In search of the Sandpiper

This past weekend was the Dorchester Sandpiper Festival.  I enticed the family to go in hopes of seeing some sandpipers but also wanted to find a new farm I discovered in Aulac that just started selling homemade ice cream. I think they came along for the ice cream more than the birds :).   I always forget how quick it is to get to Dorchester on the highway and what a quaint town it is with all its historic properties. We went all the way to Johnson’s Mills Nature Conservancy Site first to see if there were any sandpipers visiting. This is a popular spot for them to feed on their way from the Arctic to South America. We were there at high tide which is usually when the birds are in roosting but the interpreters informed us there were peregrine falcons in the area scaring them away. We actually did see 1 or 2 falcons flying in the bay and then saw 2 or 3 flying over the site when we were driving away as well.  We only saw a very small band of sandpipers out on the bay but have been there in the past when there were thousands on the beach. You just never know what you’ll see on a certain day. Another spot we love to find them is at Mary’s Point near our cottage. Here are a couple photos from 2011 when we visited and saw lots of birds. Photo credit to Mark Nicolle

In Dorchester, we stopped for a minute to check out Shepody House which is one of the new homes for Parkindale Productions to host live musical events and it is available to for events and weddings. There was a band tuning up getting ready to play as part of the Festival. I loved the view from there and the school house lights inside! Then we had to stop at the old Bell Inn- Mark took me here for supper when I was going to Mt A our 1st year of dating. I guess I had better memories of the meal than he did  ( probably because he was paying :)). It is now host to a sewing and quilt shop called “natshi designs” who  are hoping to be able to open a cafe as well on site.

We made it just in time to see the Dorchester Art Society’s 2nd art exhibit as they were packing up. So many people displaying their beautiful creations. We stopped and talked to Donna Sullivan from Sackville about her art and her inspiration for painting. She says she had always dabbled in the arts but didn’t get serious with it until she retired. I just loved her work using different mediums! Here is her gallery wall set up:

 

We next headed down the highway in search of ice cream in Aulac at Trueman Blueberry Farms. They are more than just blueberries!! They have introduced homemade ice cream this summer and their raspberries are at their prime this week for their 2nd year of picking.  They also sell honey, blueberries, fresh bread and I see a u-pick pumpkin patch on their sign. They are gearing up for a sunflower maze and a Great Bee Escape adventure course later this summer. I love seeing family farms getting involved in these great endeavours and seeing a dream realized. We will be back for more! I have a dream of growing pumpkins but I don’t think the weather in Waterside will allow that!

A true Killam- spoon ready to try that ice cream!

 

Since we were in the neighbourhood and had just bought a National Park Discovery Pass, we stopped in to Fort Beausejour-Fort Cumberland. Mark always jokes that our families could have fought on this land may years ago. Glad we get along now :). We only had 5 min to breeze through the exhibit but had fun exploring the site outdoors and taking some pictures. They have tents set up inside the Fort that you can book for an overnight stay! The kids were so little last time we visited here! It is another place we have to come back and visit. Only a 30-40 min drive from home. Lots of treasures to be discovered in our own province! Here are a couple photos from 2010 and then  from this weekend! My how some kids have changed 🙂

 

We hope you enjoyed this trip and that it inspires you to explore some of the beauty around you!

Here is one last photo for you to see if you can find the sandpiper 🙂

P.S.  You should now be able to click on a photo to look at it in larger format.

Road trip- The Sunrise Trail

On Sunday we finally got back to the Northeastern shore of Nova Scotia. My daughter and I loved getting to the Seafoam Lavender farm last year and wanted to go again . We took my niece from NY as well while she was here visiting. I said last time that this trip should be done over 2 days and I feel it again this year that we should have taken 2 days. There is just so much to see!

Our 1st planned stop was an Antique shop I like in Great Village but I hadn’t checked the time it was open on Sundays so we were there too early. We didn’t have time in our schedule to wait so off we went to our next stop which was the Tipperary Cafe in Tatamagouche for brunch. They are known for their butter tarts but the baker was off so we didn’t get to have one this time but the rest of the food was delicious!

Our second stop was to the Lismore Sheep Farm in River John. I love this farm! One reason I also wanted to go on Sunday was to experience their Sunday market and it was also their annual Sheep and Wool Day- there was sheep shearing, angora rabbits and lovely crafts people showing their wares as well as food trucks and farm goods. You can check a video clip of the sheep shearing on my Facebook page.

