Ruminations of an itinerant.

As many of you know, we recently lifted our conditions on a property in Nova Scotia.  Although I've had the opportunity to visit the land and make some initial decisions regarding the home site and driveway, our small family will be seeing the land for the first time in May.

Coincidence or providence, but I've been fortunate to get time off work at relatively short notice in order to attend both of these trips.

During my first visit to the property, I hemmed and hawed.  A prairie girl, long unused to undulating landscape and with imagination hampered by two dimensional images of the land, I was initially taken aback by the topography.  A small creek flows from a spring-fed, man-made pond at the top of North Mountain and across the breadth of our property - nestled in the cleft formed by its own flowing.

At the south end of the property is four and a half acres of hay field, the remnants of a large sheep pasture.  An aerial photo from the '40s shows the extent of the pasture grazed by a former owners livestock.

Approximately seven hundred feet of logging road runs parallel to the county highway, before jogging straight up the side of North Mountain, for almost three-quarters of a mile.

It is true that much of the property has been clear cut, this damage will heal quickly.  Word has it that the most valuable timber, the hardwood, will grow back the fastest.  This prospect makes me smile, because as everyone knows it is the deciduous trees which reveal the true beauty of a Nova Scotia autumn.

As I turned the prospect of land over and over in my mind - having to make a rather expensive family decision based solely on my inexpert opinion - the unsolicited opinions of the locals kept whispering in my ear.  "I looked at that property" said the excavator. "If only I had a spare $XX thousand" said the real estate agent.  "You are very lucky" said the lawyer.

It would seem that everyone knew of the property - hopefully for the better - and all agreed that we were fortunate indeed, to have secured such a large and beautiful south-facing piece of land.

To set my mind at ease, I "saddled" the rented Dodge and struck out one afternoon after completing some morning business.  I'm sure that more than one valley dweller was startled as I sped from place to place, looking at land, houses, properties and acreages. I started west, and from memory - at the barn in Beaconsfield - raced my way through a dozen properties, to the acreage in Morden in the east.

Reality has nothing on imagination and good photography, and each property I passed served to reassure and reaffirm our family's decision.  This one is mere feet from a busy highway. That house is in miserable shape.  This piece of land is next to a feed lot and that one is so much smaller than I thought. A camera cannot illustrate the temperature or direction of the breeze nor the odours wafting upon it.  More than once my nostrils were tickled by the malodorous stench of feedlot cattle, excreting vast amounts of stool whilst awaiting their unpleasant demise.

I walked the property one final time.

Despite all of its spring time homeliness, the waving tail of brown brook trout convinced me.  I returned to the home of our good friends, certain that "yes" was the right answer.

No comments:

Post a Comment