Nova Scotia Road Trip! - 2002

57 islands “ products. ” She told us that the easiest is the mussels because all they have to do is pickup the spats (embryonic mussels) when they hatch and float on the surface of the Gulf. Then they place them in “ sacks ” and farm them by letting the Gulf feed them with its waters as they waft through the sacks. The mussels are mature and ready to harvest at 18 months. Then they just go out and pull up the sacks filled with their produce. We already knew that lobstering was much more difficult! She told us that potato farming is not too labor-intensive, but it is quite dependent on the weather. Too little rain and you get no crop; too much and your crop rots in the beds before it ’ s ready to harvest. She said the main problem with potatoes is their susceptibility to so many bugs, fungi, and parasites. So they have to be sprayed periodically through the summer to fight off these “ predators. ” Our walks on the St. Lawrence shore beaches were really lovely in every way — delightful weather and wonderful scenery to look at. The bluffs are impressive and though the beaches aren ’ t terrific for “ fossicking ” , they are nonetheless very intriguing because of all the different kinds of seaweeds and tiny shellfish and snail critters. We were thrilled and delighted to see a large and healthy looking red fox crossing the road while we were driving between two different entrances to the National Park. He ran across the road and hid in the bushes on the side while he waited for us to leave. He peeked out at us so we got several good photo ops at him. Finally he ran across the road and we got another very good look at him. He was a large fellow with tall thin legs, red hair and a white tip on his very bushy tail. He seemed like the biggest fox any of us had ever seen. C APITAL C ITY - C HARLOTTETOWN After we had explored the national park to our satisfaction, we drove down to the capital city, Charlottetown. It is a neat little city with some venerable Victorian architecture retained. Its large basilica, St. Dunstan ’ s, was very impressive with its three spires and fan vaulting inside with marble columns. There is a rose window (from Germany) over the altar, but the other stained glass is modern with modern people figuring in the pictures. They are quite nice, actually. We were amazed that we were able to hear the organ playing as well — although it was not a concert — I think the organist was either practicing or just filling the afternoon hours with some meditative little tunes — like Amazing Grace and The Old Rugged Cross and a snippet of Ode of Joy. Next, we drove down east along the Northumberland Strait coast to see if it looked any different — but it did not. Everything was still neat and pretty, with farms and cows on green pastures right down to the coast. The potato fields were everywhere in evidence here too. They are supposed to be harvesting right now and the fields looked totally burned: they apply a chemical before harvesting which kills the tops of the plants. Apparently, that makes the harvest go much easier.

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