Talking about the Weather

 

 

 

It’s no wonder that the weather is a topic of conversation in Nova Scotia. In the past 3 weeks since the beginning of January 2014 we have seen province wide swings in the weather.

It started out with a blizzard – a total white out. This was followed by freezing rain and extreme ice conditions where roads and driveways were like a skating rink. Low temperatures continued for several days.

Historical chart of January 2014 at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport courtesy of the Government of Canada

Then came the January thaw where we were back to spring jackets, the ground cleared, green grass and tips of bulbs coming up. It felt like spring – but don’t be fooled! Steady rain for 2 days melted most of the snow and ice. The rivers and streams had an ice breakup and swollen rivers and flooded fields and basements in low lying areas.

Last night, as predicted from the balmy day overnight we got 15 CM of snow – light powdery snow with huge flakes. Early morning everything has a fluffy blanket of snow and little wind so the branches of all the trees are outlined with snow.

Who knows what else the winter will bring but it is sure to be interesting. As I am publishing this there is a promised Nor’easter on the way to Nova Scotia with blizzard conditions. Will leave that for another day.

To check the weather

Articles – January Weather in NS

Mist Rising on an Autumn Morning

This autumn morning in Antigonish was a perfect mix of crisp fall day, a light wind and changing temperatures that brought mist rolling into the valley and rising and falling on the wind currents.  The green fields, reds and golds of the trees peeked out or were hidden by the autumn mists.

Enjoy the video

A Nova Scotia Lobster Feast

 

My daughter visited us in Nova Scotia recently from Vancouver and top of her wish list was to have a lobster.  It isn’t the lobster season in our area and although we could have a lobster dinner in a restaurant, or buy a lobster from a big chain grocery store that wasn’t the experience I wanted for her.  I grew up eating lobsters fresh from the pound and boiled on the beach – or a feed of lobster on the back yard picnic table. No fancy dinner just butter for dipping and lots of newspaper and dripping juicy lobster.

On a tip from my sister we found a great place that gave the real experience.  Ryer Lobsters is just 2 KM past Peggy’s Cove when you are heading from the Halifax side, in the village of Indian Harbour.  It would be easy to miss it but watch on the water side.  On first site it just looks like a big shed.  However this is a lobster pound with the fresh seawater flowing through a huge tank of live lobsters.  We ordered our lobsters, weighed them out and Ryan popped them into the cauldron of boiling water.  While we waited our 20 minutes we enjoyed delicious oysters on the half shell with tabasco and fresh lemon.

What a feast!  Around the back there are picnic tables with a fantastic view of the harbour.  The lobsters came fully cracked and easy to open but still all in a piece.  Lobster bibs, picking tools and an incredible sweet taste of fresh lobster.  This was the real thing!  Just as good as at home in the backyard or on the beach.   Unfortunately no license so if you want a beer you can take them home with you or to your picnic spot.

Ryer Lobsters is open year round.  So if you are craving a lobster feast on your Nova Scotia travels head there for the real thing.

Antigonish Beaches along Saint George’s Bay

Antigonish is blessed with a variety of beaches within a half hour drive all along the St George’s Bay coastline.  This posting is about the beaches along Highway 337 going north along the coast from Antigonish.  I enjoy hunting for colorful stones and shells, breathing the fresh sea air and beach walks.

The Sunrise Trail

Traveling from the East end of Antigonish you have the beaches and coves along the Sunrise Trail (HWY 337) – Mahoneys Beach, Jimtown, Cribbons, Crystal Cliffs, Balantyne’s Cove and Cape George.   Each of these has its own charm and atmosphere.  As the name “Sunrise Trail” suggests, these beaches are facing to the East and a good place to see the sunrise.    Head out of town on Hwy 337 past the Museum and railway tracks and up past the hospital.

The first beach you come to is Mahoney’s Beach. it’s great for a long walk along the ocean or lagoon side.  I saw 6 blue herons here the other day standing in the still water of the lagoon at sunset.   You will often see paddlers and Kayaks exploring the area – the outlet from Antigonish Harbour is here.  This is a pebble beach with some sand on the lagoon side.   It’s a great place for a beach campfire.

Jim Town Beach is a stretch of sandy beach with Ogden Pond on the inland side.  At low tide you can walk towards Mahoneys Beach.   Watch for the currents at this beach as the fresh water runs out into the ocean at this point.  This is a good beach for watching sea birds, beach combing and beautiful views of the hills and homes surrounding this tiny beach.  Stop and see the tiny white country church along the access road.

Cribbons Point comes next.  This is not a beach but I am including it because during the summer season you will find Boyd’s Seafood Galley with a delicious selection of fish and chips, lobster, calamari, shrimp, scallops and burgers for the non-seafood eater.  Fresh salads and ice cream top off their menu.  The restaurant is perched above the harbour with a good view of the fishing boats and pleasure crafts.  Eat in the gazebo, patio area, inside or take-out and explore the wharf area.  This is only 20 minutes from Antigonish so head here for a great seafood dinner any night of the week.

Ballantyne’s Cove is a working fishing wharf.  The Tuna Interpretive Center is worth exploring and if you are a big game fisherman you would be interested in the tuna charters that head out on angling expeditions.  Just behind the Tuna Center take the path to the beach.

As you travel a bit further up the coast explore the Cape George Lighthouse and trails.  This is the Northern tip of the St. George’s Bay.  No beach here but gorgeous views of the entire Bay and over to Cape Breton Island.  At this point you can retrace your drive to Antigonish or continue on to Arisaig and come back by the land route returning onto Hawthorne Street in Antigonish.

Future posts will explore the beaches on the Northumberland shore towards Arisaig, and another along  Hwy 104 heading towards Cape Breton

Map

Antigonish to Cape George

Be Prepared

Take water, sunscreen, a jacket, hat, snacks, beach shoes.  There is little or no shade on these beaches so take what you need to be comfortable.

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