Next stop was the Seafoam Lavender Farm in Seafoam. Dave the owner was very welcoming and gracious. The farm is situated on some lovely landscaped grounds with a new shelter to enjoy your picnic in the shade. Pets are not allowed on the grounds but they have a sheltered pet parking area. The annual Lavender festival was the weekend before but the lavender hadn’t quite hit their peak so we waited until this weekend to go so picking was at its best.  It wasn’t too busy so we got to park in a great spot and get right to picking our lavender ( after a 10 min rain shower).  We each got a small bundle to take home and dry. A 1 inch bundle is $5 + tax.  They were just at their prime- it is better to pick when they are still in bud form for drying purposes.  They are drying upside down in the dark right now- it will take about 1 week for them to dry.

 

 

Next we ventured back up the road in River John to visit the lovely Mabel Murple book shop owned by the author herself, Sheree Fitch. I have to admit I never read her books but I was intrigued to see this unique spot she has created for people and fans of her work to enjoy. She also has a lovely picturesque spot in the country with some farm animals, old apple trees and a unique indie book store situated right in the middle. As you can see there is lots of purple to match her main character Mabel! She has created a wonderful spot to dream and spend some time reading or relaxing. What a great job you have done Sheree!

From here we weren’t sure where to go. The girls were tired, it was hot and we were getting hungry.  After looking at the map, we decided to head back up the shore towards home and try to stop somewhere along the way to eat.  We stopped in Wallace and was going to try Whirligigs but it was just switching their kitchen for the supper hours and the menu was just a little out of our price range so went up to the family style restaurant called McMahons that advertised they were the home of the lobster burger. I didn’t feel like too much so decided to get their famous burger. It was surprisingly very good- I would have liked a homemade bun versus a standard hamburger bun but it was still good! The views out the window and deck were lovely.

Our last stop along the shore was in Pugwash. I had always heard of Pugwash and was intrigued to finally see this town last year. I fell in love with the place as soon as I saw it.  We discovered this little stretch of road that seems to hold a lot of history. I saw this old house called the Thinkers Lodge this year at the end of the road. You can see just the edge of it in the photo below. What I didn’t know until today is that it is available for tours and booking along with this other building I peeked into called the Lobster Factory. The perfect place for a wedding or conference!

Peek-A-Boo!

Well that concludes our tour of some of the Northeastern shore of NS. I still need to get all the way to Pictou and around the Amherst shore. Perhaps next year! If anyone knows of a lovely place we should or could stay overnight let us know!!

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A man and his camera

I have a very special guest for this week’s post in honour of Father’s Day. He is a special man in my life and the life of my kids. He is an awesome photographer, has a great sense of humour, is patient , kind and very generous. He has even developed some mean building skills in the past few years that have enhanced our cottage and saved us money. Without further ado, I introduce you to my better half , the one who makes me smile everyday and supports me in all I do. He is my partner in life, husband and father of my children- Mark Nicolle!

I feel honoured to be asked to contribute to this wonderful blog about the Road to Waterside.  Thank you Sheila for asking if I would contribute today’s post and share some of my favourite photos of the area !  

 

My father instilled in me a love for the outdoors with many fishing, hunting, camping trips, very often along the Fundy coast region.  That love of the outdoors brought me continually to the Waterside and Fundy National Park region. By the time I could drive I was ‘down country’ more weekends than I wasn’t during the summers. I first met Sheila about 28 years ago around this time of year. On one of those ‘first dates’ we travelled the Road to Waterside on our way to Fundy National Park.  We have travelled that road multitudes of times since then, and Lord willing many more times to come. I have been so blessed to be able to share my love of this region all over again through sharing it with our 2 children as they have grown up.  

 

Through all of my relationship with Sheila and during our years of raising our children I have also had a passion for photography.  34 years ago I put down my lawn mowing money at a pawn shop and picked up my first ‘real’ camera. A few years after that I got a job in a camera shop that provided employment through high school, university, and for awhile after that.  I have always enjoyed being able to ‘create’ images and to share things I have seen, thus the name of my photo web site www.marksawthis.com  . I love to create images that are visually pleasing, but more than that, I like creating a visual journal.  I do want to create an interesting image. An image that would share the beauty or interest that I am trying to capture.  But what I believe we all love the most about our images is that memory, that feeling, that moment of our lives that a photograph can return us to.

