Are you getting spring fever yet? I feel a definite change in the air and temperature in the past week. A sure sign of spring the past couple of years is when Foods of the Fundy Valley hosts their Seedy Saturday event. It is an event that gets everyone in the mood for looking at or finding the perfect seeds for that perfect flower or vegetable they want to grow. “This free event includes seed sellers, garden related local businesses and organizations and a seed swap table along with workshops throughout the day”. We were able to get down to it this past Saturday and also attended last year when it was in the high school in Hillsborough. You can see my post here from last year– I featured Farmer Brown who was back again this year for another workshop and plant offerings. This year it was held in the old Baptist Church that houses Oliver’s German Bakery – featured here– and is the site of the Hillsborough Farmer’s market in the summer. Cochrane Family Farms was back as well as Rainbow Seeds, Fundy Farms, Mapple Farms and many others. There were also a few crafters and artisans. I got to meet Jim and Ruth -Ann who create pottery from Fundy mud ( Jim’s art-find his site here) and beautiful linocut prints ( Ruth- Ann – has a lovely site here ), You can usually find their smiling faces and booth at the weekly Farmer’s Market or you might spy their work in some of the shops along the Road to Waterside!
One the things people look forward to is the fabulous soup bar put on by the Foods of the Fundy Valley as well. You can see there was a great turn out this year with lots of people enjoying the fares and wares.
This was one of the many workshops people could attend throughout the day- another highlight!
Lastly I want to give a shout out to Foods of the Fundy Valley who not only offer this event for free but also do so much more in the community.”They incorporated in October 2010 as a non-profit corporation whose mission is to foster an environment that promotes the production and consumption of local foods and local goods in the Albert County Area .” They support and run the Hillsborough Farmer’s Market, the Community Food Smart program, and the Community Garden at Forestdale Nursing Home They also offer workshops throughout the year at a nominal or volunary costs, They support educational programs at some of the local schools. They also have a beautiful logo that identifies businesses who are using locally grown or made products. Make sure you look for it and support our local producers and businesses! You can find out more about their various programs on their website and also become a member if you are passionate about food and community for only $5 per year.
I wish you many happy planting dreams as we look forward to the next few weeks as we start to see new life starting to bloom.
We had the pleasure of getting down for the Lands and Trails meeting in Riverside-Albert Tuesday night hosted by the Southeast Regional Service Commission, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. This is a follow-up to the post I wrote just a couple weeks ago about the plans for a 150 km trail from Fundy park to Shediac that I heard about from Marc Leger, the Trails coordinator for the Southeast Regional Service Commission during Riverview’s Winter Carnival. The meeting this week was an opportunity to hear more about how all the “Nature” organizations can work together conserving, protecting and using the land in a sustainable, enjoyable way in concert with development and marketing of this new Trail.
Do you know where to find Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum Falls? Have you heard of the Dragon’s Tooth? These are just 2 of the 50 Amazing places you can find to explore around the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. “As a non-profit organization, the Fundy Biosphere Reserve is a community-based initiative comprised of individuals and representatives of various stakeholder groups, organizations and local communities working to promote the sustainable development of the region by enhancing the research and innovation capacity and by creating a forum for various groups to share information, knowledge and best practices.” The UNESCO-designated biosphere comprises 442,250 hectares in the upper Bay of Fundy coast, stretching from St. Martins to the Tantramar Marsh near Sackville and inland to Moncton. As Dr. Jennifer Dingman, the Executive Director of the Fundy Biosphere Reserve, explained in part of the talk at the Riverview Winter Carnival this past weekend “Engage with Nature”- it is all the watershed that falls into the upper Bay of Fundy area including the Petitcodiac and the other little estuaries that contribute to the Bay. This biosphere is unique and was nominated by the planning committee to be a UNESCO site back in 2007 ,after 8 years of planning ,because of these 3 reasons:
Recognition of a special piece of the Atlantic Canada maritime landscape and the uniqueness of the Bay of Fundy;
Recognition of the area’s history and its cultural identity in the region and within Canada;
Recognition of the past and continued commitment of residents, policy makers, resource sectors and scientists to seek continued improvement in intergenerational sustainability.
It was the hope that being designated as a UNESCO site would also bring local and international investment and interest to the area. At this time many organizations we heard from at the workshop are hoping that the Tourism department will see this designated site as a worthwhile investment for our province to engage people to visit our province. There are 18 designated areas in Canada with 3 right here in Atlantic Canada- 1 in New Brunswick with the Fundy Biosphere and 2 in Nova Scotia.
