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Posts Tagged ‘mermaids’

Come down to the sea and take your imagination with you.  Never mind the rain and don’t distract yourself with the usual finds of beachcombers:  broken lobster traps, lone sandals, bottles, cans and driftwood.  Sometimes the stormy seas bring something far more wondrous to our shores.

Of course, it’s not every day you get to see a mermaid.  Such enchanting encounters occur so rarely that it’s difficult to know what to do when you do at last catch sight of one on the shore.

You wouldn’t want to get too close.  Only half human, the wild part of their nature would likely make them quite skittish and easy to scare back into the water.  It’s best to keep a safe distance for both your sakes.  After all, mermaids have been known to lure humans unwittingly into the depths of the sea, never to return again.  Even Blackbeard the pirate feared their charms and kept his ship away from waters where they had been sighted.

Mermaids likely visited Nova Scotia’s shores long before Europeans settled here.  Thrown off course by strong currents during storms, there’s little record of their short stays on our beaches.

They linger only long enough to re-arrange their hair, untangle the seaweed from their tails and sing a haunting song or two before returning to their homes in the deep.

Though this one’s fingers weren’t webbed and she wasn’t sitting on ‘the mermaid stone’ (perhaps the algae made it too slippery this time of year), she was genuinely enchanting.

When will she return?  Mermaid visits are as unpredictable as the weather here in Nova Scotia.  One can only hope it will be soon.

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

For more on mermaids, see Where Mermaids Arrange their Hair and Calling All Mermaids.

 

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The mermaid stone hasn’t seen much action these days.  With surfers riding the waves in recent years and more dogs running along the beaches, it’s no wonder that mermaids are going elsewhere to gather their thoughts at dawn and dusk.

 I, for one, would love to catch a glimpse of a siren arranging her hair while singing a haunting melody.  Even one of the mermaids’ legged cousins, the sea nymphs, would be a delight to find strolling along our shores, gathering shells.

mermaid stone
Sadly, rockweed is all that’s covering the mermaid stone these days.

 Maybe it’s all the garbage that’s dumped near our shores that’s putting them off.  Or perhaps they don’t bother visiting Cow Bay because there are fewer and fewer shells to find here.  The ones that do wash up on our beaches are quickly gathered by tourists and local beachcombers like me.

Sea Nymph by William Symonds

Sea Nymph by William Symonds 1893

 We don’t pause to consider that seashells and sea glass are the only adornments mermaids and sea nymphs have available to them when the seaside flowers aren’t in bloom. 

There are probably uninhabited islands not far from here where mermaids don’t have to compete with anyone for the treasures that wash ashore.  Seals are likely less intimidating than dogs from their point of view as well. 

I’m going to start leaving the seashells where I find them on the shore instead of taking them home.   If I take anything back from the beach, it will be the garbage I find there.  It’s not much, but it’s a first step in attracting these wondrous creatures back to our shores. 

I must be a mermaid… I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.
― Anaïs Nin (1903-1977)

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The sun is rising.  Quick!  Come down to the sea to witness the dawn of day.  Birds are already calling out to one another and singing their wake-up songs.

A male pheasant crows from beyond the alder bushes.  Sparrows are already in flight across the path to the shore.

The view of the sky and ocean open up just beyond the spruce trees.  It’s not far now to the rocks and stones below.

From the shore, the view is clear across the water.  The sun is being coy and staying out of sight behind the clouds.  The tide is neither high nor low, half revealing the wave smoothed rock where mermaids arrange their hair in warmer weather.

Waves pound the beach as the sky begins to darken.  Rain is on its way.  The sunrise show is coming to an end.

There’s time for just one last glance at the dawn from behind the mermaid rock.  The mermaids will soon be migrating back to our northern waters for the summer months.  Perhaps we’ll spot one this year as she sits on the rock, looking out to sea at dawn.  You never know what you’ll find along Nova Scotia’s Atlantic shore.

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How would you like to give or receive a little something from nature this Christmas? Wouldn’t the shopping be easier? Wouldn’t the gift seem more unique?

In response to a suggestion from Sahlah to give one another virtual gifts from nature this season, Centria at Opening the Door, Walking Outside, has already offered up some excellent choices from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Yesterday was Black Friday in the US, a day known for crazy Christmas shopping. Wouldn’t a walk in the woods or along the beach seem a more fitting way to begin the holiday season?

So here are some virtual gifts from nature in Cow Bay to all Flandrum Hill readers and especially the regular commenters. Hopefully you’ll find something you like among these treasures.

The ring-necked pheasant feathers shown above were found in my yard where male pheasants often strut.  You could stick one in a hat or place a few in a vase. 

If you’re into novel fashion accessories, the mermaid’s purse shown at left might be just the thing for you even if you’re not a mermaid. 

Or perhaps a green sea urchin is more to your liking.  Found on the beach but sometimes in the woods where they’ve been dropped by seagulls, up close, each one reveals a five pointed star design.  They are delicate so don’t usually ship well, but seeing as these are virtual gifts, that’s not a problem.  Arranged in a bowl, they’d make a beautiful holiday centerpiece. 

If you’re into practical gifts, the opalescent sheen on this razor clam is bound to make any other shaver seem dull in comparison.

Still haven’t found anything you’d like?  Perhaps money is the gift for you then, in which case these sand dollars are sure to please! 

I sincerely hope you managed to find something you like.  And, if you’re Christmas shopping this weekend, you might want to reconsider that trip to the mall.  Maybe your perfect gifts are already waiting for you to find under the trees.

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mermaid stone

This large, smooth stone near Rainbow Haven Beach is where mermaids sit at dusk and at dawn. And what do they do there at the rising and setting of the sun?  They arrange flowers in their hair… flowers they’ve found on the beach, growing just at the edge of the high tide line.

beach peas

These pink-lavender Beach Peas  have tendrils that can easily be twirled and fixed into long mermaid hair.  Land dwellers may have the wind to be concerned about, but mermaids also have to worry about the currents messing with their hair.  It’s not easy to find ornaments that stay in place.

beach morning gloriesCan’t you just see a pretty mermaid placing one of these pink and white Morning Glories  above one of her ears as she sits on the stone at dawn.  These wild blooms are colorful enough to look striking both above and under the water.

Jacques Cousteau believed that Manatees were what sailors really saw when they thought they were seeing mermaids.  It’s sad that scientists often try to make up in research for what they sometimes lack in imagination.

There are thousands of stones on shores around the world, where mermaids fix their hair and look out to sea as they plan or reflect on the day.  Perhaps there’s one such stone near you.

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