Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Ovens Natural Park

with 22 comments

On June 4th, after Blue Rocks had only two hours earlier finished providing my second sustained encounter with Nova Scotia’s seacoast, Ovens Natural Park gave me a chance to spend two more hours engaging with the coast.

Below is a closer view of that visually yummy rockweed (probably Fucus vesiculosus, according to staff member Ana):

Oh, those upturned rock layers:

And look at this seaweed on what I take to be granite or something akin to granite:

Imagine replacing the symbol in “I ❤ You” with a closeup of this seaweed. Okay, so maybe the only person who’d ever want to do that is a phycologist or somebody cozying up to one.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 19, 2018 at 7:50 PM

22 Responses

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  1. There’s a lot cooking at Ovens Beach. The layers in the first photo make me think of a lateral Punakaiki. Did you venture near the Ovens/caves/tunnel?


    July 20, 2018 at 5:23 AM

    • Yes, there’s a lot cooking, with many patterns baked into the rocky layer cake. For whatever reason, I failed to make a connection to Punakaiki. Now you’ve made the link.

      We followed the seaside path along the the cliffs—barely visible near the top of the first photograph—and did see a few of the caves and tunnels from a high vantage point. Prudence kept us from trying to go down from there. Later, in a different area, I wandered out onto the rocks shown at the bottom of the first photograph and in the other pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2018 at 7:01 AM

      • It seems to be an area with a fascinating history and it’s also interesting that it is in private ownership.


        July 20, 2018 at 7:38 AM

        • I never asked how the Chapin Family came to own Oven Natural Park. I’m grateful that they’re maintaining it and letting the public enjoy this great piece of nature.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 20, 2018 at 8:02 AM

    • By the way, I just discovered there’s a nature photographer in Christchurch by the name of Brendon Gilchrist. Are you aware of him?


      He has a sad story:


      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2018 at 8:34 AM

  2. I really like those rugged coasts. 🙂
    Have a wonderful weekend,


    July 20, 2018 at 10:41 AM

    • I was certainly happy to get to play along those rugged coasts in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine. All are so different from the Texas Gulf Coast.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 20, 2018 at 10:44 AM

      • I’ve been up to Maine once, but Mary and I will certainly return some day.


        July 20, 2018 at 10:58 AM

        • Right: you can take your main squeeze up to Maine. Acadia National Park is worth at least a couple of days.

          Steve Schwartzman

          July 20, 2018 at 12:36 PM

          • All the New England states are still on our bucket list for bicycling, but of course, also for sightseeing. Acadia National Park is one of the many places to see.


            July 20, 2018 at 1:05 PM

  3. […] wasn’t only the rocks and seaweed that warranted attention at Ovens Natural Park in Nova Scotia on June 4th. Just slightly inland from the shore I discovered first one plant and […]

  4. I don’t think, when we were in Nova Scotia some years back, we went to Ovens Natural Park (or even knew it was there), and what a shame! I love your juxtaposition of rockweed and the rock layers. It’s hard to believe, looking at them side by side, that the rock layers aren’t in motion, too.

    Susan Scheid

    July 22, 2018 at 6:26 PM

    • I forget how I heard about this place. I’m certainly glad we went. In fact there were many more places we could’ve gone to, like Cape Breton Island, but didn’t have time for most of them.

      I like the way you put it: the rock layers moving to the rhythm of the rockweed. I had to be careful on the slick rocks to keep from finding myself in unwanted motion as well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 22, 2018 at 8:41 PM

  5. The third photo’s especially interesting because it reminded me of two things simultaneously: dodder, and Edvard Munch’s painting popularly known as The Scream. I didn’t know for many years that the title Munch gave the painting was Der Schrei der Natur, or The Scream of Nature. Learning his title certainly changed my perception of the painting.

    The seaweed in the last photo looks to me like a tuning fork. You certainly seemed to be in tune with nature that day, so it seems appropriate. And I suspect you’re right about the granite. When I saw the rock, it reminded me of many outcrops along the Willow City Loop, which certainly are the same granite as that found at Enchanted Rock.


    July 22, 2018 at 9:07 PM

    • What an imagination you have to combine dodder with “The Scream.” I found out more about the painting at


      I wonder why Munch gave it a German title. I see that in the original Norwegian it was “Skrik,” which is cognate with the English word shriek.

      Yes, I was in tune with nature that day, first at Blue Rocks and then at Ovens. I wish those places were as close as the Willow City Loop instead of 2000 miles away.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 22, 2018 at 11:16 PM

  6. Love the photos, Steve, and yes, oh, those upturned rock layers, they are spectacular!!


    July 24, 2018 at 11:24 AM

    • I hope you know of—and get to photograph—similar upturned rock layers along the Pacific Coast.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 24, 2018 at 2:23 PM

  7. That is very visually yummy .. and so is that upturned rock layers btw 🙂


    July 26, 2018 at 5:15 AM

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