Sunday, May 31, 2009

At Last... A Bay of Fundy Limerick!

I've gotten used to seeing the Bay of Fundy used as a metaphor for predictability ("as regular as the Bay of Fundy tides") or for massive change ("the difference between them was like the difference between high and low tides on the Bay of Fundy") but I rarely see Fundy used in poetry. It, just doesn't really rhyme with much or so I thought until I came across this clever limerick:

A man loved a gal named Bundy
Who came from the Bay of Fundy.
But to his despair,
She gave him the air

Sic transit gloria mundi

No author indicated but it's 'poem of the day' on
(In case you're not up on your Latin, the last line means something like "so passes the glory of the world" - poor fella!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Go fetch!, Fundy style

I've often been asked if living by the world's highest tides effects people in any way...well, we could have a lengthy chat about that .... but I do think our coastal canines develop some interesting habits uncommon in their city counterparts.

Take, for example, my dog Belle: I've previously mentioned how she likes to fetch driftwood every time we have a bonfire, and also how she snurfles out ice pebbles in winter. She's also a pretty good judge of what's normal and abnormal about the rack line and she likes to swim year round in the Bay of Fundy.

One of the other things she does is play fetch at the beach, though not of sticks but stones. No stone-skipping in our family, no sirreee, every stone tossed into the water is cheerily retrieved by the little rascal. Here she is in action - can dogs smile? she sure looks pretty proud of herself!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Another Bay of Fundy lighthouse... Walton, NS

If you're a coastal explorer like me, chances are you're also interested in exploring built heritage of the sea. Although travelers by land and water now navigate with sophisticated GPS units now instead of fog horns there are still lots of preserved Bay of Fundy lighthouses in great locations that are usually open to the public for touring.

Pictured here is the 'salt shaker' style Walton, Nova Scotia, lighthouse. This lighthouse, built in 1872, is located on Route 215 - a somewhat less traveled but gosh-so-darn-pretty coastal touring route. This lighthouse played a key role historically in guiding boats loading gypsum, lumber & other cargo in this extreme tide harbour. Now open seasonally as a visitor's centre and small musuem. Panoramic view of vast exposed ocean floor of Fundy's Minas Basin at low tide.

Click here for more info on Nova Scotia lighthouses.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What are fiddleheads, really?

I've done several posts on Bay of Fundy's Twitter about fiddleheads this week and my followers over there seem to be somewhat surprised that we eat ferns....ah, but we do! Fiddleheads are the curled early starts of ferns (I believe those we eat around Fundy are Ostrich ferns).

Yes, it's true they are semi-poisonous if eaten uncooked but are tasty, safe & nutritious when steamed or boiled. The adventuresome among us actually traipse around the forest scavenging for fiddleheads, but the rest of us usually buy them in a grocery store, such as pictured here. They're only available fresh for a few weeks before the ferns shoot up. Nice while they last! (Check out some of my fiddlehead recipes)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kayaking video at Cape Chignecto

Here's a pretty corner of the Bay of Fundy that's been very popular with hikers for awhile but is also one of the best places to kayak in the region: Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, in Advocate Harbour, Nova Scotia.

The folks at Nova Shores Kayak Adventures hosted Reelwater Productions of British Columbia here last fall and ended up with this fabulous footage of kayaking at high tide then walking at low tide of the Three Sisters rock formations off Cape Chignecto Park.

Nova Shores is 'in the water' already for the season (though they have been known to venture out themselves in the winter too - check out this post). Nice and warm here now in Bay of Fundy...!

P.S. check out the whole amazing video "Eastern Horizons: shot by Reelwater in eastern Canada last year!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I love high tide - low tide

It's that time of year when we're getting tonnes of requests for info about travel to Bay of Fundy. Probably our most common question is: "where do I go to see the tides?". I've made mention of the four tidal effects in a previous blog post (4 ways to see the tides).

Here's a good example of the Vertical tidal effect in Fundy: it's Annapolis Royal in Nova Scotia

....nothing like seeing those boats on the ground at low tide then bouncing dockside at high tide to give you the impression of how much water moving through on a given tide cycle.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Eating off the ocean floor

Perfect beach weather this weekend - er, perhaps not for tanning - but I love these warm misty days for taking pictures. Seeing as it's still early May, I pretty much found the expected number of folks at this beach in Two Islands, Nova Scotia: 2 tourists looking for fossils and one local clammer!

Clams are harvested by hand with a pitch fork in the Parrsboro-Five Islands area from Bay of Fundy's low tide mudflats. It's a simple, if somewhat labour intensive, way of eating from the ocean floor. There is still a Clam Factory in operation seasonally in Five Islands. There it's not uncommon to see dozens of locals participating in the harvest and, of course, fresh clam chowder and fried clams 'n chips on local restaurant menus.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Spring (and summer?) arrive in Bay of Fundy

Driving along the shores of Bay of Fundy this week I noticed lots of folks out working in their gardens. I've heard that friends are also wondering the woods looking for fiddleheads - sure signs of spring on the Bay of Fundy!

Actually with recent temperatures it felt more like summer. Bay of Fundy town, St Stephen, New Brunswick, recorded a weekend high of 31.7 degrees C (that's about 90 degrees F). Hope the Ganong chocolate factory (picture here) has air conditioning. Mmmmm melted chocolate....

Friday, May 01, 2009

Pining for Bay of Fundy sea glass

Alright, I have a confession to make, while I don't like seeing trash wash up on any beach, I have to say that all this 'clean beach' stuff has meant the loss of one item long cherished by beachcombers: sea glass. Before the days of plastic containers, we used to find ourselves a dandy collection of sea-softened bits of broken bottles. When I was a child I collected them; spending several summers filling up a glass pickle jar with such bright, opaque, beach-tumbled glass bits.

However, now that there is so much recycling going on it's a rare event to find such glass treasures on the beach....em, to the point that I gasped with pleasure when I spotted this piece, then photographed it, pocketed it and rubbed away my worries on it for the rest of my visit to the beach. At the last minute, before I got back in the car, I tossed it back on the beach for another nostalgic beach explorer to re-discover.