16 April 2009

Spring in the Giants' playground

I went for a walk last evening in Pine Grove again. This time, the sun was out, it was mild, and everything was touched with a brush of golden light.
This place reminds me of a giant's playground, the way the massive, elegant pines tower skyward, amongst massive boulders that resemble a child's dropped blocks, scattered every which way. 

Imagine my delight when I found bluets awake and blooming in a sheltered bank beside the big pond. Sadly, I had only my iPhone with me AGAIN, (I don't like taking my SLR on long walks) so getting them in focus meant stepping back from them somewhat. 

Bluets have long been a favourite flower, though they're not showy. Many people might not even notice them, tiny and casual as they are. But when I'm not gawking skyward beaming at trees, I'm watching the ground for the wee treasures.

Now, I know a lot of people aren't awfully fond of alders. I rather like them, because they're great for securing the banks of streams, for filtering impurities from water, and their catkins have delighted me since I was a wee child. 

I ask you: who needs a human-built church, temple, or other place of worship and contemplation when there are such marvelous natural places to unwind, think and be glad? 

The Mersey river is quiescent after the rains and melt have subsided. This river does sometimes jump its banks, but isn't as troublesome as some in other parts of the country--and our neighbouring country. That's Liverpool across the river; (Liverpool Nova Scotia, that is!)

Lots more rocks along this shore, and I thought about sitting on one and just 'being' for a little while. But work was calling to me, so I made a promise to return in a few days, and carried on down the trail. 

My friend Captain Dick Steele of Bayport Plant Farm brings many plants to Pine Grove to test them out. The woods are full of his rhododendrons, some azaleas, and other plants. 

Even though the deciduous trees and shrubs aren't yet leafed out, we can really feel, see and smell spring in the air. 

Today, as I write this, there's a shadow of worry over Liverpool and surrounding area. This wonderful place of Pine Grove is owned and maintained by Bowater--yes, of AbitibiBowater, the giant pulp and paper/lumber company that sought bankruptcy protection today. How these things will affect the people who work for Bowater, and the communities around the mill--and these pocket wilderness spaces--we don't know yet. Because I'm an optimist, I'm hoping spring will bring better things to that company as it does to the natural world. 


  1. Jodi .. Every time I read one of your posts and look at the pictures I have an "eastcoast" home sickness wave .. even our son who is too old to mention here (I have to keep a shred of imagination about myself ?) remarks on what a great time he had as a kid in Debert .. going fishing .. having a fort in the woods .. seeing the coast line.
    No matter how long you are away from the east coast, when you are born from that area it sticks.
    The pictures were beautiful .. and I haven't heard of AbitibiBowater in ages .. I'm sorry their workers will be hit by hard times too.

  2. The cathedral in your woods is a lovely place to sit and think Jodi...I hope that it remains protected...we need these natural spaces for our own peace of mind and for critters. Bluets are sweet flowers~we have them here, too.

    Speaking of peace of mind...I'll have none for days now! After seeing the Mercy River and Liverpool across the way... I am singing Ferry Cross the Mercy!

    Have a good evening~~gail

  3. How beautiful it is where you live Jodi! I couldn't agree more that nature's cathedral is more beautiful than any man-made church.

    Sorry to hear about the economic worries hitting your area with the mill's financial difficulties. I hope coming weeks bring reassuring news for your local economy.

  4. Beautiful area to be in Jodi. I can see why you like to go there an unwind. I never tire of seeing the coastline either.

  5. I love all your images. The pine forest would be a lovely place to meditate. Doesn't seem to matter where a person is, economic disaster is at every turn. Nature serves to ease the discomfort.

  6. Beautiful view, I can see why you would like to sit there and unwind.
    Really nice photo shots of the lakes.

  7. I always enjoy it when you take me on a tour of the area. I know how you feel about the woods, mine are a bit too swampy to think of them as a church but they nevertheless inspire.

    My Bluets have yet to make an appearance but other wildflowers have, so I'm happy. Good thing too, I was getting a bit silly lately without any flowers to keep me grounded.

