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Posts Tagged ‘water’

Seeing the sea from so many vantage points is one of the perks of living in Nova Scotia, especially around the Halifax region.  While driving or walking, seeing the ocean out of the corner of your eye always boosts the spirit.   Like the sky, the Atlantic is always changing and offering something new to see every day.

Sunrises reflected over salt water are especially beautiful.  After decades of looking out towards the sea, it’s still a wonder to me that this water and the water seen from Africa’s western shores are one and the same.  Supposedly, prior to Continental Drift, the land around Cow Bay was once connected to Africa.  Somehow, the idea that Cow Bay’s sandy shores may share a common history with Namibian sands makes this place seem even more special.  

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had to rush past awe-inspiring sunrises over the ocean while on my way to work in the early mornings.   Nevertheless, even a glimpse of such an ocean sunrise is sure to give you some immunity to whatever the rest of the day may throw at you.  Could it be the reflection of sunrise colours in the water that persists in our memory throughout the day?  Or is it the sense of having been alone with God for just that moment at the break of  dawn?

The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea. 
~Isak Dinesen

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It’s always a good time to go down to the ocean and see what you can find.  Ice and wind only make the rocks look more interesting.

Even if it’s raining, the walk down to the sea is always worthwhile because you never know what treasures are waiting to be discovered on the shore.  You don’t have to pick them up to enjoy them.  Just leave them where you find them for others to discover too.

Unless you find a stranded starfish of course.  It’s always good to pick them up and throw them back in the water.

There are so many stones, worn down and rounded by years of pounding surf.  Do we humans inevitably become like this too?  Worn down and rounded by years of worldly concerns pounding on our fragile bodies?  Look at that white stone among all the grey ones.  I wonder how it got in with the others…

The best trips to the shore are often ones when I can come ‘home with a smooth round stone as small as a world and as large as alone.’  What do you find when you visit the shore?

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea
~ ee cummings

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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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This weekend Nova Scotia was bombed with its first storm of the decade.  Snow, rain, wind, high waves and power outages were all part of the mix. 

A covering of snow gave the woods a cozy look.  Somehow, looking at bare branches in January makes the cold seem even colder.  Unfortunately, temperatures are rising, so this snow might not be around for long.

These tracks were already dusted with snow when I saw them in the morning in a spot where I often see snowshoe hares.  

Low pressure systems often bring storm surges that can make for especially high tides.  They’re caused by winds pushing on the surface of the ocean, making the water higher than usual in some places.

The tide surge made the waters passing under Bald Eage Bridge in the salt marsh seem higher and more forceful than usual. 

Waves up to 8 metres in height were anticipated off the coast.  Radio announcers from Seaside FM were expecting surfers to be catching the waves around Cow Bay, just down from the moose. 

In the marsh and in the woods all was quiet.  At least wildlife has the sense to lay low during storms, find a nice cozy spot to hunker down in and conserve energy until the worst is past.

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Canada geese rest quietly on the water as the sun begins to rise.  It’s colder this morning than it’s been since last winter.  Some days, you can tell just by looking at the colour of the trees and the sky that you’re going to have to need mitts in order to walk outside, especially in the salt marsh, where there’s always some sort of wind.

There are no hot pinks or warm oranges in this morning’s sunrise.  Everything looks cool and barren.  Of course, nothing looks as cold as the water…

Except perhaps this poor duck…

At least someone’s sense of humour hasn’t frosted over.  Yet.   

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What is it about reflections of clouds in the water that make ominous weather seem less dreadful?  In the salt marsh, the mirrored effect opens up the landscape and brings light between the grasses.

Although the water was still during high tide this morning, ripples created by ducks managed to fragment the light on the water. 

From a vantage point along Rosemary’s Way, the mist made the mirrored sky and trees seem even more enchanting. 

Of course, the sunrise itself gave the most beautiful reflection of all.  Clouded days have never seemed so fair.

Clouds symbolize the veils that shroud God.

~ Honore de Balzac

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