Full Moon Rising

Full Moon Rising
Silent Cove. Chance Harbour NB - My back yard.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


                                   In the deep of winter in my back yard.

It's a stormy night here with pounding surf, wind and rain.  The surf has  been pounding the beach for the last two hours.  It's +6C right now, balmy compared to yesterday.  I've my window open beside me. It is calming to feel the fresh air.  Zoe the cat runs in and out that window like there is no tomorrow.  She keeps jumping over my hands and laptop to the window and vice versa.  It's as if she wants to be in two places at once. 
Zoe is an interesting cat to observe. She came to us almost two years ago.  She was 7 years old, fixed, and strictly a house cat.  Her introduction to her new home would be a shock to her.  In the warmer weather our doors and windows are rarely closed.  We let her do what she wanted to do.  She chose the outdoors.  The back yard. We call her our garden cat. It is where she hangs out, has day time catnaps and explores.  If only her personality were as soft as her fur.  She is not a good tempered cat ... at all.  She doesn't like change.  The changing of the seasons are her least favorite things.  Zoe doesn't like wet or cold.   Since November is a cold and wet month Zoe has gone from being outside for 20 hours a day down to 1/2 hour a day. Now she spends those 20 hours asleep. Much like hibernation.


Stewie, our 7 year old cat,  is the polar opposite to Zoe in many ways.  Where she is mean and impatient, Stewie is patient, loving and kind. When you pick Zoe up she stiffens and howls.  Stewie melts like butter in your arms.  Stewie is what I call a very cool cat.  He takes his time no matter what he is up to.  He never sweats the small stuff and is accepting of any changes thrust upon him.  Zoe, glares.  Stewie accepted the change in weather a month ago.  Zoe is still mad. 

                                          Stewie allowing me a early morning snuggle.                                            

    All three of our animals, which includes our 10 year old, long haired Black Lab named Bear,  have had the usual change in their fur coats.  The thing with this year is that so far there hasn't been a lot of change .  Their coats have grown heavier but, I've seen worse which maybe, just maybe, there is to be less snow than predicted for this winter season.  We always take note of such things with the animals.  My experience is that nature doesn't lie.  The weather experts say that last year, the winter of 2013-2014 was the worst on record for amount of snowfall in 100 years.  I'd believe that as I remember how thick the pet's coats had thickened, the heaviest I'd ever seen and we've had Stewie for 7 years and Bear for 10 years.


    The change in seasons affects every living thing from plant life to humans.  Yes, we humans go into a kind of hibernation as well.  Our long, sun filled days where daylight can last 16 hours per day for some of us brings about some big shifts in our daily lives. For those working the 9-5 day one goes to work in the dark and returns home in the dark.  The rest of their day is spent getting ready for work the next day then getting ready for bed.  We go from sitting outside until sundown at 10 o'clock at night to being in bed by 10 o'clock at night. These are huge changes in a short time. 


                                  Summer nights that beckon to us.

For us humans we are very responsive to our surroundings and our reactions to change are as varied as each person is in relation to each other.  There are two things that you can be only one of.  You are either a day time person or a night time, like myself.  And my husband, Eric, is a day type person by the way.  Our own personal clocks clash on a constant basis.  While we are both early risers Eric starts to wind down as the day light hours begin to wane.  And I become more awake and aware as soon as the sun begins to set.  So as the  winter season comes upon us, the day trippers, so to speak, can become deeply affected with the loss of light.  While folks like me seem to come alive with the rising moon!  I've no idea what causes these differences in us.  It just is what it is I guess.  It's not something we question. 

    Sadly for some others the loss of day light can be the trigger of SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It can bring on severe depression.  It can be a deadly time of the year for some.  The lack of day light can cause a profound affect in some folks.  Imagine, a change in the season causing so much grief in a person's life, both literally and figuratively.  I don't think that draws a line between animal and human either because Bear and I both like the cooler weather.  We thrive in it.  Hot, humid summer days have a wilting affect on us both while Eric will complain of aching bones and not take well to the cooler temperatures at all. 

