Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pier 21 in Halifax

Pier 21 stands out in my mind as the most emotional, interesting and memorable museum I have yet had the pleasure to visit.  Located on the Halifax Harbour, this port is where some 1 million immigrants landed in Canada between the years 1928 - 1971.  There was an incredible amount of information to take in.  I immersed myself most deeply into the personal stories, but what really moved me was experiencing, in a couple of hours, the evolution of our country, and how much has changed in how we treat each other.  While I got a strong feeling of the positive changes that have taken place over the years, I was still left with a heavy feeling of how much further we have left to go.  Not hopelessness, not at all, just the weight of of a very gradual change.  We're moving forward, just at a pace that is frustratingly slow.

Here are just a few things that stood out to me, and I will spare you the detailed history, but will include links to websites if you would like to read more about these events.

The museum does not try to shed a rose coloured light on Canada's history.  This is the first exhibit visitors
are greeted with upon entry and it instantly sets the tone for the rest of the tour.
After being denied entry into the country, and their safe return to Europe, over 200 of these passengers
perished in the holocaust.  You can read more about this event HERE.

An interesting ad from a newspaper.  I love the artwork.

Many of these original homesteads are still in existence today.  But as the old buildings
decay, and farms get bigger, they are slowly becoming unrecognizable.
 Of course, I was familiar with the Titanic, but I was shocked to learn of this devastating event.  It was one
of the most difficult exhibits to get through.  There were many sad stories, and terrible photos from the event.
You can read more HERE.
This letter was found more than two months after the disaster and was eventually returned to "Roger", who had
survived.  It caught my eye because it was from my home province of Saskatchewan.

I would not, not ever get back on a boat after surviving something like that.  Amazing.

A sad, but interesting part of our history.  Read about it HERE.

This photo speaks volumes, doesn't it?  The look of disappointment and sadness in their faces captured my attention, and even
now in a photograph of a photograph, I feel their pain deeply.
Emerging from the museum, you get the feeling of being on a ship moving through the water.  I actually even felt a little
sea sick.  But this was a beautiful place to sit and contemplate everything I had just learned.  The incredible scenery
also helped lift my mood a bit.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

End Of September

Having had a rain yesterday, (and it is raining now) the colors of autumn are at their richest.  Before it started pouring this morning, I had a chance to get out with my camera and take Bear for a nice long walk around our yard.  I know the rain is not a welcome thing in the middle of harvest, but it is so very nice to have the dust out of the air for a little while. 

A lot of leaves came down with the rain yesterday.  I love walking in this area of my yard when the maples give
themselves a shake.
I've brought a few pumpkins and gourds from the garden to adorn my porch, but there must be several
hundred left to clean off.  I love those colors!

My garden sheds have also received the pumpkin treatment.


The  marigolds are still going strong.

It looks like the middle of summer in this part of the yard.  There is still
a lot of transformation to look forward to.

An upside down reflection of my world.

Absorbing all the details of the changing season.

The wild rose bush is a wonderful crimson.

Loving the droplets of rain on the grass.

We don't have much for red during our autumn, but it is speckled here and there among the yellow majority.

Sugar pumpkins set to ripen in the sun.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Winery Number One

One could make an entire vacation just touring the wineries and breweries in Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.  Our friend lives right in the heart of the valley, so it took very little planning to spend some time in the vineyards.
These photos were taken at "Domaine De Grande Pré", which although was the first, turned out to be my favourite. We ended up bringing home 2 bottles of a fantastic tasting red called "Castel."
After our very informative tour and tasting, we took a walk through the vineyard to a park that overlooked Grand Pré.

Adirondack chairs were everywhere, but these were unique. 

In the garden.

Our tour guide in the store, where we bought the most delicious cheese I have ever tasted - an Applewood Smoked Gouda.
This stuff was to die for, and I have asked for some to be sent my way at Christmas.

The courtyard.

One of the paths leading to the vineyard.

This is where we walked to get to the park.

Itty, bitty, baby grapes.

A view of the Grande Pré area.

