Crescent Beach, February 2015

28 02 2015

 Today we had an exciting trip to Crescent Beach.

The La Have River was frozen over.

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But the ferry was managing to keep the crossing clear.

BlogA1The sea was a solid layer of ice,

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except for the pack ice on each side of the ferry.

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The ferry dragged itself through the blocks of ice.

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Just getting onto Crescent Beach was quite a feat.

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The sea ice and snow made a solid bank.

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There were loads of tree patterns in the sand

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And ice stalactites.

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It was good to walk on the sand without the fear of falling on the ice.

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The ferry was still keeping the route open as we drove home along the river.

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Lunenburg Winter 2015

15 02 2015

We didn’t have a white Christmas here at Lunenburg, but we’ve seen nothing but the white stuff since the New Year.

Backharbour2The Back Harbour is usually frozen over in the winter, but it seems even more so this year, with the covering of snow on top of the ice.

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It’s difficult to see what is land and what is sea, although you can clearly see the ocean in the background.

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The Polar Prince icebreaker, sits in the ice.

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I have never seen the front harbour frozen like this, since we came here in 2007!

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Hopefully the Blue Nose will sail this summer.

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It doesn’t look as if the lobster boats are going to get to their traps any time soon.

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Some views of the town from the golf course road.

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The famous Fisheries Museum.

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And a different view of the Blue Nose.

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The snow around the town is loaded onto lorries and cleared away, but there are still some big heaps.

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Another

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Every roof and window is like this, I just thought this was pretty.

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More snow heaped at the roadside at St. John’s Church.

Today is another snowy, stormy day, with several more snow days forecast for this week. I really love winter and snow, but it’s so cold that there’s not much we can do outside. It’s even too cold to go skiing!





Cape Split Revisited

26 05 2014

The last time we visited Cape Split, was in October 2012. What a thrill it was to hike this week-end and see the spring flowers. This tree has been left across the track, forcing walkers to limbo dance or skirt around it.

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The forest floor was white with these little white flowers. They had 5 petals and looked a bit like wood anemones, but I can’t find their name.Image

Can anyone help me out? Are they Grass of Parnassus?

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Like the tree across the path, this fallen pine was left to sit in the sky.

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I love the vibrant pink of the Purple Trillium. I think Cape Split must have the most specimens I have seen anywhere.

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There were just masses of plants.

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I photographed this tree last time, but it has now lost one of its huge branches.

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This is called Dutchman’s Breeches.

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Seemingly, the flowers look like little pantaloons (upside down), hanging on a clothes line.

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And of course the violets added colour everywhere.

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At the end of the trail is Cape Split itself. The seagulls seemed to be happy that they were on an island.

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This was the best shot I could get with my little camera, I should have had my other one.

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There was more colour to see as we drove back through Scots Bay.

ImageI remembered, too late, that I was going to look for Ami McKay’s house at Scots Bay. She is the author of ‘The Birth House’ and the book is set in this rural location. I reread this book after my last visit to Cape Split and could imagine the characters as she described them.tbh-newest





Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre

30 03 2014

The  Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre is a brand new recreation facility in Bridgewater.

The architects were Diamond and Schmitt  in partnership with Lydon Lynch.

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The glass and wood make a light entrance.

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There was a hockey game going on in the arena, which has seating for 1,200.

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The swimming pool isn’t yet open, but hopefully that will be very soon. There is a 25 metre competitive pool and a therapeutic pool.

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The library isn’t huge, but the staff were very helpful and tried to find what we were looking for – even if it was at the other side of the province.

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There are great views from the huge picture windows.

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I presume the tie bars in the roof are to stabilise the structure.

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Outside there is a very fancy bike shed.

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I am a fan of modern architecture and love buildings that are built for today. I think I will enjoy this centre.





Fortress of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

7 10 2013

Louisbourg, on the north east coast of Nova Scotia is an amazing visit and was the highlight of our trip to Cape Breton, last week.

You get an idea of the size of the town as you approach from across the bay.

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This is the Frederic gate, the access to the town from the sea. You can see it in the photo above too.

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This was how the harbour looked in 1730, with ships coming from France, Quebec, New England and the Caribbean.

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We walked to the Kings Bastion Barracks and Governors Apartments.

