Monday, July 25, 2011

a better summer beach

Summer days are long and the computer box gets very warm in my lap - a condition I'm sure is no good for either of us. My preferred pool is about 30 miles away at a place called Crystal Crescent Provincial Park where we wandered to one Sunday morning quite recently. The funny thing is that we drove and drove going from one small road to another through charming unspoiled landscapes and seaside villages only to find ourselves on a narrow winding track that was paved by gravel. Sure that we'd found a secret getaway, since there'd been nobody in front of or behind us for miles, we were startled to find about a thousand cars in the first big parking lot with more stopped by the ditches. We traveled onwards and found a second lot a few hundred yards further along where the road simply ended. We got out and started walking to see sights like these. I'd decided not to take my camera because I wanted to play in the water but was sorry not to have it once we arrived so I 'borrowed' these. Scale is hard to show without references but there's more white sand than you can see here and the granite bedrock is colossal. If CR, Marja-Leena, or Randal reads this please note the area is in serious need of good photographers.

Happily we'd already passed the busiest beach so walking through the surf was pretty much as you'd imagine. The water may have been icy but it felt delicious and the sand was only littered by more sand and a few deceased crustaceans. I should mention the seagulls were some of the biggest and most contented looking I've seen.

We climbed the gorse covered slopes and along the granite outcrops that overlook the sea and sat for a while just watching and listening. I loved it but next time we go it will not be on a bright and sunny weekend day. Strangely enough, every little beach we've seen around here has lifeguards on duty but Crystal Crescent has none. Perhaps it's because the water is too cold for swimming 11.5 months of the year. The park is huge, much larger than expected, so next time we go we'll be prepared for a long hike around the perimeter.

One thing I didn't mention is there's a nudist beach further along the shore that we didn't hike to but I did see their list of rules:
'No walking to and from your car without clothing'
'No taking of photographs'
'Keep a respectful distance from other naturists'

Still being occasionally infantile, despite our advanced age, we couldn't help but make up more rules on the way back to the car. Every time I fell over laughing I found a few wild raspberries. Life is good.

Meanwhile, here at home a few days ago I went off looking for one thing and found something even better. Overtime is an amazing piece of work that I hope you'll enjoy as much as I did. All I know about it is that Oury Atlan is a French CGI specialist who currently lives and works in LA. I have a feeling Jim Henson would be touched by this film.

Overtime from ouryatlan on Vimeo.

I hope your favorite beach is closer.


  1. That is a fantastic beach, and such amazing rocks with those tiny people on them. I'd have kicked myself for days if I'd not had the camera! Glad you found it and had such pleasure, even at the expense of the naturists. (North Americans are rather funny about that, unlike Europeans.) Thanks for that fab video, I'd not seen that one.

  2. i could SO hang out on that beach.... N AB not best known for beaches. lots of rivers and a few nice-ish lakes, but beaches....? sigh. in my dreams. i loved the puppets. i very nearly ran away to join the muppets many years ago. had a letter written to Jim Henson and everything. some 'sensible' fool talked me out of it. i'll regret that forever. life's a beach - enjoy!!!

  3. I liked the winter beach; but it would have been improved with frogs in parkers and mukluks.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  4. marja-leena - The PNW is magnificent and I know there are lots of beautiful beaches to explore but the funny thing around here is you don't need to drive very far from Halifax to be out in the wilds. You would love a photography holiday here with many better subjects than people - clothed or not.

    gfid - I know you'd enjoy hanging out around here even if just for a little while. When my son was very young we had a friend whose brother was part of the Muppet crew. On his 5th birthday Benj got a big envelope from NY that when opened was filled with bright yellow feathers.

    ol'buzzard - You've just given me an idea for a painting :-)

  5. If I ever come across a good photographer, I'll send him or her up, though I'm tempted to make the trip myself & not because of the naturalists, most of whom probably resemble yours truly. Shudder.

    Now I want to see Oury's take on Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Tenderly!

  6. What a beautiful beach! We were on the wrong coast for white sand beaches on our visits to Nova Scotia.

    The nude beach sounds so tempting. There is nothing like swimming and sunning completely unencumbered.

  7. randal - I think you'd enjoy a visit even without a camera in hand. It's kind of remarkable being in a place even wilder than the coast of Maine.

    I'm glad you enjoyed OverTime - much more relaxing than the football kind.

    gina - The white sand that forms from the granite particles mostly gets washed away by the tides making Crystal Crescent a rare beach in Nova Scotia.

    I haven't done much nude swimming since those bygone teenage days when I'd tie my bathing suit to one of our dock's support posts late at night. I used to love swimming under starlight.

  8. I'm dying here. Such an amazing sea-scape could keep me busy for a year - I'm so glad you got to enjoy it. :)

    And what a cool short - very thought provoking!

  9. What a wonderful get-a-way for you to find. How lucky you are! I would love to go to the beach and pal around. No great beaches around here unfortunately--just chlorine clogged swimming pools and lots of beached whales impersonating as humans :)

  10. Beautiful beach, wonderful photos. I wish my favorite beach(es) were closer too..Cape Cod and Maui...both too far!!

  11. cr - It's surprised me that there aren't so many pictures of this area online. The landscape cries out for photographers of your caliber.

    liberality - It's a 45 minute drive to get there but well worth the time. I know you'd really enjoy it particularly because there are no beached whales of either variety. I hope you're well.

    mauigirl - This one's a bit more like Cape Cod than Maui but even more remote. You'd like it for sure. Glad you dropped by :-)

  12. How beautiful. Next time you go, I hope you'll take your camera.

  13. Next time I go I may just forget my clothes.

  14. lovely beach, sounds a bit chilly for being without clothes... good little video but sad.

  15. Loved that video, I've never heard of it before...which is why I visit your blog, always something new to see!

    Something tells me that Randal would manage to find a way to smuggle a camera onto a nude beach.

    Sounds like you're really enjoying your summer, good to hear!

  16. claire - At least for part of the year the beach is warm enough for sunbathing but I don't think the water ever warms much. Yes, the video was beautifully done and poignant too.

    mary ellen - Sometimes I search for amusement and when I find something worthwhile I must share.

    Most people look better in bathing suits. Some look better in overcoats.