Cyril Smith Golden Acres Park

municipal park in Dartmouth, NSLast weekend we spent a delightful hour exploring the park trail, from one lake to another and walking over to the public beach and reading the plaque.  There were large stands of Kalmia – nice to see these native plants in numbers in the city.

Kalmia, ericaceous plant in Nova ScotiaThis municipal park along part of the north-east shores of Albro Lake provides the neighbourhood with access to a short walk in the woods and lakefront.  These types of small parks with nature walks and lakes are sprinkled across Dartmouth just like the lakes, and are one of the best features of this city.  Many are just like Cyril Smith Golden Acres Park, where citizens spear headed the park establishment creating a positive space in the community.

I’ve added to my HRM map for easy reference.

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laminaria in winter

Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia

Crystal Crescent Beach is such a lovely and typical Nova Scotia Beach I am always happy to visit.  A popular beach – even in winter when we went a few days ago on a brilliant sunny day, there were a few other people on the beach and trail.

Crystal Crescent Beach, Nova ScotiaWinter storms typically cast seaweed up on the shore in squishy, drifts.  Waves must have washed sand over seaweed strewn on the beach since the laminaria (and other seaweed) were poking up through the sand – something not usually seen in summer!

labrador tea-cv1

The trail winds through some typical boggy/spruce woods.  Tight flower buds topped Labrador tea plants.  We will try and return in the spring to see them in bloom.  (And double check that they are labrador tea and not some other ericaceous plant.)

Crystal Crescent Beach provincial park is a great place in winter or in summer.  This previous post links to maps and other info.

Shubie Park – Wintergreen

wintergreen, heath family, Gaultheria procumbens

Wintergreen in Nova Scotia Dec., 2011

On December 18, looking for a quick walk, we headed off to “Shubie Park”.   Brilliant red berries edged the trail – Wintergreen, also called teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens).  Coincidentally, we went there for a winter walk on December 18, 2010.  And none of those photos were posted – so, a couple follow here.

Shubie Park in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

When I searched hikes i like for other Shubie posts for links there were no Shubie posts…what’s up with that?  We often walk there when looking for a longer in-town walk. How could I not have posted?  Shubie park is a green space along a Nova Scotian canal.  There are all kinds of trails there and it is especially popular with dog walkers (there are off leash trails).

The Shubenacadie Canal and waterways is an intriguing bit of Nova Scotia.  Check the events and activities for descriptions of trails and maps.  And the HRM has an excellent map of Shubie Park here.

Saint Margaret’s Bay Trail – 1

Over the last few weekends we have begun walking the St. Margaret’s Bay Rails to Trails…trail.  This trail is about 32 km long so will require several weekend forays.  The trail is easy walking since it is built on an old rail bed.  Our interest lies in the variety of terrain that is covered.  Several Mondays ago we covered the beginning which is well traveled, especially by bicyclers.  This part of the trail winds through scrubby spruce forest and along a boggy area with a meandering stream.

Part of the trail goes through a more developed piece of boreal forest.  Rusty red coloured needles carpet the edge of the trail here.  The bare trees along the trail are pretty neat.  These tamarack-larch lining the trail are deciduous, coniferous trees that shed their needles each autumn.   This is a truly marvelous image.

The Halifax Regional Municipality provides a complete map and trail information.  Check out my map for a larger area view.

Queen Anne’s Lace on New Year’s Eve in Moschelle

Queen Anne’s Lace is one of the prettiest flowers along paths and in old fields here.  Its form is part of what makes it so pretty and this time of year is a particularly excellent time to see the form stripped of its sepals and petals. Once the flowers are pollinated, the stems close up forming a tight cup…but not all of them do this (why this is I’m not sure).

A chance to see signs of summer and fall transformed and edging frozen paths on a cold winter walk creates a special charm and lures me out of a warm house often.

The winter stems of this plant when they are not closed up always remind me of spider webs…I like to think of them as special winter versions.