Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Blomidon Provincial Park

with 28 comments

On June 6th, after the Evangeline-related things we did at Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia, we worked our way north-northwest to Blomidon Provincial Park, which had been indistinctly visible across Minas Bay from Evangeline Beach. Occasionally there’d be a break in the clouds and a shaft of light would briefly light up the cliffs.

As much water as came up twice a day from the extreme tides in the Bay of Fundy system, a little extra came down from above.

We visited at a low enough stage of the tides that we could venture out onto the beach.

Notice the rock above in the shape of an elongated heart, and the rock below covered with barnacles.

Do you remember the pōhutukawa-like trees clinging to the cliff at Halls Harbour? At Blomidon I similarly saw a lone tree at the edge of a cliff that looked like it might not be long for this world. At least it was still upright, unlike a tree in Austin two years ago that kept living while upside down.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 6, 2018 at 4:57 AM

28 Responses

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  1. Nova Scotia is on my Bucket List! Thank you for sharing these images. What fun that must have been.


    August 6, 2018 at 7:14 AM

    • Definitely a worthy addition to your list. We spent six days in the province, and with more time available could easily have found a lot more scenic places to visit there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2018 at 7:23 AM

  2. I’m sure they’re a pain to boat-owners, but as a landlubber, I’m always impressed by barnacles, pretty tough guys. Every once in a while, I’ll see a mention somewhere, that scientists are studying barnacle adhesive, since it’s so amazingly durable. The last one was about dentists looking into it!

    Robert Parker

    August 6, 2018 at 9:01 AM

    • It seems that researchers are looking to develop biomimicry in many fields. I’ve heard a little about the research to spin off spider silk into a synthetic that’s likewise much lighter than steel but even stronger, weight for weight. I’d not run into the example you gave involving barnacles, especially their possible application to dentistry. Linda may tell us about the nuisance that barnacles are for boat owners.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2018 at 9:15 AM

      • Ah, the barnacles. They grow like crazy down here: so much so that divers make a good living going down to clean props, shafts, and hulls on a regular basis. On a hull, barnacles decrease forward speed. On a prop, they can keep engine rpms down. If they get too thick on a rudder, someone who hasn’t used a boat in some time may find that, once he’s backed out of his slip, he can’t go anywhere because the rudder won’t turn. The only option’s going back into the slip and calling that diver.

        And if you happen to get barnacle cuts while cleaning a prop, or go overboard and get cut up by barnacles while trying to get out of the water (Who? Me?) it’s really important to get those cuts and scrapes cleaned up, pronto. You can get terrible infections in a very short time. They’re nothing to fool with.

        I do have one weird barnacle story. I was working on a boat with a resident osprey that ate its fish atop the mast every night. Every morning I’d have to clean up the residue covering the deck. It wasn’t pleasant, but I was intrigued by the round, hard, marble-sized “things” that I kept finding. No one knew what they were, so I took a couple down to the Extension office and had the fish expert look at them. She knew immediately that they were mullet gizzards. Mullet eat barnacles, and the hard bits of shell collect in the gizzard. The osprey, being at least somewhat picky, spits them out. The woman recognized them so quickly because her dad used to collect them; he had dozens.

        Now you know.


        August 6, 2018 at 9:06 PM

        • I suddenly thought of Barnacle Bill the Sailor. Nothing so lighthearted for those of you who have to deal with these clingy critters. On the other hand, it’s a living for people who get called in to remove them, and from what you say a good living at that. Maybe someday scientists will develop a coating that prevents barnacles from attaching to hulls and propellers and rudders.

          Your account of barnacle cuts sounds like no fun at all. Into the same category go discarded mullet gizzards—another novelty. Those of us who are land lubbers will have to make do with chiggers, mosquitoes, ticks, and the occasional rattlesnake.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 6, 2018 at 11:04 PM

  3. Despite living in New England all my life, well aside from the first 9 years in NY State, you’ve covered the northeast better than I.

    Steve Gingold

    August 6, 2018 at 1:11 PM

    • It’s not too late, especially given how relatively close you are. Although like you I grew up in NY (till my early 20s), somehow I never did go and visit any of Canada’s Atlantic provinces way back then. It took me close to half a century to get there. Better late than never—and with a better camera.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2018 at 1:28 PM

      • Once while Mary Beth and I were in Bar Harbor we contemplated hopping on the ferry to Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, the ship was full and we haven’t thought to do so since. Perhaps the near future.

        Steve Gingold

        August 6, 2018 at 1:35 PM

  4. That cliff in the last picture does not seem to be actively eroding enough to expose the roots of a tree that does not seem to be very old. I mean, the cliff looks so ‘clean’ of debris, as if it would have taken thousands of years to erode as much as it has, but the tree does not seem to be thousands of years old.


    August 6, 2018 at 6:25 PM

    • One factor that makes a big difference is that the water here is an arm of the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tides in the world. Because of that I assume erosion is continuing here at a pretty good clip, especially during the long Canadian winter.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2018 at 8:42 PM

      • Depending on the strata, it could be eroding cleanly into sand that gets removed efficiently, rather than crumbling into boulders that lay around at the bottom of the cliff for a while.


        August 6, 2018 at 9:23 PM

        • I saw chunks of fallen strata in some places along the beach. My impression is that the chunks were soft and I assume they’d soon enough be carried away by the tides.

          Steve Schwartzman

          August 6, 2018 at 9:33 PM

  5. Re: The Tree

    Some trees brag of being tenacious
    as they lean over beaches quite spacious.
    So pretty and green,
    they delight to be seen,
    but the rocks at their roots are bodacious.


    August 6, 2018 at 8:44 PM

    • These high cliffs might be from the Cretaceous,
      Yet extreme tides have made them fugacious.
      The tree, while not old
      Proves well that the bold
      Plus the audacious makes the bodacious.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 6, 2018 at 9:29 PM

      • To photograph high cliffs and trees
        takes an eye that’s been well-trained to see.
        But if trees or rocks fall,
        real photographers call,
        “Save the camera! and never mind me!”


        August 9, 2018 at 4:38 PM

  6. Waterfalls are very attractive; the barnacles not so much, according to Linda’s comment.


    August 7, 2018 at 3:32 AM

    • Little did I know to what extent barnacles can be a blight.
      That’s in contrast to waterfalls, which always bring delight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 7, 2018 at 6:16 AM

  7. Audacious you are, and your posts bodacious.


    August 7, 2018 at 8:09 AM

  8. Blomidon Provincial Park seems like an astonishing place which I’d love to explore, Steve. Plus, those pictures are stunning and very intriguing.


    August 7, 2018 at 1:18 PM

    • I hope you get to go there, as well as to some of the many other places that I’ve featured here.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 7, 2018 at 2:25 PM

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