The Fundy Biosphere Reserve designated 50 Amazing Places to explore ,that are found along many already established trails and destination spots. The 2 places I mentioned above were ones I had never heard of so I had to look them up! Wouldn’t you know they are on the most strenuous trail in the area- the Fundy Footpath. Have any of you hiked this strenuous trail? Don’t be discouraged if you’ve heard how daunting it is! There are many other beautiful accessible sites like Dickson Falls in Fundy Park or Cape Enrage and of course our beautiful Waterside and Dennis beach made the list! You can see the whole map on the Fundy Biosphere’s website along with videos and articles about some of the areas.
I encourage you to look them up and tell me how many you have been to! If you don’t know where some of them are or how to get there- check out Hiking New Brunswick’s website– a great resource for all trails in New Brunswick. Here are some photos of some of the places we’ve been on the list:
Hopewell Rocks in Hopewell Cape.
Mary’s point in Harvey.
Squaw’s Cap Look-off on the Coastal Trail in Fundy.
Dickson Falls in Fundy.
Herring Cove Beach in Fundy.
Sea Caves in St. Martin’s.
Speaking of trails, we also had the pleasure of hearing from Marc Leger, the new Regional Trails Coordinator for the Southeast Regional Service Commission. Marc has a long history with trail making with his Dad Alonzo on the Fundy Footpath and Dobson Trail. He gave us some interesting insights about trails that I had never thought of. Not only are trails great for connecting us to nature, relieving stress, and helping us stay fit they also connect people, communities, culture and businesses. Using the example from the Trail Town program of the Buddha Bear Cafe in Riverview, he showed how a trail can get people in touch and investing in small business right off the trail and making a huge difference in communities when the trails are accessible and easy to use. According the Trail Town philosophy , a trail is successful if they have the following qualities: 1) It creates economic growth, 2) Grows local business and creates jobs, 3) Compounds the trail’s economic potential, 4) Improves infrastructure in rural areas, and 5) Protects the trails and surrounding nature. Buddha Bear Cafe is right on the Riverfront Trail facing the Petitcodiac river. It is easy access for people to stop for a drink or bite to eat while they are also using trail. I know they have even had events where people come for a drink while watching our famous Tidal Bore. This kind of use of trails attracts locals and tourists alike to invest in our small businesses and communities!
I was excited to hear about the most recent project Marc is working on. I had heard rumours about it lately but Marc confirmed the rumours are true! He is working on a huge project called The Shore-Line trail. It is a proposal to join Alma to Shediac via a 150 km trail. It would connect the provinces 3 largest attractions- Fundy National Park, Hopewell Rocks and Parlee Beach – as well as all the attractions along the way. Here is a little description of the trail from their proposal : The Shore-Line could be almost entirely off-road and will utilize abandoned rail corridors, dykes, undeveloped Department of Transportation and Infrastructure corridors and Crown Land wherever possible. Every possible effort will be made to locate a route that will follow coastline and waterways because trails users generally prefer trails to be close to water. Isn’t that awesome! How many have cringed when they hit the 114 outside Riverview? The narrow road with no margins makes us nervous in our cars let alone ever trying to walk, run or bike there. If you have been following my blog since last year, you remember the story of meeting a lady from Alberta who biked all the way to Newfoundland. She said the stretch from Hopewell Cape to Moncton was one of the scariest stretches she had driven in her whole drive across the country ( Thankfully she did get picked up for that stretch and didn’t have to drive it). It would be wonderful to have a trail that is safe, accessible and easy to manage for the average person.
For those who are interested in this trail or anyone who lives along this route, there is a meeting Feb 26th at the Riverside- Albert Recreation Centre with a drop in from 1-4 and information meeting from 6:30-8:30. Representatives from The Fundy Biosphere Reserve, Nature Conservancy of Canada and Regional Service Commission will be there for the presentations.
The last person we heard from at the workshop was Sarah Lord. Sarah has been the wellness coordinator at Jean Coutu in Riverview for the past 10 years. She has a passion for helping people get active and lead healthier lives. She has led various groups for walking, nordic walking, hiking, snowshoeing, etc. She has started her own business to lead people on tours and hikes especially if you are nervous about going alone. You can find her on her Facebook page Maritime Detours for all her latest news.
I had such a great time meeting some new people in the world of outdoor trails and pursuits. Other honourable mentions I heard were the Outdoor Enthusiasts Club and the Women of the Wilderness if you are looking for groups to join- they are on Facebook as well.
Next week will be 1 year in the blogging world. It has been fun to share places, businesses and creativity along the Road to Waterside. Be sure to tune in next week for a chance to win a Valentine’s basket to thank you for all your support!!
