Tag Archives: nova scotia

Balmoral Grist Mill

Balmoral Grist Mill

Set in a wooded gorge on Matheson’s Brook sits the Balmoral Grist Mill.

It is amazing to see the fine workmanship and intricate gears and stone grinding wheels, levers and pulleys that work so seamlessly together to grind a variety of grains.  The output is flour, oat meal and meal of different grades.  You can picture the farmers or their wives coming by from their nearby farms in the area 140 years ago with a sack of wheat, oats or barley and having the miller grind it up for flour.

The mill was built in 1874 by Alexander MacKay.  Tthere were mills of many types in this area.

The mill is still in working order.  We took the tour with the friendly and knowledgeable museum guide and learned about all the steps in production of flour from wheat, buckwheat, oats and various grains for making flour and animal feed.

This is definitely worth the visit.

The Setting (video)

Video from Balmoral Grist Mill Museum

Photo Gallery Slideshow

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Other spots of interest in the area:

More information

The Antigonish Summer Art Scene – Part 1

The Antigonish Summer Art Scene  – Visual Arts

Antigonish is a vibrant hub of the arts with events, exhibits, art fairs, performing arts.   Whether you are an artist yourself or enjoy participating in events there are many things to see and do. If you live in Antigonish – you’re lucky – if not – come and visit and stay a while.  Stroll around town with its colorful flower baskets and murals. Drop in to one of our many restaurants and Cafés. There is so much to see and do that this article focuses on the visual arts.  Check the links at the end of the article for up to date information from the individual websites and social media.  All addresses are in Antigonish unless otherwise noted in the out of town locations.

EVENTS & HAPPENINGS

St.FX Art Gallery Fundraiser GalaSt FX Art Gallery Fundraiser Gala 2017 will be an exciting evening for the arts. There will be a dynamic mix of Live Art, Live and Silent Auction, Reverse Raffle and Fine Art Door Prizes and an opportunity to watch artists create. The art items are from some of Nova Scotia’s finest artists and collections.  June 10. 7PM. Keating Centre, StFX. Tickets $40.

GoArts 2016 Alan Syliboy speaking at opening eventGathering of the Arts (GoArts) is an annual exhibition of regional artists’ work in the visual arts. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, GoArts will be showcasing 20 art installations in 20 unique venues around Downtown Antigonish. Opening Gala – July 4. People’s Place Library.  Exhibit continues July and August.

Antigonish Art Fair 2017Antigonish Art Fair: A fun filled family evening with a wonderful array of art, artisanal arts and crafts, multicultural foods and terrific performances. This family event includes the Creative Children’s Corner with a multicultural flavour. 2017 dates are Fridays 6 – 9 PM. June 23, July 7, 21, August 4, 18. Chisholm Park. Rain location will be announced on social media.

GALLERIES, EXHIBITS & SHOPPING

St. F.X. Art Gallery is an exceptional exhibit area on the campus of St Francis Xavier University. The gallery interprets a diverse range of art for community members and the public. It connects the University’s cultural life to that of the wider community through exhibitions, publications, and events and fosters an appreciation of visual arts & culture. First Floor Bloomfield Centre, StFX University Campus. Summer Hours Monday – Friday, Noon – 5pm

Lyghtesome GalleryLyghtesome Gallery. The gallery established in 1975, features an outstanding collection of original works by Nova Scotia printmakers, watercolourists & oil painters, as well as award-winning pottery, wood, clay & metal sculpture, art-related books & cards, and Celtic artwork. It represents artists Anna Syperek, Linda Johns and many others. Open year round.  166 Main St. Mon–Sat 10am–5pm.

Down to Earth GalleryDown to Earth Art Gallery displays a great selection of original paintings, carvings and iron work.  Works by J. Franklin Wright, Alan Syliboy, Kate Georgallas and more  240 Main St. Mon-Sat 9am-5pm.

 

 

Antigonish Town & County Library - The People's PlaceAntigonish Town & County Library – The People’s Place. Monthly exhibits in the Bistro area from local artists and art groups. July and August hosts the GoArts Exhibit. Browse throughout the library and the surrounding for art installations commissioned during the building of The People’s Place.  283 Main St.

