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?
My travel bug to explore a new place or to revisit an old one will often surface on a Sunday. Wouldn’t you know the bug decided to make its appearance on a recent Sunday that didn’t hold much promise for any sun, but at least no threat of rain in the forecast as far as I could see from the latest weather report. We needed rain, but rather than wait around for some to come, I decided to chance it anyway. I needed to get out and about to explore. There would undoubtedly be cloud and fog since I decided to visit an old haunt I hadn’t seen for several years… the District of Clare. This is Acadian country where fog rules whenever the sun disappears…which is often.
Clare is the largest Acadian region in Nova Scotia on St. Mary’s Bay or Baie Sainte-Marie dating back to 1768. County Clare was the name adopted by the first English settlers who arrived there calling it after County Clare in Ireland. Today it’s officially called the Municipality of the District of Clare where both French and English descendents reside and conduct business. More than 60 per cent of the population today is descended from the Acadians who resettled here after their expulsion by the British from Grand Pre in 1755. Today Clare is one of the province’s most popular tourist destinations with its vibrant French culture featuring fantastic ocean views, Acadian cuisine, elegant churches, music and art. Second to their tourism is the prosperous ship building and fish processing industries all along this southwestern shore.
With the onset of a heat wave in late June and a gradual lift in the lockdown imposed upon us by COVID, many of us were more than ready to tentatively emerge beyond the four walls of our homes. When a dear friend called me to say she had to ‘get out of town’ and was thinking it it would be fun to head to the North Shore of beautiful Nova Scotia, I didn’t hesitate to say, ‘Yes, let’s go!’
After numerous phone calls, we found what looked like a nice place to stay in the Village of Tatamagouche. Tata, as it’s fondly called, has a population of approximately 2,000 people. It’s located on the Sunrise Trail on the shores of the Northumberland Strait separating Nova Scotia from Prince Edward Island.