Invasives on my walk home

Japanese knotweed or Fallopia japonica. Invasive plant

Japanese knotweed or Fallopia japonica, invasive plantFallopia japonica, that’s the scientific name for Japanese knotweed.  It has got to be the most vigorous, invasive plant that I have ever seen in an urban setting. Everyday that I walk to work, I pass some.  It doesn’t matter which route – there it is pushing up through the pavement.  And at this time of year, the dry stalks pushing up through the asphalt are clear and stark; no, lush, green growth covers this slow motion drama.

japanese knotweed or Fallopia japonica , invasive plant in Nova Scotia. April, 2014

Japanese knotweed or Fallopia japonica - invasive plant

New growth – coming from the crown.

This plant grows all over Nova Scotia and there is a wealth of information online. From images to scientific papers like this one submitted for a MSc at Dalhousie University.


A snowy walk home

Thrilled to walk home today and skip the slippery, snowy road.  Of course, I didn’t really skip the streets entirely – after all, I crossed the street at all my corners and the sidewalks were pretty snowy too.  It’s actually a bit like walking in sand – but I feel so much better on the sidewalk and I admit it – even a little bit smug; there’s no frustrating wait in traffic, no gripping the wheel waiting to see if the car slides through the stop sign!

And walking in a snow storm, everything seems a bit muted, as if the snow is muffling the sound.  The city sounds seem farther away and nature seems just a bit closer.  It’s great, I love my walk home!

bridge walking – transit strike

The ferry is not running! During the current transit strike in Halifax there are lots of walkers out – even across the Macdonald bridge in winter! The view is fabulous and today the temperature was above freezing and the sun was out. Of course taking pictures added considerable time to my traverse, but the light was great and I had never taken the time to really look across the expanse of the view.  It is possible to see out to the ocean, past Georges, McNabs and Lawlor Islands.

The walk across the bridge adds about a 1/2 hour to my regular walk-ferry combo so… I have been alternately walking and catching a ride to work.  Sidewalks and my destinations make it easier to walk on the east side of the bridge, but I hope to try the west side too – just have to check that walkers can use the bike side!

Halifax-Darmouth Ferry (Halifax Harbour has traffic control)

Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry, Nova Scotia

Heading to Dartmouth on the Halifax-Darmouth Ferry yesterday

Did you know that Halifax Harbour has traffic control?  Today (on my walk to work), I chatted briefly with a  worker on the Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry.  If I had ever thought about traffic control for ships in the harbour at all, somehow I had imagined that all those ships’ captains were just using “rules of the road”.  But no, turns out that just like an airport, Halifax Harbour – a busy port – has traffic control too.  In fact, according to this person, there are two control centres, one operated for civilians and one operated by the military!  A little web search revealed that it is the Canadian Coast Guard who operates Marine Communications and Traffic Services here.  And if you want to see a map which shows ships in Halifax Harbour in real time that is possible too!

Yesterday was a brilliant, warm day for walking home; and the ferry ride was especially nice.

Halifax from Halifax-Dartmouth Ferry.

Departing Halifax Ferry Terminal

Walking home in HRM

Walking to and from work this week the forsythia were not to be missed.  Almost every street on my way home (after the ferry) has forsythia – in bloom.   The brilliant yellow blooms were (and are) everywhere, brightening the rainy days this week.

It really is spring!  Other trees and shrubs are blooming too.  These magnolias and daffodils are part of a tiny patch of park, a little green oasis, on my way home.

winter storm walk in Halifax

Winter  storm across the province today.  It began sometime after lunch, and by mid-afternoon shopping centres were announcing closures by 4 pm.  The streets are treacherous.  And I am pleased, (very pleased) that I walk to (and from) work.  As the cars crept along the streets, I could stride (well maybe tromp is more accurate!) through the snow/slush.

Walking to and from work is not to everyone’s taste and it is not possible for everyone, but for me it is important.  In fact it was key in choosing where to live when we moved last year.  It grounds me, keeps me sane, and means I don’t have to drive in winter weather.