Tuesday, August 31, 2010

hot stuff

No matter who you are, if you are in Nova Scotia today you are hot.

It's so hot, that we're going to take a drive to the beach and I'm going to go swimming in the ocean. I don't do that. But today I am going to dive under that cool ocean water and enjoy.

And then I'll get back into the unusual Nova Scotia summer heat...and hope the forecasted hurricane doesn't reach us on Saturday.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lunching on the LaHave

We had a busy day yesterday. First, I dashed off on my own to an estate sale in the morning. Nothing much of interest to me there, except an amazing 3 storey barn. Couldn't load that in the car, though, so I headed back home.

John and I drove into town with a load full of donations for the SPCA garage sale...there was too much in the car for the girls to come along. A day trip without the girls? Doesn't happen often.

Chores were done, so we headed down the LaHave River. First stop: the LaHave Bakery.We literally "lunched on the LaHave"...here are our seats out on the wharf...what a view!From there we took a drive west along the coast. We stopped in Petite Riviere, and I found a table, chairs, and chest of drawers at an antique shop that I'd love to give a new home to. I also did a little photo session with a huge sea bird...I have never seen one like it. Unfortunately my photos were...ahem...not up to publishing standards. Onwards to Beach Meadows Beach. Last time we walked Beach Meadows, it was early spring and we were bundled up in our woolies. Yesterday was gorgeous...no woolies required.A quick trip home to corn on the cob and a big green salad. Perfect.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Nova Scotia

My blog has been the "Featured Blogger" of the week this past week on InfoMonkey.net So...for any new readers out there....this is a repeat from April....a little video I put together for a photo club competition, featuring photos from 2009 day trips with John around Nova Scotia. Enjoy!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's a scary world sometimes

The only domestic animals we have here on "the farm" (so far) are guineas. When we moved here two years ago, we started with 4 keets (baby guineas) and then quickly added 6 more. We raised them from one day old chicks. They are not indigenous to North America, and they don't do well in the damp, so it's important to keep them dry and warm for the first six weeks if you want a decent survival rate. Last year, we added two more...a gift from our neighbours.

So that brings us to 12 guineas, right? Um, no. Because they are not the brightest things around (but they are smart enough to know that the ground under our bird feeders is a great source of food!). Out of our "original" batch of 12, we are down to 2. Two.

That's 10 guineas lost. One was killed by our dog Mulligan. Two died of natural causes (although I don't know what the natural cause was). Seven were killed by predators. We haven't figured out what kind of predator yet. Sometimes it happens in the day, sometimes at night. I try to get the birds in their coop at night, but it doesn't always work. Sometimes those bird brains can out smart me. Sad, I know.

So we added to our flock earlier this summer with 8 new keets. You may remember my sad story about one dying after 2 days. Another one was snatched from the coop's "porch" (an outdoor run attached to the coop). That gets us down to 6 little guys.

I'm not such a brave momma anymore, since I now know what a cruel world it can be. I have been chicken myself and have kept them in their protected environment for longer than necessary. They are about 10 weeks old now.

But it's time to face the fact that even though it's a scary world sometimes, you just have to have faith. Yesterday was the first day out for my little guineas.Apparently, they were just as nervous as me. They didn't stray far, and stayed close to their coop.And they took a good look at me. I think they were wondering what the heck I was getting them into.
Fifteen minutes was all we could handle yesterday. They jumped back into their coop, and I let them. We were all feeling braver today. Today is a full day out.
Fingers crossed we'll get them all back tonight with no big stories to tell.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Digby Neck - Part 2

A continuation of Monday's trip to Digby Neck...