 

Tall & Small Cafe - Art exhibit by Hearts & HandsTall & Small Café. Monthly art display by local artists.  The Café offers daily soup specials, fresh baking, fairly traded coffee and an array of teas.  342-2 Main St.

 

 

 

The Made in Nova Scotia Store.  Photography and wood, pewter, knitted and woven crafts by Nova Scotia craftspeople. 324 Main St. Tues-Sat 10am-5pm.

 

 

 

Aphrodite Art and FashionAphrodite Art and Fashion. Ladies Clothing Boutique and Gallery of Fine Craft and Art. 292 Main Street. Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. Sat 10am-5pm

 

 

 

Hearts and HandsHearts and Hands Shop.  Building community through art.  Open Monday to Friday 9 am to 3.30 pm. Everyone is welcome to come by and visit us. 4 West St.

 

Kirk Building.  Photography exhibit.  219 Main St. Corner of Main and Church Street.

 

 

 

Antigonish Farmers Market. Art, photography, crafts in addition to local produce, baked goods and entertainment in a great setting to meet the locals.  Saturday 8am – 1pm. Antigonish Arena, James St.

 

SHORT DRIVE FROM ANTIGONISH

Old Barn Galleries & Gardens  The gallery is situated in the middle of 350 acre Beaver Dam Farm with abstract and impressionist art by owner / artist Carol Rivoire, Surrounding the gallery are beautiful, old-fashioned perennial gardens and a charming courtyard. 71 Melanson Rd. Pomquet. Opening June 1.

 

Tickletree Ag and Art.  This is a new gallery that will be creating and showcasing fused glass, art and photography.  Contact via Facebook for opening dates and hours.

 

 

 

A Matter of Tastes.   Art gallery, etchings, work of Vicki MacLean, photography.  Hwy 7, Antigonish.

 

 

 

 

Studio Rally.  Check out the Studio Rally website for visual art and fine crafts studio and information. Select for “Northumberland Shore” for Antigonish area.

ORGANIZATIONS

Antigonish Culture Alive ACAAntigonish Culture Alive – ACA is the community arts council of Antigonish, a non-profit organization which strives to foster the creation and appreciation of the arts in the community of Antigonish.  A directory of artists and a calendar of arts events.

 

 

Arts Health Antigonish AHA! – AHA! values and respects the immense contribution of the cultural sector to community vitality, vibrancy and health and champions the role of the arts in a healthy community.

 

ASAPThe All-of-us Society for Arts Presentation (ASAP) is an artist-run centre located in Antigonish, promoting the work of local and regional artists, and addressing infrastructure, promotion, education, and funding opportunities for the visual arts in the community.

Anything missing? Please send any comments and suggestions of visual arts in Antigonish.  Stay tuned for Part 2 which will feature the Antigonish Summer Arts Scene – Performing Arts

More Information

 

Fiddleheads

I love this early sign of spring – the arrival of fiddleheads.  This wild delicacy is the delicate furls of the Ostrich Fern found in Eastern Canada.  If the fiddleheads are not cut they unwind out to the full fern.

The ferns are found in moist areas, along river banks and woodlands. But for those of us who don’t pick our own, we find them in the farmer’s markets and sometimes even in the supermarket.  If you are foraging on your own, be sure to identify the correct fern as other varieties may be poisonous.  Also, it is recommended that you only cut half of the fiddleheads in the area so that the fern population will continue to thrive.

Fiddlehead s are delicious and their distinctive shape adds a unique visual appeal to a meal.

Preparation

Wash the fiddleheads well in several changes of water to remove all the brown papery covering of the fronds.   The water will run clear and the fiddleheads will be a bright green when cleaned.  Snip off the end of the stem that may be brownish.  Then drop the fiddleheads into a pot of boiling water and boil for 7-10 minutes.  Remove from the water and throw out the water. Don’t keep it for soup as it is bitter and has removed tannin from the fiddleheads.  Then use the fiddleheads in a variety of recipes.

Recipes

1 – Saute the fiddleheads in butter or olive oil with onion and garlic.

