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:
These intrepid ducks were not at all shy as my husband herded them out of the garden and back down the road. I bet they’re happy now: it’s pouring rain. Danny was briefly a hurricane but is down to a post-tropical storm that will pass south of Nova Scotia on a similar path to Hurricane Bill. After a beautifully sunny, but cool, week, the gardens will love the rain. But weekend campers are out of luck this time.
It seems to have been a bumper year for ducks. Near our place, we’re blessed with lots of natural shoreline where they can build nests. Elsewhere, and where people have the money, they build walls of boulders at the high tide line to shore up their lawns and act as a buffer against erosion. But those neat and tidy rock walls are bad news for nesting shorebirds.
“Batten down the hatches” – it’s an old expression from the days of “wooden boats and iron men” and describes perfectly what Nova Scotians are doing as Hurricane Bill approaches our shores. Memories of 2003’s Hurricane Juan, which hit Halifax hard, are fresh in our minds. There’s a sense of anticipation in the air, weighted down with high humidity and a fresh breeze. Boat owners are checking moorings, moving boats to safer places, removing canvas to reduce windage and damage, and literally securing the hatches. Everyone is stowing lawn furniture and garbage cans. Apple growers in the Annapolis Valley are concerned for their bumper apple crop, but there isn’t much they can do at this point except wait. And “pray to the rum god,” as a sailor told me as she watched her classic wooden daysailer being hauled out of the water.
Bill is currently forecast to pass south of Nova Scotia during the day tomorrow, Sunday as a Category 1 hurricane. I’m monitoring it on two websites: Environment Canada’s marine info section, and the more spectacular and information-rich StormPulse.com. We’ll see which of the two has the more accurate predictions!