Posted in Book Review

The Bookshelf

We have been reducing our book load, with help from Endless Shores in Bridgetown. In checking the top shelf, I found a number of books that have followed me from England, including:

The Spirit and Purpose of Geography by Wooldridge and East was a school prize for Mathematics in 1962. It includes chapters on different geographies: Physical Geography, Biogeography, Historical Geography, Economic Geography, Political Geography.

On the same shelf, we have my graduate theses. M.Sc. Complexity Analysis of Vegetation Patterns in an alpine meadow, 1971 and Ph.D thesis, Inquiry into the Nature of Biogeography, 1976.

Elsewhere in the house, I found two publications from the National Museum in Ottawa.

The Rare Vascular Plants of Nova Scotia, 1977, co-authored with David White, George Argus and Paul Keddy, Syllogeus 18.

The Rare Vascular Plants of Saskatchewan, 1978, co-authored with George Argus and Vernon Harms, Syllogeus 19.

[From the Alaska Dispatch] George Argus rests in a rescue sled after being injured in a climbing accident on Denali in spring 1954. (Photo courtesy of John DeLapp)

George Argus was responsible for bringing Heather and myself back to Canada from England. With some online research, I found that George died last Fall . Irwin Brodo and Erich Haber penned a wonderful tribute in the Canadian Field Naturalist.

From Wooldridge and East, Preface p.12.

We have tried to signpost a path which can lead the student, if he is so inclined, towards the full study of his heritage, the earth’s surface which he treads. And if he persevered along this path his journey will not prove unrewarding. For his effort will subject him to a discipline and yield him a philosophy.

Finally, from the Alaska Dispatch News November 19, 2022, by Ned Rozell ‘George Argus, a man of the mountains and its willows’.


Heather helps me clear the shelves. Edward adds his creative touch. To Mary Argus, fond memories of Ottawa.


S.W.Wooldridge and W. Gordon East, 1951, The Spirit and Purpose of Geography, Hutchinson University Library.

Irwin Brodo and Erich Haber, 2022, A Tribute to George William Argus: 1929-2022, The Canadian Field-Naturalist. Vol 136 No 3.

N. Rozell Nov 19, 2022, George Argus: a man of the mountains and its willows, Alaska Dispatch News.

Posted in biographical sketch

Geographers among us

This is the third blog in a sequence: authors, programmers and now geographers. As Edward noted, you can divide the community into a wide range of professions or businesses. An analogous example would be the inventory of assets in creating the successful creative rural economy of Prince Edward County, Ontario (see also previous blog posts “Landscape and Food“, “Rural Curriculum“, and “Joining the Dots“.

To test out the concept, Heather and I visited Kings County. At Grand Pre, we checked out Marcel Morin at Lost Art Cartography (see blog post “Spring Forward“).

We then went across to Canning, where we stopped for lunch at ArtCan Kitchen and Studios owned by Ron Hayes.

We had previously visited to see an exhibition of photography by Dick Groot. We went for the Art, but stayed for the excellent cuisine.

It occurs to me that we are fortunate to receive the Reader each week from Bridgetown. Imagine if we had maps each week showing us the location of different events, the Geographer (an excellent co-op project for a student at COGS to address a specific community member).

Returning to the concept of the creative rural economy, we can envisage maps ranging from historical geography (see, for example, “Historical GIS“, physical geography (climate, geomorphology, biogeography), economic geography, cultural geography. It could include canoe routes, hiking trails, bicycle rides. It would show land use: agriculture, forestry, mining.

COGS could help maintain a database of changes in the geography, as a set of layers. Indeed a geographic information system. This would enhance collaboration between this educational institution and the surrounding communities.


Edward was able to join the dots. Heather shared the road trip.

Posted in Opinion

Programmers among us

This week, I walked east along Highway #201 to Lawrencetown Lane (Brian Reid’s corner).

En route, I stopped to take note of the new NTMK

i sign, opposite Beaver Creek vineyards. NTMK is a software development/consulting company. They have purchased the River Bend Cranberry building. This was previously operated by Don Taylor. The pond is still there.

This caused me to reflect on the various software development, programming and consulting businesses in the Lawrencetown community of Annapolis County.

In Lawrencetown, Lynn and David Roscoe maintain their SKE Inc business. Brian Reid operates a health services software shop, BriTech Information Systems. Now we have NTMK.

