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Part of the Mushamush Watershed. Essentially, hydrology
is the branch of science concerned with the properties of the earth's water, especially its movement in relation to land. Hydrology subdivides into surface water hydrology, groundwater hydrology (sometimes named hydrogeology), and marine hydrology. Meteorology and Oceanography both involve water but are excluded from this umbrella because there are other elements and other important studies within these fields. Again this science has graphic aspects, hence hydrography, illustrating and writing about the science of hydros, the Greek word for "water".

This provincially sponsored map shows that there is a lot of fresh water in Nova Scotian lakes and rivers, but it does not do justice to their intrusion on the land.  Overflight in an aircraft shows our homeland as insular areas seeming afloat on the surrounding bodies of salt water. NASA satellite images are to distant to see this effect and most aerial photos are to close.

It is odd that this new atlas features a political/topographic map as a lead illustration. Hydrology does, I suppose, begin in the higher lands, since watercourses flow from there into the lower lands. There is no commission in place to define watercourses, but Jay Elson thinks that, "Generally, the difference is size: you can step over a brook, jump over a creek, wade across a stream, and swim across a river. But the distinction between them (especially creek and stream) is somewhat hazy, and depends on who named them and when they were named. A run (such as Bull Run in Virginia) is a "small stream". Streams and rivers named kill (from the Middle Dutch word kille) occur frequently in New York (and occasionally in nearby states), and were most likely named by the Dutch. Some of these have had "creek" or "river" added to them later (Catskill Creek, Fishkill River)."

This portion of a map illustrating the "Nova Scotia Biosphere" does not include much of Lunenburg County (lower grey area), but it does indicate the large number of rivers and lakes in the south west. Note that they are more extensive in the Southern Uplands and inland from the Atlantic Coast than on the Fundy surround.  Kejimkujik National Park (dark green area) is central to some of the largest lakes in the area. The largest regional lake, immediately south of the Park, is Lake Rossignol.

Waterways are agents in of topography because of their erosive effects on the landscape and their ability to transport materials over long distances. If this goes on long enough sediments are ultimately dumped into estuaries.  While hills persist streams in the immediate vicinity are youthful in their appearance and energy levels, and create straight deep channels in soil and rock.  Where the ground levels off,  the numerous waterfalls and rapids of the upper courses mature into bent, slower-moving bodies of water. The down-cutting which a river performs is directly related to the gradient or slope of the land, the more the merrier. Two of the longest rivers in this map area are the Mersey, which reaches the Atlantic at Liverpool and the La Have, at Riverport, In terms of length, width and water volume, neither of the Mahone Bay "rivers" comes close.

While the coastline terminates at tidal estuaries like those at the mouths of these two watercourses, all the real action within a river drainage system commences far inland. The drainage system includes the main river and all its upland tributaries.  A watershed is an area of land that drains all rainfall from local watercourses into a common outlet such as a reservoir or the mouth of a bay. The word watershed is sometimes used interchangeably with drainage basin or catchment. Ridges and hills that separate two or more watersheds are called the drainage divides. That "Great Ridge" is the source of many wet spots on the northern side of Mahone Harbour.

From the aforementioned Atlas: The watershed consists of surface water collected in lakes, streams, reservoirs, and wetlands, as well as all underlying ground water. Larger watersheds contain many smaller watersheds. All of the land that drains water to an outflow point is the watershed for that location, so there can be mini watersheds in these larger units. Watersheds are important throughout the region because the stream flow and the water quality of a river are affected by "happenings" in the higher uplands. This map is colourful but it is hard to locate the Mushamush River Watershed (#42).

In the interest of humility, the Mushamush River Watershed is seen here (coloured orange) for comparison with those in other parts of Nova Scotia. Watersheds do not recognize political boundaries.

Speaking of which, we have this Super Watershed. Most of southern Nova Scotia is excluded from this club since its major rivers drain into the Atlantic Ocean.

Several watersheds, which are mostly seated in Lunenburg County are illustrated in that watershed atlas. These are Petite Riviere (45), La Have Primary (29), La Have Residual (30), Gold River (22),Gold River Residual (23), Marsh Brook (33) emptying at Lunenburg New Town; Martins River (34) and Mushamush River (42).  "Residuals" was a term invented because most Nova Scotian watersheds are larger in hydrological  impact than the scientific definition of a "Primary Watershed" demands. It's semantics! The larger contributor is now thought of as the "M
ajor Watershed."