After traipsing the Balancing Rock Trail, we headed west on Long Island. We were early for the next ferry, so had some time to look around Freeport. My first find was this stunning house:Well, I think it's stunning. John thinks it's ugly. I spied it down a side road, and guess what? It's for sale! Completely unfinished on the inside. But a view of the Bay of Fundy to die for. Love it, but can't have it. So on we went. Something else I love...cormorants drying their wings (I call all black shore birds cormorants...I am probably wrong about this)Tide is out:The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world.I took a photo of these traps and ropes...just loved the colour and symmetry.But when I get back to the car, someone has taken my place!Time to get to the ferry and over to Brier Island. There was a small field of purple flowers that had me jumping out of the car to take some photos. I was wishing the light was different, but some things I can't control!A little bit of island humour...(in case you can't read it: Spouter Inn - closed all year)And here we are at the end of the road...you just can't go any further. (sometimes I do remember to bring along the tripod and remote!)What a fantastic day. Nothing better than seeing the sites with the ones you love.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Digby Neck - The Balancing Rock

We spent yesterday doing one of the things we like doing best...taking a drive, and enjoying the sites. It was a ten hour day, and a 400 kilometre drive (about 250 miles), with 4 ferry rides (2 out, and 2 back). We went to Digby Neck, a slender piece of land running from Digby...between the Bay of Fundy and St. Mary's Bay...that extends to Long Island, and Brier Island beyond that (hence the 2 ferry rides).

While waiting for our first ferry, we grabbed a quick bite to go from the Petite Passage Cafe. This "fast food" was real turkey (not the fake stuff from the supermarket...we actually saw the golden roasted bird fresh from the oven!) on whole wheat bread with lettuce and tomatoes. Yum! Their sign advertises "Seriously Good Food" and they are right.

We took a right turn just off the ferry (every other car went left). I was hoping to see the Boar's Head Lighthouse, but the road is gated. Not all our adventures run as planned. A quick turnaround had us heading back on the way and a short drive brought us to our first destination...The Balancing Rock Trail. We've been to Digby Neck before, but never stopped to do the hike out to the Balancing Rock.

This has got to be the only place with "art" in the outhouses!We brought both dogs on the trail with us (of course!) Here are Cassie and John on the first part of the trail:A couple of wooden walkways take hikers over boggy areas:A couple of benches provide respite for walkers before (or perhaps after!) tackling the 237 steps down the side of the cliff to the Balancing Rock. Of course, people have to leave their mark.Almost there, and here is the view to the left:The girls met another dog...coming up as we were going down (all dogs were very friendly and properly behaved):And all the effort was for this:The phenomenal Balancing Rock is approximately four feet wide and twenty feet tall. A wonderful quirk of nature, this immense basalt column stands alone after many like it have dropped back into the sea and the earth. (taken from the sign posted at the site) After taking several photos, and admiring the stunning scenery, we headed back up the trail. Two hundred and thirty seven steps is a lot more difficult to go up than go down!The whole trail (with time for picture taking) took about one hour...well worth the trip.And well worth leaving a donation in the box so that this attraction can be kept up by the hard working volunteers.

Tomorrow: Part 2 of our Digby Neck tour.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Upper Clements Park

Last Wednesday we drove to Upper Clements Park (just west of Annapolis Royal) and met G, DIL, and granddaughter Miss M for a fun day at the amusement park. The park is in an absolutely beautiful setting, and not a typical amusement park. It was a lovely place to spend the day. And, of course, it was a lot of fun! (this said by a person who is not an amusement park fan)

Our first stop was the roller coaster, where the whole family joined in. Three generations of screaming Harleys on one ride. (I was too busy screaming myself to hear the others). From there, we took a walk through the Haunted House. Miss M was quite frightened, but I found it a tad disappointing. And after that...it was time for DIL and I to zip!The scariest part of the whole zip line thing is actually stepping off the platform! The ride itself goes very quickly. I didn't feel afraid, but my legs told a different story when the adventure ended and I had to stand on a ladder to get unhooked from the zip line. (my shaky legs were making the ladder mighty unsteady!). All in all, I was feeling a little let down...I expected it to be more thrilling.One of my favourite rides was The Flume...a roller coaster in water. Miss M was squished between DIL (at the back) and me (at the front). This is me laughing after one of our descents...where I got a face full of water!DIL and I took a second ride in the afternoon...and got a lot wetter the second time. But (surprisingly) my favourite ride of the day was the water slide. I was actually quite afraid to go on it...it was several stories high and a spiral to the pool at the bottom. But I figured that if Miss M (almost 9) was brave enough to try it, then her grandmother should be brave enough too. I LOVED it!Three times up and down for me and DIL (more for Miss M). I would have spent more time here, but it was the end of the day and the park was just about to close.

