03 April 2009

Whispers of Spring in Pine Grove

A few housekeeping observations, if I may; I've been unable to do much blogreading or commenting this week because the place I've been staying at night has not-very-speedy internet. Better than dialup, but not much. So I'll play catchup this weekend. Also, these photos are from my iPhone, since I didn't have my real camera with me yesterday. Hence they couldn't be focused or corrected for exposure, for obvious reasons. My iPhone is awesome as phone, iPod, mail client, webbrowser, etc. As camera...not so much. 

I smelled it yesterday when I came out of the place where I stay while on my project in Liverpool. A warmer hint on the air, a sweetness in the salt tang of the Atlantic at my feet. Come lunch time, even though wearing the wrong shoes for the trip, I jumped in the car and went to Pine Grove.

Pine Grove is this exquisite jewel of a pocket wilderness in Milton, just outside of Liverpool. It's owned and maintained by BowaterMersey, a timber and paper company located in Brooklyn and a large employer in Queens and Lunenburg counties. They have four pocket wildernesses, some quite large, in southwestern Nova Scotia. Pine Grove is one of my favourite places to go, with its mature pine forest, quiet trails, and waterways. 

There's still a bit of snow in the more shaded parts of the forest grove, but most of it is long gone, as it is from most of the south shore. 

There's still ice in the pond, but it's disappearing quickly; another few days of mild, SPRINGLIKE weather should take it away completely. The ducks swimming in the water, and walking on the ice, didn't seem too concerned by any of it, or by my presence. 

Can you see the ducks, at the open end of the ice? (IPhone camera also has no zoom capabilities. It is what it is. )

In less than a month, that ridge at the far end of the waterway will be ablaze with colour, as the PJM and Ramapo rhododendrons and azaleas burst into bloom. Liverpool and Queens county are about a zone warmer than the Fundy hill where I live, so they're a few weeks ahead of me. Which is rather wonderful, because I'll get a dose of spring on days that I'm here, and it'll help me cope with the toying-with-our-affections that is April in Scotts Bay. 

There's this wonderful grove of ornamentals planted by Captain Dick Steele of Bayport Plant Farm, including a host of magnolias and some rather choice evergreens. The magnolias will begin blooming in about six weeks, I'm guessing. We'll see how far off I am. 

Before I even got up the little knoll into this grove, I could smell this hamamelis on the air. And I have to tell you, the joy that suffused my heart was amazing. You'd have sworn I won the lottery, I was so happy. 

I could have happily stayed here for the afternoon, roaming around the paths, sitting in contemplation of buds and catkins and birdsong. But duty called and I tore myself away and headed back to my wordsmithing. 

But I'll be back to Pine Grove on many days over the coming weeks, because this is a piece of pastoral tranquility that everyone should share. Next time, I'll bring my real camera, I promise. Likewise, I promise to catch up with some of you over the next few days. 


  1. Jodi I like the pictures! I don't know if it the camera but the photos looks 'misty' and that adds to the indeed 'pastoral tranquility look' of the photos.
    Spring at last even for us up in the north.
    The sun is shining and all the people around here are so truely enjoying the spring.

    Have a great weekend / xoxo Tyra

  2. Pine grove is groovy! ;-)It's good to know that spring has reached Nova Scotia at long last. You've have to wait for it for a long, long time but when it finally does arrive: Spring explosion!

  3. Thank you Jody, that was a delightful tour!
    We have a few natural areas that feel much like your Pine Grove...cared for and respected. I' m glad that you have a place to visit to enjoy spring like weather and catch its fragrance until it comes to your hill! Have a delicious weekend!

  4. There's not a thing wrong with your photos, jodi -- they're lovely, as is that area. I've lived in NS all my life and have explored the South Shore regularly, but was not aware of this little bit of paradise. Thanks so much for the wonderful tour; this will be a planned stop this summer. Can't you just "hear" the peepers in that little pond? :-) I hope things are going well for you in Liverpool.

  5. Hi Jodi, thanks so much for taking us along, wrong footwear and all. Tranquil seems to be the key word for this lovely spot. We have a Bowater near us too, making newsprint, poor dears. The big trucks loaded with their cut farm grown pine trees are on the big highway constantly going from the farms to the factory, about 20 minutes from my town, same county though. Big tax revenue, not to mention jobs. Hope they can find another avenue for revenue. Love the pond shots with water reflections, ducks and ice. Happy for the twinge of spring smells for you as well. :-)

  6. Wow! Those are excellent photos to have been taken with a phone. We didn't even get a telephone until I was about seven years old. When we did it was a partyline with three other families and our phone number consisted of four numbers, 6388. Now you have phones the you can take anywhere that capture beautiful photos. It's really pretty amazing when you think about it.

  7. This looks like my kind of place, tall old trees, wildlife, Magnolias & Hammamelis. I can see why you would want to return repeatedly.

  8. Hi Jodi~~ I might have to take issue with the photo capabilities of your iPhone. They captured the pastoral surroundings quite well. I was rejoicing with you over the Hamamelis. What a great find! It must bring you unbounded joy to see the pond ice recede and the ducks taking up residence. I look forward to more photos of this heavenly oasis. Kudos to getting back to wordsmithing when the outdoors was begging to be explored.

  9. ACtually the shots from the iPhone are pretty good. I've read iPhone reviews complaining about the quality of the photos. These are the first I've seen and they're not as bad as I had thought. I keep thinking I'll get the next generation iPhone - when they come up with the longer-battery-life version. But they haven't yet. I'm patient.

  10. Jodi:
    As all have said, great photos for an iPhone! What a wonderfully tranquil site... I could smell the pine needles from here in Ontario! What a stunning Hamamelis.... just waiting for you to come and rejoice in its scent and beauty! Looking forward to photos from your next visit!

  11. Wow, Jodi, you know how to take pictures! The pics I take with my iphone don't look like that! That is a beautiful area. It sounds like you are having a great time in England.

  12. Giggle. Sue, THIS Liverpool is in Nova Scotia, not England. I wish I were in England (I'd go visit Sylvia in a heartbeat) but maybe in the future...I hope to go to California on my next adventure.

  13. That shows I don't always keep up with blogs or else remember what I've read. Well, enjoy Nova Scotia, then! It sure is a beautiful place, and you captured it with your iphone!

  14. Now, I feel really silly! You live in Nova Scotia! Before I ask if that is near where you live, I should read some more posts, but that may have to wait until tomorrow, as it's past my bed time. You can reject this and my previous comment if you want. I'll know that you read them. LOL

  15. OK, I just reread your post, and my questions were answered. Have fun wordsmithing!

  16. Jodi - did you see the the "spring tracking" feature on the www.cbc.ca/pei website? It has a map with little crocus icons where people have spotted things growing in PEI. I kinda liked seeing that!

  17. what a beautiful landscape. i love the partially departed ice! those photos do make me glad i live in a bit warmer clime, tho!

  18. Duffi McDermott said:

    *happy sigh* Pine Grove looks like just my kind of pocket wilderness.....Groomed, quiet, full of evergreens and the odd random duck herd. Thanks for posting this!
    (duffi, I had to cut and paste this because I tried to approve it from my phone on the road and accidentally rejected it!)

  19. Be still my heart. This place looks like heaven. Iphone or not the paths look so inviitng. No wonder you like it here.

  20. Add me to the list of those who think you did a great job of getting the atmosphere with your iPhone pictures. Along with your description, it made me want to go there.

    I love the "spring tracking" feature from the PEI site, what a good idea.

    I so enjoy being taken through the different landscapes of the blogs I read.


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