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This part of the building was the barracks.

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There we met a soldier who told us his sad tale. He had been enlisted into the army from the streets of Brest. He was promised a secure job, with good pay, food, a bed to sleep in and a roof over his head. All this in an exciting new country. He grabbed this opportunity and signed up for 6 years. After a stormy crossing he arrived in Canada and found that the reality was not what he’d hoped for.

AbpngHe had to stand on guard at this guard house for 24 hours – non stop, with no sleep. Anyone caught sleeping was punished. Usually made to side astride a wooden horse, with weights attached to their feet. Beds were shared by 3 soldiers, 2 sleeping while the other was on duty.

The pay was good, 9 livres a month, but after money was taken for his food and bed, he was left with only 1 1/2 livres a month. What was there to do, but drink that away to console himself. This poor soldier was only 30 years old, but looked much older. He did not think that he’d ever marry as the few women in the town preferred fishermen who made a lot of money and could support them.

As for getting out of the army, that did not seem possible as he had no money and was already in debt, so would be forced to sign up for another 6 years. It was all very depressing, yet he still managed to give us a smile. I hope he was not punished for speaking to us!

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The Fortress – a Fort is manned solely by military but a Fortress is a fortified town with civilians, like any other town – was founded by the French,  in 1713.

The main reason for this settlement  was the cod fishing on the Grand Banks. Cod fishing was so lucrative that it brought in more money in one year than all the years of fur trading!

The fish was salted and laid on stages to dry, before being exported.

The harbour was well defended, but on the landward side, there was little defence. The story goes that a British officer was being held prisoner at Louisbourg, but was allowed to roam free, as was the custom. He saw all the weaknesses in the landward side and when released back to New England told them how to attack. His information was actioned and led to the first fall of Louisbourg in 1745. This officer was deemed not to be a ‘gentleman’ for telling and was expelled from  the army.

Three years later the town was restored to the French, but was besieged a second time, in exactly the same manner as the first! The French had learnt nothing from the first attack!

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Opposite the Frederic gate is the Hotel de la Marine. This was where the soldiers, sailors and townspeople spent their money on food drink and entertainment.

There we had a very good meal of pea soup, followed by haddock and vegetables, served by costumed servers. We ate from pewter dishes and had only a pewter spoon to eat with.

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A juniper branch was used above the signs for ale houses and eating places as the towns people could not read.

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Further along the waterfront is the home of the Commissaire Ordonnateur. This was the person who kept all the accounts, paid the colony’s bills, compiled statistical accounts, and had a hand in local justice. Francois Bigot was the Commissaire Ordonnateur from 1739 to 1745 and was the sole resident of this huge house with 6 female servants. The system allowed  Bigot to misuse funds and build up his own fortune. This was his eventual downfall. He was tried, confiscated of all his property and exiled from France, in 1763.

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This was the home of Joseph Lartigue. He came to Louisbourg with the first settlers, from Newfoundland. He was a fisherman and trader, but because he could read and write, he became the town magistrate. Part of the house was used as a courtroom.

Lartigue and his wife had 12 children and several servants in this house and were thought to be well off in their day.

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The Dauphin Gate was the main land entrance to the town. It was manned around the clock by an officer and thirty soldiers.

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The  Royal coat of arms sat above the arch.
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You can walk around the ruined part of the town and see where the hospital, convent, mass graves, and breweries used to be.

Parks Canada has certainly done an impressive job of reconstructing Louisbourg and anyone who gets the chance should pay it a visit.

 





The Knitting Bug

17 06 2013

Apart from a couple of pairs of socks, I haven’t knitted anything for 30 years. I thought I might struggle, especially after breaking a wrist when we first arrived here in Canada, but I think knitting must be a bit like riding a bicycle – once you learn it, you don’t forget.

I started off with a couple of blankets, because I thought they would be the simplest, with no shaping.

A1 Then, another couple of blankets.

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Then, yet another blanket, which I presented to Louise at her baby shower.

A3I found a free Paton’s pattern for a sock monkey, but think it looks pretty weird! I prefer the rabbit.

A After knitting this stripey cardigan, I still had enough wool for the wee matching helmet.

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I liked this pattern, so made 3 of these.

