Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Peggy’s Cove

with 55 comments

6566: that’s the number of miles our trip odometer showed on the evening of June 16th when arrived back home on the 25th day of a long drive that had begun on May 23rd. The vacation was a combination of visits to family, friends, and scenic places in the northeastern United States and the Atlantic provinces in Canada.

On June 3rd, our hosts in Halifax, Nova Scotia*, took us to a site on the Atlantic Ocean called Peggy’s Cove. While most visitors probably go there to see the lighthouse, you’ll understand that I found my joy in the rocks and the water and the plants. Here are seven photographs from that encounter.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


* Did you know that Nova Scotia is on Atlantic Time? That’s one hour later than Eastern Time. Except in airplanes to and from Europe, I’d never been in that time zone.


Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 26, 2018 at 4:46 AM

55 Responses

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  1. I love the stained-glass look of the colours under the ripples.

    Jenny Meadows

    June 26, 2018 at 5:02 AM

    • Normally wind is my enemy when I’m taking pictures. In this case it created the ripples on the surface of the shallow pool that created the stained-glass effect you find appealing. I’m fond of it too.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 26, 2018 at 5:11 AM

  2. I went here on a week-long trip to Nova Scotia in February. The lighthouse seemed to emanate an aura of mystery in the ocean fog.


    June 26, 2018 at 6:25 AM

    • I can see how fog would’ve shrouded the lighthouse in mystery. No fog was there during our afternoon visit, unless you count the hordes of tourists who clambered about and sometimes caused me to wait until a place I wanted to photograph was free of all human presence.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 26, 2018 at 8:16 AM

    • I see you describe yourself as “Canada dreaming.” I’m glad you made it to Nova Scotia for a visit, which must have been a cold one in February. How did you happen upon this post about Peggy’s Cove?

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 26, 2018 at 8:47 AM

      • I found it in my inbox, and I remembered I’d seen Peggy’s Cove on my trip to Nova Scotia, so I opened it.


        June 29, 2018 at 3:38 PM

        • Interesting. That pushes the question back one degree, to how the post ended up in your inbox.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 29, 2018 at 3:50 PM

          • I was following your blog via my email.


            June 29, 2018 at 3:53 PM

            • Ah, thanks for explaining (and for following). I do hope you’ll get back to Canada. The Canadian Rockies are fabulous.

              Steve Schwartzman

              June 29, 2018 at 3:58 PM

              • In the summer, though. I’ve already experienced the Canadian winter. 😉


                June 30, 2018 at 6:51 AM

                • I’m with you. I’d rather put up with the hordes of visitors in the summer than the frigid weather in the winter.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  June 30, 2018 at 7:51 AM

                • The seasons are all beautiful in their own way, but spring, summer and autumn are the best.


                  July 1, 2018 at 2:55 AM

  3. The rocks are really scoured smooth.

    Jim R

    June 26, 2018 at 6:43 AM

  4. Great abstracts from nature!!!


    June 26, 2018 at 6:46 AM

    • You said it. You can imagine how happy I was to find natural abstractions at this site and various others.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 26, 2018 at 8:19 AM

  5. I like the structures and the colours. As to your mileage: you beat us! Our total was only 3,936.8 miles. But that was really enough for a 21-day trip.


    June 26, 2018 at 7:24 AM

    • Our mileage was, I think, 6565.7 but I rounded it up. About half of that was just getting from Austin to New York and back. I’d considered flying to Boston and renting a car there, which would have had an advantage of three days each way not spent on the road. In the end I decided to drive our own car, which gave us some other advantages.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 26, 2018 at 8:38 AM

      • As we wanted to take our own bicycles, and go to a lot of different trails, it was our own car we neded. As to the way there and back: the same with us as with you, the first and the last two days contributed to nearly 1/3 of the total distance covered.


        June 26, 2018 at 8:46 AM

        • Yes, it’s clear why you took your own car because of the bicycles. This latest trip of ours was different from our other recent driving ones because we didn’t seek out or stop at scenic places along the way. We wanted to get to the Northeast as soon as possible.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 26, 2018 at 8:53 AM

          • We might have to do that – just go fast to our first premier destination – when we want to do states farther north than NC, and maybe up to New England. That would involve a lot of miles just getting there.


            June 26, 2018 at 12:36 PM

            • A lot of miles, and a lot of truck drivers hogging the left lane on uphill stretches of major Interstates as they inch past other trucks in the right lane. It took me hours longer to drive to the Northeast than it should have.

              Steve Schwartzman

              June 26, 2018 at 12:57 PM

              • I should add that on the return trip, to avoid the unpleasantness of following Interstate 30 to Dallas and coming down the perpetually-under-construction Interstate 35, we got off I-30 in Texarkana and worked our way southwest across the state on older highways. It took maybe half an hour or 45 minutes longer, but it was so much less stressful that I’m glad I chose the alternate route. US 59 south of Texarkana has intersections and houses and businesses along it, but the highway is divided and the speed limit is 75 mph. Woo hoo!

                Steve Schwartzman

                June 26, 2018 at 1:04 PM

              • We did the same: some short cuts on the smaller highways, even on our first day, when we needed to cover quite some distance. If possible, we adhere to our motto, “not the highways but the byways.”


                June 26, 2018 at 2:28 PM

            • We didn’t really have with trucks doing that. Usually there were enough lanes to overtake them when they did what we call “Elefantenrennen” [elephants’ race] in German.


              June 26, 2018 at 2:26 PM

  6. The colours and textures you’ve found are wonderful – loved this post!


    June 26, 2018 at 3:57 PM

    • Colors and textures: what else can a nature photographer ask for? Of course you’ve got more than your share of that in New Zealand. Nova Scotia was the first chance I had to photograph a seacoast since my visit to New Zealand more than a year ago—and I certainly took advantage of the opportunity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 26, 2018 at 4:06 PM

      • Wow, of course! I hadn’t thought about how rare it would be for you to get to the sea!


