new paths   19 comments

Posted at 12:09 pm in Uncategorized

Life continues here in the wake of Sabrina’s death. That is one thing that I know much about – life goes on regardless of what we might think or feel. New paths lie before us. We can choose to investigate, or just stick to the beaten track that we know so well. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll know that the safe, well-worn, mundane trail holds little of interest to me. With Sabrina’s passing, there are now some new possibilities that could not be considered so long as I was caring for an aging dog. I’ll write more about my autumn plans in a few weeks. For now, the most immediate and practical change is that Sage and I can venture off on longer hikes without concern about getting back to the house to check on Sabrina. It took a couple of weeks for me to break out of recent habit and feel like taking off for the day, but we’ve begun doing just that.

Yesterday, Sage and I went for an afternoon ramble along a section of the old decommissioned railway line that runs parallel to the south shore of the Annapolis River. The trail is bordered by hedgerows of hawthorn, elderberry, blackberry canes, apple trees, lupine flowers, and other dense vegetation. We hiked an area that is roughly behind my property where Round Hill Brook flows to join the Annapolis River. From about the point of an old railway bridge, the brook becomes tidal downstream before the confluence with the Annapolis.

The trail varies in width from being little more than a cart track to that of a gravel road frequented by farm equipment bound for fields out on the great loops created by the meandering Annapolis River. It’s an easy hike with the exception of one obstacle — an old railway bridge which is now somewhat precarious – although it looks worse than it actually is. However, Sage was not in the least deterrred as she clambered onto the rotten sheets of chip board meant to make the gaps between the huge squared timbers less daunting. After just a couple of sniffs at the boards, Sage hopped over the most crazily slanted spot and away we went across the bridge, dodging the worst of the gaping cracks.

Above is a photo of Round Hill Brook as it appears a short ways downstream from my property. At this point, it is tidal, so twice a day, the water level drops considerably during low tide.

The above photo was taken from the south shore of the Annapolis, where it makes one of its huge meandering loops around a meadow on the north shore. The tide is close to being as high as it can be. At low tide, the waters recede, exposing a shoreline of sandy vertical walls. The hills in the background are the North Range and just beyond them is the Bay of Fundy with its spectacular tides. It is to the Bay that we owe the great difference in high and low tides on these rivers.

Turning away from the river, we walked up a quiet country lane, stopping to take photos of the ruins of an old house that is gradually being claimed by the rampant vegetation. Among the bushes and canes is a beautiful white rose that is painted here and there with pink and red. It has a wonderful old rose fragrance that is the equal of any of the very old roses that we collected and grew in our garden at the farm back in Ontario. The old roses were one of the plants that I most hated leaving behind, but I have since been planting other roses here at the Round Hill house. In any case, I picked a rose from one of the canes and carried it with me to occasionally sniff as we walked the rest of the way home. It was a good hike and just one of many that we’ll be taking in the coming weeks. After all, the opportunities for hiking were a large part of the reason for buying the old house at Round Hill.

I know that some of you have been concerned about how Sage and I would get along on our own without Sabrina. True, it has been difficult as, for the past few years, my world seems to be narrowing down — sort of like one of those songs where there get to be less and less of some entity with the passing of each verse. However, it probably won’t be too long before another canine becomes a member of out dog tribe.

Written by bev wigney on June 19th, 2012

19 Responses to 'new paths'

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  1. Bev, somehow I missed your post about Sabrina. I am so very sorry to hear of her death; I know it is very hard to lose such a close friend and it must be even more acute in light of her relationship with Don. There’s no doubt you will find comfort in Sabrina’s company and I know you will enjoy Larry’s company when you get back to Bisbee.


    19 Jun 12 at 12:54 pm

  2. Are there any Unionids in the tidal-but-not-salt reaches of the brook?


    19 Jun 12 at 1:21 pm

  3. John – Thanks, yes, all these losses (and more) are a little hard to take, but I am trying not to let my life get any narrower.

    Fred – i have not been over at low tide. However, what I did see was a big bulletin on a telephone pole near the bridge where Aleta and you did some looking around. It warns of shellfish contamination and that it is illegal to collect, possess, etc.. mussels and other shellfish from that location. I don’t know what that is about. I did some looking around on the net this morning and I guess there are various sites along the coast and in the tidal rivers that have similar shellfish contamination.

    bev wigney

    19 Jun 12 at 1:28 pm

  4. “Enter at your own risk . .”

    Dare to live, explore . . dare to love . . . . to love again.

    Like the flood that is drawn back into the brook and river, we return for more. It’s what we humans do.

    Lovely, Bev.


    19 Jun 12 at 1:33 pm

  5. That looks like a wonderful hiking spot, Bev. Tidal estuaries are such great places for exploring. It’s one of the things I miss most about living far from the coast. Glad to see you and Sage getting out there on longer walks.

    When I got to the end of this post, i saw the picture of Sabrina, and my heart broke anew.

    robin andrea

    19 Jun 12 at 2:23 pm

  6. Cathy – Thanks. Yes, you totally get it, as you always do!

    robin – It’s still hard for me to look at the top photo on that post about Sabrina. She had such a kind, wise face. It breaks my heart every time – but then the thing is that it is getting so that just about all of my photos have the power do that. Not so good.

    bev wigney

    19 Jun 12 at 3:28 pm

  7. That would be – probably a flag of inadequate municipal sewage treatment – as we say in the blog, that protects the bivalves and may provide them with extra food. But if you see any Unionid shells, scoop them up and hold them until we come by this summer.


