Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Two Extremes to Go Outside and Try

It is hard to beat spring skiing and snowboarding after an overnight drop of fresh powder at Whistler/Blackcomb in British Columbia:

And then there is kite surfing and buggying at Conrad Beach in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia:

Which do you prefer?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sugaring Off Party

This Grandma Moses painting, depicting a sugaring off party (prints are available for purchase here: Buy artwork by Grandma Moses at Art.com.) in Quebec reminds me of how much fun it is to go outside and head to the sugar bush during late winter and early spring. "Sugaring Off" refers to the tapping of maple trees to harvest the sap that runs freely at that time. Stands of maple trees suitable for harvesting sap are called the "sugar bush".

Here in Nova Scotia a favourite maple syrup producer is Sugar Moon Farm in Earltown. Sugar Moon is the Native American name for the full moon of the sugaring off season - the month of freezing nights & warm days that usually occurs in March/April (it is also called maple moon).

Sugar Moon Farm, owned by Scott Whitelaw and Quita Gray, is a member of the Atlantic EconoMusee Network, the same Artisans at Work network that The Bay Hammock Company belongs to. We are a network of shops that are 'living museums' where you can discover the history of a craft or trade, meet the artisans, and find out first hand how we are adapting traditional know-how to modern needs.

The sugaring off season is the perfect time to visit Sugar Moon Farm. At the farm you can hike (or snowshoe if there is too much snow to hike) to the sugar bush, follow the production process from tree to table, then sit at the table and enjoy a traditional sugar camp meal in the log Pancake House. Don't forget to purchaes some maple products to take home. If, like me, you are a keen hiker you could also hike the Rogart Mountain Trail - a 6 km wilderness trail that starts and ends at Sugar Moon's parking lot. Maps are available at the farm. Don't go without one. All in all Sugar Moon provides a great way for the whole family to go outside and have fun.

We are going to Sugar Moon in a couple of weeks when the amber maple syrup, which runs late in the season, is available. It is our favourite. My friend, Shelagh, attended the maple syrup festival in Earltown and dropped in at Sugar Moon last weekend. You can share her experience here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sensational Snap Society

Even I have trouble getting motivated to go outside during the rainy, foggy days of a Nova Scotia spring.

So I decided to do someting about it. What I needed, I decided, was a great reason to go outside. Maybe something really interesting to challenge me. I was musing about what that might be when I read Alice in Paris' blog about the Sensational Snap Society - an photo e course where the author and great photographer, Shelagh Duffett, will teach folks to see and record the world around us in a different way. What a great idea. Maybe it will help me to see the world close up and appreciate the small beauties that shine through the fog and rain drops. It will be a challenge as I tend to be a soft focus, big picture kind of person but it will definitely give me a reason to go outside and play.

Sounds like fun, don't you think. If you would like to participate you will find more info here. The course starts April 2 so hop on over and sign up.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Winter Surfing in Nova Scotia

I wrote about winter surfing earlier this year and a lot of people expressed an interest in the sport. This past Sunday the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation did a half hour program about the sport. You can view it here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Swap

A while back Alice Griffith, author of the blog Fanciful Alice started a blog swap. I thought this would be great fun and decided to participate. Alice participated in a previous swap and loved getting a package of little gifts from another part of the world, so she started one of her own. Twelve people agreed to participate. I sent my gifts to Angela Lockley of Calne, England. As it has not arrived yet I will wait to tell you what I sent. My gift arrived from Debs Carrs in Jersey, Channel Islands. I was very excited when I learned that Debs was from Jersey as several of my ancestors were from the Channel Islands.
Here is what I received:

Sea shells from the Jersey coastline. A decorative tea towel and window sticker from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust which is a great gift for someone who loves to Go Outside. Also the Durrells were my ancestors so... The sachet filled with Jersey lavender has found a happy home in my Smart car and the sweet treats are tucked away in the pantry awaiting the end of my participation in the 10 in 10 challenge.  - tomorrow, yeah! Thanks Debs for all the little gifts.

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Go Outside, Have Fun and Earn a Living in Nova Scotia, Mother Nature's Playground

Imagine being able to live where you want, do what you love and still earn a great living. That is called the Nova Scotia Lifestyle. For us the go outside activity is walking and hiking and we make hammocks for a living but the lifestyle is the same. The power of the internet.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Late Winter Walk in the Park

It's been a perfect winter where we live. Enough snow in the ski hills for the skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts and very little along the coastline, allowing those who love to hike, walk, etc. access to our favourite areas. The snow has pretty much left the forest around where we live but the trails are still wet in spots so last weekend we decided to go for a walk in a city park. It was a beautiful, sunny, warm (for March) day and we are lucky to have a very large, forested park in our city. There were lots of people outside having fun.

The park juts out into the ocean so we were able to enjoy part of our walk along the coastline. It was a beautiful day but I think these boaters are pushing the season. Unless they are moving the boat from winter storage and planning a trip south.
The park has a large "of leash"area for dogs so Tara made lots of new friends. She is a "country dog" and accustomed to roaming free as long as she stays on our property so when out in strange places she stays on the leash so she doesn't run out of our sight.
These folks look like birds on a wire. It was a great spot to sit on a washed-up log and enjoy the ocean.

Winding up a game of soccer.

Writing a song, perhaps.

It was a great day for a picnic