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Spring … shiver, shiver

Remember Tom Paxton’s song that the Irish Rovers (and others) sang back in 1973, “Wasn’t that a party…” Well that’s been buzzin’ around in my head all day save that it’s turned into “Wasn’t that a winter …” only my version is riddled with expletives.

Barrie and I were in NB over the weekend celebrating our twin granddaughter’s 10th birthdays. Thinking it was spring, we didn’t bother with boots, mitts and toques. In fact, on one of our hikes, Ellie took her jacket off, sat on a rock, and fed the chickadees!

When we returned on the ferry yesterday, we walked up the ramp of the Fundy Rose into a freaky snow storm. Our winter tires were removed last week!

Turns out we were fine on the highway. And sort of fine on the cross roads UNTIL we hit the Raynardton Road (a dirt road en-route to our place in Canaan.) Could not not not get up the first hill. #%^&(W*&^%$#@)#*)! Had to back down (heart-pounding scary), find a driveway (not easy), turn around (harder still), and make our way back to pavement (and a longer way home.)

It’s been a long winter, albeit stunningly beautiful by times, and certainly challenging while tenting at the Last Hope For Wildlife Camp in Beals Brook.

It’s been 128 days since the forest protectors started taking turns camping there. “There” meaning 50 acres or so of land that has pine martin, wood turtles, documented rare species of lichens (Wrinkled shingle, Frosted glass-whiskers and Black foam lichens). All are Species at Risk here in NS and by law, should be protected. Yes, there is an Act to protect them; no they are not protected.

Photo 99606199” by Colin Chapman-Lam is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

Community support has been huge: lots of donations of wood, food, water, and money that went towards buying a prospector’s tent (and stove!) along with paying someone to keep the logging road ploughed.

Path from the “loo” up the hill, looking back at camp.

Although there’s no Internet, I’ve brought my AIMTON and have been able to do some writing on my laptop. One day it was downright balmy and I opened the “window” in the tent and could enjoy the view.

We can also sleep in the prospector’s tent on a cot! Pure luxury compared to sleeping on the ground in a nylon tent with no stove in -15 temps.

We live in hope that the government will spare this piece of land. It’s really small in the grand scheme of things acreage-wise but mighty big in terms of protecting our Species at Risk and moving towards sustainable forestry.

Time for government and industry to be thinking ecological humility instead of human supremacy.

PS. Frances Anderson will be leading a lichen ID session at Beal’s Brook soon. She’s an authority on lichens and has written this book about them. We’ll also be looking for volunteers to do “bioblitzes” in different parts of the province this spring, identifying flora and fauna and earmarking regions for the government to protect.


  1. Kathleen Bunin Kathleen Bunin
    April 5, 2022    

    Please sign me up for the eco blitz. I can do the Boisdale Hills here in Cape Breton. Hang in there good people!

    • April 5, 2022    

      GREAT! I will keep you posted! Thanks for popping into view Kathleen.

  2. April 5, 2022    

    Hello Sandra,
    We have had an exceedingly cold and snowy winter. Now we are having a slow melt to go with it. The only thing to be said in its favour is that a fast snow thaw might have led to flooding.

  3. Phyllis Sutherland Phyllis Sutherland
    April 5, 2022    

    So great to see you working to promote conservation!!

    • April 5, 2022    

      Thanks Phyllis … we really need to work harder to save what precious little we have for our children future generations. The life of t he planet (and our lives) depend upon it!

  4. Joyce Glasner Joyce Glasner
    April 6, 2022    

    Sandra, I’m awed by your passion and commitment to protecting this precious land, which I’m sure is the habitat of many vulnerable species. I hope one day, before it’s too late, the powers that be will come to their senses and start listening!

    • April 8, 2022    

      Ahhh Joyce. Yes. We live in hope. Malcom Gladwell wrote a book many moons ago titled “The Tipping Point” … I sense that we are on the cusp of a tipping point that will turn the tides in relation to how we manage our forests. Just hope it happens sooner rather than later. Thanks for chiming in!

  5. Brenda Tate Brenda Tate
    April 9, 2022    

    I love lichens in their infinite variety of form and texture and hue. And this is a wonderful read! You are very much a bright beam in the spectrum of hope.

    • April 10, 2022    

      Thanks Brenda. Love your phrase, “spectrum of hope.” I may steal that for an op-ed!

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