It’s been a delicious day in the Valley. This has been one of those days that kills any desire to leave Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. It’s a day to bask in the warmth of community and sense of community.
I started with breakfast at the Wolfville Lions Club with school friends Sue and Jane. Boy Scouts served and cleared tables. A retired RCMP officer sold raffle tickets. The local MLA stopped by to say hello. Other strangers just wished us a “Good Morning” and chatted. It this were America it would be a modern Mayberry, a place people dream of, but we live in. After breakfast I strolled to the Wolfville Farmers’ Market, where I saw this woman with greens strapped to the back of her bike. That’s very Wolfville. On a previous stop a saw this guy leaving with a backpack full of fresh vegetables.
My next stop was at the Deportation Cross at Horton Landing. Nearby cows stand guard on the Planters’ Memorial. To reach the Cross you drive the Old Post Road from Grand Pre. The road is like a green tunnel, past century homes housing the fourth-, fifth-, eighth- and ninth-generations of the families who built these places. This is all within the boundaries of UNESCO World Heritage’s Landscape of Grand Pre. It has a great continuity. And respect for the natural world.
I then scooted across the dyke road to Evangeline Beach to see the new annual roadside art installation. Each year a local couple showcase their creativity on this roadside brow.
After that I attended the open house at the Kentville Research Station. First there was the barbecue hosted by the Greenwich Volunteer Fire Department. They were more than happy to make my burger extra crunchy. Then a wagon ride around the research station grounds.
The grounds are fenced off and usually open only to plant scientists who have hundreds of on-going research projects. One is looking at the benefits of introducing carbon to plants to speed up growth. They are doing an amazingly diverse range of research. One orchard has 1,100 types of apples! There’s a research vineyard with seven types of vines. They are studying container farms for Northern Canada.
In Downton Kentville, The Devil’s Half Acre motorcycle event brought hundreds of bikes to town. At one time the community had so many taverns that it was known as The Devil’s Half Acre. Then, Edward, Duke of Kent, who was in charge of garrison in Halifax and Commander of Canada (a title all current Governors General hold) came to the Valley. As a royal duke and father of the future Queen Victoria, it was unseemly for his to visit a place of low repute. So in his honour the Devil’s Half Acre became Kentville.
While the two-wheel crowd are focused in town, a fleet of Mustang owners roamed the roads. And on foot, Geocachers gathered in Wolfville.
And it was the launch of this year’s Uncommon Common Art. You could bring or buy a t-shirt and progress to have a colour silkscreened on it at each of three stations: Willow Park, Waterfront Park and Clock Park. Each stop flushed out this year’s logo. And, being a green event, t-shirts are dried on the grass between each silk-screening.
This time of year, with bushes and trees in blossom, gardens blooming and fresh greens pushing out of the ground and trees the Valley is painfully beautiful. No one the early settlers called it an Arcadia.