I must admit that southern Nova Scotia was a part of the trip that I was looking forward to the most of all. Why? well, because of a cute redhead named Ingrid. We “met” on the blogs (or Flickr?) about a year ago and started to talk pretty regularly. Kris and I decided to go to Nova Scotia and when I realized that she lived there, I thought, “I should ask her for some suggestions of where to go…” One thing lead to another, and then we had two full days planned with her AND her amazing family. And those plans involved a knitted cowl swap, boat trip, and some amazing birds.
But first, the back story… Ingrid’s father, Ted, is the caretaker/naturalist that oversees some islands off the coast of Pubnico, in southern NS. The islands, known as “The Brothers” are home to the largest community of terns, migratory seabirds, in Canada. This has earned him the very endearing moniker “Tern Man Ted”. Ingrid told Ted about our visit, and our love of nature and photography, and he agreed to take us to the islands to see the terns for ourselves. That morning, we met Ted, Ingrid, and Nigel, her brother, for an amazing day: we assisted Ted by counting the eggs in the nests, looking for signs of predation, and observing the numbers of separate tern species.
We traveled the waterways around West Pubnico, stopping at two islands – the tern island, mentioned above, and Gooseberry, home to the cormorants, the large black birds in the photos, and the fluffy baby seagulls. Gooseberry also had another group of inhabitants that were particularly adorable:
The “marino” sheep of Gooseberry!
(haha, get it? Ted’s joke is getting a lot of mileage er, kilometerage)
The little male – part of a twinset of lambs in the small flock – came right up to us and let out the most adorable little “baaaa!” you ever heard (stuck his tongue out and all!) He seemed to be a little disoriented with our presence on the island. We may have been the first humans he had seen. The idea of leaving the sheep on the island is a smart one – there is enough for them to eat and graze on, and they are safe from predators. Plus, they look so great with the ocean backdrop, don’t they?
After our waterways tour of Pubnico, we headed back to town, ate at a local diner, and decided to do some land-based touring. We headed down to the wind farm at the end of the peninsula and decided to shoot the breeze ourselves.
Then, Nigel and Kris decided to do some mountain biking, and Ingrid and I took a more leisurely option, heading to the Historic Acadian Village.
(I don’t like to be ignorant, so I sheepishly asked Ingrid about the Acadians – I only knew bits and pieces. Thankfully I am now “in the know”, thanks to her explanation, the info I gathered at Le Village, and a plethora of Wikipedia articles on the subject.)
We said our goodbyes in Pubnico (after seeing Nigel’s amazing ukulele collection) and headed north to Yarmouth with Ingrid. We had a dinner date with her husband, Jesse, and after a day of being out on the water and hiking around, we had worked up quite an appetite. Afterward, we headed back to their house, met “the bastard kitty” Moustache, drank tea and managed to knit a bit (she was working on this while I was there). We laughed a lot.
The next morning, we made plans to meet Annie at the bakery, go to the yarn shop, and see the bustling metropolis of Yarmouth. So, we did.
Hands On Crafts in Yarmouth is a great shop – I don’t think I was ready for how great it actually was! More than yarn, it was a complete resource for so many crafty endeavors. We spent an hour talking with a lantern glass beader, and we saw rug hooking, soap making, and countless needleart supplies. I got some Fleece Artist, and some Briggs & Little wool. Ingrid got a Fleece Artist cardigan kit, and Annie got some roving for thrummed mittens. (Great sidenote: Annie will be moving stateside pretty soon! hoping we can meet again!)
…and just like that, the time was up… the intrepid travelers had to move on, up the shore to the north. Luckily, we had some great memories to take along with us. Many thanks to Ingrid, and all of her family, for their hospitality and generosity. It just makes me happy to think about you all!