Saturday, 30 July 2011

On The Road Again

By the time that you read this post, we will be back on the road, travelling towards Nova Scotia.  We plan to begin our journey in the early hours of the morning so that we can avoid the busy traffic of Montreal, which is always a difficult city to travel through, even on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Our journey will take us five hours before we even leave Ontario behind us.  For the first four hours, we follow the shoreline of Lake Ontario (though we do not see it from the road).  This gives you an impression of why it is one of the Great Lakes.  Once we cross into Quebec, it takes a further hour to reach Montreal and then another two and a half hours to reach beautiful Quebec City. 

The scenery changes and becomes more mountainous; the road follows the bank of the St Lawrence River as far as the point at which we turn south at Riviere-de-Loup. Above, you see a photo of one of Quebec's many lakes and the provincial flag.  On our last journey, we drove this stretch at dusk and travelled through the night, so our view was of the silhouette of the mountains viewed from across the River.

Onwards towards New Brunswick, where we quite literally travel through time: we leave the Eastern time zone and move our watches forward by one hour when we cross into the Atlantic time zone.  This leg of the journey always seems long as we are tired and eager for rest.  Even allowing for stops for refreshments and to stretch our legs, we will be travelling at least fourteen hours before we arrive at our overnight stop.

The second day of the trip sees us leave New Brunswick behind and continue our journey into and through Nova Scotia.  This leg will take about eight hours, though it sometimes takes longer depending on the traffic and road conditions.  As we cross into Nova Scotia this time the final hours of our journey should(hopefully) fly by as we approach our destination.  It is a long road, but we will finally be home.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Postcard From Nova Scotia ~ Atlantic Lookout And Broad Cove

A boardwalk lookout from which to scan the horizon.  This is the Atlantic Ocean, where passing whales are often observed.  Search as we did, we were not able to spot any this day.
Looking south along the shoreline of Cape Breton.

Watching the waves lapping on the shore.

This coastline is quite rocky and rugged.

Broad Cove (above) was the location of the campsite where we stayed, which was actually high above the Cove.  I laid in bed listening to the sound of the waves.

Though our visit was short, we plan to return later this year.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Five Minutes At The Feeder

Four months ago, I posted about the first bird to visit our feeder, which was a Cardinal.  Yesterday, he appeared, but he was too fast for me to take a photograph before he was gone.  If you recall, I had posted that in three months, we did not have a single visitor.  How things have changed!

I decided to take five minutes from the packing and sit down with the camera close to the window, to see who showed up.  First, a Siskind, followed by another and an American Goldfinch.

The male Goldfinch disappeared, then another arrived with a female.  Then the cute little Chickadee.  He is too small to sit on the perch, but seems to manage by clinging to the side of the feeder with his body poking through the hole!

The sunflower seeds are so big for him that he usually grabs a piece, then heads for the top of the garden gate, where he balances it between his feet and taps away at it with his beak.

As you can see, he is quite determined and often stays when all the other birds take flight.  They are eating us out of house and home.  In three weeks, they have finished a 10 lb bag of seed!  How we shall miss their daily visits once we leave.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Postcard From Nova Scotia ~ White Point And Ballantyne's Cove

The fishing village of White Point, as seen from the road above the bay.

And above, the Point, which adjoins the land to the left of the first photograph.

 Fishing boats in the harbour of Ballantyne's Cove.

Such a tranquil scene, with barely a ripple on the surface of the water.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Rock Garden

Discovered by the roadside at Arisaig.  A beautiful rock garden.

Gorgeous pink roses blooming and visited frequently by passing bees.

 Here, my knowledge of plants fails me, as I do not recognise this yellow flower or the other plant below.

This garden is in a lay-by just off the highway.  I have no idea who tends it, but it is a tranquil resting place.

