Brier Island Visit

Most long weekends in August we camp on Brier Island with Bear River friends.

It’s very low key…shared food, mostly vegetarian, cooked over the campfire or propane stove, sleeping in tents, nature walks, and lots of talks and laughter and bird watching and telling stories and sharing ideas and catching up.

One of my favorite delights is to fall asleep listening to the ocean waves. Or is it waking up to the haunting calls of seals?

Come with me down the path…..



Along the ridge…..


Past the tidal pools……


Along the craggy shoreline…….P1420180

Past the basalt lava flow that reaches all the way to Blomidon.P1420177


Past the rising tide…….P1420120Past the ocean waves……


Follow your nose……


Past the wild Roses…..


We might be under shelter…


…or checking out the new, lone tipi…


..or riding bikes….


…or searching…


…or watching the sun set…


…or at the campfire…


…or walking through fields


…or imagining a new painting….


…or waiting for a ferry to go home.



Time for a Walk Around the Garden

We just finished up 3 days of heavy rain, which was the first since the post-tropical cyclone Arthur 10 days ago. The garden really needed watering and both the plants and weeds ka-boomed!

DSCN3424 So yesterday because it was cooler and the weeds pulled easily, I went out in the light rain, wind, sun, cloud, rain and weeded like crazy and finally mulched everything to keep the moisture in and the weeds down. I have to share these before and after shots.

I have 4 kinds of climbing beans: Blue Lake Runners, Scarlet Runners, Purple climbers, and Cranberry Beans which will produce a dry bean for winter.  I’ll blanche and freeze the others.

before after garden1All my climbing beans are from seeds I saved from last year’s heritage beans. In the case of the Blue Lake Runners, I’ve been saving seeds from every planting for the last 6 years and they were given to me by my friend Pamela who had done the same for the previous 10 years. They are well adapted to this soil and our weather! We will put up some stronger tee-pee supports.

before after garden3It looks like vegetables growing in a lawn ;) and you can find snow peas, a few Chinese cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, tomato plants, broccoli and garlic.
before after garden2

After the weeding, I had enough space to plant a final row of bush beans. They’ll be so welcome as they’ll produce at the very end of the season.

before after garden4

I had some manure piles delivered a while ago so I planted my Winter Luxury Pumpkin seeds from Hope Seeds directly in the pile. Oh, the squash bugs have been prolific and persistent this year, but hopefully, the plants are now able to develop in spite of the bugs. Does anyone know what eats squash bugs? They are so wily…they can fly, drop off the leaf and burrow into the soil. And they are fast movers!

P1410792 This is more garden with zucchini, more bush beans, soy beans and some kale.

These are onions and leeksP1410777

I love common orange day lilies and how they bend and stretch. And those purple hosta flowers are sweet too.P1410804


And while I’ve gardened, Larry’s worked hard in the studio making signs. I love this one that he designed and hand-lettered for our favourite little bistro in Bear River, Magoo’s Bistro.DSCN3391

They are right on the river…you can watch for the friendly river monster too.DSCN3398




Berries, Signs, Painting, Swimming, & Supermoon

Today I picked my first raspberries out of our garden. It’s taken 3 years for the canes to mature. I can’t believe it that we’re eating berries from our own plantings! And the single red currant bush (in memory of my grandmother) is also producing like mad.


I was back in the garden today starting a new painting of orange lilies.

P1410716 P1410706

Larry is busy making lots of signs for a local project.


We’ve been having hot, hot days here….not really like Nova Scotia, more like Ontario. So at 5 pm I dragged Larry out of the studio to go to our local swimming hole. We had it all to ourselves and it was heavenly. I love this spot for the fragrance, the constantly moving water and the feeling of being in a sacred earth space.

P1410733 P1410720

We didn’t stay too long because Larry is on a deadline with to-be-revealed sign work.


We came home and I picked our first zucchini and some broccoli and made us a very tasty quiche.


It’s so nice to be post-tropical cylone. (Our power, internet and water was ‘out’ for 4 days). But more on that in the next post.


And here is my photo of yesterday’s supermoon. ;)


New Artwork – July 5 – 23, 2014

Spring and Summer are the busiest times of the year for us. The garden needs lots of start-up help with tilling and planting and replanting and weeding.

