The Cove Journal
by JoDee Samuelson
The Cove made front page of The Guardian last month when the Mounties swept down on our quiet backwater and discovered five pot plants growing in the woods. What they did with this modest cache, and who perpetrated this deed, is the subject of on-going interest and speculation. Needless to say, we did not serve brownies for dessert at our recent community supper.
In the news article concerning this dramatic “bust,” all Islanders were advised to keep their eyes open for anyone going into the woods carrying gardening tools (trowel, knee pads, spade, clippers, watering can, sacks of manure, trays of seedlings, wheelbarrow, garden cart). We were also warned to be aware of plants with a “skunky smell.” There is no shortage of skunks this year, as evidenced by lawns up and down the coast which have been thoroughly cultivated by skunks and crows. Skunky-smelling plants are less common. A strong odor is coming off a pile of seaweed in the marsh that is rotting more enthusiastically than one would wish, but this cannot be illegal.
The edible fungi crop this fall was outstanding: boletus, chanterelles, shaggy main, puff balls. Mushrooms plucked from the moist earth, sliced, fried in butter, served on toast with a dash of hot sauce—mmm. Those days are past. The ground is crisp and frosty in the morning, car windows need scraping, chestnuts have crashed to the ground, winter clothes (warm old friends) are being dug out of storage. Strange how teen-agers can wait for the bus at 8 am with jackets open, no hats, no gloves; and here come us middle-aged folks practically swaddled in furs. Thank goodness for the heat and energy of youth.
Potatoes in the Cove are safely in warehouses and the potato trucks have stopped rumbling by in the night. It’s been such an excellent harvest season that people aren’t even talking about it. What a busy time it’s been with roads re-paved, bridges re-built, roundabouts unveiled, new houses popping up overnight, other buildings torn down; plus concerts, ceilidhs, socials, community breakfasts, fairs, races and regattas. Things are winding down and soon road crews, fishermen, beekeepers and tourist operators can take a well-deserved rest.
Woodpiles in the Cove are disappearing as firewood is moved into sheds and porches. It’s true that wood fires produce greenhouse gases, but at dusk it’s comforting to see smoke wafting up into the heavens. We’re part of the Canadian landscape and know how to survive and enjoy every one of our seasons. What do we do with these long evenings? Some of our neighbors go to community school, others attend card parties. Good books are traded around among friends, travel websites are checked for winter get-away specials, plans are firmed up for—yes, it’s true—for Christmas.
What with homework and text messaging for the young, and chores, television and movies for the older folks, this month too will pass. And let us not forget to sing the praises of early bedtimes!