Note from OBE Publisher Robin Rivers: In June of 2012, we packed up our family home in Comox, B.C. on beautiful Vancouver Island and made the journey to Halifax, N.S. In that time, we have explored and adventured across The Maritimes, learning the history, charm and way of life that the people of Atlantic Canada have enjoyed for more than a dozen generations. In Postcards from Nova Scotia, we take a moment to share the awesome and celebrate Canada through our eyes. I hope you enjoy this very personal peek inside family life in Nova Scotia.
When folks imagine classic Canada – in the most general of terms – maple syrup and the quaint pictures of countrysides in Quebec filled with black and red maples being tapped for their tasty sugary innards make them warm and cozy just imagining what it must be like.
For sure, it’s something that I daydream about as well. The charm of doing things I had only read about – and giving our kids the chance to experience them too – seemed much easier to realize here in Nova Scotia than in the temperate climate of Vancouver Island. When I came across a sweet piece on maple syrup harvesting at Sugar Moon Farm near Earltown, N.S., I knew that this winter would bring that to life.
I’m a romantic. In my head, watching folks tap the maple trees and rolling hot maple syrup onto a stick in the snow absolutely should involve a light snow falling as the light gently streams through the bare trees of the thick forest. Atlantic Canada weather sees my impracticality as a flaw. We tried a couple of times in what we thought was a perfect snow to head out to Sugar Moon Farm only to be caught in a flat out blizzard. Some would say scary. Nova Scotians only nod and know that we are from away.
Finally, the threat of 50cm of snow gave way to a gorgeous, snow-free Sunday. So, we packed up the truck and headed out for the 1.5-hour drive to maple-liciousness.
It’s a haul down a winding country road best done on a day when said road is clear of snow and ice. But, pulling up to Sugar Moon’s log cabin main house where people pack in for rustic pancake breakfasts around old carved tables and the smells of wood stoves as well as a hint of maple makes the drive an easy adventure.The kids ran for the wooden walk-up where the maple was being boiled down into syrup for the treat of the day – deemed maplesicles.
This is what I came for – that classic Canadian act of watching as fresh, hot maple syrup is ladled into the snow and kids scramble to twist it up on a stick and pop it into their mouths.
Both of the girls swirled with sugary joy. First, the pour:
Then, the twist:Then, pop it in your mouth and grin uncontrollably:This winter fun led us right to the snow shoe bin and out onto the snowy trail. Another first that made us all melt with all of that charm stuff. No snow shoes for the very wee one. But, she couldn’t have cared less. They were off to discover the maple forest.
An hour later, the kids still trekking through the snow laughing and searching for winter fairies, we knew we’d had a Sunday well-spent. Heading along the snowy path, the kids yawned a bit while knocking snow off of trees to “make it snow.”We missed out on lunch, mostly because we had way too much fun in the forest woods. We piled back into the truck, found warm, wooly socks and the kids snoozed all the way home.
It was a day for the memory books in the maple forests of Nova Scotia.
Category: KIDS, NATURE & OUR HERITAGE