    Even if we watch our pets behaviour before an impending storm we see a reaction.  Most would say it is the barometric pressure dropping.  Or look at ourselves and see if a full moon affects some of us. 

  It seems that animal or human or plant life or insects, we are all affected by our natural surroundings.  There is no line to draw to separate animals from humans in this respect.  We are all victims to the seasons.   

    We live on a migratory path for our feathered friends and a protected nature preserve.  We spend a lot of time watching the wildlife and their habits to get to know them better, to understand them better and figure out what they are all about. 

Come the change in the seasons the wildlife is the first to show the signs.  The signs of leaving and heading south.  The song birds are the first to leave and the Hummingbird leaves about the same time. The Hummingbird is the unofficial harbinger of spring and of the fall season. 

    Our last Hummingbird didn't leave until the end of the 3rd week of September.  Knowing that they are gone until next spring always leaves me with a feeling of resignation.  That fall is upon us and that winter is coming and there is nothing to be done about it but accept it and shift the search for beauty in other ways.  Where I live in Chance Harbour it is always beautiful. No matter the weather it always has the capacity to take one's breath away.  It has atmosphere and mood.  It is rich in history.  Living here you see the landscape has an entity of it's own.  It is alive. 

    On many a cold winter night I wonder about how it was living here 275 years ago.  I wonder what it was like for the first settlers.  I wonder how they survived the daily grind in the summer let alone a harsh winter living on the coast, right on the Bay of Fundy.  For them the change in the seasons must of had a more deeper meaning to them.  They would of been affected and preparation for a long winter ahead would mean endless days and hours of work ahead to ensure they would all make it until spring. 

    To go back in time here would be to live in a whole different world.  Not even recognizable in comparison to the world we live in today.  During winter months homes would of been heated using coal or wood burning stoves.  In the evening hours the homes would have been illuminated by oil lamps and candles as families would try to extend their days for a bit longer.  Family members shared beds as well for body heat with the help of heating pans placed near the foot of the bed inside the covers.  And of course enamel and porcelain pots, or 'thunder pots' as some refer to them, were discretely set aside in case anyone had personal business and couldn't wait for the light of day to use the outhouse. 

    Spending a weekend at the summer camp with no running water or electricity or no facilities, having to cook on a century old cook stove is one thing.  As much as I love it, I never miss the roughing part of it all.  I cannot imagine living that way year round.  When we get home I feel almost humbled by what we do have in today's modern world.

                       He can do what we cannot...survive in the wild during winter.

    It is now 1:00am. Low tide will be in 3 hours and the bay will turn its pull back into the cove and up on to the beach. But at this moment, even though I cannot see through the darkness outside my window I know the north wind outside howls across the wet mudflats.  I am wondering about the wildlife on a night like this.  It is cold. It is -2Celcius and with the windchill, -9Celcius.  The wind is out of the ESE at 25km/h and gusts are at 38km/h. Yes it is cold.  Somehow they all survive. Although it has to be said that they can survive a night like this and worse. And here we are the intelligent life form and we could not survive one night like this.  Unfortunately, we can't grow winter coats. 
The whole house is asleep.  Bear is snoring in his room.  Yes he has his own bed too. The cats are in their own respective spots have been asleep all evening. Even Eric is soundly asleep. 
I take one last look out through the window into the dark cold night and think that the whole planet goes through some kind of a shift with the changing of the seasons.  We have no choice but to change right along with it.  Besides, change can be a good thing.
And to you dear reader, may you always stay warm and safe as you head down your journey to the long winter ahead. Oh yes, just one more thing if I may.  Please keep you fur babies inside out of the cold.

The rising Moon calls out for us to join her for the evening.

You can always find me at the next high tide ...


(Please visit me at my live cam stream to watch the  Bay of Fundy with the highest tides in the world rolling in and out of my back yard cove. You can click this link or the one in the right hand sidebar. http://www.ustream.tv/broadcaster/19398688 )