Today’s post isn’t going to be very exciting, I am afraid. I spent pretty much of yesterday working on the patterns for the new ornaments. I took ‘good’ pictures of each individually and then in the designated sets and I have to work a bit on those photographs before integrating them into the pattern packets. I also picked through the line work and made everything just right for both the small ornament sizes and the plaque sized designs. I hope to finish up the instructions today so I can get them on the site – hopefully by tomorrow.
We did take time to go for a long walk. We found a ‘new’ trail not too far from the house and followed it quite a distance. It used to be the old train tracks that ran through our area (there are no more trains here) and it is now used by people who ride four wheelers. It was a nice walk and quite warm for this time of year – around 17C – and we thought we would take advantage of what was probably the last of the warm weather for the year. Upon returning home, I spoke to my son and he told me that they were getting their first sleet/snow in the Chicago area. I also saw that some of my friends in Michigan were experiencing the same so in the next day or so the cold front will have moved its way here.
It rained throughout the night, and is still raining now. The winds are gusty and picking up too. Winter is coming.
We had something sad happen this week in our town. On Monday, a large hump backed whale washed up on the shore right near the fishing plant. My friend Lee (who takes care of the wharf cats) came and told us.
I needed to go to the store on Tuesday and I went down to the beach to see it. I usually wouldn’t do that but I suppose that curiosity got the best of me. When I got there, there was only one other woman on the beach. She started talking to me about it and said they didn’t know what had killed it. Perhaps it was just his time. Although it was over a city block away, you could see how massive it was. I walked a bit closer, but in the end, kept my distance. It was sad to see such a magnificent creature that way. I know it is part of nature, but it was sad nonetheless.
I only stayed for a moment, my curiosity satisfied, but as I was walking away toward where I parked the car I was passed by a man in a jeep. When I turned back to look, I saw he had driven right up to the whale and was inspecting it up close. Only then did I realize the scope of how large he was. The jeep was parked right next to him and its side was still a couple of feet taller than the vehicle. The man walking next to him appeared to be so small. It reminded me of a science fiction movie.
Lee came over yesterday and told us that they were in the process of removing the whale. He said that they estimated him to be about 60+ feet long. When you think about it, it is an incredible creature.
During my first summer here in Nova Scotia, I went on one of the whale watching tours that are advertised all over this part of the province. I will be honest and say that I wasn’t too thrilled about going, as they were costly and I thought that they were much of a tourist trap thing. What were we going to see? A tail slipping into the ocean in the distance like we see in the movies?
However, it turned out to be one of the most fantastic experiences in my life. The first hour or so was not remarkable. We headed out toward center of the Bay of Fundy and there were one or two spottings of a breaching whale in the distance. If you weren’t looking in the right direction, you would have missed it. I thought that I was right in my cynicism of the entire process and took the missed sightings in stride.
Then about an hour and a half into the three hour trip, the boat became full of excitement. They cut the engines and we sat quietly on the water and were approached by not one, but two large hump backed whales. The next hour or so was fascinating, as the whales ‘played’ right near the boat. They were huge (about 50 feet long) and kept going under the boat and sticking out their heads and watching us and it was almost as if you could touch them. It was quite a thrilling experience.
As they swam playfully under the boat, you couldn’t help but think that all they had to do was surface quickly and they would certainly be able to overturn it. But they were gentle and the guides even had names for them, as they apparently were ‘regulars’ that occupied that part of the bay. I can’t remember another time when I felt so in awe of nature. They stayed there for over an hour, just hanging around the boat and occasionally sticking their heads out of the water like you see dolphins do at the zoo and watching us. I wonder what they were thinking of the whole thing?
As I said, it was an experience of a lifetime.
I hope to go again some day and this time bring my camera. Although I don’t think that I would ever be able to capture the excitement and awe that I felt in a picture. As sad as it was to see this whale who’s life was over here on the beach, it reminded me of how our world is so full of amazing things and magnificent creatures – some which are in our own back yard.
I thought about all these things the past couple of days. And I feel that my appreciation for my surroundings has deepened somewhat. And also for the wonder of nature.
I wish you all a wonderful day. I hope you take some time to appreciate your own surroundings too.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"