our major motivator to head north was to see what was up with this "eagle watch" at sheffield mills. apparently wild bald eagles (and other eagles and hawks) spend november-march in those parts. according to eagle watch reading material, a major reason for this is due to the fact that this is the area that farms chickens...for 90% of nova scotias poultry supply. the mystery of why i cant find my chicken in the grocery stores: solved!! apparently these locals have two weekends in late january-early february each year where they invite people to stop and view the eagles, watch them "get fed" (we didnt arrive in time for this, but it appeared to be when they let rabbits and chickens loose to be hunted by the eagles), and to enjoy a community pancake breakfast.
(i may have created a map monster, but this just gives you an idea of where the eagle watch was in relation to halifax. the map marker is in sheffield mills. note the nearby town of wolfville, where we have been many times.)
we arrived in sheffield mills at around 11a. we pulled over at the mega eagle watch spot and stood out in the cold for a few minutes. there was a big open field bordered by some large trees which the eagles were roosting in. to get a good look required binoculars, which we dont have. there were also rows and rows of people with their fancy digital SLR cameras and tripods getting pictures of the birds as they left the trees to fly. luckily, there were actually a few bald eagles roosting in treetops right near the road, so we did get to see a few at fairly close range. id say the eagle watch was interesting, but probably better if you had the fancy equipment to really enjoy it.
after the birds, we checked out the eagle watch food. the community hall that served the pancake breakfast was warm and cozy. long tables filled with old people and families...and us. live music was playing as the local high school students served us pancakes. we had the choice of real maple syrup or acadia blueberry sauce. yum! i love this kind of stuff.
once fed, we wanted to stay in the area and explore because the sun was out and we hadnt been this far north yet. so, we drove the furthest north we could before stopping. at cape split. a very pretty area, very lacking in people. you can park and walk a hiking trail all the way out to the tip but its about 5 hours round trip and you walk along some dangerous cliffs...so, not for me today.
(oh joy, another map. the map marker is still on sheffield mills. where we went: the northern tip of land is cape split and you can see blomidon on the east coast. "the lookoff" is approximately where arlington is.)
heading back from the cape, we jogged east and stopped at blomidon provincial park. the red cliffs of this area can be seen all the way to wolfville and i have been wanting to go ever since i saw them in the distance. the color extends to the beach sand. the spot we parked and walked down to the beach was great. it felt a little like being on the d-day beaches with the cliffs and the peaceful silence. a really nice spot.
(us and the red cliffs; dave on the snowy red beach)
to complete the natural tour of the area, our last stop was a spot on the map called "the lookoff." it provides a panoramic view of the minas basin and the large tidal fields of the bay of fundy. it was quite a clear day so you could see a long distance.
(me at "the lookoff" with the minas basin in the background)
and, before we headed home, we stopped in the art village of canning to get a quick snack at the fireside grill. dave chose the grapefruit pie, which turned out to be rather bitter, and gross. ah well, you win some, you lose some.
back at home, dave kept up his sunday soup ritual (yay for me!) and made portuguese winter soup. yum!