Saturday, May 23, 2009

A spring visit to the coast

Cape Jourimain marks the point where the graceful curve of the Confederation Bridge leaves New Brunswick shores to cross Northumberland Strait to Prince Edward Island. The bridge, at 12.9 km, is the longest bridge over ice-covered water in the world and it replaced the ferry crossing that was as much a part of my childhood PEI vacations as Anne of Green Gables, all-you-can-eat-lobster and wading ankle-deep through mud, toes searching for quahogs.

Winter travellers of long ago crossed the 18km strait in small "iceboats" that were dragged, sailed and paddled. Those with money could remain in the boats, while those without, paid their way by helping manoeuver the boats through ice and water. I wonder what they might say now, to see this great span of a bridge that brings such convenience and speed.


Before crossing to PEI, the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre asks us to pause a while to enjoy New Brunswick. Located within a protected National Wildlife Area of 675 hectares, it was designated for conservation because of the diversity of migratory waterfowl and shorebirds using area's marshes and shores. The Jourimain area, sitting at the edge of flat, scenic farmland, has a network of beautiful walking trails and observation points.

It's popular for viewing gannets, great blue herons, willets, and osprey. Even an odd mammal or two...or three...may be spotted...

This shaggy moose is part of a trio created several years ago along the shore by local artist, Peter Manchester. These quirky driftwood creatures have survived several rough winters, and while their coats were a little shabby when we visited last spring, they were still upright and sturdy.

Apropos, indeed, as our own mighty moose have withstood their share of nasty winters lately and no doubt moved into spring with a rib or two showing as well.

2 comments:

Zhoen said...

You're taking me back to a childhood trip, up the East Coast in June, not yet warm. Waiting at the Ferry, hoping to meet an aunt and uncle traveling on to Newfoundland. We did not go to PEI, a loss, still.

I had no idea about the bridge, and I miss the ferry I never took.

Deborah Carr said...

You did miss a delightful experience. Either ferry or bridge...and of course, PEI is always sublime.

But we are always here, just waiting for visitors.