January 31, 2018

Nova Scotia: Canada's Stormiest Province

On my way home and the sun is still up!

I didn't know it when we decided to move to the east coast, or for a while after arriving here, but I discovered recently that Nova Scotia is the stormiest part of Canada. And Canada is huge. What a distinction - it makes for some very exciting weather moments.

Much to my annoyance, conditions for the past 2 or 3 weeks have not been conducive to snowshoeing. Or biking, or hiking. Or being outside generally, or even out of bed. Winter can be like that here.

Our weather has been going between snow, sleet, ice pellets, freezing rain, and straight out downpours. Gale force winds often accompany this plethora of precipitation, frequently getting close to 100 km/hr gusts or more.

The worst part for me is not having enough snow to turn the backyard woods into a snowshoeing playground. This is my favourite activity of any season. So pristine. So quiet. So not happening much so far this winter.

Instead of playing in the snow I have been taking out my seeds and admiring them. I have been whispering words of encouragement to them, for the time when the weather starts heating up is near. But we will have more winter storms before then, no doubt, and that makes me happy, too.

Yes, there is a porcupine up in that tree cavity. I followed its tracks right to this spot.

It snowed over the past two days, an event that I welcomed with my nose pressed to the inside of our windows in anticipation. Even though it was blowing hard, and some places have no snow while others are drifted in deep, I assessed that it would be good enough to get out.

Today I had an energetic 2 hour immersion into the forest. It was fun. I walked, I ran, I jumped, I floated across puffy clouds of powder. I was ageless and free. It is not all bliss, I also try to keep an eye out for wildlife as well.

My wildlife list for this new location is growing. The last time I was out, about 3 weeks ago, I saw a large owl. Today I was fortunate to see a porcupine occupying a cavity in a big old tree. I would love to add a bear photo to my portfolio. A bear at a distance, that is.

The best part of today's outing was that I went out and got back well before the sun set. That's different. In this part of the cosmos, it is all about the sun returning and lengthening days up until June. What a beautiful stretch we are entering now.

Owls are very elusive, but they are always around, barley visible.

Soon winter will be over, and the snowshoes stowed away for another year. Then, it will be time to witness summer in all it fevered fecundity.

And summer storms.


  1. Interesting. We are having unprecedented hot weather here this summer...unheard of long stretches of boiling heat and high humidity. Today though? Torrential rain and severe storms. One of our cities is in a state of civil emergency due to flooding and there are gale force winds in my city. Climate change is here and our weather experts are carefully predicting such extreme patterns to not be random one offs, instead a sign of things to come. Pretty scary actually.

    1. Karen,

      I think we have been living in one of the best climate situations for humans than any other time in our development. Right temperature, relatively stable. I think you are right, and that is changing. Look at the last Atlantic hurricane season.

      Hurricanes do make it this far north, and Nova Scotia has been hit by them, and at time severe damage and loss of life has occurred. That scares me. There was a hurricane that made land fall a few days before we arrived in the Maritimes from the west coast in 2014.

      It was "good bye earthquakes, hello hurricanes".

  2. Anonymous2/01/2018

    Enjoying hearing about your explorations. Sounds like you are connecting with time and change of the seasons. Owls have to be some of the most beautiful creatures on the planet.

    1. Alex,

      It was the second time I have seen an owl since exploring the woods in behind our house. They tend to vanish quickly, so getting a good look is difficult. I was happy to get a picture this time.

  3. Anonymous2/02/2018

    I love the porcupine den you found. And I can almost feel the calm silence in your photographs - you capture winter well!
    I think Karen is right - things are changing and it will keep us on our toes! Enjoy February! - Erin

  4. I just love learning about your experience with the weather where you live and the others who comment on NBA. Here in South Carolina, winter came early this year and we've had more below freezing nights than usual. I have some health thing going on and am having a great deal of trouble staying warm, circulation problems and another thing. I can't afford to go see about it with a doctor so I bundle up. Double thermals, triple socks with shoes, lots of flannel and blankets, still I am freezing much of my awake time. It is taking an enormous amount of energy to stay warm.

    I love winter, love the southern skies in winter when the leaves have fallen. But this being cold sucks! I shouldn't complain, it's a lot warmer here than in Nova Scotia! Your pictures are wonderful to see!!! I hope you get out for more snowshoeing this winter as you love it so much!


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