If I go back to the 1980s, we delivered intensive programs at COGS in Scientific Computer Programming, Business Computer Programming, Computer Graphics and GIS programming. A number of key graduates/instructors remain in the County: Barry Mooney, Roger Mosher, David Colville, and Kevin Bauer; choosing to live in a rural community, and apply their programming/software design skills.

There is certainly room for these skills to be applied to ‘community economies’ (see Community Economies“).

Perhaps, it is also time for the NSCC (COGS) to reintroduce some of these intensive programs, in support of the surrounding rural communities.


Thanks to my earlier co-workers at COGS: Barry Mooney, Roger Mosher, and David Colville who still reside in the County. Heather shares country living. Edward adds his artistic touch.


SKE Inc., Lynn and David Roscoe

NTMK, Nathan Mackenzie.

BriTech Information Systems Inc., Brian Reid.

Posted in Event Review

Authors among us

Saturday morning, we headed down to the Annapolis Royal library to meet two local authors: Peter Wyman and David Wiseman.

For several weeks, I had been trying to purchase a copy of Crossing Thames by Wyman at the Endless Shores bookshop in Bridgetown (see blog post “Community Economies“).

From the book’s title, I and Sandra Barry wondered if there was any link to Helen Humphreys’ The Frozen Thames, about the river through history and all the times it froze over.

The venue was 11am – 2 pm. There was a small but well-informed audience, friends and neighbours.

It was structured into a couple of readings from Crossing Thames and Old Wrongs, plus a question and answer session on the writing process. Both authors had spent time in England and Nova Scotia. Both authors started writing for publication in their retirement years.

David Wiseman had an interest in genealogy which is reflected in his work. Peter Wyman has travelled in England, and Iceland and lived in Nova Scotia. This is reflected in the short stories.

As someone who has entered the world of ‘blogging’, their comments on the writing process were both revealing and interesting. I look forward to Crossing Thames. The level of historical detail intersects well with my personal knowledge of London’s geography.

It is intriguing to appreciate the ‘authors among us‘. This connects well with our ongoing planning for the Ernest Buckler Literary Event Society (EBLES) planned for July …

… with contributions from (images left to right) Whit Fraser, Elizabeth Hay, Ken Maher and Alan Syliboy. (Whit Fraser image from Boulder Books)

One of the delights is attention to detail. Crossing Thames is published in the same small book format. The covers are colour-coded. Crossing Thames is dark blue.

In Wyman’s words:
Crossing Thames takes the reader on a jaunt over the tidal waters of this Medieval river, where one becomes unfixed, suspended on a bridge between the seductive shadows of Southwark and the Puritan lights of London.’ P.87.

David Wiseman launched Old Wrongs, the third in the Lydia Silverstream mystery series.


Heather shares my literary interests. David Wiseman and Peter Wyman proved entertaining hosts at the book launch and Question/Answer session. Edward added the graphics to the blog.


Peter B. Wyman, 2022, Crossing Thames, Cardigan, Little and Crow Publishing.

David J. Wiseman, 2022, Old Wrongs, Askance Publishing.

Posted in biographical sketch

Community Economies

From Zita Cobb at Shorefast, I received an email describing ten years of the Fogo Island Inn. It included a link to Fogo Island’s Community Economy.

” At Shorefast, we are passionate about answering the question ‘How can we create an economy in service of nature and culture – in service of place?

For me, this raises the question, “What is the equivalent to Shorefast in the Annapolis Valley?”. Is it an apple ladder”? (see previous posts “Connecting Communities“, “World GIS Day“, and “Jane Jacobs Biography“)

In Kentville again this week, I picked up Edible Maritimes: The Land – the Sea – the People – the Food. No. 6 Spring 2023. As well as the Grapevine. Arts, Culture, Community, March 2023, Best of the Bunch.

On Wednesday evening, we went to Dawn Oman Art Gallery in Bridgetown.

Musique Royale presented the “Three For All” guitar trio featuring Daniel MacNeil, Scott Mac Milan, and Emma Rush. The March 3 Bridgetown Reader provides more details on the accomplishments of all three guitarists.

Edward Wedler volunteered to take over the Ernest Buckler Experiment (EBE) blog with his contribution Plein Air Paint-Out Map for 2023. Artists are far away as New Zealand and Australia have shared this map with their Facebook groups.

At the end of this week, I look forward to the Authors Among Us at the Annapolis Royal Library. Peter Wyman Will be introducing “Crossing Thames” and David Wiseman will launch “Old Wrongs” (see upcoming blog post).

