Back in 2015 on this day, May, 27, Sandra and I awoke early and started a long day of packing. The removal truck arrived around 08:00 and I spoke to the person in charge, telling him we had a big drive to Nova Scotia ahead of us and would appreciate a speedy pack, and that there would be a substantial thank you in untaxed dollars, if they got stuck in. Nine hours, endless smoke breaks (from them) and a one and a half hour lunch later and the truck rolled off our now ex drive and we were on our way. I hope the pox we cursed them with still blights their petty little lives.
My van housed the terrified and vocal cats and had a mattress strapped to the roof. Both cars were packed with the stuff we needed or did not trust the movers with, we should have hired a U-Haul! After a few kilometers it became clear that the mattress had no intention of remaining in situ, what to do? Find a skip, try to stuff it into a gas station bin? No, we scrunched it up really tight and forced it into the gaps we thought we’d filled in the van and continued. As darkness fell and we ran on adrenaline, two deer bolted from the highway verge missing the van hood by inches. A fully grown White-tailed Deer meeting the van going at 100kmph would not have helped!
We grabbed a few restless hours doze once out of Quebec and pressed on along the endless New Brunswick highway until at last, Nova Scotia welcomed us home via a large highway sign. We had to keep stopping to stretch and doze, and Sandra has the median rumble strips to thank for waking her up at a crucial moment and preventing her from becoming a highway 103 statistic, then we arrived. It was beautifully sunny and warm, the house was filthy, the bed had to be constructed and the cats ferried inside but we were home after around 24 hours on the road and without real sleep for much longer. Stepping out of the van onto our new drive Yellow Warblers sang from our yard, a Baltimore Oriole was in our Apple Tree, NS ticks both and so started the best phase of our lives.
I like to commemorate our arrival in wonderful Nova Scotia, it is worth commemorating as it is where we will live until we die and we couldn’t be happier.
The end of May always feels like we have missed something, the migration we eagerly awaited has come and largely gone as the woods ring to warbler song. There is not too much filling in to do now. Nelson’s Sparrows are usually later arrivals. The odd straggler heading far north might stop by if the weather forces it to and a few shorebirds will appear, but that is it. Now we have the unpredictability of rare overshoots from practically anywhere and the remote possibility that we have screwed the planet enough for a June Hurricane (and a reasonably accurate one if we have to have one at all please!). Lists that look anorexic in late mid-April now are well-fleshed out; leaving gaps that only autumn can attend to. We can calm down a bit, just a bit, and perhaps do a few of those little jobs that always get held up during migration season, yard clearing, house fixing, burying relatives and the like.
My focus for the next few months will be dragonflies and butterflies (and, yes Sandra, doing the windows we have stacked in the basement). I will also meet many Blackflies, Mosquitoes and ticks, the latter really are the least welcome insect group encountered. My dragonfly blog has its first post of the year and I hope to be able to do a few more than last year, but you never know. My bird year list won’t see too much activity, 203 now, I’d be surprised if it nudged more than 210 by the end of June. On Cape Sable Island I have 158 but acres of gaps and, as we are effectively out of province throughout September, I don’t expect to fill some of those gaps at all. Enough blurb, here are a few photos.
A sit by the willows at Chebogue Point gave us a good opportunity to watch Alder Flycatcher, Bay-breasted Warbler and Swainson’s Thrush.
Wentworth Lake Road is a reliable spot for Olive-sided Flycatcher.
Two different Least Flycatchers from Daniel’s Head, CSI.
An Olive-sided Flycatcher was only the second ever in the yard, brief and distant though. This male Ruby-throated Hummingbird has his feeder staked out and defends it from all comers. We added Nashville Warbler to our yard list this late May, no photo though.
Thanks for reading.