Mud and Tides
First stop the chimney next to the Wolfville town library – strange but true! The chimney is all that remains of the local dairy, long since demolished. As it has for many years been an overnight roost for the aptly named 'Chimney Swifts', it was saved from demolition by the local community. The swifts spend the day entirely on the wing, catching insects and only land at night to roost. They have retractable hooked claws and barbed tail feathers which enable them to cling to chimney brickwork and roost vertically. They migrate from Peru to the cooler Nova Scotia climate to breed and feed on the plentiful summer insects. When it starts to get cold and the insects die off they head on back to sunny Peru. Either they were having a lie in today or they had chosen a different roost for the night - there was no sign of them.
A short way on from the chimney we reached the waterfront where the low tide had revealed vast mud flats and salt marshes. Interpretive boards explain the movement of the tides, why the Minas Basin is so unique and how the land has consequently been shaped. The movement of the tides, strong currents and (in winter) icebergs have all helped to carve the land and estuaries here. There is also a Tidal Bore here – River Severn eat your heart out!
'Evangeline' Longfellows heroine v the dastardly Brits
Half an hours drive brought us to Grand Pré and the site which commemorates the deportation of the Arcadian men who refused to swear allegiance to the British crown during the struggle between the British and the French for territory in North America. Evangeline is the heroine of the poem by Longfellow whose lover Gabriel is deported and she has become the symbol of remembrance of this act in Acadia.
WW2 Observation Tower
We kept to the more circuitous coast road and stopped for a sandwich and much needed drink at a roadside take-out doing a roaring trade before skirting Truro and hugging the coastline again, this time the north shore of the Minas Basin. More spectacular views, particularly from the WWII observation tower at Cobequid Interpretation Centre. We passed Five Islands which, according to Mi'kmak legend, were created when their deity, Glooscap, hurled rocks into the basin as he was annoyed when the giant beaver dammed it.
View over Estuary from restaurant
Arriving at Parrsboro we freshened up in , yes, the Gabriel room, at Evangeline's Tower B&B. Afterwards we walked down to 'Bare Bones' where we had seared scallop linguine with roasted vegetables in a pernod cream sauce washed down with a Corona for me and Propeller Porter for Rick. The end to another wonderful day.
on August 5, 2012
from the travel blog:
Go West then go East
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