Wednesday, 16 April 2014

'M' is for Mud!


'M' is for Mud! 
It is Spring here in Melville, which basically equates to mud season! Raven and I headed out for our first walk in Melville since Christmas and with so much pent up excitement in four months of Melville withdrawal, it was only natural that she taking a running leap off the banks, soar through the salty wind blowing off the straight and SPLAT! Right into the aftermath of a mini-mudslide on the beach from the shoreline. You may have heard recently in the news about the fatal mudslide that took place in Washington and the accompanying article determining your areas risk of mudslides.








In my efforts to rescue Raven from her mis-adventure, I ended up almost knee deep in mud myself and decided to abort the mission encouraging Raven to get herself out of her muddy mess!




She did manage to free herself and we continued to romp around Melville, although a little more cautiously. In the field, free of mud albeit a little soggy, we found a golf ball, but it did not take long for it to succumb to the mud of Melville either…




I cannot remember the roads in Melville ever being this muddy. They are so soft in fact, that you literally 'bounce' when walking on them in rubber boots. So if you need some motivation after that long snowy winter, walk around in Melville and you'll get a little "Spring" in your step! 


Just be sure to bring a towel or you'll be out in the garage with Raven until you dry off! 





Saturday, 15 June 2013

Garden Spades


Garden Spades
Today in Melville we spent the entire day outside as it was a gorgeous 25 degrees, sunny and blue skies all day! The gardens needed a little TLC and so we set to work sprucing up the landscape (no pun intended).

Above mom's planters on the staircases are in full bloom, with Fuschia flowers blossoming everyday and new buds ready to open after the rain we had last week. Like the Caribbean Hibiscus, this delightful little flower is a Northern relative bringing us a tropical spirit to go with the warm summer days!

Here, mom used her green thumb and ingenuity to build an Impatiens tower. The planter above has been left to fill out for about a week and the newly planted tower we put together today will have to play catch up, but I'm sure will look just as beautiful! Interestingly, this particular flower is known
well throughout North America for it's frost intolerance and originates to our gardens from East Africa (SF Gate)

Below is Maggie and Tj's garden, our brittany spaniel and bichon frise who look over us in Melville. Their garden is a little tricky as they are in a part of the lawn that gets a lot of moisture and the mud below is quite literally clay. (Sky Nursery has some great solutions, if you are trying to garden around clay too!) We went to Tatamagouche earlier this week and picked up some assorted flowers to adorn this special garden, including Forget-me-Nots, notably named as a way to remember loved ones (Wikipedia).
There are so many chives in the garden this year that we really do not know what to do with them all! If you know of any great uses, please comment below and we will give them a try and post your suggestions :)

With the amount of rain that Nova Scotia has seen in past weeks, it is no surprise that these fungi have made an appearance in the gardens at Melville. While I do not think that we will be eating these mushrooms, Reader's Digest has published studies proving that a regular diet of their cousin's, portobello mushrooms will reduce the risks of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men!



Raven also gave us a hand gardening today! While she was not able to help put any of the plants in the ground, she put her retrieving talents to work, bringing the spade to us wherever we needed help in the garden!
























Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Let the Sunsets Begin


Let the Sunsets Begin
It has been a while since I have done an entry, so why not begin with a gorgeous Melville sunset! We weren't the only ones enjoying the sunset tonight. As we walked down to the beach, three white tailed deer got spooked by the brook and headed up towards the cottages. I have already done a post about the white tailed deer in Melville, but check out this link on 15 weird animal facts.



Raven was not too interested in the sunset once she found a stick for us to throw! So while I kick off my weekend, I hope these pictures get you through your week!


Saturday, 30 March 2013

A Doggy Day


A Doggy Day
With beautiful blue skies, brilliant sunlight and temperatures warm enough for light spring jackets it was too nice to be inside today in Melville. We took the day to run and play with the dogs! Above is a rare moment where Tucker, Raven and Ziggy stayed still long enough to get a great picture!


The squishy soft mud in Melville did not stop us from exploring the beach today and with the clear skies, Prince Edward Island was nice and clear across the strait. PEI is known for its famous Dirt Shirts,  which is dyed with the same muddy red soil that lines the shores and banks of Melville. If you get this soil on your white clothing, all the best in getting it out, but the high iron content mud can be unrelenting when it comes to the laundry!