A nice view from one of the places we stopped at on the way home.  I love the color of those river banks.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Beautiful Cemetery

While on one of our many drives around Nova Scotia, I spotted this cemetery up a hill to my right.  I practically gave my self whiplash and scared the heck out of my driver when I jumped  and gasped, "Oh my gosh, we need to go there!"  We made a note of where we were, and seeing as how it was close enough to home, we would come back.  
I don't usually make a point of visiting graveyards, but the ones in Nova Scotia are so much older, and therefore far more interesting than the ones we have here.
I have done some searching, but I have no idea what the name of this place is.  I think we must have entered from the backside, because at no point did I say see a sign.
We saw many old cemeteries along our traveled roads through the province, but this one stood out. First of all, it is on a large hill, with big, old oak trees.  Secondly, it is huge and one could easily enjoy a long stroll along its paths.  My first question when I saw it was, "How on earth do they maintain it so well?"  I couldn't imagine mowing and trimming around all those walls and memorials, not to mention the steep hills.  The answer is, they don't. The ground is completely covered in the most lush carpet of moss I've ever had the pleasure to walk upon. Because we don't have oak trees here, I also marveled at the acorns scattered all over the place.  If I want a few acorns for my fall displays, I have to pay a price.
A lot of the graves date back to the early 1800's and there are many plots with short walls around them, for landscaped purposes mostly, to create a level area.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Margaretsville Beach

Here is another beach we loved in Nova Scotia.  This one was super close to where we staying with a friend.  These pictures were at high tide, and we visited again later on to explore the low tide scene.

It was foggy when we arrived.  It always seemed to be foggy on The Bay of Fundy.
I found myself a place to sit and sort through rocks, and the kids hunted around and brought me treasures.
All I took home from this combing expedition was this photo though. 

A little hike down the beach led us to this pretty waterfall.  it was a tranquil setting already,
but adding a waterfall to the scene made it downright dreamy.
Rocks come alive when they are wet!

Pebbles below and boulders above, it was easy to find a place to sit and listen to the waves.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fall Bliss

I am completely in love with my yard right now.  This is my 6th autumn here with a large garden(s), and so far, my most successful.  The pumpkin patch is amazing!!!  Even with the threat of yet another early frost coming on Monday, I am still happy with how many pumpkins, gourds and squash I have. My fall and Halloween displays should be nearing impressive for sure.  It is difficult to show in pictures how crazy these pumpkin vines have went, but when I am standing in among them, I feel like I am in an ocean of sorts. I won't know exactly how many I have until after the frost, when I can walk freely through the patch.

I'm talking a lot about pumpkins here, but what I'm really featuring in these photos is a sweet little visitor that showed up back in June.  We call him Sam, and he is the friendliest kitty you've ever met. We're certain someone dropped him off near our home, and we've been loving him and looking for a home ever since.  I've become so fond of him that I am almost sad to say that we have found the perfect home for him.  I already have 3 kitties, and one more is just too many.  I only ever intended to have one. Sam has been begging to come indoors since day 1, but he wants my other 3 to move out.  I tried to explain things to him, but he thinks he's special and should have rule of the roost.  He will have just that where he's going and will receive more than enough love from his new Mommy.

I tossed my daughter into the patch to offer some perspective.

I just had to toss in a photo of these huge marigolds.  Most of them easily cover my hand, fingers and all, and yes., they are that bright of an orange.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Evangeline Beach

On our trip to Nova Scotia this past July, one of the first of many beaches we explored was Evangeline.  The Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides in the world and it was a wonder watching the landscape change before our eyes. We arrived at this beach when the tides were going out, and my kids, wanting to stay near the water, kept getting further and further away. They had a blast, and had very muddy feet by the end.

My neck was sore at the end of our walk, but I never tire of looking down to see all the interesting mine landscapes of the beach.

It was hard to step around the thousands of snails the receding tide revealed.

And then all of this grass showed up...
It was difficult walking, and they were sinking up past their ankles, but my young explorers couldn't get enough.

And here they are getting further and further away.

Birds flying in a group are captivating.  They would make a turn, seem to nearly disappear, then turn again pop into view.