Beneficial exercise is a common problem many of us are finding difficult to work into our daily living schedules. If this is so difficult then how about some form of meditation? I know few people in my life who are managing that one, including me. Walking is certainly more popular. By the way, did you know that walking can be a form of meditation? We seem to be aware of what we need to do for a healthy lifestyle, but actually doing it is another matter.
Walking has always been at the top of my list of pleasurable activities, with gentle yoga coming in second. However, I have not managed a passing grade on meditation. Sadly, walking has not been high up on my ‘to do’ list this summer. Far too much of my time has been eaten up by those dratted weeds which I wrote about in my last post and, of course, the maintenance of our lawn, flower beds, and vegetable garden.
However about two weeks ago, after our lawn had just been mowed by Joe and our property was finally looking neat and tidy….my vegetables were growing leaps and bounds and the flowers were at their peak after some much-needed rain…. I suddenly developed an overwhelming urge to grab my camera and head out for a walk. I felt the water calling me so knew I had to head downhill towards our beach, known as Indian Beach.
Yes, we can claim we have a beach… of sorts. It’s rocky and the water is cold since it’s all part and parcel of the Bay of Fundy, but still a great place for exploring and hunting for coloured glass and driftwood. You might wonder, as I did, why our beach is so-called. Why not Victoria Beach our village name? A little delving into the history here reveals that the first inhabitants of Victoria Beach were the Mi’Kmaw so the name came from them. Then in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s immigrants from Ireland and England moved in to mainly fish for a living, so eventually the community was called Victoria Beach after Queen Victoria. I am not sure why the locals still refer to the beach as Indian Beach, whether it’s out of habit or to honour the fact the Mi’Kmaw who were here long before us.
Now back to my walk. The rain, which finally came the night before, had revived every living thing…especially my garden! As I started down the hill, it dawned on me that I had unfolding before me the perfect fodder for a much over-due post for my blog.
What made this walk truly memorable was to witness the battle the sun seemed to be having with the blanket of fog that hung around the surface of the water. Click, click went my camera trying to take in all that my eyes were seeing. It was magical! Not only did I have the antics of the fog and sun in their game of ‘hide and seek, to my right, but also the profusion of flowers and shrubbery to my left, vying for my attention.
Victoria Beach is said to have a microclimate* which simply means that almost any native or non-native plant to Nova Scotia grows here. This includes wild flowers and perennials. The perennials were planted by homesteaders who once had houses here… both of them are now long gone. Isn’t it amazing that these flowers have outlived them! Of course, we also have to contend with those flowers and plants that aren’t natives and have invaded us, such as the dreaded Japanese knot weed that I wrote about in Insects a“My Battle With Weeds, and Other Garden Pests,” my last post. You can click on the title to read it.
On my walk, I discovered morning glories, red clover, daisies, Queen Anne’s lace, purple vetch, and wild rose representing the wild flower group. There were others which I cannot give a name to. For the perennials, pretty pink rose bushes interspersed with saucy, orange day lilies lined the banks which were abandoned by the inhabitants that planted them, who knows when? The laden down branches of the blackberry bushes I observed indicated a bountiful year for them provided that we continue to receive more rain. As I write this, there has been none for almost two weeks so everything is beginning to turn brown….again!
This is the way it’s been here this summer. June was one of our driest in 70 years. A little rain here and there but not nearly enough. We are now into August with no rain forecast for this week. Such a grim weather outlook gives me even more reason to be grateful for listening to the little voice inside me that whispered, “Go down to the water.” Nature was calling me, and I am grateful she did. It’s amazing what she can provide for our eyes to see if we just keep them open.
On a more sombre note, I can’t help but wonder how much longer we will be able to enjoy all Mother Nature has given us in the past. We are becoming (even here in Victoria Beach) more and more aware of how stressed she is right now. Is it not up to us to at least take note of this and begin to see her in a different light…to live respectfully with her rather than to conquer her? How can we do this, is the question? Something to think about….
*Microclimate – usually a small area within a larger territory exhibiting a different climate.
For example, in Victoria Beach this phenomenon is most noticeable in the autumn when we will often escape the first frost while Annapolis Royal does not. Or in summer, our temperatures on a hot day are usually 10 degrees cooler than in town. Since VB is located at the tip of a narrow peninsula jutting into the Bay of Fundy, we are more moderated by the water.