But it feels like small potatoes compared to my creative surge that is instigated by the outdoors. Add to that the requests for paintings from the shops that carry my paintings and Larry’s enamel work.

Thumbelina  ©Flora Doehler, 2014.  mixed media on cradle board  16" x 16"  $450

©Flora Doehler, 2014.
mixed media on cradle board
16″ x 16″

It can feel like an impossible juggling act and this week is no exception. We all know what that’s like and the cure is to just continue putting one foot in front of the other and proceed. And that’s what I’m doing this week as I put the final touches on my collaged paintings for my upcoming show in Annapolis Royal that opens this coming Saturday.


The theme is Fairy tales and I’ve been immersed in them – reading them again, listening to them online, falling asleep with my heroine young women in my head (Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, Thumbelina).

Please drop by to see them. Here is a link to all the work as well as my insights about the stories I chose.

And then next week, it’s back to painting my favorite fairy tale…my garden.

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The Secret is Out!

Point Prim is one of many spectacular natural wonders of Nova Scotia and I wrote about it here in 2008 in a blog post. Back then this fabulous geological site on the Bay of Fundy wasn’t being promoted at all to the point where even some area people weren’t quite sure of its location at the end of Lighthouse Road, just a few minutes drive from Digby. I had described it as a secret.

Point Prim has a variety of rock formations.

Point Prim has a variety of rock formations.

The Friends of Point Prim are doing all they can to ‘Help preserve this Fundy paradise for everyone’.

A tidal pool rich with plants and critters.

A tidal pool rich with plants and critters.

The lighthouse was decommissioned a few years ago by our short-sighted federal Conservative government, along with most of the lighthouses in Nova Scotia after almost 200 years of service. (the first few years consisted of a bonfire punctuated by the occasional cannon firing.)

The new sign.

The new sign.

The Friends of Point Prim was formed by local citizens to keep up public access to the site and to preserve the natural environment for present and future generations. While this is a great example of how a small group of persistent people can affect positive change for many; it is also a disgraceful example of one of the ways the Canadian neocon government has stepped away from protecting the environment, and our cultural heritage.

Last year, a small amount of funding was received for the Friends of Point Prim to develop a walking trail, seating, parking area, sign, and interpretive panels. Tonight’s gathering was a celebration of these achievements with a piper and fresh Digby scallops.

A Real McDonald piped us in.

A Real McDonald piped us in.

Fresh Digby scallops were part of the celebration.

Fresh Digby scallops were part of the celebration.

This is a truly special place to be. The sound of the waves and the salt water smells are soothing to the soul. The unique rock formations tell geographical stories that are eons old.
You absolutely must visit Point Prim if you can. And check out the Friends of Point Prim. They could use your help.

A mist starts to rise.

A mist starts to rise.

Sunset at Point Prim.

Sunset at Point Prim.

The Bay of Fundy.

The Bay of Fundy.

Digby in the distance.

Victoria Beach in the distance.

Radience from the Sun.

Radience from the Sun.

The sun always sets on the Point Prim horizon.

The sun always sets on the Point Prim horizon.

Home Again and Spring is Here!

Today was our first day home. While we were away, I conjured up fantasies of what I’d come home to ….lovely blooming tulips and daffodils and no weeds and cut grass. Say, what? The weeds are telling me that I have my work cut out for me BIG TIME.

Here are some photos from today. There is so much happy yellow happening out there in the garden that it just made me smile all day.






Lion's Bane

Lion’s Bane


Heritage Daffodil

Heritage Daffodil

Infinity in a drop of water on a Lupin leaf.

Infinity in a drop of water on a Lupin leaf.

Our 10 willow trees are looking more and more like a grove.

Our 10 willow trees are looking more and more like a grove.

Before the weeding.

Before the weeding.

After the weeding.

After the weeding.

L There is still about 2 weeks of pulling weeds left...but let's face it, it will never, ever be done. ots of weeds to add to the compost pile.

There is still about 2 weeks of pulling weeds left…but let’s face it, it will never, ever be done. At least there will be lots of weeds to add to the compost pile.

Reorganizing the compost area.

Reorganizing the compost area.