        June 26, 2018 at 4:13 PM

        • The nearest access from Austin is Galveston, on the Gulf of Mexico, about 4 hours away. Unfortunately that coast lacks photogenic rocks and cliffs. Maybe Texas can annex New Zealand and tow it over here. Somehow I don’t think you guys would go for that.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 26, 2018 at 4:32 PM

  7. Very interesting perspectives. I liked that coast, but I was looking at the lighthouse. I should have looked down more. Love this post, too.


    June 26, 2018 at 7:19 PM

    • I took exactly one picture that included the lighthouse, just for documentation. I took about 350 photographs of the sea and the natural formations. What a great place it was. I hope we all get to go back someday.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 26, 2018 at 7:59 PM

  8. I did not get to another time zone until the end of 2012 when I crossed the Colorado River into Arizona. What a trip. There were no fireworks or marching band, but I was a big event for me. I went from New Mexico into Texas the next day. Again, there were no fireworks or marching band.


    June 26, 2018 at 11:43 PM

    • As I understand it, until the age of railroads, each place kept its own solar time. Time zones came about as convenient creations to deal with problems inherent in having so many different local times. Look at a map of time zones and you’ll see how the borders often differ from the pure regularity of a line of longitude.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2018 at 6:28 AM

  9. That view through the ripples, with those autumnal colours is superb. Rocks are fascinating up close – so easy to walk by but when you stop and examine them there is so much to see. Great gallery, Steve.


    June 27, 2018 at 3:48 AM

    • I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to the Schwartzman Gallery, Andy. The colorful view through the ripples got my attention, too; sometimes the wind is our friend. And yes, a good look at rocks often reveals appealing patterns.

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2018 at 6:35 AM

  10. Sigh! Another place I have wanted to visit, but haven’t done. Yet. The Atlantic Provinces: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Not quite sure what the appeal is, but coves and lighthouses are a start. Love the amber old-fashioned rippled glass – the sort you would see in a Victorian house sometimes.


    June 27, 2018 at 8:31 AM

    • Well, look at the positive side: this is one more region you have an incentive to get to. I’d hoped to make it to P.E.I. and even Newfoundland, but I vastly underestimated how much there was to see even in Nova Scotia. Another trip seems in order… eventually.

      Everyone seems to like that rippled glass that nature imitated through water. Or did people originally dabble in glass based on what they saw in nature?

      Steve Schwartzman

      June 27, 2018 at 8:39 AM

      • I suspect the latter. The OH has friends in Newfoundland so we already have the incentive. Not quite figured out the best time of year though.


        June 27, 2018 at 8:41 AM

        • I’d avoid winter. Our hosts in Halifax said autumn is a good time to visit due to the changing of the leaves. Of course the best color occurs at somewhat different times from one year to another, so it’s hard to time it right unless you start on the early side and stay in the area for several weeks.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 27, 2018 at 8:48 AM

  11. Some time between my father’s death and her move from Iowa to Kansas City, my mother finally became courageous enough to sign up for a bus trip sponsored by a bank in our town: designed specifically for older people. She went with a friend, and the highlight of her trip was Peggy’s Cove. It was one place she talked about wanting to revisit; she even talked about the scenery and the shore, as well as the lighthouse. I’ve always wished I could visit the area, too, but now I’ll have some photos to enjoy.

    I’m especially fond of that third photo. The rocks look like the top of a perfectly made Texas peach or dewberry cobbler — one made the right way, with biscuits that crack a bit as it cooks. In the next to last photo, the largest rock looks rather like a beached whale.

    The chartreuse seaweed (?) lining the pool reminds me of some of the other vibrantly-colored pool trimmings you’ve found in various places.


    June 29, 2018 at 9:24 PM

    • Then your mother beat me to it, because I’d never even heard of Peggy’s Cove till this trip. While she didn’t get to revisit that site, you may be able to do so for her (and for yourself) one of these days. Perhaps a bank in Houston will offer the same sort of bus trip.

      Leave it to you to imagine a cobbler in the third photograph. I’m with you on the next-to-last picture conjuring up beached whales. In the last photograph, I don’t know what the green organism turning white is. My guess is some sort of algae. It reminds me (vaguely) of the chara algae I photographed drying around a pond in central Texas five years ago:


      Steve Schwartzman

      June 29, 2018 at 10:18 PM

      • Never say never, as the saying goes, but I’ll leave the bus trips for some indeterminate future when I can’t get myself around. I have my prejudices, and one is that being confined in a bus or a cruise ship is getting close to cruel and unusual punishment.


        June 29, 2018 at 10:26 PM

        • Right. I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to seriously consider a cruise or even a bus trip. In some of the most scenic places we’ve visited over the past few years, we often encountered people swarming out of buses for their allotted 20 minutes or so, only then to be whisked away for the next brief stop. As you know only too well, a photographer needs to be able to stop whenever and wherever, and stay for however long it takes.

          Steve Schwartzman

          June 29, 2018 at 10:41 PM

  12. Great shots Steve .. I’m with you, joy in the rocks, water and plants 🙂


    July 1, 2018 at 3:25 AM

    • This was the closest I came to a New Zealand experience of rocks and the ocean since I was in New Zealand over a year earlier.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 1, 2018 at 5:51 AM

  13. […] June 4th, the day after we visited Peggy’s Cove and had our first reckoning with the Nova Scotia coast, came another important coastal encounter at […]

  14. […] June 3, 2018, we visited Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia. Supplementing the pictures from there that I showed last year are the ones in today’s anniversary […]

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