    19 Jun 12 at 3:48 pm

  8. fred – could be, although I did a bit of checking this morning and see that agricultural causes are one listed for many, but also chemicals from mining industry, of which we have had a lot at one time inland of here. Anyhow I’ll see what else I can find. So far, I can’t say I have ever seen so much as a shell on the upstream side of the railway bridge. Perhaps there would be something further downstream. I’ll try to watch when I’m out walking.

    bev wigney

    19 Jun 12 at 4:03 pm

  9. Kathy – Many thanks for your kind words. I gain a lot through this blog – inspiration, support and camaraderie. Probably more than any might guess!

    bev wigney

    19 Jun 12 at 6:28 pm

  10. Thanks for sharing this with us Bev, I know its not easy for you to do. You are a true inspiration to me for the days that are not so great for me in my world, not in comparison to your losses of course. We forge forward in life, through good and bad the best that we can, it is my wish for you to have many wonderful things come into your life in the years ahead. I am so glad that you have become part of my world, you are a wonderful being my friend…

    Kathy Demarest

    19 Jun 12 at 5:40 pm

  11. Your journey forward continues to inspire me. I Good to see where you have been out walking with Sage during these long June days.


    19 Jun 12 at 8:42 pm

  12. am – The journey forward has not been easy, but it as always had a kind of sense about it. I feel it has been something worth sharing — to create a record of one way of dealing with loss and the process of rebuilding. It makes me very pleased to think that what has been written here might help another who is following a parallel path.

    bev wigney

    20 Jun 12 at 4:55 am

  13. So glad to see you are venturing out again. The area around your home is just beautiful. I can’t imagine how fascinating it must be living by a tidal basin.. Salt water mingling with fresh. I love this blog. Every post is both an adventure and a lesson in natural history with both pictures and text. AND we get to see how you are doing, which is equally fascinating.

    I was wondering if you planned on getting another dog sometime in the future, so that then there will be four?


    20 Jun 12 at 6:21 pm

  14. I miss the time out east. Something about the pace and focus there…. I can sleep there. I can breathe. I am hoping that the farm in Ontario fills some of that for me, and for Greg. But I know that the Karsdale house is where we should be. Someday, anyway. Our son and his girlfriend share the feelings about the place. They get it. They are both in school, but don’t put their savings toward trips to Cuba or other beaches; they want to drive out to the wreck and camp. I love those kids. 😉

    I am glad to hear of your walks with Sage. Our dog Bear has gentled a lot since he became a singleton. He is so dominant, and his mother Annie’s death changed the relationship a lot. I have to laugh; he must run three times the distance we walk, as he charges ahead, and circles back to check constantly. He has the same expression of joy at the farm, where he can run and run, with no worries of having to challenge strangers.
    I imagine Sage will change a bit too, with the new dynamic. I am so glad you have her.

    Best wishes to you as you enjoy your home. I hope to do the same soon. –Mal

    Mal Hotte

    20 Jun 12 at 6:48 pm

  15. Joan – Traveling as much as I do, Ii get to see a lot of different kinds of landscapes. The Annapolis Valley is one of the most fascinating and beautiful. Eventually I will get another dog – probably another Rough Collie, but not for awhile. I would like Sage to have some time with just me to herself. It’s also difficult traveling alone with two dogs. This will make things a little easier.

    Mal -You are quite right about the pace ad the focus here. It’s not so crazy and busy as other parts of the country. It’s like going back in time while still having all the modern conveniences of good communication. I do love it here very much. I hope you will eventually get to spend more time at Karsdale. Take care.

    bev wigney

    20 Jun 12 at 8:29 pm

  16. Round Hill looks like perfection to me, Bev. Reading this post, I could almost hear the wind and the sea birds as you rambled the verges with Sage, and the views along the shore were gorgeous. My thoughts are with you both…

    It has always been one of my dreams to live (again) somewhere where I could spend hours and hours poking about in tide pools. How beautifully those pools held clouds and blue sky on sunny days.


    29 Jun 12 at 1:14 pm

  17. cate – Round Hill has proven to be a very good place for me to seek refuge and rebuild my life (Bisbee too, for that matter). There are so many miles of quiet roads, trails and paths to walk out onto right from my door and peaceful places to sit right here around the house.
    I too love to wander along the ocean and gaze into tide pools. I often think how odd it is that the tide pools of the Atlantic and Pacific have such a different feel. I love both. When I go west this year, I hope to spend some time along the Pacific. I feel the pull of both coasts and it has been too long since I was in the west. Soon.

    bev wigney

    29 Jun 12 at 8:16 pm

  18. Well, Bev, as a result of your comment on my blog I came over here and found that this momentous and sad event had happened. You’ve written about it so beautifully, in a way that gives courage to all of us to face the difficult things life inevitably brings. Sabrina looks like she was such a fine dog and loving companion. I’m sorry for your loss and the opening of all the old wounds, and wish you all the best as you look ahead.


    9 Jul 12 at 4:48 pm

  19. Thanks, Beth. I’m glad that my comment brought you over for a visit. Yes, it certainly feels like the end of an era, but perhaps the beginning of another. It’s sometimes hard to see things that way, but that’s how we carry on.

    bev wigney

    9 Jul 12 at 6:08 pm

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