We took turns tossing around the bumpers this morning, an early Easter present that arrived last week!

Tucker sits proudly above, eager for supper and a nap after a hard day of playing!





























Ziggy is not so photogenic, but wishes everyone a Happy Easter anyway!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Sea Ice




Sea Ice
Raven and I set out on our first spring beach walk yesterday and saw a whole different side of Melville, one I have never witnessed before, one with plenty of sea ice! Above Raven is deciding how to navigate the ice covered beach.

Living in Canada and hearing stories of ice bergs off the coast of Newfoundland and the history of the Titanic in the North Atlantic, you assume familiarity with sea ice, ice floats and ice bergs, but unless it is up close, you really cannot appreciate the vastness of this phenomenon! As far as we could tell, the ice extends right over to Prince Edward Island, because I did not see a break in the ice, even once we got up on the road.

The little brook that divides the beach in Melville is the only open water that Raven and I could find. It is so deep at the moment that poor Raven was leaning over the bank to get a look and the bank let go and she and the sand she was standing on slid right into the water with a huge "PLUNK!" Watching Raven navigate her way out was a funny site, thankfully there was a stick close by that I placed halfway in so she could get hold of and climb out. Safe to say, we will be avoiding that part of the beach for the next little while!

Although it may not look it today, the Northumberland Strait is one of the shallowest bodies of ocean in Canada and north of the Carolinas (Wikipedia) and as such, holds the record for the warmest ocean waters in Canada! Temperatures reaching up to 25 degrees C have been recorded in mid-July's!

For now, we will have to wait for the sea ice to clear and enjoy the blue sky and sunny day ahead!



Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Easter Weekend

Easter Weekend
With Good Friday falling on one of my class days this week, I only had lectures on Monday and Tuesday morning and took the opportunity to find some much needed Melville time and familiar ground for Easter! It was a long drive yesterday afternoon and while I was busy with my focus on the road, Raven took the time to catch up on her zzzzzs!

The drive was not uneventful, just past Earltown on the 326 North, we found an overturned car in the ditch upside down. After calling 911 and being instructed to check the car for people, we luckily found none. Emergency Hospital Services (EHS) was sent on scene anyway just to be sure and to mark the car for future motorists to know that the accident had been called in. The roads were certainly slippery last night with the freezing rain and the overturned car is a reminder to all to adjust your driving, use common sense and take those turns nice and slow!


Once we arrived in Melville, Raven was in absolute Heaven! I have never seen a dog run and frolic so much! She was like a black blur bounding up and down through the snow drifts. At one point she disappeared out on the lawn and returned proudly with the stick she had found on the beach at Christmas! Makes me smile thinking that our four-legged friends that have passed and are looking over our Apple Orchard are having just as much fun here in Melville even though we may not get to see them everyday. 

While the house took it's time warming up last night (brrr was it cold!) I went out to the shed and started a fire to get warm and cozy up with the last few chapters of my book. I am reading Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda, if anyone is looking for a good read!

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Arrival of Raven

The Arrival of Raven
Finals are over and I arrived in Melville for the Christmas break on Friday, but not alone! This is Raven!

Raven is my new 2 year old black lab that I got from a family member who breeds labs in the valley. Unfortunately Raven couldn't get her hip certified for breeding, but she's a CKC registered purebred and learning a lot! Raven was previously an outdoor dog, with a run and an insulated house, she has been inside for the last couple of weeks, learning the basics from the basement about human life, but here in Melville she is getting used to a whole new routine! She has learned really quickly that TV's are noisy and make all kinds of sounds, coasters are not the best things to put in your mouth and no matter how many times you 'fetch' the TV remote, I will not throw it for you to retrieve it!



The best part about Melville for any dog is the freedom to run along the beach without a leash, find sticks to play with and birds to chase, maybe even a seal or two to bark with! Above Raven is exploring the beach for the very first time! She was a little timid at first, staying close to my side and not going more than 3 ft. in front of me, but she's starting to get more comfortable with the thrill of running along the water's edge and sneaking up on nonchalant seagulls on the bedrock!


Christmas preparations are beginning, our tree arrived yesterday and we will be putting it up once everyone arrives on the weekend! Mother Nature is also doing her part by bringing in the white stuff making sure that we get a classic White Christmas in Melville!