Beautiful Brisk Day on the Lake

 

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Kejimkujik Lake, Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”  

                                                                    ~e.e. cummings

Gentle Waves Near Capstick, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

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“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.”

                                                                                       ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Fort Amherst and The Narrows, St. John’s, Newfoundland

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“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in,

where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” 

                                                                                          ~ John Muir

When Motels Were Newer and Grander

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Lovely watercolor effect, simple signage and lines, very retro!

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From the 1920s to the early 1960s, the automobile led the way to leisurely road trips and the chance for a quick getaway down newly paved  highways across Canada and the U.S.  The cozy roadside motel filled the need  for an affordable, convenient place for the weary driver and family to kick back and relax in relative luxury with then modern conveniences (such as showers in each room, radio, TV and Hi-Fi!), as these vintage postcards attest.

Early 1900s Town Markets

These colored photo postcards from the early 1900s highlight the importance of town markets as hubs of community activity.  Lots of horses and wagons, ladies in long dresses and men in dark hats and not an automobile in sight.

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Postmarked October 6, 1910, Reads: “Dear Cousin, I have not received any letters from you, nor from Oscar. Hope you will write to the above address and by the time I return here, there will be many letters.  Kind Love, Edgar”

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No postmark, but likely around 1910; No note

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Postmarked September 8, 1909; No note

 Similar posts:

Moonlit Views of Yesteryear Canada

Vintage Postcards: Canadian Churches

 ♦ Whimsical Wednesday: Vintage 7 Day Kisses

Peaceful Seaside Inlet in Newfoundland

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A Quiet Fishing Village, Newfoundland

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”

                          ~Henry David Thoreau

                                                                                              

A Peek at the Annapolis Valley

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View Across the Annapolis Valley and Minas Basin I, Nova Scotia

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View Across the Annapolis Valley and Minas Basin II, Nova Scotia

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals . . . .”

                                                              ~Walt Whitman

Along the Bay of Fundy Coast

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Driftwood, Early Morning, Parker’s Cove, Nova Scotia

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“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” 
                                                                  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dockside in the Maritimes

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Brightly Colored Colorful Dories, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

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Atlantic Canada’s many docks in all shapes and sizes connect its people to the sea for work and recreation.  There’s also lots of stuff to see while sitting for a spell alongside these bustling docks, a small sense of which can be gleaned in these photos from several relaxing trips to Nova Scotia.

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Lobster Crates, Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

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Moonlit Views of Yesteryear Canada

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While thumbing through a large group of vintage Canadian postcards at a local antique shop a half-dozen or so among the thousand-plus cards stood out because each featured a highly stylized moonlight view of their subjects, giving each card a dark and moody feel.  Most were from about 1906 to 1908, with one as late as 1919, and all but one were marked as being printed by Valentine & Sons, a noted Scottish postcard publisher of the time with offices in Toronto and Montreal.  A little online research revealed that the cards were collotype photographs taken in daylight with a full moon, clouds and lighting effects layered on top, after which the images were hand-tinted.

Bear-River----Moody-Mag

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Greenbank----Moody

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Halifax----Moody-Mag

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NB----Moody-Mag

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Rideau----Moody

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St.-James-Cathedral----Mood

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Windsor-Hotel----Moody

Similar posts on O’Canada:

•  Vintage Postcards:  Canadian Churches

•  Vintage Canadiana:  Canadian Home Journal

•  Vintage Canadian Apple Crate Labels

Artist to Appreciate: Christopher Pratt

C. Pratt, Placentia Bay in Winter (1995)

Christopher Pratt, Placentia Bay Boat in Winter (1995)

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Christopher Pratt is justly considered one of Canada’s most significant living artists.  His realistic art focuses on Atlantic Canada, particularly his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Pratt’s compositions are usually quite spare and many convey a notable sense of melancholy and reflective quietude, whether of outport cottages and other simple structures with strong architectural lines or his sweeping coastal landscapes. While his style is distinctively his own, the subdued moodiness of Pratt’s work brings to mind that of Edward Hopper and the realist paintings of Alex Colville, another Canadian master who taught at New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University at a time when Pratt was a student there.   Mount Allison is also where Pratt met his now former wife, Mary West Pratt, an equally noteworthy Canadian painter in her own right.

In 2013, the always brilliant Canadian publisher, Firefly Books, released Christopher Pratt: Six Decades, which provides a comprehensive overview of this artist’s work.  (Coincidentally, in 2013 another excellent Canadian publisher, Goose Lane Editions, went to press with Mary Pratt, a beautiful retrospective of Mary Pratt’s amazing artistry.)

