Interconnectedness: Of Capstick, Breast Cancer Awareness and Calamity Jane

Home In Nova Scotia 001

Capstick, N.S. (from July 2015 Calendar, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation)

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Occasionally, we all encounter people, situations and things that help to remind us what a small, interconnected world we live in.  Yesterday, I had one of those moments when I received this very nice email about part of the property shown in this blog’s header photo of a weathered, wood-shingled barn situated on the Atlantic, which I took several years ago in Capstick, Nova Scotia, a remote and gorgeously beautiful area of Cape Breton:

“Hello Brett,

I must say, very impressed that you would travel all the way up to Capstick, Nova Scotia to take wonderful pictures of that area. Ironically, the lead picture on your O’Canada website is of our family property. Every now and again I do a Google search of images on Capstick to see what pops up and your website did appear.

The picture of the grey home in your Blog called ‘Gentle Waves Near Capstick, Nova Scotia’ is actually my Uncle Peter’s home. Unfortunately, arsonists burned down that home about 3 years ago and my cousin had to go after them in court.

Each year the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation launches a calendar to raise money called ‘Shop 4 Charity Calendar Sweepstakes’. This year the calendar highlighted a picture representing each Province and Territory in Canada.

As I sat in my home office, the 2015 calendar was up on my cork board and when I flipped to the month of July the Province of Nova Scotia was represented by a picture.

See attached picture.[Note: This is the calendar image above and is of his family’s property.  Click on it for higher resolution]

I grew up going to Capstick every summer in the 1970’s and visiting Uncle Peter and Aunt Irene Kanary in that grey home. Our home (the original home from 1914) was just above Uncle Peter’s home closer to the road but it was burned down about 10 years ago.

Our family settled in Capstick back in 1840 from Ireland during the Potato Famine. The community was basically two families, the Capsticks and the Kanary’s. Not sure why they got their name on the community. Must have been there first.

Thought you might find this little tidbit interesting about your own website.

Dave Kanary
Calgary, Alberta
Canada

What great history and connection to place.  Nice to see that the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (and its photographer) also appreciate this scenery.  I asked Dave’s permission to post his email here, to which he agreed and added by way of a P.S.:

“PS: You may find this interesting as well, take a look at the history on Google for Calamity Jane (Martha Jane Canary). According to my relatives she is a Kanary (or Canary if you will) from our clan. Some of my own relatives spell their name with a ‘C’ as evidenced by the tombstones in the Capstick graveyard located in Bay St. Lawrence, Cape Breton (about 10 mins away from Capstick).”

Wonderful stuff!

Gentle Waves Near Capstick, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

wNear-Capstick

“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

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.)

Head in the Clouds in Nova Scotia

Clouds Near Grand Pre, Nova Scotia

Clouds Near Grand Pre, Nova Scotia

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While I love all manner of landscape photography, over and over I come back to clouds in all their variety — whether cirrus, cumulus, stratus or any of their many variations.  Clouds add drama and moodiness to an image and, for me, help balance a scene.  I always notice cloudy days and frame pictures with their billows and wispiness in mind.   During my last couple of visits to Nova Scotia, there were quite a few days when the clouds were exceptional and I’ve posted a handful of examples here.  I look forward to catching more special cloudy days across the great plains of Saskatchewan, against the reigning heights of Banff and beyond the soaring cliffs near St. John’s, Newfoundland, among many other places across Canada.

Sunset, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia

Sunset, Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia

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Windswept Sky, Near Cheverie, Nova Scotia

Windswept Sky, Near Cheverie, Nova Scotia

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Boat Prow with Cloudy Backdrop, Lunenberg, Nova Scotia

Boat Prow with Cloudy Backdrop, Lunenberg, Nova Scotia

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Stratus and Cirrus Clouds, Near Aberdeen Beach, Nova Scotia

Stratus and Cirrus Clouds, Near Aberdeen Beach, Nova Scotia

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Art Doors, Near Evangeline Beach, Nova Scotia

Art Doors, Near Evangeline Beach, Nova Scotia

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Barn Scene, Near Grande Pre, Nova Scotia

Barn Scene, Near Grande Pre, Nova Scotia

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Dockside Scene, Chester, Nova Scotia

Dockside Scene, Chester, Nova Scotia

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Cloudy Day, Capstick, Nova Scotia

Cloudy Day, Capstick, Nova Scotia

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Cat Tails, North Grand Pre, Nova Scotia

Cat Tails, North Grand Pre, Nova Scotia

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Statue of Evangeline, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia

Statue of Evangeline, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia

Visit to Cape Breton Island

(Looking south along the Cabot Trail)

(River near Capstick, flowing out to the North Atlantic)

This past October, as a birthday trip for my wife, she and I visited Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, a place where there remains many strong connections to this province’s Acadian and Scottish heritage.  It turned out to be a perfect time of the year to take in the stunning golds, crimsons and oranges of the fall foliage.  The coastal scenery from the winding Cabot Trail roadway, which skirts much of the perimeter of Cape Breton, is rugged,  dramatic and gorgeously beautiful.  The jewel in the middle of the route is Cape Breton-Highlands National Park, a massive park which was the first designated Canadian National Park in the Atlantic Provinces.  Several strenuous to easy hiking trails accommodate different levels of hiker.  We spent several hours along the Skyline Trail, a moderate hike, from one end of which you can gaze across endless vistas of the surrounding ocean while also watching whales continually breach the water far below as eagles soar overhead and, if you’re lucky (we were!), get a glimpse of one or more moose in the surrounding bog.  For an amateur photographer such as myself there are opportunities for wonderful images in just about every direction and along every mile.  Posted below (and above) are some of my favorites from that trip.

Capstick, a tiny community on the northwestern tip of Cape Breton, just north of the Cabot Trail.  After meandering late in the afternoon to see what was around “just one more bend in the road” we came across this amazing vista:

Another view of Capstick:

Around Neils Harbor, a charming fishing village.  It was raining this day and I had to snap quickly, so shot is not as sharp as I’d like:

Bras d’Or Lake, near Baddeck — a larger town set against picture-perfect lake scenery:

 

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