Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Photo Diary: Eastern Passage

As promised, here's some more photos from my lovely trip to Eastern Passage the other day!

Here's a wildflower that had a small stand, but wasn't really widespread. Don't know what it was called, but it was lovely.

As I've mentioned before, these gorgeous roses grow wild all over the province, right up to the water's edge! The smell of the roses mixed with the sea air was heavenly!

There's a little shore bird in this pic, can you make him out? His camouflage is remarkable!

Here's a close up so you can find him better:

I believe he's a Spotted Sandpiper, but the beak is dark...don't know what to make of that, perhaps he's a juvenile? He was so cute, he flew down next to me, and we walked the shore together for a distance.

There were some sort of predatory birds in the area as well; I couldn't get a good look at their markings to identify them, but there is a nest of ospreys (our provincial bird) nearby, so that's likely what they are.

There are lots of signs of old wharfs in the area, but I have no idea how long ago they were abandoned. Posts here and there are all that's left. Nearby this one, is a high current area where land narrows and the ocean speeds up towards the harbour. No swimming is allowed, but people fish there all the time - and that day was the first day I saw someone actually catch something! When this gentleman reeled in another fish, one of his companions, a young boy, said disappointedly "...Again?". I don't think the little guy had the good spot that day.

This is a backwards looking shot towards downtown Halifax; so close and yet worlds away!

There was a very calm bit of water between the ocean and the shore, divided by a stand of sea grasses - and there was a HUGE school of tiny fish there! You can see where they broke the surface of the water looking for nibblies here and there. Every time I even took a single step close to them, they'd move farther out en masse, so it was hard to get a close shot of them! Safety first, little guys!

All in all, such a lovely day, so glad I was able to get out and enjoy one of our few sunny days this summer!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eastern Passage....always beautiful

Went to have lunch and a walk for the first time this summer out Eastern Passage way. Lovely day for it, just a few clouds in the sky, and the warmth of the sun offset perfectly by the refreshing ocean breezes. I really love that whole area, several local restaurants are right next to this delightful park, so you can walk off some of those extra calories. :) More pictures to come...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summertime Wildlife Roundup

This summer, with the majority of days being rainy or darkly cloudy, we had a different mix of wildlife in the backyard than we have had previous years. Bees, as I have mentioned several times, were non-existent the first half of the summer, and even now, I have not seen more than two bees in the lawn at any given time (the lack of bees and the bad weather is why I believe our backlawn has a mass of thistles and not clover as it has in previous years. Not that the thistles aren't lovely and purple too, but you really miss the lovely scent of the clover on the wind).

Our dragonfly population came out very early this year (in June), in time to take care of the blackflies and the early beginnings of the mosquito population, but were missing for much of the latter half of July, when mosquitoes were at their peak. Fortunately, they have returned now in the latter half of August, so I'm getting much needed relief out there. They are amazing bug predators - I love to see them flitting about the yard on 'guard duty', occasionally getting into aerial battles over bugs with fellow 'sentries'.

Its been said that a healthy frog population is a sign the local environment is healthy, and if that is the case (check out why under morphology on Wiki), then our local area is doing REALLY well! From about the end of June till last week, we had a minimum of one frog a day outside in our back lawn. We saw maybe 3 the whole year last year, but this year was crazy! At one point I had a frog in each hand, trying to move them to the cool of the forest (and in the direction of a lake), and out of the path of my dogs playing. All different sizes, too, it was quite extraordinary!

We had one little green grass snake this year, and that was the first one I've seen since we moved here three years ago.

So, aside from the lack of bees, we've been doing quite well in the backyard wildlife department! Its been fun observing them!

Friday, August 12, 2011


The weather was not what we were promised. They said it was going to be uncharacteristically hot this summer, but instead we were hit with one cloud bank after another after another. Aside from a brief period of sun in July, it's just been a sad continuation of the awful weather we had all spring.

Today, mercifully, was a beautifully sunny break from all that rain. Got some bedsheets out on the line, enjoyed the sun with my girls, and took a few snaps to boot.

We have seen a few more bees this last month, but it's been nothing like the amount we had last year. At least *some* flowers and plants are getting pollinated!

I'm still so deeply impressed/interested with the true Queen Anne's Lace, the wild carrot, daucus carota. They're just so lovely, and their seedheads provide even more interest come fall and winter! (More on that another time!) :)

Here's hoping for more sunshine, soon!

Friday, August 05, 2011

Fun Summer Cams in NS

Found a link to this place via the CBC today...web cams featuring great views of Halifax and other locales across Nova Scotia. The most popular one is the Lobster Cam, a cam set up inside a lobster trap located in Halifax Harbour. (Don't be distressed, its for educational purposes only, the lobsters are released on a regular basis). Other sea life stops by occasionally as well, so that's pretty fun! My other fave is the Harbour Hopper - its an amphibious vehicle run by Murphy's On the Water (amazing fish and chips, btw) that gives a tour of Halifax/Dartmouth AND the harbour, going on land and sea - the webcam follows them along their journey, and gives the current locale across the top. Good times! :)

There are plenty of other cams to see with great views of our fair city and beyond (but most of them will likely only run during the summer season), be sure to check them out!