I hope to make a return visit next month to see how it has changed as summer progresses.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Extreme Heat

Southern Ontario is experiencing a heat alert.  The temperature reached 37 C today and with the humidex (heat and humidity combined), it felt like 51 C.  How can I describe such extreme heat to those of you who do not experience such extreme temperatures?

Stepping outdoors is like entering a furnace.  Even a couple of minutes outside feels like my skin is being fried.  Walking any faster than a snail's pace is almost impossible and the heat takes my breath away.

The plants are thriving though.  I spotted our first tomato starting to change colour this morning and two peppers on the pepper plant which were not there two days ago.  I tried to photograph them, but the photo was out of focus.

Even the tomatoes which were the poorer specimens that I threw in the garden are covered in flowers and fruit.  I hope some of them will be ready before we leave at the end of next week.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Wild lupins are found at the roadside throughout Nova Scotia.  They are such a glorious sight to behold with their pretty pastel shades. 

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Our Favourite Beach

Two weeks ago, we were in the northern part of Cape Breton Island and we took some time to visit our favourite beach.  This beautiful stretch of sand is largely undiscovered by the tourists because access is via a path which is not widely known.

It was Sunday lunchtime, yet there were only seven other people on the beach and we could walk undisturbed along the golden sand.

Our last visit here was five years ago, so a return trip was long overdue!  I wasn't brave enough to paddle in this stretch of water, as it is the Atlantic Ocean side and far too cold for me.

The photographs below are of a more sheltered bay, which has changed considerably since our last visit. 

The channel used to be shallow enough to paddle in without going too deep, but the sea has changed the shape of the sand and the channel is much deeper now.
I did paddle at the edge and the water was pleasantly warm, but avoided going into the deeper channel.

There was hardly any breeze on that Sunday morning, just the quiet sound of the waves lapping and the sunshine.

The brilliance of the blue sky is a lasting memory.  The air was so clear and salty and the sky seemed to go on forever.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Green Wonder

Just before we went on our trip, the tomatoes were starting to flower.  We returned to little green globes as the fruit was starting to form.  Now, there are clusters of tomaotes at various stages of growth.  We are eagerly anticipating our first taste of our own home-grown tomatoes!

The salad continues to thrive too.  I haven't sown any more, as our move is rapidly approaching, but I have plenty of seed left to sow once we reach our new home.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011


We took a short stroll on the beach ater a morning spent looking for a place to live during our recent trip to Nova Scotia and spotted a heron in the shallows. 

This particular beach is quite pebbly.  Like many other beaches in the area, we had it (almost) to ourselves.  It was wonderful to breathe that salty air and feel the wind in my hair!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A Place Called Home

Hello!  It is good to be back and I have so much to tell you that I hardly know where to start.  When I started this blog in October of 2007, I wrote this post.  It explained the reason why I had chosen to call my blog Dreaming of Wild Roses: my dream was to live by the ocean where the wild roses bloom.

It has been quite a journey in more ways than one.  Five years since our last visit to Nova Scotia, where we hoped to one day put down roots and feel that we had come home.  But how to make this dream a reality? 

Only in our wildest dreams could we let ourselves believe that we would find a way and be able to make that move.  Until one day, I picked up the phone and was told that I had an interview for a job in Nova Scotia.

Then we began another long journey.  One that saw us drive more than 2,000 km through four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, to reach our destination.  The journey was indeed long, taking 21 hours by car.

I had my interview last week and I got the job!  We had only four days to find a place to live and then a small respite of three days to enjoy a visit to Cape Breton before we began the long drive back to Ontario on Monday. 

We finally arrived yesterday afternoon, having driven through the night, filled with mixed feelings about our return.  It seemed such a pointless exercise in one way, but we had to go back to pack up our belongings and organise a move.  Today, the work begins in earnest.  We don't know the date of our move yet, but we have until the end of the month to get out of here.

It seems that we are going to be living that dream after all.  I am so excited!  There is lots to do and it is going to be a busy few weeks, but it will be such an adventure!