C. Pratt, Blue Iron Door (2013)

Christopher Pratt, Blue Iron Door (2013)

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C. Pratt, Woman at Dresser (1964)

Christopher Pratt, Woman at Dresser (1964)

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C. Pratt, House in August (1968)

Christopher Pratt, House in August (1968)

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C. Pratt, Ingornachoix Bay -- Long Shed (2007)

Christopher Pratt, Ingornachoix Bay — Long Shed (2007)

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C. Pratt, Spring Coming Over Trout River (2009)

Christopher Pratt, Spring Coming Over Trout River (2009)

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Similar posts on O’Canada:

•  Artist to Appreciate:  Mary Pratt

•  In Memory of Alex Colville

•  Artist to Appreciate:  Michael E. Glover

The Scenic Northville Farm Heritage Center, Annapolis Valley, N.S.

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Tiller Wheels, Northville Farm Heritage Center, Northville, N.S.

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With its fertile plain shielded from the Bay of Fundy by a low-lying but extensive mountain range, the Annapolis Valley has long been the farming center of Nova Scotia.  Because of this, there are several places devoted to preserving and sharing that heritage.  Although the Ross Farm Museum in New Ross, N.S., probably gets more attention (and about which I’ll post at another time), the Northville Farm Heritage Center in Northville, N.S. (close to Centreville, N.S.), which we came across while on a meandering late Fall drive through the Valley, has a wonderful display of old farm tractors, machinery and other implements situated in an especially scenic area of the Valley.  It’s worth making the effort to find!

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Trusty Rusty Tractor, Northville Farm Heritage Center, N.S.

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Massey Harris Tractor, Northville Farm Heritage Center, N.S.

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Some Other Farm-Related Posts on O’Canada:

Old Farm Tractor Along Charlevoix / St. Lawrence Shore

Barns and Cottages of the Maritimes – Part 1

Barns and Cottages of the Maritimes – Part 2

Canada’s Oldest Regular Cemetery: Garrison Cemetery, Annapolis Royal, N.S.

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Old Tombstones, Garrison Cemetery, Annapolis Royal, N.S.

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Canada’s oldest formal cemetery is Garrison Cemetery, which is situated adjacent to historic Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.  While Garrison Cemetery is not as large as the nearly-as-old eighteenth-century burial grounds in Halifax, the setting — amidst the rolling hills of the Fort’s grounds and the sweeping Annapolis River close by — is especially picturesque. Given that Annapolis Royal served as both the capital of Acadia and later as the first capital of Nova Scotia, the well-worn tombstones on the cemetery grounds are quite old indeed, as attested by the protective marker frames in several of the pictures below from a trip last Fall.  (Click any image to enlarge)

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Similar Posts:

• Halifax’s Beautiful Old Burying Ground

• Saint John’s Transcendent Old Loyalist Burial Grounds

Artist to Appreciate: Louis Helbig

Highway 53 Bitumen Slick

Louis Helbig, Highway 53 Bitumen Slick, Alberta (2009)

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The aerial photography of Ottawa’s Louis Helbig provides a reflective pause for the disquieting natural and industrial vistas that are this artist’s principal subject matter.  Many of his images possess an abstract quality and bring to mind the similarly striking industrial landscapes of fellow Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky.

Below are a few of Helbig’s stunning images.  More of his impressive photography can be found at his homepage here.

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Alluvial Fan

Louis Helbig, Alluvial Fan, Alberta (2009)

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Sulfur PileLouis Helbig, Sulfur Pile, Alberta (2011)

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ATV Tracks in Frozen Snow

Louis Helbig, ATV Tracks in Frozen Snow, Quebec (2011)

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Pumping Vessel

Louis Helbig, Pumping Vessel, Alberta (2009)

Image Credits: Louis Helbig

Other Posts About Notable Canadian Photographers:

•  Edward Burtysnky and Industrial Landscapes

•  Todd McLellan: Taking Things Apart

•  Manu Keggenhoff’s Photography of the North

•  A Virtual Trip to the Yukon

•  Jerry Kobalenko’s Beautifully Rendered Arctic Eden

•  Jim Shaugnessy and Canadian Railroad Photography

More American Cartoons On Canada

I enjoy the diversion of witty cartoons (especially those in The New Yorker magazine), and I’ve posted previously about funny cartoons that comment on American perceptions and stereotypes about Canada (for example, here and here).  Below are a few others that may provide for some amusement.