Friday, I stopped at the Middleton Library. Heather had a medical appointment. I discovered Guy Joseph Ale “Buddha and Einstein Walk into a Bar: How new discoveries about mind, body, and energy can help increase your longevity“.

We will now transition to exploring the scientific and spiritual foundation of our ability to sense how long we can live, and later the practical daily application of this awareness that can help us to live our longest and healthiest lives ‘. P.39.


Bees Knees in Lawrencetown is now selling baked goods: sourdough bread, muffins and cookies. Excellent fare.


Reference to Edward and Zita Cobb reminded me of The Road to Georgetown, PEI in 2014. We attended a conference on Economic Development. Heather and Bodhi, our dog, were there too.


The Grapevine, March 2023, Best of the Bunch.

Edible Maritimes, Spring 2023, learning Curves.

Guy Joseph Ale, 2018, Buddha and Einstein Walk into a Bar, New Page Books.

Peter Wyman, 2022, Crossing Thames, Cardigan, Little and Crow.

DJ. Wiseman, 2016, The Death of Tommy Quick and other lies, Askance Publishing

Posted in biographical sketch

Road trip to New Glasgow

This weekend, we visited Heather’s Dad in New Glasgow.

While there, I finished Colm Toibin’s book (see previous post) and picked up Dan Leger’s biography of Stephen McNeil. From Toibin, I gained some insight into the role of religion in Irish culture. Perhaps from Leger, I will gain insight into the role of politics in rural Nova Scotia.

Having read Cronin’s book on Syliboy, I was interested to hear that he had presented a mural to Kings Edgehill School. Heather’s sister (Sandra) is the art teacher at KES. His visit seemed to be well received by both teachers and students.

The return trip to the Valley was idyllic on a blue sky Sunday afternoon. We took a circuitous route.

First, we visited Sandy and Don at their farm, outside of River John. We were surprised by the number of trees down from the Autumn storms. Our return took us through Denmark, Earltown to Truro. We stayed on Highway #102 until Exit #10, Indian Brook. We turned off to go through the Rawdon Hills and ended up at Windsor. From Windsor, Highway #101 to Lawrencetown/Paradise.

The roads were dry; blue skies; the landscape was covered in a fresh snowfall. Depending on the orientation of the road, and wind direction, there were occasional patches of snow on the highway. It was the type of day, where you wanted to make a movie of the landscape, dressed in white, in full sunlight. This is normally a three-hour drive.


Heather shared the road trip. We enjoyed Stewart’s hospitality in both New Glasgow and River John.

Edward added the graphics and links.


Dan Leger, 2022, Stephen McNeil: Principle and Politics, Nimbus Publishing.

Colm Toibin, 2023, Essays: A Guest at the Feast, McClelland and Stewart.

Posted in biographical sketch

Culture is our Medicine

This week, we were in Kentville to discuss financial matters.

We took the opportunity to stop at the Half Acre Cafe. I went across to Gaspereau Press to see what new books had been published recently.

As part of the Gaspereau Field Guides to Canadian artists by Ray Cronin, I found #7 Alan Syliboy Culture is our Medicine. Cronin writes an essay on Syliboy’s career. The field guide also includes seven plates, illustrating his work.

Meanwhile, I have been struggling to read Colm Toibin’s essays. In Part one, Toibin describes his experience growing up in Ireland. Part 2 concerns the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican and various Popes. The third Part includes essays on ‘Putting religion in its Place: Marilynne Robinson’. Right now, I am stuck in Part 2.

Wednesday, we gathered at Anne and Bill Crossman’s in Annapolis Royal. Roger Mosher and Keith Egger joined us from Centrelea. It was an opportunity to enjoy Chinese food, and to catch up on our respective lives in Paradise, Centrelea and Annapolis Royal.


To Anne and Bill for hosting the get together. Sandra Barry swapped the Colm Toibin essays. Heather, Roger and Keith shared the lunch. Edward, returning from Florida, added the graphics.


Ray Cronin, 2022, Alan Syliboy: Culture is our Medicine, #7 A Gaspereau Field Guide to Canadian Artists, Gaspereau Press.

ColmToibin, 2023, Essays: A Guest at the Feast, McClellan and.Stewart.

Posted in Book Review

Community Engagement

This week, we have started to reduce our book collection.

Two boxes were taken to the Endless Shores. This gives us a credit on future purchases. In response, I obtained The Blomidon Naturalist Society’s ‘A Natural History of Kings County’. This excellent text would provide a wonderful template for Annapolis County.

