Last week, stewards Ida and David MacPherson offered to give me a tour of the Sea Dog Cove Preserve on the Kingston Peninsula. It was a beautiful sunny day with just enough cloud cover to offer a warm, dappled light along the trail. I met the MacPherson's at their home, just a kilometer or so from the trail, and we traveled together to the site. There are actually two trails you can take on either side of Summerville Road. We chose to explore the longer one first that runs southwest to Kennebecasis Bay. This took us on a 45 minute walk with lots of interesting plant life to observe along the way. A highlight at this time of year is the many pink lady slippers or moccasin flowers in full bloom along much of the path.
The trail brings you to Barlow's Bluff where you find a different type of terrain with many more rock features. There is a less distinct trail that will take you down from the knoll to the waters edge. It is not an easy descent with some slippery spots even on a dry day. But at the bottom of the trail is a beautiful old white pine clinging to the edge of the rocks and growing in a bow shape. You can also catch a glimpse of the ferry shuttling cars to Saint John and back across the Bay.
There are a lot of beautiful trees on the preserve, including many old pines. After returning from the first trail, we took the shorter trail that runs northeast to Sea Dog Cove -- for which the preserve is named. Just before reaching the water we came across a gorgeous oak tree with branches sprawling in every direction.
I am discovering that these visits are becoming as much about the people as they are about the landscapes. It was a joy to meet Ida and David and to learn what was most special about the site to them -- noting the moccasin flowers, the old pines and the great oak as some favorite features. We expressed our mutual love of lifelong learning and how much there is to learn about nature. We also expressed our appreciation for the many people we had met who have been willing to share their knowledge in anything from identifying plants and wildflowers to bird calls. This project has certainly been a great learning experience so far!
New Brunswick Artist and Art Educator