Friday, February 27, 2009

Which Fundy fish are eco-safe?

There's a nifty 'seafood selector' on the USA's Environmental Defense Fund's website where you can check to see how your favourite seafood stacks up when it comes to sustainable fishing and pesticide residue. Since eco-everything is all the rage now, I was kind of curious to know how our fish fare in the three levels of ratings: eco-best, eco-OK and eco-worst.

Looks like most of our Bay of Fundy seafood rates well but it appears we'd best caution ourselves about eating smoked salmon every day...em, not that I'm tempted to do that anyway...

Eco-Best Fundy fish (safe for environment)
Arctic-char (farmed)
Atlantic mackeral
Albacore tuna

Eco-OK Fundy fish (OK for environment - enjoy occasionally)
Wild clams
Wild oysters
Sea scallops
Sea bass

Eco-Worst (eat infrequently)
Farmed salmon

Did I miss any of our regular Bay of Fundy seafood catches? if so, please feel free to let me know through the comments!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fun Fundy job: Seagull watcher

Well this job might just beat becoming a Bay of Fundy tidal bore rafting guide, alpaca breeder, or stag party planner: it's seagull researcher!

A chap from the Université de Montréal's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine just conducted an extensive research study on Bay of Fundy seagulls. He compared the activity of gulls that were sleeping relative to the alertness of their neighbours.

Apparently, gulls sleep with one eye open and constantly scan the group and this study suggests that the theory of a collective group awareness can be applied across the animal kingdom. Although humans don't worry about predators, we do pay attention to the behaviour of our peers. For example, we assess the value of others based on their social or physical interactions - we are looking at an individual's strengths. The animals who pay attention are the ones who gain. Who knew?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Winter kayaking off Cape Chignecto

Probably even the most outdoorsy types here in Fundy aren't too inclined to pop their kayaks in the water in mid-February to go for a little paddle but not so for the folks who operate Nova Shores Kayaking Adventures in Advocate Harbour, Nova Scotia. It seems that Werner can't wait 'til spring get back on the waters along the dramatic shores of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park. He was paddling yesterday and captured these rarely seen photos of the park's frozen winterscape.

Werner said that a vast expanse of cliff was covered in frozen waterfalls - hard to capture on film but this pics are stunning! To help you get the idea, I typed in the vertical heights of the frozen waterfalls in metres & feet.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Surfers surf tidal bore in Wales

Did you know that the Bay of Fundy isn't the only place in the world have tidal bores? A tidal bore is the phenomenon caused when the outgoing flow of a river meets the incoming tide and causes the river to 'flow backwards'. The bore measurement is customarily the height of the waves caused when this happens.

We've got some very nice 10-15 foot bores here as 'part' of living with the world's highest tides but there are many other worldwide locations that are proud of their bores: the Severn Estuary in Wales being one of them.

I've not been there (yet) but I'm quite intrigued by the Severn's tidal bore. Ours comes in 2x every 24 hrs, every day, year round but the Severn's, apparently, comes in in a small way year round but is truly visible only about 25 days/year during the Vernal and Autumnal equinoxes (that's Feb-March-April, and Aug, Sept, Oct).

The time is NOW, if you happen to find yourself in Wales and want to trying surfing or kayaking it like the folks in this picture! Check out The Severn Bore's website.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A jumble of ice cakes

Now that we've had a few really cold weeks of winter, the ice cake situation at the beach has improved greatly. Our Bay of Fundy tides bring in ice cakes, when the tide turns to go out, they often drop down at the tide line on the beach.

After several weeks this creates a jumble of ice cakes all along the beach - makes for fun exploring if you've got good tread on your boots. My dog, Belle, also likes to chew on them. The ice pebbles we spotted on a different Fundy beach last year are a bit easier to swallow but still, I doubt there is any harm in her taking a nibble of the big cakes!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In-Flight Safety records CD on Fundy coast

Despite the reference to 'flight' in this post's title, neither is this post about's actually about the band, In-Flight Safety. They just released their new CD We Are An Empire, My Dear, at an event in Halifax. What's interesting is that the CD was produced while the band was holed up in a historic Bay of Fundy schoolhouse last winter.

Not the first time Fundy has inspired the muses (see the Art section of this blog), but the first time I recall an award-winning pop rock band recording here! This is my photo of the beach just down the road from where they were staying. Certainly a great location that seemed to do the trick - it sounds like an awesome album, check out In-Flight Safety's new album on their website.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bay of Fundy launches daily updates with Twitter!

Attention birders: don't get too excited! despite my best intentions to learn more about Bay of Fundy bird watching, this is probably not the kind of bird watching you were hoping for....

I've been using the cheerily-named social networking application Twitter personally for awhile now to stay in touch with family and friends near and far but it just finally donned on me last week that Twitter has another brilliant use: as a daily microblogging site for news, special events, insider tips, etc. about the Bay of Fundy.

It's similar, in some ways, to this blogger blog, but there is one fundamental difference: Twitter is designed to enable daily, continuous conversation in communities. In our case, I see it as an intriguing way to connect our virtual Bay of Fundy community, which consists of people who are considering visiting the bay (prospective travelers) and folks who live on the bay (us locals). Blog posts on Twitter (known as "tweets") are made several times a day and are in short, single-sentence-plus-web-link format.

If you are as skeptical as I was about people posting "what I am doing" several times a day, stay with me on this...I think seekers of Bay of Fundy travel information may very well be quite interested in finding out what's up in our bay at any given moment.

Check Bay of Fundy out on Twitter using the new link on the sidebar or by clicking here.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

2nd Bay of Fundy live camera

It appears that there is also a live Earthcam in St Andrews, New Brunswick. This one has programming code that enables me to embed it. In anticipation of more outdoor cameras to come, I've created a new blog category for them. Fun!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Finally... a Bay of Fundy webcam!

I've always thought that the Bay of Fundy is the perfect place to set up live webcams but, except for such cameras on our highways (so you can check out the winter weather conditions), I'm not aware of any other webcams set up anywhere near the tides until now:

The Fundy Restaurant on the waterfront of the village of Digby, Nova Scotia, has just set one up. Thanks to Dean for sharing this link to his new webcam!

I once heard a rumor that there was a live outdoor camera at the Reversing Falls Funeral Home (which, as you may expect by the name, overlooks Reversing Falls in Saint John, New Brunswick) but I've never been able to find out if this is, short of phoning them which is a bit awkward....Anyone know?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Out with the old, in with the new...lobster traps

For all that we locals joke about tourists' fascination with lobster traps (many have been purchased dockside and taken home to landlocked provinces and states to become coffee tables), I am kinda into them.

For example, I once made a flower box out of one (my petunias never looked better!) and I have spent a goodly amount of time photographing them - but the 'old' style wooden ones with the curved tops only - I'm a purist.

This is the first photo of the new metal mesh traps that has ever revealed itself to me. It was taken at my local wharf just after lobster season last month. Mmmmnh, not so painful....