This view from the Anney River Bridge looks a bit south of west in an uriver direction.

The Anney-Anney or Maggie-Maggie may have a lot of names and three bridges, but does not create great excitement in hydrological circles. It seems to lie within the Gold River Residual group but you will have to ask one of them to explain why. It does not even stir cartographers to extend its length far inland beyond the the estuary.  Even Google Maps represents it as a few broken lines.

I could create a map from field observations but that would be onerous as it would men trudging through back yards and finally ending in a maze of heavy brush. If there are headwaters they are not in the distant hinterland since this is a hop-skip-and jump stream anywhere along its length during a lot of the year. It is an urban watercourse when waters are coursing.  There are actually more buildings than show here and these are not in proportion and only roughly represented in terms of place.  The big ones are three storey condos, the little white rectangles represent the liquor commission in the west, and the pharmacy at right. The central bridge is a wooden walkway over the water. The one that runs under Kinburn Street was replaced in 2017,while the main bridge was repaired.

This was that bridge across Main Street South back in 2010. The closest building housed a bicycle shop lined up with one bank of the river then, as now.  A church on the west side of the river was partially hidden by ground plantings at that time. The pharmacy remains next in line on the other side of the Anney.

Very nearly the same view-point but at the unveiling of the war memorial where Edgewater intersects Main Street in 1923. Eisenhowers Service Station and Garage have been torn down, and the Northern Sun Gift Shop replaced the former building. In this photo the Lieutenant Governor is addressing an Empire Day crowd while Anglican cleric, Ned Harris, who was instrumental in the erection of that Celtic Cross, stands by in that stiff white collar.

The Victorian Era is represented by those quarried stones close to, and at times below,  sea level. There have been earlier buildings here. Note the cellar windows in the concrete wall at right near the church.  This narrowing of the natural course of the waterway ups the fluid pressure as water passes into the harbour.

The closeness of water and high humidity levels near that "canal" means that local businesses have to repaint and repair more often than residences further from the salt spray.

This is the view around the corner of the pharmacy building looking up Clairmont Street, named after a long-ago politician. The street was closed all summer during 2017 to separate waste water pipes from drainage pipes and install new potable water carriers, followed by paving and sidewalk work. The Anney, out of sight at right, parallels this roadway, and at one time intruded on some of the parking space seen here. A wooden walkway across the river exits to the right foreground of the red vehicle.

Not far upriver from the pharmacy, one sees this crib work, which was once the foundation for the lower dam.

Full frontal view from the bridge in the shoulder season.

A few paces further on, with a turnabout, gives this view of lower Clairmont. The river is largely hidden from view by deciduous trees in summer. There is a walkway (1) to a mini-park rarely seen by anyone aside from locals. The  Pharmasave building is at street front here and on South Main, where Clairmont intersects. This broad area of asphalt encourages illegal u-turns and a lot of runoff when it rains.

This Victorian Era photograph is from a height of land, but shows an earlier view of Clairmont and that lower holding pond.  Some of the deep water of times past has been retained as two lily ponds at left, separated from the main river course by a sizable bit of landfill.  Landfill at right has created today's parking lot behind the pharmacy building. Human intervention can make huge changes in the hydrology of a region.  With the water level lowered and tides rising higher, this area of Clairmont Street is subject to storm surge flooding, which has happened twice in my residence here.

Here is a view of the walkway across to the  aforementioned mini-park. The entire area south of those buildings on West Main Street was once inundated by water.

Earlier in that same season. Crossing the bridge the immediate view to the west is the Quinlan condos and these two lily ponds. The building seen in the background is almost completely hidden by foliage by mis-summer. These ponds get most of their water supply from groundwater and rarely goes as completely dry as the river (beyond the trees at left). A tributary creek supplies these ponds, after being channeled under South Main Street through culverts in the area where Clearway Street intersects it.

The same general area in summer showing the trees in leaf. The path leads through a wooded area to the Quinlan parking lot.  A second bit of remaining crib work for dam #2 is out of sight in the trees just before the woods begin.

