UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve

The UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere reserve simplified.

What is it?

The Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve is a place where you can appreciate an extraordinary diverse natural landscape, surrounded by the sea, that has and continues to shape local culture.

What does it do?

Our work at the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve Association supports the three elements of biosphere reserves: conservation, sustainable development, and capacity building for research and education.

Where is it?

The Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO designated and internationally recognized region of natural and cultural heritage, located in Southwest Nova Scotia. The SNBR spans the 5 counties of Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne and Queens and is one of only 16 biosphere reserves in Canada.

How can I experience the UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve?

There are a series of 11 vignettes here on youtube, all of these amazing experiences exist in your backyard. See you in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve!

How do I get involved?

The UNESCO Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.



Snow Geese in Nova Scotia

It started with a perfect crescent moon this morning.

Crescent Moon







Really Snow Geese, here in Nova Scotia? I did a quick “google” search and found a listing on Environment Canada’s website, where I learned the French name, Oie des Neiges, and the scientific name, Chen Caerulescens of the Snow Goose.

Snow Geese






I read that they are rare to uncommon transient. What a wonderful surprise to see a dozen of them resting on their long black legs, with their heads snugly tucked under their wings.  Have they been blown off course?

Jack Frosty Morning







The frosty morning disappeared into a mild day, perhaps they flew in on the Sou’wester!

Holiday Hike

Keji Rock Reflection Pool

The last few years have been so mild that we have worn sneakers or hiking shoes, of course toques, scarves and mitts are de rigeur in winter, no matter the weather. Hiking off Christmas dinner at Kejimkujik Seaside, has become a Christmas Day Tradition, and this year we were joined by friends old and new.

With good company and an easy, rolling, stroll we arrived beach side in a little better than an hour. A fellow hiker shared her father’s outdoor tea drink (black tea and sugar), along with spicy homemade cookies and chocolate. It was the perfect hiking menu, I felt the warmth of season, spice and friendship.

The shutterbugs among us took advantage of the people shots

Hiking Menu

and the sunsets.

Keji Sunsets

As hikes go this old, familiar, and favoured path with friends, old and new is a tradition that always inspires me to resolve to get out and hike more of Nova Scotia in the New Year.

Honey Crisp & Sweetango

I discovered a new love a few years ago, the Honey Crisp. This apple is so well suited to growing here in Nova Scotia that you will find honey crisp tree’s in almost all Nova Scotia orchards. This year I found yet another love, the new Sweetango. Sweetango will not replace my darling Honey Crisp, but will hold a special place in my palate next to my first love the Honey Crisp. Of course, Orange Cox, Golden Russet and Gravenstein will remain in my cupboard too.

Find your apples, along with lots of other fresh produce and local arts and crafts at farmers markets throughout Nova Scotia.

Foraging for Chanterelles in Nova Scotia


Years of admiring Chanterelles at the farmers markets and enthusiastic mushroom forages have inspired me to continue to hunt for Chanterelles any time I strike out for a walk.

I always remember the instructions, a combination of pine trees and roadside are the best spots to hunt for Chanterelles.

If you think you have found Chanterelles, look for the following attributes to help identify them,  orangey-yellow, fruity smell reminiscent of apricots, separate gills, separate stems, convex or fluted tops, filled stem (not hollow).

The Chanterelle must not be confused with the poisonous Jack-O-Lantern or the toxic False Chanterelle.

This is one of the Chanterelles I found on my walk so I thought I would turn to the experts to see if these were indeed Chanterelles.

I have bought Chanterelles from Veronica of G.E.M.M.S. Forest & Farms at the Antigonish Farmers Market, and so who better to bring my mushroom to for final verification. She gave it a cursory look and then a delicate sniff and confirmed that I indeed had found a Chanterelle. She was very quick to point out however that this one was past its prime!

As with all mushroom foraging, always err on the side of caution and have a trained eye confirm that your harvest is edible.

Happy mushroom foraging!

Nova Scotia Fibre Arts

This weekend is the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival in Amherst. I am learning very quickly that there is a vibrant and exciting crowd of artists and fans. There are still a few spots available in some of the workshops.

We have amazing fibre and textile artists throughout Nova Scotia. We have the  internationally acclaimed like Laurie Swim of Lunenburg, or Marrie Berkelaar of Double Whale Woven Designs. How about our celebrated Cheticamp rug hookers? Or Deanne Fitzpatrick of Amherst?

Marrie of Double Whale Woven Designs

We forget here in Nova Scotia to celebrate the rich fibre history of our own families, fibre arts that existed out of necessity and grew into pieces of art that reflect our history. Our quilts and rugs, that are still in use everyday, in our homes.

Come celebrate with the Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival!

Phil’s Seafood

This is a series of reviews based on finding the Best Fish & Chips in Nova Scotia.

Restaurant-Phil’s Seafood Halifax

WhereHalifax , Nova Scotia

What I Ate: 1 piece fish & chips, the fish was breaded. Coleslaw, lemon and homemade tartar sauce.


Fish & Chips

Details:The fish was fresh, with a crispy, crunchy breading.The fries were hand cut with peel on. I enjoyed every bite of my fresh, thick, perfectly cooked haddock filet.  The fries were good too. The coleslaw was the kind I remember from childhood, carrots, cabbage, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, and there was lots of it! The homemade tartar sauce good, but not my favorite. Ketchup, salt, pepper and lemon were served too.

Service: Excellent! Fast and friendly.

Atmosphere: Although billed as take out, there are tables inside and a relaxed dining atmosphere. Phil’s is located on the student bustling and lively Quinpool Road.

Price: 1 piece fish & chips, $7.19 with tax.

Of Interest: Phil’s Seafood is rated as the Best Fish & Chips in Halifax according to The Coast