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The Digby Neck, Nova Scotia

When I was a kid we use to stay in Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia every summer and I have missed that village for the thirty years it took me to get back. Nova Scotia is a place that makes a visitor feel so welcome from the moment you arrive and going back felt like a sort of homecoming. Countless times I imagined the rocky point that juts into the cove. When I was little there were two mounds of stones at the point, but time and tides had beautifully rearranged it all. The stones, flat and grey, just as I remembered with the same clear clattering sound ringing out as I scrambled up the steep incline.

On the Bay of Fundy side of Sandy Cove, there is a wide sandy beach with a million pebbles to explore and mull over.  I met some wonderful people there: Stanley who runs the weir in the cove, which is the last herring weir in Nova Scotia on the Bay of Fundy; he told me about his boat troubles. I later found out he was the “star” of a local movie called “The Last Weir“, the film explores the difficulties facing the region with overfishing and the environmental threat of a new quarry, which was thankfully deemed an environmental risk. I met one local lady, who, when she discovered I liked collecting beach glass spent her hour at the beach collecting a great big handful for me. When I saw her again at Petit Passage Café, she met me like an old friend. Although not a person, it was nice to meet the local beach dog, who we nicknamed “Kevin.” Kevin liked barking at the waves and sleeping next to us in the sand. His old body arched up stiffly, gave him a rather threatening feral look, but he was a good little soul.

These photos shot from the wharf at the beach, where my daughter and I watched the sun kiss the earth one memorable evening.

Further down the Digby Neck there are two islands which are delightfully only accessible by ferry, the first is Long Island and the second Brier Island. On the islands villages were full of weathered homes and fishing sheds grey from the wind and the ocean, red and white lighthouses dotted the sharp corners of the islands keeping the boats safe from the treacherous shores. One windy day we went on a whale watching trip in the Bay of Fundy on a bouncy Zodiac off of Long Island and were amazed by the humpback whales, grey seals, puffins, petrels, gannets, shearwaters and phalaropes. To be so close and see a mother Humpback whale raise her tail up over our little zodiac followed by her giant baby as they dove deep, is something I will never, ever forget.

This old house near Little River still gives me the heebie-jeebies when I look at the photos. I climbed under the barbed wire fence to get a better shot and although I was not in the slightest bit worried walking up to it, I was suddenly overwhelmed with a deeply ominous feeling when faced with the gaping windows. I wish I could know the history of place, who lived there and what brought about the wee house’s demise.

Beautiful Cove on Long Island was just as it named stated, simple beauty. The warm, beige stone, chocolate when wetted by the ocean, jutted out like crazy stairs reminiscent of the famous Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. We visited at high noon and in the hard light my photos were no more than snapshots by my eye, I can only hope it will not take me another thirty years to get back to the Digby Neck, so I can photograph Beautiful Cove with some Beautiful Light.

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  • Lynn Merritt Harris - Thank you for this delightful story which brought back so many memories of days gone by. I was born and raised on Digby Neck in the quiet little village of Sandy Cove. My parents are now resting on the church hill overlooking the bay and I have not been back for over two years now. I only have to think of the Cove and a kalidescope of pictures immediately form and I am taken back to a better time and place. To sit on the Bay of Fundy beach watching the sunset and thinking over life is heartwarming. You made it all seem real to me once more…ReplyCancel

  • Gwen Quigley Wilson - nice shots, Lisa! where did you use to stay in SC? Did you go to Arcadie?ReplyCancel

  • leanne - Beautifully captured Lisa…the photos, the accompanying entries, very evocative. I am one of the very fortunate people for whom the cove has opened it’s arms wide and embraced me with the kind of warmth that makes it feel as though it has always been home.ReplyCancel