  8. Jodi, I wanted to thank you for participating in Anna's Gardening By Letter project. Everyone has sent me the most amazing cards, letters, seeds, and other items, this is just wonderful fun.

    Muddy Boot Dreams

  9. Hi Jodi~~ I will keep my fingers crossed for the pulp mill and the employees. Please keep us posted. Beautiful photos. Spring is definitely in the air.

  10. Jodi, your pictures are so beautiful - the scenery is breathtaking. I do agree with you regarding nature's own so called'churches' - there are so many lovely places around the globe where you can sit and meditate and unwind.
    Have a great weekend!

  11. Jodi, these are lovely pictures - amazing that you could take them with a phone but your talent for composing the picture is what makes them so good. I love the first pictures, the combination of rocks, trees and sky - it is beautiful. What a lovely place to unwind, I do hope that it is safe for the future but the balance between this and work for the local people a difficult mix to achieve.

    Best wishes Sylvia (England)

  12. Gorgeous photos, Jodi. I hope that the shadow of worry is eased for you all soon... :)

  13. Your comment about the cathedral ceiling of pines made me think of the scene in Anne of Green Gables in which Marilla was chastising Anne for being a "heathen", as she didn't know how to pray. :) Anne simply stated that if she really wanted to talk to God, she'd go out into the middle of a huge meadow, look up at the blue sky, and simply FEEL a prayer. I thought it was perfect then...still do. :) I digress. Your photos are lovely, again. I can't wait to explore some of these areas! Froggies still a-wooing down there? They're very sporadic here -- nights have been so cold.

  14. Ah, bluets---such dear flowers. I have to make do with the tiny veronicas here, but I love them, too. And oh, what a gorgeous river! A delightful outing, and thanks to your generosity, we all got to share it. Good thoughts heading towards poor Liverpool, its residents, and the land...

  15. I saw it! I saw Spring in your photos. I didn't see snow, I did see blooms, and I felt it in the tone of your voice. Hip Hip Hooray!

    I hope you have a restful weekend. You are working too much.

  16. The Giants playground is such a lovely description ... so evocative.
    Jodi - the sun is shining spring has arrived with you ?

  17. HI Jodi,

    I've been reading your blogs for a long time but this is the first time for commenting. It was as if I was reading my own blog as I grew up in Liverpool, not far away from Pine Grove. I used to spend many hours 'playing' at Pine Grove before it actually became a park. So much of what you wrote is true for me except the rhodos weren't there at that time. There was also a huge nearby wooded area where the present SuperStore now is as well as one where the highway #103 now passes through. That particular highway area was known as Wild Cat Mountain... not a mountain of course and no wildcats present although sometimes I made a hasty retreat home just incase!!! They are now gone of course and I still miss them every time I go 'home' again.. Guess we can never go 'home' to what we left as children as progress gets in the way of that. I still have an inborn love of pine tress from playing in the beautiful pine forests with their super soft floors plus huge granite rocks with all of their fun nooks and crannies to hide in.

    I live in Bible Hill now (belong to the BH Garden Club) and am happy to have three pine trees in our yard as well as one good sized rock which was left here by a back hoe. That is as close as I can get here to what I grew up with in the spiritual wooded playgrounds I had. Of course today I probably wouldn't be allowed to go play in these areas without an adult with me.... adn that just wouldnj't have been the same! Oh how times have changed.

  18. My undersstanding is that the architecture of cathedrals was based on a grove of trees. It only makes sense!

    I'd heard of bluets but didn't know what they were, thanks for enlightening me.

    About the camera thing: my Canon A95 point-and-shoot is easy to fit in a pocket and has a lot of manual functions and though I badly want a DSLR, it has done me well (it's what I take blog photos with). By now it is outdated and I bet you could get it or something similar real cheap (secondhand) for your walks.

    Is it possible that that bankruptcy could lead to Pine Grove being made into a preserve? Have you thought of getting in touch with the Nature Conseervancy or a Land Trust or some like organization? It's so beautiful, I hope you can preserve it.

  19. Thanks for this post Jodi!
    Pictures are mezmerising, especially the one of the river.


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