TRAVEL BLOG: A Small Nova Scotian Summer

Someone told me that Nova Scotia’s native bat population died out due to a fungus or virus or something in the air, (pronounced “uhr”) so maybe that’s why the bugs out here are unbearable.

I’ve been taking notes from the temporary-work farmers in the fields we pass on the way to the vineyard – long denim tucked into gum boots, bandana under the hat, etc – to try to cope with how ravaged I am. This morning I woke up to two new bites on the side of my foot, one on my chin, and several on both arms. Those weren’t there yesterday. But like everything else, things just happen slower out in the country.

I’m finally getting used to the slower pace and thankfully don’t really have much of anything to do in the downtime except watch the movies on the bookshelf and read the books from the bins in the supermarket entranceway. Out here there isn’t internet except via a satelliete, and it’s wicked expensive and limited to 20Gig or so a month. (I use anywhere from 30-60Gig a month, thanks Netflix addiction) The kids – who are probably older than me – supe up everything from dirt bikes to riding mowers and rip up and down the roads. I was convinced the tracks on our route to work were from a winter accident, but no, I’m told that was the hooligans shredding rubber.

When the famous Fundy tide goes out, it leaves these mudpits. This looked like the mountains of home so I had to snap a shot. The Canadian flag makes it a piece of pure patriotism.
When the famous Fundy tide goes out, it leaves these mudpits. This looked like the mountains of home so I had to snap a shot. The Canadian flag makes it a piece of pure patriotism.

The men out here talk about cars and know tons of things I’d never dream of knowing, and have opinions on things I’d never think mattered – ash is brilliant hardwood, haskaps started as a scam crop, lupins in Nova Scotia are world famous (no one I know has ever said, “Hey, bring me back a lupin” or “take a photo of those pretty purple plants”) – but a lot of what gets said just passes through me. I can’t remember it all. I try to learn as much as I can, but a sponge can’t absorb anymore when its waterlogged.

A rare shot of the man himself, cause I just needed to get a photo with one of the cool citadel guys. He was impressed that I could take a selfie without a screen.
A rare shot of the man himself, cause I just needed to get a photo with one of the cool citadel guys. He was impressed that I could take a selfie without a screen.

It’s been just long enough out in the forest that I’ve rescinded my city-dwelling ways – or so I realized when I gotdropped off in downtown Halifax for the day and was overwhelmed with the noise. People, tons of them, all driving poorly through major construction and speeding through a yellow light just to sit at a red at the next intersection. It’s city life, what can I say? Except I found a store that had shirts on for $2.99 so now I’ve got more work shirts for out in the red mud.

Besides my downtown shopping escapades, I also managed to get myself up to the Halifax Citadel. I found most of the guests were more interested in the cannon fire and so had the whole four-theatre hourlong show about the history of the citadel to myself. I also managed to get a ton of pictures (now lost of course) of everything from old barrels to a selfie with one of the guards.

Everyone here is incredibly polite and helpful, but I can’t help wondering if that might be a show to the boy “from away.” Like any rural community, everyone knows everything about everyone. Word travels faster than a groundhog running from a shotgun. A neighbour will loan you a wrench, with a smile and a wave and give you the finger behind your back. But that wrench came with the promise of moonshine around the firepit one of these nights when it isn’t so windy. So it goes in this backwards land of “eurh”s and “ahr”s.

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