Photography involves searching for patterns, lighting, and things at their peak. Tonight’s Boxing Day outing involved a convergence of just past peak high tide, peak and just past sunset, and just past the Solstice. Slow travel involves slowing down to look for patterns, listen for sounds that tell an acoustic story, and then taking time to connect the dots. This slow travel adventure took stock of the many eagles in flight at sunset, the river bathing that Greater Black-backed gulls engage in, and recognized the acoustic stretching and release of ice on the surface of water that no longer has tide waters to support it causing the panes of ice to “tinkle” and cling to emergent shoreline vegetation.
Walking in Nova Scotia can occur at any time of the year. However, if you wish to discover things that you don’t ordinarily see, then winter is a great time to get out. It’s in a patch of Acadian forest like this that you can smell the difference between balsam fir, hemlock and white pine. Just crush some needles and compare. This time of year is good to look through the forest of trees to discover raptor, owl, and other perching bird nests that may not have been discovered previously. Most of all, the fresh snowfalls that we receive are like an eraser on the forest floor. Every few days, it seems, the surface of the snow receives a fresh cleaning - a melt followed by a new dusting of snow. We start to notice the frequent travels of snowshoe hare and red squirrels, perhaps a short-tailed weasel, coyotes and foxes. Stories in the snow - a good reason to get out for magic light.