The Town of Pictou at its best lives on in my memory. Ruth and I visited overnight in 2013 and this pair put in an appearance on May 16 of 2014. It is a good thing they came before the "smell of prosperity" went sulpherous in August. “They call it a Stephen King fog,” said Matt Gunning, who owns a car dealership near the harbour. “It’s a wall of fog that you see coming, but once you’re in it, you know this is no fog.”

Pictou, a picturesque town on Nova Scotia’s
north-central coast, has endured a symbiotic-yet-fractious marriage with a pulp and paper mill for nearly 50 years. It produces bleached softwood kraft pulp used in toilet paper and newsprint, employs 250 people and pumps millions of dollars into the local economy. It also pumps foul-smelling toxins into the air and industrial waste into a nearby treatment lagoon. Government has consistently insisted there is no line-of-sight health problem but Statistics Canada, says that the Pictou area has the seventh highest rate of cancer per 100,000 residents of the country’s 106 health regions.
Almost all of my first wife's immediate family died as a result of this disease, all long-time residents of New Glasgow which is even closer the "smoke-stacks."

Tourism operators have complained that the eye-stinging, sinus-clogging fog has cost the county visitors as well as tourists. We'll be staying away until the problem is resolves. We have acid rain blowing in the wind but we also have more citizens who have lived to be 100 years of age than any other part of Nova Scotia.




There definitely is no place quite like home for very practical reasons aside from the fact that the Municipality District of Lunenburg is an almost entirely unappreciated tourist destination. The very small community known as Rose Bay.  is located12 minutes from our door step. In our book these two churches are as imposing as the three that served Mahone Bay. This view down the byway looks eastward.



Looking westward with one church steeple in view. Here is another convenience you will not find in Mahone Bay on a Sunday, a liquor outlet in a general store. Oh, and not far distant Kingsburg Beach, a fine-sand strand which is a very popular place. The sign was dented by a passing snow plough.



Actually there are two of these beaches between Rose Bay and our home. This one is within a five-minute walk from that store. This is Lower South Cove. We live at Upper South Cove at the head of that embayment. From the remnants of snow in the ditch one can tell that this photo was taken in April.



Occasionally I do date one of a group of photos and that is how I know that this was April 3, 2014. Last year, all the ice in South Cove moved out on April 1. I am not sure that will be the case in 2015 (March 22).



These grab photos record our way home for an expedition after a 6-pack. That is the Feltzen South land mass out in the bay at right. This was an open the car-windows day but not blsteringly hot!



Thanks to the glacial deposits here the landscape is a little less flat than further west along the Atlantic coast.



Last winter commenced early and was along one. In early April the recent appearnce of green grass was as much of a lift as an excursion along that yellow brick road, which is at best slightly more costly in terms of time and cash.



This is what you would have seen travelling this road at this date.
 


This would have been late in the day.



There are only a few pretentious homes along this stretch of highway which ultimately connects with Lunenburg and terminates at Blue Rocks.



Those cumulous clouds were hovering over north eastern Nova Scotia.



We were now in sight of Upper South Bay, our place on Mason's Beach Road being across the water.



We were, and are, located in the second house from the right. All of the houses here, excepting that on the height of land, are buildings erected in the nineteenth or twentieth centuries, most inhabited by descendants of original settlers in the area.



This is Mason's Beach Road looking eastward.



This had been a grand, relaxing, trip encompassed within a half hour.



.At this time, this poster in Lunenburg Town was promoting "leisure."



We are experts at that, and passed on this invitation.



Another home-based excursion. Those proliferating signs are a distraction. Don't know why we were entering Mahone Bay from the highway. Perhaps we had been shopping at Bridgewater, which admittedly has the greatest range of retail outlets in the county. Actually we both rather like that town's  older residential areas.
 


Following a harsh winter, the La Have Bakery outlet here  in Mahone Bay had decided that a wind break was required.




I have never been good with anything aside from historic dates. This was either the 3rd or 4th!



When one is made insecure by winter weather it is hard to stray far from home. Note that there was still roadside snow at this later date. Again, Mahone Bay.



Main Street South. Residents own Lunenburg County early on in the shoulder seasons.



.Digital cameras had a way to go in 2014. Still, light years aheah of the image from my poor old Minolta SR-1.



It did seem that a kayak-for-rent company had returned to Mahone Bay.



Mahone Bay is due for flooding in the future. In the meantime, senior citizens have a better environment on this flood plain than in precipitous Lunenburg.



This year fewer pleasure boats harboured here because of dangerous situations in 2013.



This was a miserable day in May! I call this boat dumping day. Why wealthy people subject themselves to weathercraft is a  moot question.



.I no longer aspire to own anything larger than a dinghy.



It has to be some sort of contest?



If one lives near the equator ownership of a pleasure boat is understandable. Perhaps not, unless you are a bllionaire.
 


I think this is a "tender."



The Canadian Coast Guard is equipped with a craft I used to pilot as a Department of Fisheries employee. We referred to it as a "Boston Whaler."



The hoisting equipment is only made available where there is a co-operative effort. Sometimes the lift goes terribly wrong, which may be why folk turn out to watch?



Personally, I like watching well-fed folk in conversation.



No oops here!



We used to live in one of the condos above, left (beige-coloured building).



That "private" sign was a taunt for local skateboarders.



\It is so much effort to maintain a boat. Guess it distracts people from the fact of their mortality.



"Dragonfly?"



Apparently a few yachtsmen and women had second thoughts bout this pasttime.



The Coast Guard has good cold weather gear. I cannot fault the federal government in this repect.
 


However, in my experience, they wanted us to take mid-winter "vacations."



Across the road from all this activity.



Magnolias are not restricted to the Southern United States.



Nor is unorganized leisure.



Back at Mason's Beach Road East.



Zooming ahead in time... Mahone Bay at the junction of Main and Edgewater Streets.



The so-called river is seen genreating gren algae under a hot sun.



There is someting very exotic about these water plants.



This mini-park in Mahone Bay generates them by the hundreds.



Sit and sample.



That tough winter created a lot of pick up.



As well as infrastructure damage. That's what they call it these days! This palce is a block eastward.



This is pretty much a natural pond.



To the west, beyond it, a trail I shall look for at the end of my time.



To the left, wilderness; to the right, our "controlled" environment. Dead ahead...



These are wildlife, rather than groomed trails.



Looking back to see...



"Jubilee Park" remembers Queen Victoria. This is her pond.



.Winter winds and ice took down trees that were at te end of their days.



Jo Ann's place was open but not thriving.



Sometimes the shoulder season prompts feelings of loneliness.



A perfectly good day...



The La Have Bakery eaterie next door had acquired a windbreak but no customers.



Which is not to say there were no visitors.



Ye olde arrow points the way to the liquor store.



From this date-stamp it appears that we returned to Mahone Bay on the following day.
 


We have tried twice to experienc that coffee, but arrived after the pot had run dry.



The local groceteria (which is a good one) was experiencing roofing problems.



We have enjoyed good food here.



After many years of residence here, the  knitting shop moved into the building at the left.



The greensward at the Mahone Bay waterfront trumps Lunenburg.



In times past the Mug & Anchor Pub in this building was a favourite until they decided not to offer baked potatoes as an alternative to deep fried chips.



 Incredibly, a few pleasure craft were still anchored on land.



Winter storm damage to the marina had been repaired.




This is a back street approach to Mahone Bay.



The bandstand is actually in use during summer. Look to the pinnacle.



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