Real winters here start around December with lots of lovely deep snow until April. Perfect for snowmobiling. Advice:
- Tip 1: pick a vacation home that’s near to the road. The further you are away from it, the more snow you’ll have to shovel.
- Tip 2: order your logs in early, like June.
- Tip 3: make sure that your chimney and fire are swept at the same time.
- Tip 4: fit snow tyres on the car by October (the store will have run out by then).
- Tip 5: buy a snow blower! The Municipality (Council) do an excellent job of ploughing the roads, both regular and dirt, but you’ll need to keep your driveway clear and the wife tires easily using a shovel, so treat her to one of these. Then you can sit in the warm encouraging her through the window ….
At the beginning of May, everything starts warming up, but the weather is peculiar in as much as one minute it’s snowing, then that clears and it’s hot and sunny, then it rains all in a day. Scotians seem to have come to terms with it, and just plod on. Having monitored the UK, the climate here is better.
Summers can get pretty hot – over 100°F (40°C) – and the weather is good through until November.
The bug season (June till mid-August) comes in waves of different insect types, little to big, no problem to vicious. Avoid grassland trips during June till the end of August, as there are nasty little sods called ticks. These burrow into your flesh and can only be removed by spreading Vaseline over their butt ends through which they breathe. When they come up for air, you’ve got them. They were introduced to Nova Scotia on the backs of hunting dogs brought in by Americans via the Yarmouth Ferry, and are gradually working their way up the Province. Watch out for horseflies in the forest and mosquitoes near water. All houses are fitted with fly screens, which are a saviour.
For us, this has been the biggest treat of all. Although not yet encountering wild bear or moose, we have seen deer, beaver, racoons, wolves, eagles and are visited daily by squirrels, chipmunks, nuthatches and chickadees that hand feed, plus a multitude of small creatures and a wide variety of birds. There’s also wildlife parks where you can feed the moose or see those elusive animals up close.
Our solid recommendation is that you take time out to explore Nova Scotia. Best time is early spring, or autumn (fall), when nature’s display is just simply breathtaking. The air is pure, the sense of freedom and space overwhelming. We’ve taken the opportunity to establish our little base here, explore the Province fully, nip over to the States on sorties, pop over to Iceland (awesome) and shuttle backwards and forwards to the UK and mainland Europe. It really has been all we’ve expected to date and we’re still on our Big Adventure. You too can step off the treadmill and do the same!
© 2002 Klondike Pete