Is it my imagination, but I can almost feel some sighs of relief as many of us gladly wave good-bye to 2020 and enter 2021 with the hope that it will be better so we can regain some of the life we had before the virus descended upon us. This is the reaction of an optimist. However, there are those who suffered greatly this past year by losing a loved one or their job and are facing the new year with anxiety and dread. Their reaction may be that of a pessimist. Finally, there are those who are facing the new year with a mix of both not knowing quite what to expect. They are the realists who have managed to stay alert to learning about the virus, diligently followed the rules as set out by our health and political leaders, and probably haven’t suffered too greatly either financially or personally. Whatever category we might fit in, these words which I saw in a recent advertisement really struck a cord with me and will be my words of wisdom for dealing with 2021.
To quote it was: “Without love there is no hope”.
When over 70 Nova Scotians from age five to seventy five…plus several dogs…gathered recently near the Tobeatic Wilderness to defend our rapidly diminishing numbers of Mainland moose, I knew we were on to something.
Where less than 20 years ago the number of moose in our province was approximately 1,000 according to wildlife scientists and other interested naturalists, today they number about 100. The fact that our government is allowing Westfor, a large logging company, to clear out this wilderness area, one of the last bastions for the moose, was too much for this group of concerned citizens. Some of them living in the area have woodlots of their own and are managing them sustainably.
The Mainland moose
Four years ago the people of the United States of America voted in Donald Trump as their president. It was totally unexpected as he ran against Hilary Clinton who was almost certain to get in and be the first female to ever hold this important office. Unfortunately, this was a shock to the majority of those who voted and became one of the worst decisions that the electorate could ever have made. In fact, it was to become a decision that not only set their country back, but has also had negative repercussions throughout the world.
This about sums things up.
With the advent of autumn and the return of the sun after hurricane Teddy’s recent visit which fortunately did not bring the forecasted winds but did leave us a substantial amount of much needed rain, I was eager to take my car out for a run to do some exploring. With only a few hours to spare, I opted for a quick trip to the North Shore on the Bay of Fundy side of Nova Scotia.
My first stop was the small fishing village of Hampton where you will always find lobster boats tied up at the wharf ready to head out to sea. This scenic village is a favourite location for cottagers from all parts of our province, some from other provinces in Canada, and a handful of Americans who have brought the village to life every summer except for this year, thanks to COVID. Every Canada Day in early July, the Hampton Lighthouse and Historical Society has been hosting a successful lobster dinner as a fundraiser for their lighthouse maintenance. However, not wanting to accept defeat by the pandemic, they decided to offer the same dinner as a ‘take out’ instead.
Things were quiet when I arrived except for a few curious people walking the rocky beach most probably searching for stones and driftwood treasures offered in abundance by the Fundy. I didn’t want to take the time to walk the beach so headed in the other direction to see if there was any action on the cliff where the cottages are located. Unfortunately, they looked quite deserted. The only sign of any life was a car stopped in the middle of the road with a man and a woman appearing to be looking at what I thought was a map. I stopped and asked if they were lost and whether I could help them? Not at all: they were observing a bird…a huge black one with a brilliant red crest on his head. We quickly agreed that he was some kind of woodpecker but never had we seen one so large. After lots conversation about birds and other things that curious travellers discuss when out for drive, along came another youngish woman with a huge camera. We flagged her down to find out if she could tell us more about this handsome bird. Without hesitation, she confirmed for us that it was indeed a woodpecker and that he was a Piliated Woodpecker commonly found in the southernmost regions of Canada and throughout the eastern part of the US. Since that day, I have heard from others that more than usual have been sighted here in Nova Scotia this year. No doubt he is another gift left to us by climate change and COVID.
Lobster boats waiting to go out to sea.
Cottages on the cliff over looking the beach in Hampton
Inviting spot to rest and look to the sea
Does he remind you of Woody Woodpecker?
What is so special about Mavillette Beach one might wonder, especially when Nova Scotia has more than 7,500 km. of shoreline? That’s a lot of beaches! At least 40 or more are popular for their warm waters, their length, and their surf. In fact, our province is reported to have some of the warmest waters north of the Carolinas in the US.
One of my favourite beaches is Mavillette on the Acadian shore in the District of Clare. This summer, I made a promise to myself that I would pay a long overdue visit. For those readers who read my last post on Exploring Nova Scotia’s District of Clare, * you will know that I was so distracted by other Acadian sites and things to do on my way down in early July that I never got there. Continue reading