Just when you think you can’t take the weather and the roads anywhere, you take a break in the weather and head to Fundy. What Mark and I found this weekend was a renewed hope for enjoying more of winter. Since the kids have gotten older and my hands have gotten worse in the cold with Raynaud’s disease, we really have gotten away from doing anything outside in the winter. This past weekend though was gorgeous and tolerable! I could actually see myself enjoying it (when the temperature and wind were just right 🙂 ). We wanted to show you this week all the ways Fundy is making it more inviting to enjoy the park in all seasons. Enjoy some of these photos Mark took while we explored all the options available to you.
I have been wanting to write about this next business for a while now. I heard about this unique business back a few years ago when I heard on the news that the owner was going to have to put it up for sale after being in his family since 1922. You can see that news story here. Sadly this owner passed away while it was still for sale but it has been rejuvenated in the past year by his niece and great granddaughter of the original owner Sterling Moffett. I asked Natasha to share some of the history and story behind her family’s store and how she came to be a part of it. Here is her story behind Moffett’s Hardware Store in Sussex, New Brunswick:
The last time I shared some memories of the Fundy area we ended at my teenage years. When I was getting ready to graduate from high school, I had a moment of feeling depressed because I was sad about all my activities ending and that I felt my life would be changing forever. The summer I graduated was when I met Mark and well, I was no longer depressed after that 🙂 . A lot of our dates were spent in Fundy park and the Fundy area. I was even able to work as a lifeguard at the Fundy pool for a couple summers in university which was fine with us, more time in Fundy! The Fundy region is special to us because of the memories we’ve had at different times in our lives and this time was extra special.
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!
I consider Mark and I to be somewhat discriminating and particular when it comes to our mussel game. We love a good serving of large, meaty mussels with some fresh bread and enough broth to dip that yummy bread into after the mussels have disappeared. We have been known to ask for more bread just for the yummy broth. Our first experience with having such mussels was when we were newly married and touring Cape Breton Island. We ended up at a restaurant where we ordered a bowl of mussels. They were amazing!! To this day, we always seem to compare the next plate of mussels to that first plate we shared as a couple in Cape Breton. We have had mussels in NB, PEI, NS , Maine and New Hampshire . We have cooked them ourselves or have had them served to us at very fancy restaurants. Any time we see them on a menu we always debate whether we should get them or not at the risk of being disappointed.
We were delighted this past weekend to indulge in some of the best mussels we’ve ever had at Octopus’s Garden Cafe in Alma, NB. I had seen a picture and description of this mussel dish on their Facebook page recently. I mentioned them to Mark as we were heading down Sunday afternoon and he suggested we stop there for lunch on the way to the cottage. He didn’t have to twist my arm to stop and try them !
Here is a photo of our actual plate with 1 or 2 mussels missing because we couldn’t contain ourselves 🙂
Octopus’s Garden Cafe is located on the left right beside Saprano’s Pizza ( another favourite for their donairs!!) as you are heading into Alma.
They are open for breakfast at 7 am and run to 10 pm for lunch and dinner . Here is a quote from their Facebook page about what they offer:
“We take care to specialize in fresh, local, high-quality food – served to you at affordable prices. Our cheese, meat, bread, eggs, milk, butter, hot sauces, honey, tea, jams, and maple syrup are all sourced from local producers. We serve fresh-roasted, organic, fair trade coffee and espresso. Most of our organically grown fruit and vegetables are right from our own farm. ”
At quick glance, I saw Armadale Dairy, ANC meats, Bay of Fundy lobster and scallops and lots of other local ingredients on the menu. They were getting the fresh pasta ready for dinner while we were there which seems to be quite popular! They were kind enough to prepare mussels for us at lunch because they had time to do it but it is usually a dinner feature.
They have lots of local art featured throughout the cafe as well. They also have live music featured from time to time. (My son just informed me their name is taken after a Beatles song- they really do love their music I guess). It was so nice to see this business supporting other locals and we in turn can support them.
I hope you can all get down and try the mussels or anything else on the menu!. It all looked delicious.
Wow where did those 4 days go? It was wonderful to be back in Waterside! I hope you all had a lovely long weekend. I had so many projects to tackle that the 4 days just flew by. I wanted to get them at least started before the season got underway. I hope some of you got to visit some of the businesses in Albert County who had an open house for the Fundy Studio Tour or maybe you got to Fundy or Cape Enrage for some of their grand openings and celebrations.
Here is a little recap of what we did:
This is our dining table and a chair in its current state:
I love the base but don’t like how my original paint job is looking on the top- I wanted a driftwood look but I am not loving it and wanted to try something different.
I sanded the table and seats all down to the original finish. I was going to try a new product by Homestead House called Stain and Finishing Oil but I couldn’t get the look I wanted on my samples.
