Valley Days

Every summer we book some time with our friends Doug and Joanne for Valley Days (sometimes written Valley Daze). D & J live above Canning and from there we venture out to sample the charms of the Annapolis Valley. This blog is a sampling of experiences and discoveries from last weekend.

The Farmers’ Market in Wolfville is always a treat.  Here are some joyful Easter Egg radishes along with some exotic figs  growing at Luckett Vineyards.

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Main Street in Wolfville has, perhaps, the best collection of small businesses in the province. At the west end, Clock Park has some interesting plant material that will be spectacular over time.  Enjoyed the big, new bench.


The alley beside the Al Wittle Theatre has planters, which on closer examination turned out to be re-purposed toilet tanks (remember you don’t always have to look at things closely). I believe volunteers do a lot of this sort of small scale intervention around town.

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The Harvest Gallery always has a great selection of local art. I was fooled by a basket of very realistic, felt, beach stones. When we visited Scot’s Bay I took a comparison shot.

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We were particularly interested to look at the relatively new Micro Boutique Living building. It contains tiny, furnished apartments aimed particularly, I understand, at the university crowd.


Across the street it appears that the beautiful stone church will be converted into a residence for mature students. Densification country-style.


For a number of summers an environmental art project, called Uncommon Common Art, offers site-specific art installations around Kings County.  One of the best we visited  was a series of ribs (made of aluminium cans I believe) on the beach at Scot’s Bay.


While we examined the installation at a distance I began noticing that there were many fragments of plastic rope at the high tide line.  In a few moments I had photographed a small selection. Are they like the talking knots of the Incas telling  stories of life under the sea? Probably just pretty trash.

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In the evening we went to the opening night of The Tempest  at Ross Creek. I’m not a big fan of live theatre but I always enjoy these outdoor performances that include spontaneous choruses by frogs and occasionally leaping deer.  The real actors and staging are great too.  Here is what the vast stage looked like. That’s an important prop in the lower left.


The next day we visited more Uncommon Common Art installations. Articulated birds perched around the Charles MacDonald Concrete House Museum.  It’s an exotic site to visit anytime.



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In Kentville we stopped at Miner’s Marsh waterfowl park to look at more art but were more excited by the surroundings and baby ducks.  The new steel foot bridge did make me think of Monet’s iconic Japanese bridge in his garden in Giverny.

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Our ultimate destination was a garden party further down the valley.


We were overwhelmed by the brilliance of the young garden.  I can’t stop thinking about it.


The last day, friends invited us for lunch. First we met Simon and Garfunkel, a pair of Berkshire pigs , and Bingo, a calf.

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Then a wonderful al fresco lunch overlooking the wildflower meadow…

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We feel very lucky to have generous friends who we could visit in beautiful surroundings. But in this season it is wonderful to be outside and looking around anywhere.  Remember to wear sunscreen  and a hat like the grownups do.



With all the talk recently about danger signage at Peggy’s Cove it was interesting to encounter this sign at the entrance to Scot’s Bay beach. If I left the car where it was parked for another 8 hours it might be under water.  Not exactly a rogue wave I  suppose.



About the author

Stephen Archibald

It’s Stephen Archibald doing the noticing. I’m a huge fan of Nova Scotia’s material culture and cultural landscapes. Twitter (@Cove17 ) made me realize I could share what attracted my attention (perfect for my very short attention) and I’m gratified when folks enjoy my content. Pleased to meet you on the internet.