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This one deals with the general lack of knowledge about Canada by many Americans:

What part of Canada . . .

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Americans know they share many similarities with Canadians and might be happy to think that’s true in all respects but every now and then something will remind otherwise — such as the finishing of a sentence with an “eh?” or a different pronunciation of a common word (like “about” pronounced as “aboot”) — even if they can’t put their finger on it:

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Of course, there’s the widely held perception of Canadians as being polite to a fault:

Canadian Mob

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This one, while showing two Canadian politicians, plays on the notion held by many Americans of U.S. “exceptionalism” and the idea that Canada doesn’t often register with many Americans:

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And . . . there’s the word “about” again:

Canadian CSI

(Image credits to the various cartoonists: Liam Walsh, D. Reilly, P.C. Vey, Paul Noth, Dan Piraro)

Beautiful Old Railroad Bridge, Near Clementsport, N.S.

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Near Sunset and Low Tide, Old Railway Bridge, Clementsport, N.S.

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This rusted old iron railway bridge near Clementsport / Upper Clements in the Annapolis Valley area of Nova Scotia held my fascination one late Fall afternoon as the sunset slowly crept in.   The point at which the forlorn bridge and its ancient wood trestle crosses the tidal river bend is both scenic and serene.  On this occasion, the deep chipping orange-brown rust and the weathered blue-greens of the bridge’s structure harmonized perfectly with the complementary tones in the cloudy sky, the cool water and the distant hills.

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Colorful Coastal Collections

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Whimsical Tractor Seat Display (along the road to New Brunswick)

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Brightly colored fishing buoys and other items with vivid hues dot the coastal landscape.  These photos highlight a few collections of such items spied not long ago around Canada’s Atlantic coast.

Buoy Display, Campobello Island, N.B.

Buoy-Adorned Cottage, Campobello Island, N.B.

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Buoys and Floats, Delaps Cove, N.S.

Pink and Orange Floats, Delaps Cove, N.S.

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Cozy Chairs, St. Andrew's By the Sea, N.B.

Cozy Lounging Chairs, St. Andrew’s By the Sea, N.B.

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Buoy Signpost, Neils Harbor, Cape Breton, N.S.

Buoy Signpost, Neils Harbor, Cape Breton, N.S.

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Buoy Display, Shelburne, N.S.

Buoy Wall Display, Shelburne, N.S.

Mel’s Tea Room and More . . . Sackville, New Brunswick

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Mel’s Tea Room, Sackville, New Brunswick

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These classic old signs and doorway tiles stood out on a recent stop in the historic town of Sackville, New Brunswick.  The neon and styling of the sign for Mel’s Tea Room — a local diner that is authentically vintage — in particular harkens back to an earlier era.

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wwDSC_9386Sackville Bowling, Sackville, New Brunswick

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wwDSC_9388Tiled Store Entryway, Sackville, New Brunswick

St. Andrews By The Sea, New Brunswick

View Across the Bay, Celtic Cross Park, St. Andrews By the Sea

View Across the Bay, Celtic Cross Park, St. Andrews By the Sea, N.B.

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St. Andrews By the Sea is a historic town located in the southwestern corner of New Brunswick (about an hour west of Saint John) across the Passamaquoddy Bay from Maine.  Established as a Loyalist bastion in the late eighteenth century, it is now a resort town featuring magnificent bay views and many well-preserved buildings showcasing early architectural styles.  These photos are from a late Fall visit.

Artist to Appreciate: Mary Pratt

Mary Pratt, Cold Cream (1983)

Mary Pratt, Cold Cream (1983)

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Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick and living in St. John’s, Newfoundland for most of her life and career,  Mary Pratt is one of Canada’s realist painters of the highest order.  Her subject matter ranges from luminescent jelly jars and other domestic still lifes to pensive nudes and fleeting dramatic moments (such as a fire blazing in a steel barrel).  Pratt’s artwork is as much about the intricate interplay of light and color on her subjects as anything else.

In conjunction with a traveling exhibition of Pratt’s paintings organized by the The Rooms of Newfoundland and Labrador (May – Sept. 2013) and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (starting Oct. 2014), Goose Lane Editions recently published a beautiful new book, Mary Pratt (2013), which showcases much of her work.  The book features a wide selection of her paintings as well as remarks by Pratt herself and thoughtfully written essays by several leading Canadian art writers.

