Discovering Winter header


Winter Resource Directory Last updated December 12, 2006
(Dec 1995) Nova Scotia beds down gradually for the winter, in stages. A little fog, a little rain. And slowly pulled over us, from north to south, a fluffy white blanket. TONY SEED, Shunpiking Magazine

(Dec 1995) Tour the Cabot Trail in Winter? It's more spectacular than in the summer, much less travelled and the view is simply humungous. I know. TONY SEED
Winter Carnivals, Games and Festive Feasts trailsNSlogo.gif

Winter, more than any other season, reveals the character of life in its various forms. How other life forms -- animals and plants -- endure and survive this, the severest of seasons. Shunpiking asked scientists to elaborate on how living things, from plants to mammals, have adapted to the extremes of winter in the Maritimes.

Mammals have one of three strategies for making it through the cold weather-migrate, hibernate or tolerate. KEITH JENSEN and ANDREW HEBDA

The amphibians and reptiles in Maritimes Canada use a phenomenal number of overwintering strategies to survive to the next breeding season in the spring. STEPHEN C. FRIET

How do fish survive? They use two main strategies to cope with the winter. MARTHA KROHN

Insects survive the winter using one of tow strategies: dormant or active overwintering. RANDY LAUFF

Do they simply endure the winter, end of story? Not quite. ANDREW SIMONS

(Dec 1995) Winter may be the best time to start nature watching. There are less birds but enough to challenge the beginner without the camouflage of summer and autumn woods. DEBRA BURLESON, Shunpiking Magazine

"The improved public perception of Bald Eagles and their kin is probably the single most important factor contributing to their recovery." REBECCA FLEMING

New understandings about this fearless bird of myth. DAVID LAWLEY

Remember the one basic rule of thumb when selecting a Christmas tree... they always look shorter outdoors! MICHAEL ERNST

The sweet scent of Nova Scotia's Christmas trees
(Dec 1995) Why does Nova Scotia have such great Christmas Trees? Why could Lunenburg County declare itself Forestry Capital of The World in 1996? And why are communities as diverse as New Ross, Musquodoboit Harbour and Tatamagouche staging festivals and harvests of trees during the last weekend of November? How did this all come about? PAUL BURKE

Life to flight
(Feb-Mar 2000) The miracle of birth in the Annapolis Valley. John Webb's rare photography of eaglets from birth to flight.


(Mar 1996) The hows, whys and even politics of snow creation. "The identity of Nova Scotia's snows, in this sense, is closely tied to the most intriguing, and violent, of our winter storms: our low-pressure systems." DAVID REDWOOD, Shunpiking Magazine

(Feb-Mar 2000) Come to northern Cape Breton in the winter or spring to fully experience the suÍte. A visit in the summer with warm Continental winds blowing from the west may leave you skeptical of the many suÍte stories that almost every resident will tell.

Forest in the Sky
Ivan Semeniuk, Feb/March 1996 Vol.1 No.2

Why do meteorologists say it's -10 with a wind chill factor that will make it feel more like -18? Why don't they just say it's -18? JOHN BOWMAN, CBC

(Dec 1996) Most of us in the northern hemisphere are so used to ice that we can (and do) pass through a whole winter barely giving the ice of our environs a second thought. Unless we have to ...CHRISTINE JEFFERS

Mammals have one of three strategies for making it through the cold weather-migrate, hibernate or tolerate. KEITH JENSEN and ANDREW HEBDA

Will you be heading out on the ice this winter? When you're out on the ice for any reason, preparedness is your key to avoiding calamity -- and can also be your key to survival.
It doesn't seem to be commonly known that lakes, ponds and rivers can develop two distinct kinds of ice
If there is anyway to convince you to go out on the ice more prepared, reading the following sequence may be all you need.

There is truly no safe condition for driving larger vehicles on ice. If you insist, be aware of these facts:
In the days before so many over the counter drugs became available, people used to treat all sorts of minor ailments with whatever they had around the house.
(Dec 1996) How relative is an Ice Age? How is an iceberg formed? Why does salt melt ice? Why do skates slide so easily on ice? CHRISTINE JEFFERS, Shunpiking Magazine

(Dec 2002) "On January 27th, 1874, myself and Placide Boudreau left around six o'clock in the morning. We were going seal hunting on the ice off the western point of Cheticamp Island. Along the way, we met up with Hypolite LeFort who was also going hunting on the ice. He was very pleased to join up with us. We got on the ice around seven o'clock in the morning. In those days, we did as our ancestors, we only carried a wooden stick and a rope for protection." A remarkable tale, re-told by ROSIE AUCOIN GRACE.


