a day at the beach

One of the reasons that we decided to journey over to the Atlantic shore of Nova Scotia was to visit some of the beaches. Yesterday, after arriving in Bridgewater, I made a batch of Greek Salad and we headed off to Crescent Beach which is located a few kilometers away along the coast near LaHave. It’s a long, curving, white sand beach that lies on the ocean side of a causeway and breakwater. I just looked for some info on it and found this small bit on wikipedia. It states:

Crescent Beach is a white sand, crescent-shaped beach, not far from the community of LaHave and the town of Lunenburg (famous for the Bluenose schooner). It known for its sandy dunes and windsurfing.
Prior to the construction of the road behind the dunes, the beach was used as a road to and from Bush Island.
Automobiles are permitted on the actual beach itself, something rare in Nova Scotia.

The first time we visited this beach, we were quite surprised to see a row of cars parked side by side on the beach next to the breakwater. However, it seems to be something of an institution here. However, we decided against this, feeling kind of weird about driving on beaches and also the possibility of getting stuck. So, leaving our van parked on the pavement along the causeway road, we crossed the breakwater on the narrow sand dune to access the beach. I’m not sure how long the beach is — but it must be at least a couple of kilometers. Yesterday, most of the visitors were concentrated at the mainland end of the beach, and many were swimming as the weather was very hot. While walking in the ocean later in the afternoon, I noticed that the water was warmer at the mainland end, and noticeably cooler at the end nearest to Bush Island.

We found many Semipalmated Plovers feeding along the edge of the water (click on photo for a larger view). When we first arrived, the tide was out and the plovers were barely visible as they darted back and forth. However, by the end of the afternoon, the birds were gradually driven closer to us as the tide came in. I shot this little movie clip of them (sorry, it’s almost 3 MB, but I didn’t get around to making a lower rez version).

We didn’t find much drift at this beach… mainly small bits of seaweed and the odd scallop shell. I did photograph this nice green tree-like bit of seaweed. I’m pretty sure that Cathy posted a similar photo just a few weeks ago (am I right, Cathy?).

Speaking of Cathy — yesterday, she left a comment mentioning Sabrina. Yes, indeed, she’s with us on this trip. This is her third trip to Nova Scotia and she’s become an old hand at traveling and hiking on rugged ocean trails. Here she is looking pretty cool about lying next to the lapping waves. However, here she is looking less like such a waterdog.

Shortly before packing up to depart, we walked to the farthest point along the beach. We came upon a tourist couple who had gotten their compact car stuck in the sand. Don gave them a hand at pushing the car out (lucky it was a small vehicle!). We saw a couple of other cars get stuck during the afternoon, so I guess that driving on the beach is one of those “at your own risk” kinds of things.

We stayed long enough to watch the sun go down, then returned to Bridgewater for the night. We’re just sitting here figuring out what happens next. It’s a nice change to not have to be somewhere doing something.

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9 Responses to “a day at the beach”

  1. DougT Says:

    Looks like you are having splendid weather. Any tiger beetles on the beach?

  2. threecollie Says:

    What beautiful photos! Sounds like the greatest vacation imaginable.

  3. robin andrea Says:

    What a beautiful first day at the beach. Sabrina and Don are the picture of happiness. Were you able to see any of the lunar eclipse? I imagine the sky very open and clear there.

  4. am Says:

    I can hear the ocean and smell the salt air! I love your video clips.

    How wonderful to find in my A FIELD GUIDE TO WESTERN BIRDS that Semipalmated Plovers winter on the California coast at San Francisco and south from there.

    I remember sitting in the sand on the beach in Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, on a sunny winter day in 1967 when I was 17 years old, watching them for the first time with my boyfriend who referred to them as “the little nuns.” I had no idea that they migrated from the far north.

    Georgia O’Keeffe visited Nova Scotia in 1932. My recollection is that she found the ocean and landscape there to have a compelling power, something like that she found in New Mexico.

    Sabrina’s spirit shines wherever she is. Looks like a good trip for all!

  5. Cathy Says:

    Oh, it was lovely to see the plovers, and loveliest to see sweet Sabrina and Don. Yes – that’s exactly the plant I photographed in July – I called it the ‘tree of life’. Mine didn’t have as many branches as yours :o)

    I could smell the salt in the air. Feel the breeze on my skin. Is it cool there? The breeze alone must be so refreshing.

  6. bev Says:

    Doug – The weather has been terrific, but no Tiger Beetles (not for the lack of trying to find any). It might be too disturbed there for them to do well. Last year, I found a lot of Tiger Beetles down at Cape Sable Island – one of the Hairy-necked species.

    threecollie – It’s been an excellent trip so far!

    robin – I would have loved to see the lunar eclipse, but the time of night made it difficult to get out to see it. Oh well!

    am – Earlier this summer, I read a collection of Georgia O’Keeffe’s letters and noticed the reference to Nova Scotia. I never knew about that before. I can see how she might have loved the landscape here — especially the rock formations.
    And yes, it has been a good trip. Sabrina seems to feel right at home. I think it’s because this is her third trip and she seems to recognize each place that we stop as though she was just here yesterday. We’ve been noticing this all along the way, so I think dog’s must have excellent memory of place.

    Cathy – I was sure that must be the same plant. How neat! It’s actually been quite warm here, but always very refreshing near the ocean. Apparently, it’s been horribly hot and humid back home, so we’re very glad we came here instead of trying to do much hiking back in Ontario.

  7. Rick MacPherson Says:

    such amazingly beautiful pictures… and thanks for the marine algae too… that species is one of my favorites (though it’s an invasive)…. it’s codium fragile, a species that did a number a few years ago on mussel beds throughout new england… codium is a coenocytic algae: essentially one single, giant multinucleated cell…

  8. Nina Says:

    You can never make a bad choice by choosing to go oceanside. I find it so relaxing and releasing–the sounds, smell, whole package is refreshing. And your photos are superb.
    (Envying your cool breezes, but imagining them is some relief from 100 degrees)

  9. bev Says:

    Rick – Thanks for posting information on that algae. I’m sure that Cathy will also be interested in knowing more about it. So, it’s an invasive species. Hmmph!

    Nina – We’ve been hearing that the weather is very hot and humid back home, so it seems lie this trip to the east coast was a very good idea!