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On the Edge of Canada: Spectacular Island Travel in Nova Scotia

Updated on March 8, 2013

The predominant theme you will notice in this collection is silver. Silver is the color of spring on the southern coast of Nova Scotia. The air is still cool after a long winter and the almost perpetual layer of thin clouds leaves the sky and ocean below somewhere between stone grey and brilliant silver. Grey and white seagulls and an endless coastline of pebbles and boulders add to this effect. Now that I live in the heart of Europe, my heart longs for my spectacular home at the end of the world. Anyone planning a trip to the east coast of Canada would not be disappointed by a trip around the the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

These are all photos I took during a family trip with my father, sister, and brother-in-law in May 2008. It is somewhat a tradition in my family to visit the islands off the mainland of our coastal home in the spring to see the many seagull nests. One lucky year, we came on the day when most of them were hatching. You have to be very careful with bird nests though. If the mother smells human in her nest, she will abandon it permanently.

At the wharf and ready to go. It is a very common sight in my town to see these aluminum boats buzzing around in all directions. It may seem hazardous to go out on the open ocean in such a small boat, but it is really quite safe. The islands create a protective wall between the mainland of my home town and the open ocean beyond. The waters within this sound are usually quite calm.

Here we are heading toward one of the larger islands. We were very lucky to have such a nice day in May. Springtime is usually terribly windy in my area.

And we have landed! The beauty of these islands is that they are virtually untouched. When you are on one of these islands, you can easily imagine what it was like for the first European settlers. In the following pictures, you will see just how beautiful and free it is. The trees have such a wild and untamed air about them, don't you think? The true epitome of wilderness, in my opinion.

Here you can see my father on his mobile phone talking with my mother on the mainland opposite. She is watching us with binoculars to make sure we made it safely :)

One of the many seagull nests to be found on these scattered islands. You will typically find two or three eggs per nest. Unfortunately, none of them were hatching on this particular day. The call of the seagull is one of the things I miss most about home. I will definitely have to make one of these island trips when I return.

I have always found it ironic how dark it can be in these wild places even though the sun is shining bright. For me, that is just another aspect of this place's haunting beauty and mystery.

Out in the open now. Places like this always inspire in me a deep sense of loneliness, but also a profound sense of freedom and adventure.

Another open plain, but as you can see, the dark and wild trees keep close by.

Here on the other side with the untamed wilderness behind you and the bright open ocean before you, you have a sense of standing at the end of the world.

I still wonder to think what violent storm must have thrown this fishing boat work table into this pond. Yes, that is a pond fairly deep into the island, not a part of the ocean. This is one of my favorite photos because of how surreal it can seem. It really brings home just how subject everything we have created really is to eventually return to the earth from whence it came.

Again you can be overcome by this feeling of loneliness with wide open wilderness all around you and not a single hint of civilization with the exception of the occasional bit of flotsam washed up on the shore. This also happens to be an ideal place to find sea glass ;)

On our way back we spot no end of seagulls swimming in the water and flying over us. Note the fishing boat further in the distance whose design was based on the seagull with whom it shares the ocean. From this perspective, they appear to be the same size, further emphasizing the intimate relationship that still exists between humans and nature.

A dark mysterious place sitting in the middle of nowhere amongst the springtime silver ocean and sky. It was a real treat to visit this spectacular place of haunting and almost heart-wrenching beauty and strength. I hope you have enjoyed this exclusive peek into my world and its enchanting aura.


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    • Spongy0llama profile imageAUTHOR

      Jake Brannen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for your comment. I'm glad you enjoyed NS and the pictures. My only regret is that I didn't take more when I had the chance.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      5 years ago from Flagstaff, AZ

      My family and I visited Nova Scotia in 2006 and will never forget the beauty of the province. We stayed in a cottage in the village of Morden and took day trips. We went tidal bore rafting on the Shubenacadie River, and whale watching from Brier Island. Then we went fossil hunting in Parrsboro. What a trip. Thanks for the lovely photos and the memories.

    • Spongy0llama profile imageAUTHOR

      Jake Brannen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      There really is some profound beauty by the sea. I can't tell you how much I miss it now that I live away. I don't think it's too far to say it has a magical quality to it.

    • BrightMeadow profile image


      5 years ago from a room of one's own

      These are gorgeous. I have taken a fancy recently to all things near the sea. This is just lovely.


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