Espresso Cup Charm at The Flying Fox

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These bright little espresso cups caught my eye at the very cozy The Flying Fox Bake Shop in historic Shelburne, Nova Scotia. The shop’s tasty fresh-baked treats and piping hot coffee brightened the cold November day considerably, as did the ready conversation of the shop’s cheerful owner, Julie Shand.  Julie shared with me that in light of her having lived way up near Yellowknife, Yukon Territory, shortly before opening the Flying Fox, Shelburne’s windy temperatures of 33°F / 0°C on that day seemed nearly tropical to her! For my part, I kept my gloves near at hand.

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Saint John’s Transcendent Old Loyalist Burial Grounds

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Weathered Tombstone, Old Loyalist Burial Grounds, Saint John, N.B.

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Cemeteries are places of transcendent reverence, contemplation and connectedness.  I’m particularly moved by final resting grounds that are situated in locations that cause them to be part of a people’s day-to-day lives.  One of the best and most visually gorgeous of these is the very old Loyalist Burial Grounds in Saint John, New Brunswick, which, like Halifax’s Old Burying Ground, is in the heart of the city’s downtown core.  These pictures from a recent trip on a brisk November morning makes clear that the majestic tombstones dating to as early as 1783 are very much a part of the urban environment built up around them.  With its winding walkways, inviting benches and vast shade trees, the Loyalist Burial Grounds is as much a frequented park space as it is a place for memory and serves as a peaceful oasis amidst the surrounding hustle and bustle.

Barns and Cottages of the Maritimes — Part 2

Rusted Roof Barn, Evangeline Beach, N.S.

Rusted Roof Barn, Evangeline Beach, N.S.

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Following Part 1 on this subject, here are some more scenic views of barns, cottages and sheds of the Maritimes. (Click image to enlarge.)

Backwoods Lumbering During the 1880s

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I recently came across a reprint of Picturesque Canada (ed. by George M. Grant), a two-volume compendium originally published in 1882 of Canada’s history, people and places.  These marvelous books feature hundreds of intricate wood engravings that bring to life with vivid imagery the then still new and developing confederation.  These illustrations of the lumber trade depict the hardships of that way of life, with most of these also seeming to associate that occupation with the extra harsh conditions of winter, which is fitting for the cold weather that is now creeping in up north. (Click images to enlarge.)

Chopping and Sawing

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A Jobber's Shanty; Marking Logs at Skidway

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Arrival of Supply Train at Lumber Depot___

A Sawmill in the Backwoods

Barns and Cottages of the Maritimes — Part 1

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Rustic Red Barn, Near St. Croix Cove, Nova Scotia

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Scenery does not get more picturesque than a rustic barn or cozy cottage situated against a body of moving water or a lush green field.  While hues of red seem to be the color of choice for barns and barn doors along the maritime coast and nearby farm fields, shades of grey, blue, yellow and a few other colors sometimes sneak in.  These barns, sheds and cottages from around Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are typical of the serene coastal and rural scenery throughout the region. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Friday Find: Vintage Rotary Phone

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Vintage Rotary Phone at Bistro 138, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

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Adorning a post near the counter of Bistro 138, a cozy restaurant and coffee shop in historic Shelburne, Nova Scotia, this very funky old rotary phone demands attention among a sea of people surfing their mobile devices.   I’ve not seen a phone like this one before — its design and color make for an unusual piece of nostalgia.  Located on Water Street in the heart of town, the food and other fare at Bistro 138 is also quite good and its staff is super friendly.

aDSC_9593Bistro 138, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Scenes of Campobello Island

Toward Sundown, Campobello Island Lighthouse, New Brunswick

Toward Sundown, Campobello Island Lighthouse, New Brunswick

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Campobello Island is nestled in a scenic pocket of southeastern New Brunswick and is accessible on the U.S. side from the charming village of Lubec, Maine. The island’s Roosevelt Campobello International Park is jointly administered by both American and Canadian authorities, making it unusual for that reason among parks on either side of the shared border.  It’s quite a trek to get there but its tranquil scenery is well worth the effort.  These are from a recent brief visit.

Colorful Cottage, Campobello Island, N.B.

Colorful Cottage, Campobello Island, N.B.

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Fall Sunset, Campobello Island, N.B.

Fall Sunset, Campobello Island, N.B.

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Red Berries, Campobello Island, N.B.

Rose Hips, Campobello Island, N.B.

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Floating Cottages, Campobello Island, N.B.

Floating Cottages, Campobello Island, N.B.

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