Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cormorants & dinosaurs!

I certainly don't claim to know much about the millons of year that dinosaurs roaming Bay of Fundy - let's leave that to the fine folks at the Fundy Geological Museum and Joggins Fossil Cliffs (Nova Scotia) and the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John (New Brunswick).

Really though, if you look 'sideways' at some of today's animals, it's quite easy to believe that they evolved from dinosaurs. OK this connection may be tricky to see in your puppy or your budgie but how about a crocodile (not in Fundy!) or a whale (lots in Fundy).

For me, there is something about cormorants that makes me believe in dinosaurs. Cormorants are not most charming of birds: they're awkward, aggressive and strong....kind of pterodactyl-like? or so I think when I see them on my daily dog walk to the beach....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I brake for sticky buns!

One of my favourite memories of touring the Bay of Fundy occured when a tour group I was guiding many years ago commandeered the coach and MADE us stop for "sticky buns" at Kelly's Bakery in the village of Alma, New Brunswick.

My earnest attempt to keep the group 'on schedule' instantly became irrelevant when I tasted one of these famous 'sticky buns'....they're like a really poofy cinnamon bun about the size of a large fist. Whenever I'm in Alma I always make a point to buy one fresh from Kelly's (as well as take a dozen to lock in the trunk so we have a half chance of making it home together)....

pure carb delight and a 'must stop' attraction in Alma!

Monday, March 01, 2010

A Sweet Sign of Spring

One sure sign of spring on the Bay of Fundy is the beginning of the maple sugar season. Rain and warmer daytime temperatures in recent days mean that the sap is now flowing.

Every spring, maple producers in our region journey into their sugar woods to collect sap from maple trees. Sap is a clear liquid and tastes like fresh spring water. However, once it's boiled, sap takes on its distinctive maple flavour.

There are many family owned & operated maple sugar camps around the upper part of the Bay of Fundy (see posts from previous years about our family's camp) but one that really stands out is Sugar Moon Farm in Earltown (near Truro, NS).

This family has successfully transformed the 6-8 week long maple season into a year round experience with demonstrations, a log cabin restaurant, sugar camp tours & interpretative programming, sugar bush hiking trails, maple products for sale and even guest Chefs' Nights featuring a maple dining extravaganza with the province's finest chefs!! They are also a member of the Atlantic Economusee Network of artisans who celebrate and share traditional crafts or trades.

It's great to have this sugar farm in operation year round. As you might expect, we don't get many tourists visiting Bay of Fundy in early March so with Sugar Moon Farm even our summer and fall visitors can get a glimpse of this important part of our heritage! Maple syrup FAQs.