So I went back to a layered look with just Fusion mineral paint. That way if I still don’t like it down the road I can still paint over it without any trouble. I’m still not sold on this look but it looks much better than my 1st go round. The kids think it looks the same as what I had before. I will keep you updated on what I do next. Any suggestions are appreciated!
The second project I wanted to do was reseal our IKEA counter tops. They are still looking good but I hadn’t sealed them again since we 1st installed them in 2015. When I went to take a soap dispenser off the counter when I got to the cottage Friday there was a slight black ring beside the sink and I knew some water had gotten under the surface. The counter tops just have a thin wood veneer on top and I was scared to sand too much but I heard you can do that to try to get stains, water damage ,etc out of it. I sanded it lightly but not sure I made much of a difference.
These are a couple before shots:
During: putting on the tung oil.
And the after: I don’t know if I see a difference. The counters appear richer and renewed in person but that spot beside the sink is still noticeable. I will need to be more careful with what gets left on the counters!!
We did get out for a short drive on Monday- I wanted to see the new pavilions and Visitor Center at Wolfe Lake and the Chignecto Recreation Area across from Chignecto campground. This new recreation area will have bikes for rent for many new trails that have opened up for bikers.
Here is the new visitor center at Wolfe Lake- it will also have a smaller version of the Fundy Guild’s gift shop here too.
The new outdoor recreation center isn’t completely finished but is in a similar style to the Visitor Center. We had a lovely chat with a staff person and I even tried out a couple bikes! I love bikes! One was a Fat bike and one was a Plus bike. It felt like I could ride anywhere or over anything with one of those! See the smile on my face 🙂 Would be fun to ride on Waterside beach! Even a couple of those kids behind me pretending not to know me tried out the Fat bike.
Outdoor Elements is the company from Sussex who will be in charge of bike rentals. They are also now in charge of boat rentals at Bennett Lake. We will miss “Sinc’s Boats” but look forward to what Outdoor Elements has to offer Fundy for further use and enjoyment of the Park. You can check out the Outdoor Elements website for information on rentals under their “Fundy Adventure Center” tab. (https://www.outdoorelements.ca/rent ) It looks like you will be able to book your bike, boat or camping experiencing online in the future. They are going to have a small retail outlet in Alma to hook you up for your outdoor essentials. They are hoping to have some packages in the future as well, teaming up with some local businesses for an even better experience! They will be offering winter adventures too so those of you who love to get out in winter will have choices in Fundy to stay active as well. They also have a Facebook page ” Outdoor Elements” or “Outdoor Elements-Fundy Adventure Center” so you can follow along with their updates and services as the season progresses. We love what they are doing so far!
Since it’s my birthday tomorrow I thought I would share a little more about me and my background with the Fundy region. I love looking back at where people come from and reading their biographies so I thought it would be fun to go down memory lane to some familiar spots in Fundy where my family has spent some time. Some of these are priceless.
These 2 photos are oldies from my husband’s side of the family. I can see with our mutual love for the area it was inevitable we would be drawn together and want to build down there. When I see this sign I think of my son working at the the Fundy Guild gift shop last summer- he got lots of questions from people asking where Alma was, 🙂 Maybe we still need this sign up there!
It’s amazing how little this building has changed!! I’m glad the flowers are still as nice!
Summer of ’69- My Mom and Dad at Fundy with my grandparents at Bennett Lake before they headed off to UNB. These are some old pics so bear with me in the quality department. We are talking vintage here!
The playground and green space was and still is popular with families.
This was one of our favourite beaches to explore down in Alma at the border of the park when the tide was out. We were so disappointed to see what was done to this beautiful landscape this spring with the man made addition- totally changes the feel, view and memory of this special beach.
Some fun days camping at Headquarters- picking fiddle heads, getting lobster and sticky buns, going to the evening programs at the Amphitheatre, hiking- all wonderful memories.
Some of our favourite look out spots ( we would sometimes have extra kids tag along 🙂 )
One of our favourite spots for picnics! Can’t believe this look off area is the same!!
Had to include this last one since it’s just down the road from our place in Waterside- Cape Enrage has changed a lot as well since we started going here. Looking forward to what the new director has in store for this beautiful gem and treasure of NB.
If you are curious, here is what the seeds look like after a week at home. Not sure if this is how they are supposed to look. One tray got fried in the oven when my son turned it on my accident. Oops, will try planting some more. If any of you have any advice, let me know!!
The random winner of the package of seeds goes to my Mom!
Thanks for reading everyone. Hope you are enjoying the lovely spring weather we have had this week!