|Published in the Chronicle Herald - The Nova Scotian - August 22, 2016|
It might be hard to believe that a perfect day ended with me standing on our backyard deck wiping my dog’s bum, but it did.
On a very hot sunny Saturday, we found ourselves headed down the south shore, and took a little trip to Lockeport. This was a rare day that we left the dogs at home where we wouldn’t have to worry about them in the heat. You may have guessed by now, but we are beach lovers. Not sun worshipping, basking in the sand type people but beach walkers. Our favourite times of the year are any time but the summer. But we toughed it out on a sunny 23 degree day at the shore and walked Crescent Beach. Sad for tourism, but lucky for us, that on a sunny August day we only had to share the lovely sandy beach with a handful of people.
And hundreds of sand pipers.
We had seen the information sign for piping plovers, and were hoping that we were witnessing a resurgence of this endangered bird. But that was only wishful thinking, and the staff at the tourist information centre broke the news to us that we were probably sharing the beach with sandpipers. I had taken my pocket camera on the beach, not my "serious" camera, and spent a lot of time trying to capture the dainty birds both on the beach and in flight.
|sandpipers at Crescent Beach in Lockeport|
Our walk was near completion when my husband asked if I had found any beach glass. I shook my head no, nothing to be found on this beach. Then within a minute, I had six small pieces in my hand. Apparently it’s best to look down when searching for glass, not up in the sky at birds.
Keeping to the bird theme, we headed to the White Gull for lunch where we could sit on the deck overlooking the harbour. Bright blue skies, the smell of the ocean air, the call of the gulls, all made for a relaxing spot to sit and enjoy. We had a few potential Mary Poppins moments when a gust of wind lifted our table umbrella, but it was a challenge we were willing to deal with. There are other locations to eat in Lockeport, but our first choice in the summer is always an outdoor deck. After all, we wouldn't have seen the kingfisher fly by and land on the wharf if we were sitting inside.
|view of Lockeport's harbour from the White Gull Restaurant|
We toured a little around the town. Lockeport was first settled in 1760 by families from the northeastern United States. The town was named after the Locke family and there are some lovely historic homes down toward the South Government Wharf that were built for various Locke family members in the 1800’s.
For me, a visit to Lockeport always includes a side trip down West Head Road. At the end of the road, you’ll find a gate with "public easement" written on it. In a wooden box beside the gate there is a guest register to sign. A quick glance at a page inside the book for August 2015 showed entries from 2 provinces, 6 states, Germany, and the UK. Walk through the gate and you’ll find a well trodden trail that leads through a very large field out to a bench at a point of land where you can look back and see Lockeport in the distance. It feels like a magical place to me. A place where I could sit for hours and feel the wind, listen to the waves, and experience a sense of peacefulness that is difficult to describe. Ocean on three sides, no sound but the wind, waves, and shore birds. Fields and rocks. No hustle, no bustle.
|public easement on West Head Road|
My next visit will include some drinking water and a goal to walk around the coast back to the car. This visit had me on the same path taking a leisurely walk back. When I reached the car, I had to laugh to myself. It seems I can’t leave my husband anywhere, not even a remote spot, where he doesn’t meet people. He was chatting with a couple who were with their dog and our conversation might just lead to a new friendship.
We headed towards home with some lovely new memories, and ended the day by sitting on our back deck watching the birds and butterflies in our garden.
And that’s when I found myself thinking about how ironic life is when I could wash my dog’s bum and think about how lucky I am at the same time.