Monday, February 8, 2016

Cape Breton paradise for sale: last post

Andy & I have decided it's time to move closer to family, so we've placed our beloved Cape Breton paradise on the real estate market with Minerva MacInnis as our agent. 

80 acres, cleared and mixed forest, ocean view (even while reclining in the claw-foot bathtub), includes a brook and cleared severable lot on the brook side; house with screened sleeping porch; raised tent platform accessible year round; workshop and storage shed with attached machine shed (ATV, lawn mower etc); woodshed with attached garden shed; many kilometres of cleared trail; raised bed and dug organic gardens for both vegetables and flowering perennials; fruit bearing apple, peach and plum trees; raspberries, wild blueberries; incredible variety of wildlife and bird species as well as mushrooms and fiddleheads and other wild edible plants. Minutes to a sandy ocean beach and several swim-able (and fish-able) rivers with access to a wharf and boat launch. Golf. And more...  

If you're interested, click on Minerva's site (below) for more details and to have a look at the house as well as some pictures of the property. Give her a call or send an email. She'll tell you that we are motivated sellers.

For those of you who might be looking at Cape Breton property and you're from the USA, when you consider the US dollar against the Canadian dollar right now, this is a deal you can't afford to overlook! Give Minerva a call and she'll take you for a look for yourself.  

For the curious who are wondering what kind of community we live in -- an open, active, beautiful and welcoming one -- there is a wonderful Facebook page that keeps up with what's going on in the St. Ann's Bay community including hikes, lunches, dancing, charity events, what's going on in local shops and businesses, workshops, what groups and churches are up to and much more. No end of good times. Just click on the link below:

For those of you who are reading this and are new to my blog, dive in and have a look at past posts. You'll find pictures of the area, of the property, our gardens and lots more. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sledding in Cape Breton

        Sledding in Wichita

     As cars pass, laboring through the slush,
     a boy, bundled against the stiff wind
     in his snow suit, gloves, and scarf,
     leans on his upright toboggan,
     waiting his turn atop
     the snow-packed overpass—
     the highest point in town.
     First one car exits, and then another,
     each creeping down the icy ramp.
     The brown grass pokes through
     the two grooves carved in the short hill.
     As the second car fishtails to a stop at the bottom,
     brake lights glowing on the dirty snow,
     the boy’s turn comes.
     His trip to the bottom is swift—
     only a second or two—
     and he bails out just before the curb.
     It’s not much, but it’s sledding in Wichita. 
              -- by Casey Pycior




Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Morning waves, North Shore

I awoke this morning to a dull roar coming through the open bedroom window. At sunrise, Honey & I went down to the water to investigate. Part of the noise was an early morning scallop dragger moving through the water and part was the breaking of low-tide waves over rocks and pebbles along the shore.   

Sonnet 60: Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore

Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore,
So do our minutes hasten to their end;
Each changing place with that which goes before,
In sequent toil all forwards do contend.
Nativity, once in the main of light,
Crawls to maturity, wherewith being crown'd,
Crooked eclipses 'gainst his glory fight,
And Time that gave doth now his gift confound.
Time doth transfix the flourish set on youth
And delves the parallels in beauty's brow,
Feeds on the rarities of nature's truth,
And nothing stands but for his scythe to mow:
And yet to times in hope my verse shall stand,
Praising thy worth, despite his cruel hand.

--   William Shakespeare

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cal's Restaurant & Grill

For our anniversary lunch Andy & I got take-out from a new restaurant on our slice of the Cabot Trail, Cal's Restaurant & Grill. There's a basic menu of foods that go with fresh, hand cut French fries: fish, scallops, clams, shrimp, burgers, BLTs, club sandwiches etc. He also serves poutine and has good onion rings and coleslaw. I've not tried the desserts yet, but I will because I overheard that they are deep fried -- cheesecake and cinnamon buns. Imagine! I could be wrong but if I'm not, Scots deep-fried Mars bars, eat your heart out. Once I try them I will report back. 

Cal & Liz

Cal built the restaurant himself and the space is bright and airy, and the floor, well it's lovely: painted cement with a beach and ocean theme. There's a mermaid sculpture I covet and a photo by my dear friend, Carol Kennedy. 

If you're heading this way, give it a try. It's a nice addition to existing eateries: The Clucking Hen Bakery & CafĂ© (lots & lots of good stuff), Simply Pizza (great lasagne as well as pizza) and The Dancing Moose (fabulous pannekoeke & good soups). 

Hours from 11 AM - 7 PM and you can call ahead: 902-929-2257.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cape Breton wild things #2: a Puffin tour

Bald eagle with fish

Yesterday was the perfect day to be a tourist in my own neighbourhood. My friend, Sarah Beck (Wildfire Pottery & Books) has her mother Joan visiting and Joan wanted to see puffins, so Sarah arranged for four of us to go out on Donelda's Puffin Boat Tour.

Donelda & John's boat

Sarah &  Joan birdwatching

For our tour, the boat left Englishtown wharf at 10:30 on a gently rippling sea (thank goodness!) under blue skies. Donelda's husband John, a fishing boat captain with many years at sea, drove while Donelda filled us in on area history and showed us photos of the birds we'd be likely to see so that we'd recognize them when we got out to the Bird Islands -- Ciboux and Hertford -- where in the spring a variety of gulls, cormorants, sea birds and herons come to nest. The cutest and smallest of the nesting birds is a sea bird, the puffin, who only comes to land when it is laying eggs and raising its babies. 

On the way out and back, Donelda's eagle friends came for a fish snack she threw into the water for them-- as you can see in the photo above and below. They'd circle the boat then swoop down to grab the fish in their talons, then head off to their nests. 

We got to see all the birds Donelda promised and she was a grand guide, pointing out birds in the water, watching the cliffs for  nests, describing behavoiur, and telling us stories of the islands.  (a complete list of birds can be found on Donelda's website -- see above) On our ride home, she told us about her other job as a lobster fisher -- she arrived at the wharf to take us out on a lobster boat -- and about the life of a lobster which was worth the price of the ticket itself. 

To finish off the day, we headed to Morris Leif's fish and chip stand, Captain Caper's, in Englishtown just down the road from the wharf and had a lovely outdoor lunch.

If you're interested in puffins, here's a wonderful puffin nest webcam site: 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wild things in Cape Breton

warbler feathers

A damp morning walk with Honey, wild things -- cherry, honeysuckle & strawberry blossoms -- beaded with moisture. It is spring at last.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

New beds: Cape Breton on a foggy spring morning

The gardening kind, not the sleeping kind of beds, though my asparagus is still asleep so I suppose plants rest in them, but the garlic I planted last fall is up and seems happy. Andy built the new beds for me because the wood in our old beds burst from the weight of ice and snow this winter & spring. Now the garden looks fresh, ready for another ten years of vegetables and flowers. 

A few other fresh things: click on pictures to enlarge them

Bunny's memorial daffodils and her bench that looks out to the foggy sea.

Mayflowers along the walking path.

Ferns, a la Alien.

Emerging ferns.