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The bright pink was bought for this waistcoat, but I used some for the hood of the little jacket.

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This pattern was for newborn, but I think it might fit a dolly.

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This little yellow hoody feels really cosy. I think I’ll knit another one of these.

EI bought this mint green wool in Zeller’s closing down sale, but was not happy about the quality of it. I think it will stretch quickly. If you’re taking the trouble to knit something, then it’s probably wise to buy a good wool for the job.

FpgAt the moment I’m stitching together a toy moose, have started a much better monkey than the blue one above and am knitting another cardigan.  I have the knitting bug again!





The Mystery of the Carved Stone in Nova Scotia

27 08 2012

On a recent coastal walk here on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, we came across this interesting rock.

It lies among other boulders and looks as if it has been here for a very long time. But has it, is it an ancient petroglyph or is it a modern carving, done by someone having a bit of fun?

The carved scene is complicated and looks like St George and the Dragon, or some sea serpent, with a knight and horse.

 

It reminded me of photos I have of the Pictish Stones at Aberlemno, in Angus, Scotland.

This stone is carved on both sides. One face is decorated with an elaborate cross flanked by angels while the other shows a hunting scene.

This stone has several Pictish symbols; a serpent, a double disc and z-rod and a mirror and comb.  These Pictish stones date from the 6th to the 9th Century – so they’re very old!

This standing stone below, was in Glenshee near our pottery. It was known as ‘The Parliament Stane’, and was believed to be the place where Scottish Kings held parliament when they were on hunting trips in the Royal Forests in the area. There were no carvings or markings on the stone.

But back to the mystery in Nova Scotia.

I found this site with these photos of petroglyphs at Bedford.

http://www.nsexplore.ca/places/halifax-county/bedford-petroglyphs/

 

These are much shallower markings than the ones on my stone.

 

So, who carved this horse on the stone?

And this knight who has just killed the dragon?

And the creature with two heads?

 

The Mi’kmaq recorded images of people, animals, hunting and fishing. With the arrival of the Europeans, they began to include images of sailing ships, men hunting with muskets, soldiers, Christian altars and churches, and small items like coins and jack-knives.

 

Can anyone solve this mystery for me? Is this a modern day carving or is it an ancient stone, with a meaning?

 

Update – January 24th, 2017

 This post has attracted a lot of interest and comment.

In 2013, the Curator of Archaeology at the Nova Scotia Museum said it had been carved with a metal tool, so was probably done by a local artist.

Then the Director of Studies in History at Yale University said it was a clumsy copy of the Ramsund Carving.

                                                

 It is really very much a copy of this!
I continued to try to find out who had done the carving. Someone thought a local stone mason had carved it, but the name I was given said he had carved stones, but not this one.
Some theories that were voiced in the comments were that it was to do with the Knights Templar and Oak Island, a Memorial stone, the Halifax Chiseller, Rosslyn Chapel …………..
My photos have been copied and posted by someone, stating that this stone was covered in seaweed and seagull droppings, before it was cleaned up – with no photos to support such a claim!
I have tried several times to have a photo printed in the local newspaper, hoping that someone would solve this problem, but that never happened.
Last summer, I had a friend who is a dowser, look at the stone. He was very excited by it and gave me this report.
The runestone is genuine and was created in 1167 during the month of October.
Three men were committed to creating this wonderful original which took them 7 days to complete.
The process used in creating this masterpiece is still a puzzle except that heat was used before the caring as carried out. no chisels were used.
At the period of carving the stone was further inland. However, due to environmental changes, erosion of the coast, the stone was finally situated on the beach. Much of the erosion was caused by ice pushing up against the cliffs in winter periods during the small ice age which finally ended in the late 1800s.
The stone is currently buried to a depth beneath the beach of nearly 3 metres. In other words there is more stone beneath the beach than above it.
There are 6 ley lines ( earth energy lines) crossing the centre of the stone. All are positive- some male others female.
I put my post onto the Local Lunenburg Community Facebook Page and was told that this carving was done in the 1980,s by the nephew of 2 artists who came to the nearby beach cottage for the summer.
Now this is the one story that makes sense to me – no mystery or magic – just someone having fun and leaving their mark on the beach, and causing a good bit of discussion.
I think the mystery of the stone has been solved!