From the parades to the lights on the trees, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around the province. And that means finding gifts to go under your Nova Scotian tree. Our favourite way to shop for our loved ones is to shop local and find things that are uniquely Nova Scotian to stuff in their stockings.
In autumn, the rural road along Nova Scotia's Highway 2 is lined with scenes of quaint farm houses, river views, and blueberry fields as red as hot coals.
My sister and I made our way along this road one chilly October day, excited to view the newest work of local artist Joy Laking at her Fall Exhibition.
Joy Laking has been capturing the heart and soul of Nova Scotia in her paintings for over forty years. A visit to her gallery near Bass River leaves one feeling warm, welcomed, and inspired.
The timing was impeccable! The tidal bore was moving up the Shubenacadie River as if to greet us as we drove across the Gosse Bridge. I'd like to say I planned it that way but it was really just pure luck. I pulled abruptly into the driveway of the South Maitland Tidal Interpretive Centre and my wife Sara and I speed-walked to the observation deck overlooking the river to get a better view.
We joined about a dozen of other on-lookers who, by a survey of license plates in the parking lot, had come from Quebec and at least four different states to view this natural phenomenon. The bore occurs twice a day as a result of the in-coming Fundy tide and appears as a wave of water that moves upriver. The river actually reverses its flow temporarily as it fills up. Not only is it fascinating to see the bore, but it is incredible to see how quickly the river changes following the bore. We even spotted a few rafting boats on the river as they played in the temporary rapids.
My son Jaden's end-of-the-year grade 2 class-trip included a visit to the Joy Laking Gallery near Bass River and a boat-load of fun at Hidden Hilltop Family Campground in Glenholme. I was psyched to be a volunteer for this one! Although the school is about 25 minutes away from our first stop at the gallery - I'll be honest...it felt a lot longer with 26 or so excited and vocal kids around me.
Along the way I managed to take in the pastoral surroundings and views of the Minas Basin. I am always quick to share that the Minas Basin is the part of the Bay of Fundy where the highest tides in the world actually occur. At low tide the Basin can almost look completely drained...like someone pulled the plug - quite amazing!