2 – Saute the fiddleheads with butter or olive oil, onion and garlic, and mushrooms.  Add pesto sauce and serve over noodles.  Optionally add salmon chunks.

3 – Fiddlehead quiche

More Information

 

 

Fraser’s Mills Fish Hatchery

Fraser’s Mills Fish Hatchery

Sport fishing and fish angling are a popular recreational activity in Nova Scotia.  Nova Scotia’s 6,700 lakes, 100 rivers and 7,400 kilometers of coastline offer incredible opportunities for angling enthusiasts.  In September 2016 I had the pleasure of visiting with Stephen Tibodeau at the Fraser’s Mills Fish Hatchery a short distance from Antigonish.

Stephen filled us in on the fish hatcheries in Nova Scotia. “My name is Stephen Thibodeau I am the acting supervisor here at Frasers Mills Fish Hatchery. My role is to coordinate the stocking and the hatchery operations. We are one of 3 hatcheries operated by the province of Nova Scotia. Collectively we stock in excess of 1 million fish to close to 400 sites province wide.

“We primarily stock speckled trout – it’s our provincial fish. We also stock rainbow trout, brown trout and Atlantic Salmon.  The role of the hatcheries is for the recreational fisheries in Nova Scotia. 30% of Nova Scotia’s recreational fisheries rely on hatchery production. The Frasers Mills Hatchery was built in 1928 by the Government of Canada for their hatchery program. It wasn’t till 1982 that the province took over operations and continued stocking.

Fraser's Mills Fish Hatchery. Stephen Thibodeau, Acting Supervisor

Fraser’s Mills Fish Hatchery. Stephen Thibodeau, Acting Supervisor

“There are 2 management programs that we do. One is through regulations for lakes that have a really good trout population we protect those through regulations. Some lakes have competition in the environment or they are heavily fished, then we use hatchery fish as a way of protecting those native stocks. In some cases we actually develop a fishery with hatchery raised trout the urban fishery we use rainbow trout for that. We also use rainbow trout for our winter fishery.

“The trout fishing season starts April 1 to the end of September. We have some special management areas some lakes and streams that have different season lengths. We always encourage people to take a look at the Anglers Handbook before they go out to fish a particular stream. Generally, the season starts April 1st to the end of September.

NS Hatcheries Video


“We get lots of visitors – locals and tourists. They usually come and take a look at the fish. there’s usually questions about good areas to fish, whether it is here in Antigonish County or elsewhere in the province.

“We get lots of visitors – locals and tourists. They usually come and take a look at the fish. there’s usually questions about good areas to fish, whether it is here in Antigonish County or elsewhere in the province.

“In the Spring we start our trout stocking so First of April we start stocking rainbow trout. Coming into late April and early May we start with our Speckled Trout and Rainbow Trout. We usually stop our stocking by the first of July.  It’s too warm for transport and too stressful on the fish. July and August is spent on site maintenance. In the fall we are gearing up for fall stocking.

“We have a number of programs we are involved in one is the Atlantic Salmon enhancement program. In late September and early October we are out collecting stock for that program. We have our own brood stock here on site and start to spawn the middle of October and we are looking after our eggs.  There’s never a dull moment.

“When we release the fish back into the wild the size varies. Normally in the spring they are what we call a “catchable size” or “retainable size”. The Rainbow Trout start out at 10-12 inches. The Speckled Trout start out at 6 inches when we start releasing them.

“There are other programs we are involved with. There’s the Learn to Fish Program geared to kids ages 8 to 12 but we are expanding it. It’s an outreach program. The kids will have a classroom component usually in the morning and we will go out in the afternoon so they will have a chance to take what they learned in the morning to a nearby pond stocked by the hatchery. Another program that we are involved with is the fishing derbies. There are about 50 every spring and summer. A lot of charitable groups use fishing derbies as a way to make money.

“Classrooms, scouting groups, boys and girls clubs take advantage of the Learn to Fish program. Its open to any group of people – usually kids – if there is enough interest and they apply for the Learn to Fish. It’s very popular. We do about 60 a year now. Depending on the location, 1 of the 3 hatcheries will supply the fish. It’s been very well received.