 

With that in mind I want to share with you 13 images I have taken along the Road to Waterside.  Images that are a journal of years of driving to a place I love , with people I love.


This is Anderson Lighthouse.  It used to sit on a wharf at Waterside beach which has long since washed away.  It now sits in Harvey at one end of the Shepody Dam Road. I love the image because the light was so eerie and soft, and the sky was so interesting.  I have memories from the 1980s cutting across this dirt road on my way to my friend Chris’s Camp which was on Route 915.


Many will recognize Dickson Falls in Fundy National Park.  I have more photos of Dickson Falls than any man should. This is one of my Favorites. I could probably dig out some film photos from before there were stairs and boardwalks at the base of the falls. Do you have photos of Dickson Falls in your collection ?

Owl’s Head is certainly one of the most recognizable geological features you see from Fundy National Park.  The way it often catches and forces the Bay of Fundy fog upwards can look quite spectacular. This day had just the right amount of fog to be interesting to me.  The crows in the foreground make this image one I have favourited. There are not many birds more common as the crow around these parts. But I’ve often thought of creating a collection of interesting crow photos.


This is probably my favorite photo of a deer / fawn.  It was at Point Wolfe. Park staff had ‘flagged’ the path for the ‘Ship Haven Trail’ that was to be built the next year, so I thought I would get a sneak peek at the vistas it would offer. The sun was low, streaking through the tall trees.  A doe had just walked over the ridge in front of me and I felt disappointed I had missed the opportunity to get a photo of it. Then behind her came this fawn. The first shutter release piqued her ear , and afforded this pose for my second.  It was such a beautiful moment I almost didn’t care if the photo came out OK or not. It was such a memorable moment. Of course I did care that later when I developed the photos, I had an image that would be a favourite for the years to come.


I’m being verbose, I’ll babble less.  This is Long Marsh Creek on Route 915 at the bridge where you turn off to the Cape Enrage Road.  The timing made this image, ‘slack water’ that short time when there is very little movement in a tidal stream, sunset, freshly fallen snow. All these happened at the same time, and at the time I was driving past.

 Cape Enrage lighthouse.  How many have visited here before they restored the lighthouse keepers home, before the fences, before the gate and entrance fees ?  This was the early rays of light bathing the cape in late fall.

Above from many moons ago,  is my daughter during a visit to Mary’s Point.  I like so many things about this image, mostly that it brings back the memory of a beautiful evening with my family. Below are our kids sauntering along the Dickson Falls trail in Fundy National Park.  

Don’t like the weather ?  Wait a few minutes and it will change.  I have the feeling this saying is not unique to just the maritimes.  But I do like the next 3 images and how they clearly show just how much impact the weather can have on how a place looks. I specifically like how Matthew’s Head in the distance just disappears completely by the third image.  I like the drama in the sky in the first , the softness of the light in the second, and the highlights of the sun hitting the fog in the third These were taken from the driveway in Waterside. There’s a lesson somewhere in the fact that unsettled weather is what made these images valuable to me.


This image was sunrise at Redhead, before the latest bit of erosion removed some more of it.  Yet another lesson for me to ‘seize the day’ , and to do things while you can.

I’ll end with a simple silhouette of the Great Blue Heron.  For Sheila and I the great blue heron has come to represent our special place in Waterside.  For years we have enjoyed watching them and we still feel a special awe when we see them gliding overhead to the marsh, standing motionless as they fish, or preening in the sun as they are perched along the treeline.

Thank you for tagging along this photo journey on the Road to Waterside.  I hope you have many photos from the road trips that have meant so much to you in your lives.  Take some time this week to dig them out and let them bring you back to the days when you captured them. Let us know about your favourite road trips.

Thank you so much Mark, that was beautiful. I love it all and you!  Happy Father’s Day.

As a special thank you for following along and promoting our page and blog, we are giving away an 8 x 10 of any image you see on this post or on Mark’s website. We will do a random draw from any shares,likes and comments on this post or on our Facebook page “The Road to Waterside”. Draw will be made on Father’s Day!

