Thursday, September 4, 2008

My Bit for Nova Scotia Tourism

I thought I better check in to let you all know that I'm still breathing up here in the Great White North (though these days it's better known as the Great Wet North). It has been raining off and on for several days with brief moments of dryness. The thunderstorms we've had have driven some people to the relative safety of their closets until probably November. Today ended up fairly nice and it looks like tomorrow will be good as well. I got a short bike ride in today and will try again tomorrow after work, too. And the Wookie doesn't know it yet, but Saturday morning we'll be doing a longer ride. Hurricane Hanna will be visiting Sunday so I've got to make hay while the sun shines...or it's at least not torrentially pouring.

On the topic of longer rides, on Labour day we scouted out a little bit of an old logging road that we're going to tackle on the mountain bikes soon, but it's going to be a day long trek at least. This province I live in is full of lakes and ponds and rivers. If you're ever lost in the woods here you won't die from thirst. If you check out a map and see where we are located you'll notice that we are almost an island, connected to the rest of the country by a swatch of land. Unless sea levels dramatically rise very quickly we'll not be unconnected, but we are surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Actually, in Nova Scotia you are never more than an hour away from the ocean, no matter where you go. I live less than half a mile from the ocean and see it almost every day.

The only type of terrain we don't have in this province is desert. We are a giant bunch of rocks covered with mixed forests. We have a fertile valley in the north-western part of the province, hills that were mountains and are part of the northern part of the Appalachian chain, mountains in the eastern end that are hills compared to the Rockies but older than that range, and wildlife that can take your breath away. Eagles, osprey, and many other raptors, moose and deer, bobcats, coyotes, weasels and foxes, bear, racoons, and a kajillion black flies. Just off shore are the whales (big and small), seals, and in September the sea turtles. At one point in time, we even had walrus. Actually, if you take the ferry between Halifax and Dartmouth, you sometimes can see the pilot whales or dolphins and in late winter, the seals.

In the mid eighties I lived on Cape Breton Island. In November I'd go to the Canso Causeway linking the island to the mainland to look for tuna. They had arrived from the Northumberland Strait chasing herring and the fisherman followed them of course. I'd watch for a shimmering on the surface which indicated schools of herring. The tuna would chase the school and at the last moment the herring would dive just as they reached the surface. The tuna, having gained a lot of momentum, would come straight out of the water before they crashed back in. 1,000 pounds of fish. Pretty impressive. Pretty ugly, too.

So on our up-coming longer trek we hope to see a little bit of the wildlife. Except for bears. We can do without those while on a bike. And if we come across a tuna in the woods, I'll know we should have taken a left at Albuquerque.



Joan said...

Beautiful pictures! Do you have a guest room????!!! (just kidding...)

Shauna said...

Thanks! I have a couch...