The Province of Nova Scotia, Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture operate 3 fish hatcheries to help sustain the popular outdoor angling activities: Fraser’s Mills Hatchery, Antigonish County, Margaree Fish Hatchery, Inverness County and McGowan Lake Hatchery, Queens County.

NS Provincial Fish Hatcheries and Recreational Fishing Areas

NS Provincial Fish Hatcheries and Recreational Fishing Areas

Some of the Province’s more popular stocked lakes are: RFA-1 #20 Dam Pond (Cape Breton Co.), McIntyre Lake (Inverness Co.) RFA-2 Cameron Lake (Antigonish Co.), Gairloch Lake (Pictou Co.), RFA-3 Albro Lake (Halifax Co.), Sucker Lake (Lunenburg Co.) RFA-4 Everitts Lake (Digby Co.), Christopher Lakes (Queens Co.) RFA-5 Silver Lake (Kings Co.) Meadow Pond (Hants Co.), RFA-6 Angevine Lake (Cumberland Co.), Little Dyke Lake (Colchester Co.) (Ref https://novascotia.ca/fish/sportfishing/hatchery-stocking )

More Information

 

Nova Scotia and Antigonish Calendars 2017

This year I created 2 calendars.

The Out and About Nova Scotia Calendar 2017 is in its 5th year.  I love going over my photos from the past year to produce this calendar to enjoy throughout the year.  It has become a family favorite.

This year, I decided to produce an Antigonish Town and County Calendar.  We live in such a beautiful part of Nova Scotia and you may want to share this with your family and friends.

Both calendars are available online.  Click on the link below the photos for details.

Melmerby Beach Provincial Park, Pictou

Melmerby Beach

Enjoy fun in the sand and sea at Melmerby Beach Provincial Park in Pictou County.  This 2KM broad sandy beach with sweeping vistas is great for swimming, making sand castles, and taking long walks.  Boardwalks protect the dunes and sea grasses. Lifeguards are on duty in July and August. There are fully equipped changing rooms and washrooms.

Melmerby Beach Slideshow

all photos by Denise Davies. Rights reserved.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Take a circle drive to Melmerby Beach off the 104 (Exit 27 – Exit 24) to enjoy the drive.

Melmerby map Melmerby map 2

More Information

Inverness Beach from the Boardwalk

Inverness Beach

Breathing in the salt air and digging my toes into the sand along with the wind and the sun make for a perfect setting to explore Inverness Beach.  The sandy beach stretches for 1.7 KM with views of the coastline up towards the Cabot Trail and back down towards Mabou along the west coast of Cape Breton.   This was a calm day with the waves lapping the shore.  It must be amazing on a stormy day when the waves crash in bringing “Mermaids Tears”- colourful beach glass washed up after years of churning in the ocean to make smooth and multi-colored shapes.

Spend an hour or a day exploring the beach with its pockets of colourful stones, bits of driftwood, sea grasses and dunes.  Swimming, building sand castles, going for a long walk or just sitting and relaxing in the clear air make for a great day.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A beach boardwalk goes along part of the beach between the dunes and the Cabot Links.  You can watch the golfers on this spectacular course on one side, and views of the ocean on the other.

It’s a fascinating thought that the Cabot Links was built on top of a coal mining area. Along the Inverness Main Street and side streets you can see the company houses built in the early 1900s for the miners.  Stop into the Miner’s Museum housed in the old railway station on Lower Railway Street to learn more about this history.

More

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia – Five Top Experiences

There is so much to enjoy and memories to make all over  the island: hiking, winding roads with spectacular views, small villages, local artists and artisans, history, Celtic music, delicious lobster and seafood chowder, golf, kayaking, fishing, whale watching, beach combing, and heart-stopping beauty of nature.

This article by Denise Davies was published in Travel World International. Summer Issue 2016

And in a digital flip book edition on ISSUU Pages 18-23

 

Farmers’ Market Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has wonderful Famers’ Markets.  A great way to meet some of the locals, try fresh local produce, enjoy entertainment, shop for arts and crafts from local crafts people.  Markets vary by area so check out the local bulletin board or shop to find out the dates and times.  Or check the link below to “find a market”.

