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Nova Scotia interlude…tides, rocks and fossils on the eastern shore

July 2022

We landed at Loch Lomond Campground near Amherst for a few days rest before Newfoundland. The campground was quite near the large Visitor Center with a patio view of the tidal marsh. I picked up much good information in particular two brochures for Jim, one on minerals and one on pebbles and rocks that were very informative.

That afternoon we decided to take the loop around the peninsula down to Advocate Harbor and around to do reconnaissance. By lucky happenstance just outside of Joggins where the famed fossil beds are we noticed a dirt road down to a landing by two old pillars of a former bridge moldering away. The tide was out - waaayyyyy out as it goes around the Bay of Fundy - and we could see you could walk out on the rocks and ocean floor.

Some of our collection of photographs:

On a later day we drove back so I could paint. It was a different look - the tide was higher and coming in but I was glad to get an impression down.

We pulled down where another car was. Later we saw them walking their dog but we gave each other plenty of space so the dogs could have a romp. Jim had a field day checking out the cliffs and the sea bed. I loved the composition with the tidal rivulets and pillars and rocks.

Then we drove on to Advocate Harbor. We didn’t actually go out to the lighthouse - we were too busy exploring the rock and driftwood beach once we figured out access to. I was really taken with the wildflowers growing here and there through driftwood piles as shown in the top photo. The dogs loved the big empty beach and Jim found plenty of rocks to interest him. The weather was so delightful too as we heard reports of 100 plus temps in the states - here it was sunny and breezy and a moderate the pasture. We stopped in the little store - next to a giant lobster pot and an information kiosk with lots of info as to the collision of continents and layers of time that led to the geology of the area as well as the spectacular tides they are known for in the Fundy region - and got snacks for the road Including a delicious egg salad and onion sandwich for me. On the way out I made Jim stop so I could take photos of the completely low tide harbor with boats lying on the mud. Then we made our way back past Parrsboro, where we headed on the morrow.

In Parrsboro is the Geological Museum. After we walked the dogs around their marsh front path Jim went in and checked it out. When he came out I asked if he checked for a particular field guide we’d read about. Since he hadn’t I went in and checked and found The Geology of Nova Scotia which I got for him - it turns out it was an excellent choice and one that he read through and learned a lot. I also picked up a guide to local geological sites so based on it we headed to Five Islands Provincial Park.

The Five Islands are part of important origin stories for the local indigenous tribes. Glooskap, the creator, was mad at Beaver so threw five mud clots at him or in one version turned into the beaver and slapped his tail to make the islands. The tide was agin going out so exposing a wide rock beach. Jim took both dogs and walked far enough to view the ‘Old Woman’ formation while I grabbed my painting supplies and tried to capture all the colors undergirding the brown and grey of rocks.

We also followed the directions to view a “flower pot” formation which I found a great source for photographs and future reference. Since we were down there we drove as far as Economy to visit the Dutchman Cheese farm where we purchased Dragon’s Breath blue cheese for Jim and a truffle Gouda for me while checking out the amazing views. We stopped at a place advertising the best fried clams and I must admit they were as good as Woodmans in Essex MA.

For the final night before the ferry we moved up to Linwood Harbor, run by a lovely family, where we had a shady site looking out over the tidal rivers and a nature walk complete with lobster pot and buoy decorations to exercise the dogs. The first afternoon we found a nearby dirt path out to a rock and mudflat. Though filled with rocks it was not particularly fascinating to me but I pulled off a painting of a driftwood. We also found a second nicer rock beach to walk and let the dogs swim and chase a ball. See the photo of Chloe trying once again to see if she resists getting in the car we might stay at the beach!

I had read about a place called Christy’s Lookout, just up the way in Cape Breton, where the sunsets were supposed to be grand. We drove up on the Monday night and walked the path a bit looking for whales. I was sure I saw their backs in the chop but my photographs indicate it was just dark waves. Although the clouds prevented a great sunset the early dusk glow was beautiful.

I booked us for the second night even though we would leave around 4pm so as to have a place to hang out and finish laundry etc. I was folding the last load right up to the minute and off we drove.

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