new group has come together to present the Mahone Bay Regatta on the same weekend.

So if you’re used to making a trip to one of Nova Scotia’s most scenic towns at that point in the summer, for food, entertainment and a bit of “messing about with boats”, or if you have a boat and like to take part in the races, you should continue to mark that weekend on your calendar.

This year has a strong Pirate theme, so if you come on Saturday or Sunday, bring along some Pirate garb, or at least be ready to say “Arrrggghhh, me hearties!”  You can practice by changing the language on your Facebook to Pirate:  Account > Account Settings > Language and from the drop-down, choose English (Pirate).

A foxy visitor

Fox
An unusual visitor

We get a lot of wildlife where we live, but this was our first sighting of a fox. It came down the road, crossed our front yard and disappeared into the woods. I was lucky to get a photo at all. My husband saw it later the same morning, going the other way.

Nova Scotia Fridge Magnets from CafePress: A Hostess Gift

Nova Scotia fridge magnets
Rectangle magnets from Café Press

If you’ve ever clicked on “Gift Shop” at the top, you’ll know that I’ve set up a CafePress shop with Nova Scotia gifts. I’ve ordered products from the shop myself, and have generally been pleased with the quality.

My favourite item is the rectangle fridge magnets. I just had a bunch made up with a Lunenburg scene in the background and the satellite image of Nova Scotia in the foreground. I’ll be using them as hostess gifts when travelling outside the province. They just arrived in the mail, and they’re really nice. The photo shows one of them along with others I’d ordered previously.

CafePress ships by mail from the US. Depending on what and how much you order, and perhaps on luck, you may have to pay duty and taxes on items shipped to Canada. In my limited experience so far, small packages of printed materials come right through. I ordered some T-shirts and had to pay what seemed like a lot of duty. Same with mugs. But the package of 10 fridge magnets arrived in my mailbox directly. And with the Canadian dollar near par, it’s a good time to order.