We headed home with Miss M in the car...she spent the following 2 days with us while her parents had to put their noses to the grindstone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Music and Veggies

We have now fully recuperated from four fantastic days and nights of music at the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. Picture yourself sitting on a wharf in the sunshine with bright blue sky and fluffy white clouds, looking out at the harbour, and listening to a full afternoon of musicians (8 different acts)...folk, blues, and bluegrass. Oh my. Wonderful. (and that is just one of 5 different venues each afternoon!)

Evenings were spent at a five hour concert at the "Main Stage"...a huge white tent that holds over 1000 people. The sound just can't be beat. When the crowd joins in, they sound like a professional choir (or angels during especially moving songs).

But it's all rather exhausting, and yesterday was not very productive back home at "the farm". Today I have been busy getting caught up with the vegetable garden, and John is still out cutting the grass, and my paths through the fields (a four hour job). I've been freezing green and yellow beans, picked our first ripened tomatoes, and the biggest zucchini I've ever seen. The zucchini turns into dog food...our dogs are on a natural diet and these big zucchinis have been part of their veggie portion for a couple of weeks now.

Tomorrow brings another exciting day. We'll be joining G, DIL, and our granddaughter Miss M at an amusement park. And....DIL and I will be going on a zip line! (the men are not courageous enough to try it). I am so, so excited about the zip line. My son thinks I'll be screaming all the way! (I think he might be right)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Heavy Equipment

The excitement mounts at our place as high speed is on the road to becoming a reality....we have waited over two years for this! We had an appointment in July for the high speed company to test our place for a signal, but we were told the signal wasn't strong enough so it wasn't available. I was a tad down that night.

But, they were back yesterday to see if their "pole solution" would work. They got up high enough to ensure we could get a signal.And today they arrived with our pole!Moving the pole into place.Digging a seven foot hole.Some people might think this pole is fairly ugly, but I think it's beautiful!Because it's going to bring high speed internet into our lives.

Which means that blogging, and visiting blogs, and internet surfing, and publishing my annual Paws For Charity Art Book, and emailing photos....will now be possible without spending half my life on the computer!

Woo hoo! Next step, they have to mount the equipment on top of the pole. Then I'll be zooming around the internet.

Monday, August 2, 2010

All Good Things

It has been a busy week or so...lots going on even though sometimes I can't think of a thing to say when I'm asked what we've been up to.

A few days ago, I was interviewed for a magazine article about women and blogging. Specifically, "women who are reinventing themselves and blogging about it". The article will appear in the December issue of More Magazine and will be on newsstands in November. I'll share that when it comes out.

One, or maybe more, of my photos will appear in a magazine in September...very excited about that!

And...I entered a few photographs (8) in the South Shore Exhibition. They advertise it as "Nova Scotia's largest agricultural exhibition". I won 4 first prizes, and 2 second place prizes. I was thrilled about that too!

We met some very nice people on the weekend...a couple who live in Ontario, but spend a few weeks of every summer in Nova Scotia. I "met" Judy through my blog and it was lovely to meet her in person. And wow, you couldn't ask for a better location to spend a few hours...high on a hill, overlooking the ocean, with one of the most spectacular views around.

And this is who we met on Friday...
This little fellow was sunning himself under a tarp that was covering our woodpile. We spent Friday afternoon moving all our wood to our newly built shed. I was a tad bit startled when I pulled back the tarp to find this guy. My blood curdling scream then startled John a bit! Actually, I'm not frightened of snakes but they do startle me when I come across them unexpectedly. I moved another (much smaller) snake by hand (gloved hands that is!) a little while later. So now no more tarp and wood pile can be seen from our kitchen window. Now the wood is all piled (and repiled after the first attempt came tumbling down) at the side of our shed.
And by next year, the newly planted shed garden will be glorious and full. Now...what will my next project be???