Summer in Nova Scotia

11 06 2010

Summer has arrived once more in Nova Scotia and everything that has been asleep during the minus zero temperatures has come alive again. The first flowers to appear are the very lovely yellow dandelions, but for us they are  more of an infestation or epidemic, as they try to cover every square inch of grass. The month of May was spent, plucking them, digging them out by the roots, trying to kill them with  salt, vinegar and any other sure fired remedies found on the internet. But the dandelions live on. We do get  a respite until the next cycle in September.  Apart from just enjoying their colour, if anyone has any good recipes, then perhaps we should use them as a crop.

The apple blossom has already gone and we can look forward to an abundance of apples in the fall.

It is lupin season right now and each year we are amazed by the banks of lupins that bloom along the highways, walking trails and coves. I am always reminded of Monty Python’s sketch about roast lupins, braised lupins, lupin meringue pie, lupin sorbet……. I wish we could use them too.

The hawthorn blossom is brightening up the old railway trail at Lunenburg,

and the roses are just in bloom.

These dandelion like flowers look much finer that the ones that grow in our garden.

These very white flowers are bunch berry and later have bunches of red berries on them, which are seemingly edible, but perhaps not too fruity.

In the garden, the Gold Finches have their bright yellow summer plumage back.

The Blue Jay looks his usual handsome self.

And the Flicker is useful at eating up the ants.

The heron has always been a favourite of mine and we see  at least 4 a day around Back Harbour at Lunenburg.

This one looks a bit ungainly on top of this pine tree.

The ospreys have returned to the many, many platforms in the area. I will write a special blog just for them.

Cheeky Squirrels!

15 02 2009

At first we were amused when we spotted a red squirrel feeding in our bird box. But then he didn’t want to go and completely emptied the box of sunflower seeds.


Jeff tried to chase him away, but he would have none of it. Obviously this stash of seed was his own personal store.


He sneaked in from every angle, through the shrubs, under the deck – he knew the hiding places.


Not content with eating all the sunflower seeds, he then attacked the seed bell!


And the woodpeckers nut bar! We hadn’t seen any birds for over a week and then we watched him chasing the Blue Jays away!


The final straw was when he decided to gnaw the slot at the bottom of the box, so that he could go inside to eat everything.  He would sit in there for hours at a time or run in there if we tried to chase him.


Then he brought a friend or mate!!!


I tried to deter him with a net, but he was too clever for that!


I was beaten, but I did want to see all the little birds back. So I have moved the red box to a tree next to the garage and he has been in it all afternoon. The birds have returned to the feeders.


My Blog

24 11 2008

We’ve now been in Canada for a year and only now just learning to make our own blog so that you can see what life is like here in Nova Scotia. Most of you will already know from emails of our first year’s adventures, but it should be easier to add pictures and stories through this Blog, so that more people can share our experiences. Since moving into our own house here at Lunenburg, we have really settled down to life in Canada.  It wasn’t till we returned from the UK in May and then September that we felt we were coming home and really appreciated the lifestyle here.

We have just had the first big snowstorm of this winter, blocking our road and forcing us to do quite a bit of digging. The last owner of this house had a snow-blower, but that, unlike the ride-on lawnmower, did not come with the house. It takes some time to dig out 150 yards of driveway. If this is a snowy winter we might have to employ someone with a little snow plough to clear it after each storm.

Everyone in this area (can’t be specific about Canada) feeds the birds. We have had wonderful humming birds on the hollyhocks all summer and beautiful American Goldfinches. Right now we are inundated with Blue Jays which look lovely, but are noisy and scoop up the sunflower seeds as fast as we can fill the feeder. We enjoy the little Parula Warblers, Chickadees, Pine Grosbeaks and Downy Woodpeckers. We keep having to run to the bird book or look online whenever we see something we don’t recognise.

Blue Jay on my 'hand-made' bird feeder.

Blue Jay on 'hand-made' bird feeder.