Six Mile Falls

Recently I did a long hike on the outskirts of Halifax and in the middle I relaxed in the warm spring sun for half an hour. Feeling the sun on your skin and listening to the mellifluous sound of falling water is a tonic for the soul. 

Relax and enjoy as nature slowly warms our hearts once again. 

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Spring in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia 


      It was yet another warm spring day and I was taking a hike with my Jamaican friend who is still experiencing her first year in Canada. 


      It was nearly 20 degrees and she had fleece lined tights, boots and a heavy hoodie. I was hot in lighter, looser lounge pants and a light cotton cardigan and breathable sneakers. 


      It has been a nice April and things are budding. We spent nearly 3 hours walking, talking and sitting on benches.   

      My friend is petrified of animals, especially dogs.  Everyone and their dog was out that day with a dog or three. In some countries dogs are not so often kept as pets. 

      She’s even afraid of chickens which no doubt roam Jamaica more than Canada. She did grab my arm when she saw a ring necked pheasant running away. I had already mentioned hear their screeching call. I said that no one had ever been hurt by a pheasant. 


      I spotted this cute carving from a distance.  My friend also climbed the tree.

      She touched the North Atlantic for the first time and said it was freezing in April. I thought it was cold. Perspective. 


      A great time was had. She really enjoyed getting out of the city though luckily it doesn’t take long here and that’s one thing people like. 


      I’ve met other newcomers here from Syria, Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Colombia, Cuba, Nepal, Russia, Eritrea, China, Korea, India, Egypt, Vietnam, Germany, Britain and the list goes on. 

      At this time of year I salute new beginnings. 

      Rail Trail – Chester to Chester Basin

      I realized it had been six months somehow since I’d made any progress on my goal to hike the rail trail from Hubbards to at least Mahone Bay.  I had cycled it from Halifax to Hubbards.  But hiking it gave me much more time to savour things en route as long as those things weren’t insects which so far this summer haven’t been an issue.  It’s been pure bliss with interesting sightings mixed with just trees but time to think.  This section had some rocky sections which were tiring as my sneakers are thinly soled.  I came home exhausted this day though I had done over four hours and it was quite hot and months since my  last long hike.  I have already made Lunenburg though the last stretch was done by bike which was so fast with few photos.  I may do a bit more if I have time but I have covered a lot of ground recently.  It’s easy to do.

      Here are some highlights from this section of the trail in late June.

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      Duck  family.

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      This looks like an alien.

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      Lady  Slippers.  I saw many.  I haven’t seen them much for years.  Relative of orchids and supposedly don’t grow back for seven years if you pick them or so I was told as a child after I picked one.  Oh the shame.

      P1040477Bridge over calm water.

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      Look for the noisy guy who gave himself away.  There were a few but I only found this one.

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      Loving the lupine takeover.  Everything has its time in the sun.

       

       

       

       

      June

      And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days. James Russell Lowell
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      It’s June in Northeastern North America and this year we have had some warm and hot days before official summer begins.  It is hit and miss depending on the whims of the North Atlantic.  There will always be random clouds darkening the sky and fog mystifying everything just when you thought it was safe to sit outside.  The wind whistles at will and blows your books, newspapers and drinks right off of the table at times.  There will always be the weather and its whimsical ways.  Recently I have noticed multi-cloud days.  Skies with ribbons and reams of clouds floating off to nowhere.  Thousands of them it seems.  One riffing off the other.  These clouds above are far less foreboding than some I’ve seen.  Under a mackerel sky.  A sign of good times to come.

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      If you are one to challenge ominous weather you might just find you may win as the huff and puff often turns out to be nothing much but the sky doesn’t make you feel like being outside.  Just when it seems gathering clouds will yield up rain, the sun shines through   I should go out more often.  That said with official summer less than a week away it promises to warm up and be sunny soon.  That is when the Atlantic stops her fretting.

