Last weekend, we went to New Glasgow for Fathers Day. Besides the celebration, we checked out the chimney swifts at the old school (we estimated over two hundred). Heather participated in the Johnny Miles Running Event (it was started in 1975).
En route to New Glasgow, we connected with Edward in Bedford. We wanted to discuss the involvement of Nova Scotia Plein Air in public events. He had been working with the Halifax Northwest Trails Association. Heather had been working with Clean Annapolis River Project (CARP) What are the logistics for engaging artists in the larger landscape?
As part of the information exchange, Edward gave me a copy of a book by Art White. It is a collection of short stories about living in the Valley, around Clementsport.
Returning home, I revisited Ernest Buckler’s “Ox Bells and Fireflies”. In the Introduction, Alan Young has the following description.
” ‘The Mountain and the Valley’, ‘The Cruelest Month’ and ‘Ox Bells and Fireflies’ are indeed ‘regional’ in their conscious attempt to portray the life and character of a recognizable locale within a specific historical and social framework, at the same time all three belong to the much wider literary context known as ‘pastoral’ and partake of a mythology that transcends the bounds of what is merely national or regional.”
This set me thinking about a short story competition. There is a precedent in ‘Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop’, edited by Sandra Bishop and Laurie Gunn.
I came up with two quick candidate titles.
“Deer Ticks and Bobolinks”
This would describe the impact of changes in climate and agriculture on the Annapolis Valley.
“High Tech Haven”
This would be based on the location of a new secondary school in the Annapolis Valley, equipped with the latest technology (e.g a combination of Gordonstoun Nova Scotia and an expanded COGS.
Meanwhile, as a result of citizen pressure, there has been an adjustment in the forest cutting above Bridgetown, with respect to nesting migrant bird species.
If we are to invent a ‘new rural society’, it will be imperative to monitor changes in the climate, the landscape and the economic practices. This could be achieved by a ‘community information utility’, managed at the municipal level.
Next weekend, the Elizabeth Bishop Society of Nova Scotia (EBSNS) is hosting their AGM in Great Village, on Saturday June 22nd. Guest speaker is Harry Thurston, poet and naturalist, living in Tidnish. Check out his book from Gaspereau Press, “Keeping Watch at the End of the World“.
Edward Wedler for his artwork and sharing his experiences. Sandra Barry for her connection to EBSNS. Extinction Rebellion for their citizen engagement with the Department of Forestry.
Art White, 1994. From Away, Here to Stay. Stories from the Valley. Pen Pal Publishing.
Ernest Buckler, 1968. Ox Bells and Fireflies. McClelland and Stewart. Introduction by Alan Young. 1974.
Sandra Barry and Laurie Gunn (ed), 2013. Echoes of Elizabeth Bishop. Elizabeth Bishop Centenary (2011) Writing Competition. Published by EBSNS.
Harry Thurston.2015. Keeping Watch at the End of the World. Gaspereau Press.