You can look for food, art, photography, crafts, jewelry, breads, cookies, muffins, fiddlers, dancers, local produce, jams, jellies, honey and sauces, beer, gin, vodka and wine, quilts, and more.  Ask for recipes and tips if you find unfamiliar items.

Enjoy a visit to the Antigonish Farmers’ Market

Find out more

Exploring Guysborough on Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore

 

The Road Less Travelled

Nova Scotia’s Eastern Shore may seem a bit remote, but in reality, it’s just a couple of hours from Halifax, Antigonish or Cape Breton. And it’s worth the drive—the highway along the shore offers spectacular views as it meanders along past bays, coves, inlets, tidal marshes, pristine beaches and rugged coastline. Coastal islands dot the nearby waters, and all of it offers hikers, nature lovers, paddlers, history buffs and photographers much to enjoy.

Arriving in Guysborough, NS, a town that was settled in 1629, feels like stepping into the past; many of the lovely multi-coloured wooden houses date from the 1800s.

The town’s famed Rare Bird Pub and Eatery is in the bright pink building that itself dates from 1866, when it was a general store. Its recently-restored woodwork and original tin plate ceilings, in addition to the onsite brewery and deck overlooking the marina, make it a great spot to unwind.

Slideshow

Photos by Denise Davies

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

You’ll find the Skipping Stone Café and Store right above the marina, in the historic Jost Building on the Guysborough waterfront. The café sells freshly roasted organic, fair trade coffee from Full Steam Coffee Co. The café’s courtyard overlooks the harbour and you can rent sea kayaks, canoes and bicycles for exploring the land and the sea.

DesBarres Manor Inn is an elegant and comfortable Victorian inn built as a home in 1837 for Justice W.F. DesBarres. The outdoor gazebo deck has a spectacular view of the valley and is a popular wedding venue. Upstairs, the bedrooms are spacious, luxurious and welcoming. An antique writing desk in the master bedroom offers a view of the back lawn and the valley below (with the modern convenience of a Wi-Fi connection) is a writer’s delight.

Dinner at DesBarres is a memorable experience. For dinner we enjoyed a five-course meal which had a creative flair; each beautifully presented dish offers unique flavour combinations and local ingredients. My meal featured his light Poutine appetizer; Seared Scallops; Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Truffles, Foie Gras and Walnuts; succulent Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Mushrooms; and was topped off with bite-sized Banana Bread Pudding with three kinds of homemade ice cream.

For a short hike, the grassy Shoreline Trail starts at the end of Guysborough’s Main Street and winds along Chedabucto Bay. Trail signs describe the history dating back to the 1600s when the area was buzzing with ship building and a large, vibrant port. For a longer hike, the Trans Canada Trail runs through Guysborough.

On the edge of town, the Osprey Shores Golf Resort offers brilliant greens and gorgeous water views. Comfortable accommodations, a swimming pool and a bonfire area make it an ideal family holiday setting.

Keep in mind that, because the Eastern Shore is off the beaten path, some of the back roads in this region are not in pristine condition; caution is recommended if you’re driving an RV. But that’s in keeping with the flavour of the region, anyway. It’s best enjoyed if you slow down and enjoy the scenery.

How to get there

MAP

Click for Google Maps

Guysborough Nova Scotia Map directions

Guysborough Nova Scotia Map directions

From Antigonish or Cape Breton, take exit 37 off Highway 104 at Monastery; travel south from Highway 4 onto Highway 16, through Boylston to Guysborough.

From Halifax, travel east and follow Marine Drive. Watch for signs indicating the status of the Country Harbour Ferry connecting Port Bickerton with Isaac’s Harbour North across Country Harbour.  If it is open, take Highway 211 just past Sherbrooke; if it is not operating, continue on Highway 7, turn right at Melrose Country Harbour Road and again onto Guysborough Country Harbour Road at Cross Roads Country Harbour; follow the signs to Guysborough.

Map Guysborough with points of interest

Map Guysborough with points of interest

More Information