Cribwork at this location exists as a small crosspiling of old logs stabilized with stones. It is only noticeable in the cold season when leaves are absent.

A few decades back these squared logs were added to the larger pond in a couple of places presumably to stabilize the northern bank. Both ponds sprout pond lilies in season, and are a home to ducks and other water-oriented creatures.

This was a chance meeting.

This pond is closest the Quinlan and even closer the back door of this business building on South Queen.

Ambrose F. Church created a wall huge roll-up wall map for Lunenburg County which he copyrighted in 1864  but did not publish until the 1880s for financial reasons. Since streams like this were of economic interest they were somewhat more detailed then. This detail is from an inserted town map. The position of the lower dam has been located using a coloured orange block (which I added).  The two present day ponds are colourized in a purple hue.The tributory creek, which was entirely above ground then, except where it crossed under Main Street, can still be seen in the area behind the Suttles & Seawinds building ("Store" and residencce of "J.C. Inglis"). Water areas are stippled. Note that, at this date, Kinburn Road south of the Anney is not shown on the map.

The previous map area appears in a rectangular block to indicate how the area relates to this portion of the Lunenburg County, smaller scale, less detailed map. The major roadway connection with La Have settlements to the northwest (green) through Blockhouse is seen. The Nova Scotia Central Railway (orange) connecting Mahone Bay with Lunenburg, Bridgewater and Middleton was not completed until 1889. I have also colourized the Anney River, its tributaries and dammed portions (7) as indicated by Church.  The railway was  bought out in 1903 and renamed The Halifax & South Western Railway when the line was extended to the city in the following year. Lakes not colourized are a part of the Mushamush watershed. A road was built on the south side of the Anney to service the rail line terminal.  It was first simply called the Station Road, and later the Old Station Road, which became Clairmont after a local politician named Clairmonte Zwicker.

Ambrose Finson Church is virtually unknown but between 1865 and 1888, produced 18 county maps for the province. An American citizen he had been employed with a mapmaker, Jacob Chace Jr., who had been dickering with the Nova Scotia government regarding the creation of county maps and had already surveyed portions of the province. When he died in in 1864, this "stout bearded fellow in the beaver hat" took over the project. Church also produced a map of the Dominion of Canada in 1867 and, in 1889, a mineral map of Nova Scotia. He was involved in a lot of bickering and dickering with the province when it came to finances, and raised part of the cost of publication by subscription. Houses and businesses included on the map cost a dollar. Thus, none of those small black squares and rectangles on the above map represent the exact situation in terms of human geography.


The lower part of this street which trends in a westerly direction is named Kinburn, a name proposed for the village in 1857.  At the bend in the road where it turns north to intersection with Main Street West, in becomes Clairmont just above the fire station.  A new street name Cara Lane has been added this year. It will service the Youdan compex of 28 apartments, to the left of the roadway.

Further along this street, a small bridge, which once spanned the Anney River above the two dams mentioned previously.  It was in bad condition when this photo was taken, and traffic cones warned of a crumbling roadway.  Pine forests on both sides of the roads are giving way to housing.

This was the situation in 2016.  This bridge was entirely removed and replaced in 2017, and Clairmont Street only reopened in late November.
The brook watercourse is not wide here but provision has had to be made for flood conditions. The roadway which gives access to the liquor store and Main Street is ahead at right in front of the blue truck. Further on the old railway bed , now a walking trail, crosses the road diagonally. The station which was erected on upper Clairmont in 1894 was move and became a store on Main in 1904 after a new station was built on Welcome Street.

Fall 2017: looking eastward back along the roadway toward bridge construction from the liquor commission driveway using 10X telephoto. Notice the for sale sign? A few residents on Clairmont were not amused at all this fuss and inconvenience.

The Nova Scotia Liquor Commission store as seen from the Main Street entrance. Pine trees in the background line the sides of the Anney River.


We'll come back to the Anney under other headings, but leaving it by way of the estuary we see Anglican cleric , the late Ned Harris
(1861-1931), rowing in front of his church and residence on Edgewater Street. They were just starting to create rock barriers back in the early twentieth century and the area further east was still a sloping natural beach front. Clearland in in the county municipality and remains politically separate from Mahone Bay.  The Mushamush River is ar far right at the northeastern headwaters of Mahone Harbour.

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