June 5, 2015

Appleness Valley

L'sitkuk, or Annapolis Valley, NS, or as I call it the Appleness Valley.

Since last August we have been living in the western end of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. The area is the homeland of the Mi'kmaq First Nations, and they call it L'sitkuk. They were the sole occupants until 1604 when explorers from France arrived in this fertile land looking to establish a settlement.

One thing (besides major strife) that has come from this settlement is a rich agricultural heritage. The valley provides conditions conducive to growing a variety of produce including apples. At one time it was the apple growing centre of Canada, shipping apples far and wide via trains which no longer run.

Breathtaking blossom beauty abounds.

I thought maybe the name Annapolis had something to do with apples. I was wrong. It means 'Anne's city', and was named to commemorate Queen Anne. Whatever. I am changing the name because I do not care about royalty, present day or historical.

My name for this place from now on in is "Appleness Valley", and I think it particularly apt. There are apple trees everywhere. Apple trees in orchards. Apple trees in yards. And my favourite - apple trees in the ditches.

Before long this tree will be laden with a bounty of apples.

The abundant apple trees are particularly obvious right now as they are pushing out beautiful blossoms at a rapid rate. It is an apple blossom festival everywhere, and I celebrate their cherished spot in this region's history.

Welcome to the Appleness Valley. Sorry Queen Anne.


  1. Beautiful picture! We watched a travel program on public tv a few weeks back that featured Digby.

    Johnny Appleseed came through our area and planted apple trees (or so the legend goes) There is a Johnny Appleseed Festival held each year in near by Lisbon, OH. Nothing better than visiting one of the many orchards in the Fall for some yummy apples and cider.

    1. I love apples, but they sure have gotten expensive over that past few years. Grapes are often less expensive. I want my own orchard. The ditch trees will do for now. That is fun that you saw a program about our area. It is quite pleasant... in the summer.

  2. AnonymousJune 07, 2015

    This is a beautiful place. Look at all those wonderful flowers, and loads of food! Seems a perfect place for picking/gleaning. Are you allowed to pick the apples on the trees in the ditches or other public places? Even if they aren't the sweetest apples off the tree, just a bit of cooking and some sugar would make it wonderful apple sauce. I live near Portland, Oregon and there is a group here called "Portland Fruit Tree Project" and they work with local municipalities and homeowners to pick fruit on trees these people don't want. It is then shared with local food banks, and the pickers also take home a portion. I love this, the fruit is not wasted, those in need get fresh fruit to eat, and those who put in a little work, get a nice reward too. - Mary

    1. I took the pictures on a bike ride along our highway towards our mail box, town, and the ocean. I do believe that the ditch tree apples are free for the taking. I gleaned a few last fall.

      The fruit tree project is wonderful. We had a similar program in Sooke, BC, our west coast home. I am not sure about out here in NS though.

      I lived in Eugene, Oregon for two years as a kid. My dad was going to the U of O in a graduate program in education. My whole family loved Oregon, and we were sad to have to return to Canada when my dad graduated. Portland is an amazing place, unique in the US. I miss all the progressive people and ideas.

  3. I'm anxiously awaiting all those wonderful apple-ly things you will create to eat! (I know you are already thinking about it!) You could preserve some and have apple cobbler next winter, wouldn't that be soul warming after a winter walk in white?

    Beautiful photos! Breathtaking blossoms. Love the new banner on your site. I've been out shooting some with my new phone that was recently gifted to me. Will send you some later.

    1. This year I am going to step up my apple gleaning. Cobbler sounds nice.

      The banner photo is Granville Ferry, NS, across the river from Annapolis Royal. It is a very significant location in Canadian history, and one beautiful location. Looking forward to seeing more of your photographs.


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