      Beyond that we are in the midst of the June bug infestation.  From time to time you will hear a twang on the screen or a bang on the window as one tries to see the light.  Open your window as I have finally done and hear one buzzing to get in.  No make that ten.  Seems to be a bumper crop this year (2015).  My camera seems to not be working or there would be pictures.   They are very similar to flying cockroaches.  Or beetles.  I didn’t think I would get a picture because of their nighttime routine and my fear of them but but I found one in the garage.  I wish I had pushed it out but due to what happened in the past I may have done something different.  This year which is a year since I first wrote the above we haven’t had so many and in fact many came early in May.

      Open the door and beware of being hit in the face with a buzzing brown bug.  Everyone’s nightmare.  Let’s go back to an earlier time.  I’m not sure how old I was but let’s say sixteen.  By then I had heard the urban legend of the girl who had gotten a bat stuck in here hair.  It was June and I had made the mistake of going outside for a while.  I came in to watch TV or something and it seemed to be at least a half hour later that I touched my hair and finally realized that one had become stuck there.  They can be motionless and sticky too.  I was instantly repulsed and fought it off.  Somehow I finally got rid of it as the whole incident was a blur that still creeps me out to this day.

      As I write they are buzzing at the screen and I pray for no entrance points.  I wonder how I will shut the window.   I turned out the light.  They are still there.  Why would anyone choose to have a June wedding?

      But let’s not forget the forget-me-nots that I saw  blooming on a recent walk in Reservoir Park in Wolfville. While most are light blue, some are also pink and white  There are many theories on their name.  In Greece they begged God not to forget them as they didn’t have a name yet.  In Germany they were worn so as not to be forgotten by their beloved.

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      There are also the lilacs.  Oh the lovely lilacs.  Many are purple but in my childhood backyard we had the white ones.  What white flowers lack in color they generally make up for in scent.  Mainly I see the purple ones and lately they have been ready to break out.  A backyard wedding with the sweet mellow scent of lilacs makes sense.  Just get away before the June bugs appear.  Lilacs come early to mid June.

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      This year there have been some very warm days but you never know with June  You can always count on June bugs, lilacs and black flies when the wind dies down.  It is tricky to get the right combination of elements.  What you can love is that it is only the beginning of great things to come.  It is a Thursday.  Sometimes when I used to go out I would pick Thursday night.   Busy but not too busy.  A decent crowd with a life who were just getting a jump on the weekend and were not out nearly every night.  You could beat the crowds and get a little pre-weekend cheer.  You look out and everything is lush and fresh.  Let’s not also forget lupines with their purple, pink and white stalks of buds designing the roadsides.

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      July and August are like Friday night and Saturday.  In somewhere like Europe many would tell you to avoid it during these months though I have been there then.  The last time I was mostly in Eastern Europe during those months so maybe that was a good plan that only happened by chance.  September in Italy wasn’t too bad and the pool at the hostel was already empty just like it would be in Canada.  In southern Spain the hostel was closing October 1st even though I had just gone swimming at the beach the day before.  Weather or not it is time to move on by then.

      Since crowds aren’t too bad and weather is at a premium I would definitely recommend July and August here.  There will be festivals and things.  You can still have beaches almost to yourself if you choose wisely.  Depending on the current you may even be able to get in to the water.  June is nice on the good days.  I saw people swimming in May though I’ve never gone in before June.

      But in June or late May you will also see apple blossoms which I finally saw at the end of my hike in Reservoir Park.  Around this time there is the Apple Blossom Festival complete with parade and a crowned princess.  This is a time full of hope and promise.

      But here Sunday which is September in my example is often quite nice with that melancholy feel of that day as you have peace and quiet and slanting sun but the sense that the weekend(summer) is nearly over and some things are closed or limited.  You can have a nice harvest meal at that time.  Let your weekend linger and savor the changing leaves and cool air signalling the end of it all and back to work and regular life.  October will be more chill and darker earlier yet with a smorgasbord of color surrounded by the constancy of evergreens.  The end has happened but it is pretty, spectacular and bittersweet.

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      I’ve been trying more Nova Scotian wines lately and I am usually quite impressed.  Many types are specific to this area only though they are beginning to plant more European varieties like Riesling or Chardonnay.  I personally am a big fan of New World wines.  Nova Scotia, South America and South Africa specifically.