|published in the South Shore Breaker - July 13, 2016|
When we moved from Ontario to Nova Scotia eight years ago, we moved to a very secluded property in the country. Our friends from back home often asked us how we were dealing with our lives in a different province, but really our adjustment was not so much living in a different part of Canada but in changing lifestyles from the suburbs to country living.
We thought we were living in the country when we lived in Ontario. We were living on the outskirts of a small town with a population of approximately 3000 people. Our home was on a one and a half acre lot in a subdivision that had paved roads and buried hydro lines. We did deal with nature, or rather our dogs did. We experienced porcupines and skunks many times. When I look back on it now, I know that wasn’t real country living and I can't imagine why we ever thought it was.
|our guineas went everywhere - even the roof of the house|
We now live in town on one of the busiest streets in Bridgewater, so I guess you can figure out that we never did become truly comfortable with living in the country.
But I would never trade or take back our seven years in the country because we learned so many things, and had so many experiences that we would have missed.
We picked apples from trees that our neighbours said must have been about 100 years old and I made home made applesauce. I held a hummingbird in my hands after I rescued it from our shed. We rescued countless birds from our wood stove after they fell down the flue. I learned to drive an ATV, and my husband became an expert with a backhoe. We created huge flower and vegetable gardens, and a koi pond that was six feet deep and fifteen feet long. Woodpeckers and grosbeaks showed us how they raise and feed their young. We watched foxes, hawks, eagles, and deer. And we raised guinea fowl.
|two batches of guineas just after they were released to free range|
Raising guineas also gave us first hand look at the cycle of life. One day as I headed to the coop, a hawk rose from the ground just a few feet in front of me and took flight. I was overjoyed at this close up experience...until I looked down and saw a half eaten guinea at my feet. We kept the wildlife well nourished over the years. Foxes and hawks enjoyed some fine dining on our behalf.
|a mature guinea perched on the railing of the coop|