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Posts Tagged ‘storms’

It’s been warm today. Balmy to say the least.  Thirteen degrees Celsius is not at all typical for December in Nova Scotia. Odd weather occurences are becoming more frequent than usual this year, already predicted to be the warmest in Canadian history.

But this afternoon, even news of surfers in Fisherman’s Cove came as a bit of a surprise. I wasn’t able to get out to see the action in Eastern Passage, but I did get a few images of the waves in the Cow Bay area towards Rainbow Haven beach.

The whole sea appeared to be in the process of being stirred up by an invisible hand.  Both the number and size of the waves were remarkable.

What was even odder was the number of flies hovering in the air.  (You might be able to spot some in the photos).  Though I didn’t walk down to the shore, I imagine they would have been swarming in even greater numbers near the seaweed that’s been churned up over the past day.

I hope all the surfers had a great time trying to catch the Big One.

Sybil at Eastern Passage Passage managed to capture surfers in the images she took of today’s waves at Fisherman’s Cove.  You can visit her post at Surf’s Up.

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Nova Scotians are getting ready to welcome Hurricane Earl this morning as a tropical storm.  Hurricane Juan was far more damaging and deadly than was anticipated just hours before his visit in 2003.  It’s best to be prepared.   Even this little spider seems to have battened down the hatches…

The woods are quiet and the songbirds are nowhere to be seen.  Although it’s known that wild creatures seek safe shelters and extra food supplies in anticipation of hurricanes, scientists don’t yet know how they can sense impending stress to the natural environment.  Their ability may simply be the result of heightened sensory awareness through sight, hearing, smell and touch.

Along the shore, the surf is pounding the rocks relentlessly.  Waves are churning up seaweed from the depths.  There are likely some crabs and urchins tangled in the kelp.

Considering how quiet the woods are, I was surprised to see so many seagulls, sandpipers and cormorants hovering around the shore.  They’re probably looking for one last meal before the storm arrives.  Hopefully, they’ll all find safe shelter just in time.

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In the natural world, penguins, seals and dolphins are known for their surfing antics.  Their bodies are well equipped to tackle the elements. But why would humans surf in the cold waters off Cow Bay, Nova Scotia in January?  ‘Because the waves are there,’ they’d probably answer.  What many would regard as Nature’s fury, some see as Nature’s playground.  

Surfing expresses … a pure yearning for visceral, physical contact with the natural world.
~ Matt Warshaw

The fog on Sunday made it difficult for me to see both the waves and the surfers.  No, those black specs aren’t cormorants on the water.  They’re young men shivering in their wet suits, waiting to catch the next big wave.

The parking lot near the Cow Bay Moose was packed full of vehicles, surfboards and young men changing in and out of their wet suits.  Things seemed more quiet  in the waters behind Christ Church where surfers are also known to congregate.

I managed to see some surfers waiting for the next wave in these waters just off Christ Church, but they’re so far off shore that you can’t even see them in the photo. 

In the past decade, big waves have drawn crowds of surfers to Cow Bay whenever there’s been a hurricane or other fierce storm in the area.   This weekend’s first snowstorm of the year was expected to deliver waves up to 8 metres in height.  Hopefully, everyone found the excitement they came for without any accompanying frostbite.

The above photo was taken yesterday by Reed Holmes during the first swell of the new year. For more information about surfing in Nova Scotia, see Scotia Surfer.

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