I had hoped to pick up Peter Wyman’s short story ‘Crossing Thames’. This will have to wait until March 11, when he will be launching the book at the Annapolis Royal Library (11am – 2pm).

Today, I made a book swap with Sandra Barry. Heather had two copies of Robie Tufts’ ‘Birds of Nova Scotia‘. Sandra had Colm Toibin’s essays ‘A Guest at the Feast’.

Saturday, we met with Rick and Cathy Ketcheson at the Green Elephant Cafe in Kingston. Unfortunately, the cafe was closed for the staff winter holiday. We headed to Middleton to Bistro 300. Again closed. We ended up at the Capitol Pub.

Later, that evening, I met with John Wightman. One of the many topics, was Walter Morrison, Cartographer Emeritus. Walter donated his historical map collection to the COGS library.

This raised the question of retired COGS faculty who continue to make a contribution to geographic sciences, and the community. This seems normal within the university culture. Not so much, at the Nova Scotia Community College. From CORAH , I noticed that Trish LeBlanc will be speaking on historic maps in Nova Scotia at COGS. (see below)

Organizing the bookshelves, within the framework of a future house move, is a harrowing task. Many of the texts have a context from earlier research, in Canada, as well as overseas.


Heather joined me in the challenge of reducing the number of text books from different disciplines and different geographies. Sandra Barry engaged in the book swap. John Wightman continues to exemplify Major Church’s dictum ‘Never retire’. Edward contributed the graphics and links.


Robie Tufts, 1986, Birds of Nova Scotia, Third Edition, Nimbus, Nova Scotia Museum.

Colm Toibin, 2023, A Guest at the Feast: Essays, McClelland and Stewart.

The Blomidon Field Naturalist Society, 1992, A Natural History of Kings County, Acadia University.

Trish LeBlanc, Antique Maps of Nova Scotia, March 14 1-2 pm, NSCC COGS campus.

Posted in Book Review, Creative writing

Community Development

This week, I visited Integrity Printing in Bridgetown to pick up Volume 7 (2022) hard copy of my blog texts. This allows me to visit previous years’ work.

For example, under GoGeomatics for February/March:

Under the Ernest Blair Experiment:

Reading Jim Lotz, the Lichen Factor, he describes a number of community development projects including the Prince Edward Island Ark (John Todd) and L’Arche ( Jean Vanier).

Lotz quotes Vanier, Community and Growth 1979 (p.199)

People can only put down roots in a community when that meets their deep and secret desire and their choice is free – because putting down roots, like any commitment implies a certain death. We can only welcome this death if there is a call for a new life that yearns to grow.

Our orchids at home tended by Heather


Jim Lotz, 1998, The Lichen Factor: The Quest for Community Development in Canada, UCCB Press.

Jean Vanier, 1979, Community and Growth: Our Pilgrimage Together, Griffith House, p70.


Heather has been tending these orchids in the bathroom window for several years. Edward has added the graphics and links.

Posted in biographical sketch

Buddha Spring

A few years ago, Heather placed Buddha on her meditation rock, on the slope behind the house.

Over time, he has developed a coat of moss and lichens. Today, in near celebration of Spring (ten degree temperatures) we paid him a visit. Does he still wear the same species?

Yesterday, we made our walking circuit to the Annapolis River. Starting at Lunn’s Mill you can walk through the Lawrencetown Tree Nursery to the river. We returned via the neighbours property (previously belonging to Andrew) and the Hunter orchard.

Later in the day, I wanted to show Heather the low tides on the Bay of Fundy. Walking along Hampton beach, I am always overwhelmed by the variety of size and colour of the beach pebbles.

(“Blue Barrels of Hampton” watercolour by Edward)

Last Fall, we did not prune the hydrangea flower heads (I was in the hospital). Today, with the warm temperatures, it was time to catch up, and fill the ‘green bin’.

This week, we are planning to reduce the number of books on the shelf. There are several that I picked up, but do not remember reading.


Isabella Tree, 2018, Wilding: the return of nature to a British farm, Picador. (see post Rewilding the Annapolis Valley)

Peter Wohllenben, 2021, The Heartbeat of Trees: embracing an ancient bond with forests and nature, Greystone.


Heather rediscovered Buddha in the woods. Edward added the graphics.


I have returned The Road Here to the Library.

For your “Winter enjoyment”, here is a link to “Anne & Edward Wedler Fine Art Newsletter XXXIII