Mother’s Day

Grace upon grace to you Mothers out there as we look forward to Mother’s day. (This post is a bit reflective and creative so hang in there!) We don’t always get it right and we walk around with a lot of guilt sometimes. Can I get an amen? As I approach Mother’s Day each year I always start to feel the baggage and guilt of what I haven’t done well as a mother and how my journey as a mother is not how I imagined it. I feel like I have not taught my kids enough, not been kind enough, not listened enough, not memorised enough Bible verses, etc. The list could go on and on.

My 2 favourite mothers I like to listen to are Ann Voskamp and Ruth Chou Simons. One is an artist in word and one in paint both raising large families. Everything they write or paint with words speaks to my soul. I feel like I’m not alone in how I process my feelings or how I’m feeling as a mother and woman in the world when I read their words. I would encourage you to find them on their websites if you need some inspiration and encouragement. Ann is at http://annvoskamp.com/2018/05/the-most-life-changing-thing-any-woman-can-do-for-herself-this-mothers-day-what-a-mother-actually-really-wants/

You can find Ruth at https://gracelaced.com/blogs/blog/if-we-were-having-coffee-today-speaking-truth-cuz-no-one-s-ever-grown-by-faking-it

These are their most recent posts. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram if you are on those social mediums as well.

Now let’s get to the creative side which is much more fun and lighthearted and keeps me sane on the days when chores and work seem to be the only things I do. I need this creative side as an outlet to fill my tank so that I can be a better wife, mother and worker. You can check out this article from Focus on the Family that really spoke to me too lately. https://www.focusonthefamily.ca/content/why-self-care-is-important-to-your-marriage

So I usually host Mother’s Day and I hadn’t started planning until a few days ago. When I finally sat down Sunday night to figure out my theme and how to present and DIY some gifts I had bought at IKEA recently, I came across a sweet printable set for Mother’s Day on thediymommy website http://thediymommy.com/french-country-inspired-mothers-day-printable-card-tags/ and that got me thinking about having lavender themed items. I have been a little obsessed about lavender the last few years. I have even tried planting some in Waterside and hope they thrive!  My daughter and I travelled to Seafoam, NS last summer for their Lavender Festival. What a beautiful drive along that shore. We stopped at a few other places recommended by Lori of http://www.farmfreshstyle.ca/. I think we are going to plan an overnight trip next time because 1 day was not enough time to see everything! The lavender festival is July 14th and 15th this year. You can check out their website and Facebook page also to find out more! https://lavendercanada.com/

As I mentioned I had picked up a few items at IKEA to use in my DIY gifts and I picked up an old wooden shelf at Alter Girl in Hopewell Cape recently as well. I thought they would all go splendidly together with some Milk Paint. I am always on the lookout for wood or fabric that I can paint or stencil !

Here you can see the sweet little cards and tags I printed out from thediymommy as my inspiration. I gave the wooden utensils a little pattern with Farmhouse White and Dried Lavender paint colours and sealed with hemp oil for protection.

Next is the shelf painted in Trophy and the lovely linen tea towel stencilled with Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash.

 

I love how it all came together!!

I had one of my daughter’s photos from our Lavender trip enlarged to be used as place mats, picked up some Lavender plants at our local grocery and garden centres which made for some quick table decor.

 

Thank you to my wonderfully talented and patient husband for his carefully curated photos and putting up with my craziness the last 2 days.

This is a photo taken from a few years ago of my niece, mother-in-law, mother, me, daughter and grandmother on another Mother’s Day. Most of us will be around the table again this year. Thankful for God’s grace and mercy. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day not matter what role you find yourself in this year.

 

 

Easter blessings

Happy Easter !  He is risen!!

What does Easter mean to me?

It used to be getting yummy Easter baskets filled with goodies. To most people Easter probably still means the Easter bunny, candy and getting a new dress. While I still enjoy giving my family some goodies on Easter morning, as a Christian it is a day to give thanks to Jesus for giving his life for the redemption of our sins. Easter gives us tangible evidence that Jesus did not stay dead on Good Friday!  It is evidence that He truly is our Resurrection and Life.  He took the punishment we deserved and gives us new life. It gives me hope that all the suffering, brokenness, heartache and sickness we see will come to an end because He lives and if we are His children we will live forever without the burdens that come in this broken world as a result of sin.

Cut a piece of embroidered linen to stencil on an Easter message and made it into a banner. This framed verse is from my grandmother that she’s had around forever- just needed a new painted frame.

 

 

I pray you all seek Jesus and find out what He can mean in your life.

For His good and glory of Easter,

Have a blessed day!

Sheila