Anyway, do you ever read blog posts about someone's travel adventures only to end up with an urge to slap the blogger? They shallowly oooohh and aaahh about the exact same crap that every other tourist sees, and you end up concluding, "There's ten minutes of my life that I'll never get back" because you regret taking the time to read the post.
I don't want to fall into that category, so what I'm going to do below is present a photo tour in a non-stereotypical way. So maybe it's still a time-waster, but at least it's not cut out of that same tired cloth. A little less mindless tittering, and a little more perspective and magic realism, perhaps.
The most rewarding travel is all about seeing the more subtle details that many other people miss.
|Like the color of the water, for instance. The northeastern coast of Cape Breton was experiencing unusual gale-force winds, to the point where many lobster traps were destroyed and valuable pre-spawning lobsters killed. That part was a bad thing, but the same conditions turned the seas a shade of sapphire that I have rarely seen. This is the coast at Louisbourg with no photo enhancement.|
|And it made a particularly vivid juxtaposition with the colors of the land.|
|Including the lichens.|
I grew up 20 miles from Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, so its novelty wore off for me about half a century ago. But choosing to see it on opening day 2017, which happened to coincide with Victoria Day, when it was candidly exposed and not really ready for seasonal prime time, was a new experience.
|Of course there are no electric lights in the reproduction buildings. Just an eerie glow of ambient daylight.|
|One of the period buildings in the town.|
|I don't recall another time when I was able to take a picture of the main fortress chapel without having throngs of tourists below.|
|And this year that one new thing was the Pomquet Acadian trails, some coastal hiking trails situated on a headland in geology with which I am much less familiar (I did my first degree, a Bachelor's in geology, here in Nova Scotia). The trails are located about 15 minutes north of the Trans Canada Highway, just before the town of Antigonish. I had to drive by this area anyway, coming back down from Cape Breton to the Halifax airport for my flight.|
|Maple leaves start red, turn green, and then end red several months later.|
|Buds everywhere. I don't know what this is.|
|I do know what this is - an orchid, which Nova Scotia has in abundance.|
|More new growth. This reminds me of baseball players signalling each others, when they will hold three fingers pointed at the ground.|
|Maybe she was eating some of these - new ferns about to unfurl.|
|Nova Scotia has been hit by a number of hurricanes and tropical storms lately, not to mention northern storms in winter. Most of the softer (i.e., soil-rich) coast shows conspicuous damage.|
|And this location was no exception. There's that cliff erosion.|
|There were bits of smashed lobster traps scattered way back into the coastal forest.|
|It almost looks like the cliff-dwelling trees are begging the sea to take them and finally put them out of their erosional misery, as they strain and gesture toward it.|
|The weather was extremely unsettled - I picked a good location for the hike because the Pomquet headland blocked some of the most severe winds. But the view out over the water revealed this ominous blackness at the horizon.|
|This area had more sedimentary rocks than many other coastal locations with which I am familiar, but the beach melange was very typically Nova Scotian, combining lithologies from hundreds of miles around. And how is that possible, you may wonder? In a word, glaciation. As I took this picture, I acknowledged to myself that it's no wonder that so many people can't visualize climate change being a largely natural process - they didn't grow up as I did, surrounded every moment of every day with the incontrovertible and overwhelming evidence of the extraordinary magnitude of glaciation, and the fact that the natural sea level varied anywhere from 246 feet below to 330 feet above its present level (PDF link). That historical climate change, and the glaciation triggered by it, is the primary reason why Nova Scotia ended up with the natural beauty that it has, which, in turn, is why it attracts over $2 billion per year in tourism revenues, despite being a small province with a population of only about 943,000. Most of those tourists walk upon shores like this one with no clue as to the significance of what they're actually seeing. We have poor public science education to thank for that.|