(Dec 2000) The ferry, though, is the life blood of the Island. It is the umbilical cord which ensures, at this point in time at least, the survival of the Island. GARY KNOWLES

(Dec 2000) It's two am on Christmas Eve day, forty years ago, as we drive towards Whitney Pier. Nearly everyone in Sydney is sound asleep. Only two of the stacks from the steel plant are operating. Clouds of red iron ore dust mix with the newly falling snow, to paint a rosy hue over the bright December moon. PAUL MACDOUGALL

(Dec 2000) Celebrating Christmas in a simpler time. CONNIE CROSSLEY

(Dec 2000) Icelanders still cling to their pre-Christian beliefs. Which is why you'd better beware the Yuletide Lads. BY CLEO PASKAL

(Dec 2000) "I can't cut this damned turkey. It's all falling apart. How the hell long was it in the oven anyway? And the gravy's no bloody good. I can't make gravy like your father." BY ARIEL

Many of us fail to eat the leafy vegetables we need most in the winter. LARRY SESSIONS


(Dec 1996) Despite the many delights of winter, we are sometimes hesitant to get out and enjoy it. Chilly air, blowing snow, freezing rain, and gusting winds may deter us. But unless conditions are extreme, we can be quite comfortable outside and proper clothing makes all the difference. SHEENA MASSON, Shunpiking Magazine

Seasonal Affective Disorder - mood disorder that goes beyond simple winter blahs.

(2000) Knowledge of causes, assessment and treatment of cold injuries is an essential component of wilderness medicine. Tod Schimelpfenig and Linda Lindsey, National Outdoor Leadership School

Prevention, symptions, treatment. DIRK SCHROEDER, ScD, MPH, Moon Travel

Outdoor action guide to hypothermia and cold weather injuries.
Traveling in cold weather conditions can be life threatening. The information provided here is designed for educational use only and is not a substitute for specific training or experience. RICK CURTIS

In Canada in winter the first element of survival is a warm place to live. And for most of us, our warm home depends on the power company's electricity flowing into our homes. PETER ZIMMER

Safe and sound in the outdoors
Review of Godron Snow's Safe and Sound: How Not to Get Lost in the Woods and How to Survive If You Do. TED SCRUTTON


(Feb-Mar 2000) Jean Timmons explores the island's Great Northern Peninsula. "I had wanted to experience Newfoundland's winter... Instead my discovery had been through its people: their stories, their dreams of success, of a better future and not least; their sense of humour."

(January, 2002) It's the home ice advantage. How to build your own outdoor rink, and get active in winter -- Go for Green's "Winter Green" program.

(Dec 2004) If winter brings to mind long months trapped indoors waiting for the snow to end, you may want to become a "snowbird" of a different sort. DEBBIE MARTELL

(Jan 2002) Why, is the reasonable question people ask. Why would you choose to go "tenting" in weather like this? When I reply that we are not actually using tents, and plan to make shelters from birch poles and plastic sheeting, the discussion ends with a shake of the head and silence. PETER MCKEY

(Feb-Mar 1998) In the evolution of the species known as hockey players, those indoor patches of brine-cooled, milky-white, Zambonied ice have spawned some very good athletes. But the truly great ones arise from the dense, black freeze of the neighbourhood skating pond, where weekend duffers and future stars happily collide. Essay by CHARLES MCGRATH, Images by HENRY RIPPLINGER

A largely overlooked winter activity; "four long and powerful legs can get you just about anywhere. " LINE GOGUEN

A 'shunpiker's dream come true' hidden on the largest hillsides at St. Anne's Harbour. It's called "The Tuonela Trail." DAVID LAWLEY

Paul Burke Feb/March 1996 Vol.1 No.2

(April 2004) After only about a hundred years, women's hockey is finally getting some respect. JOE CLARK

(April 2004) Buying Maple Syrup, Sugar Party? Where to go?

(1996) Mmm... April may be called Nova Scotia's fifth season. In defence of the real thing. Cooking with maple syrup. Ilse's sugaring off. Shunpiking

Climbing is enjoying a new peak in popularity in Nova Scotia. There's lots of free places to set up your ropes. By Paul MacDougall Dec/Jan 1999 Vol.3 No.6

(Feb/Mar 1999) Imagine a place in Nova Scotia where you can look around and see four provinces. SEAN DROHAN and Scott Kerr summit White Hill.

Ploughed twice a day by the tides, with low tide the best time for taking your walk
Diving under the pack ice of the Gulf of St, Lawrence off Prince Edward Island. Photo Essay by BOB SEMPLE

  Copyright © 2004, The New Media Services Inc. The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of shunpiking magazine or New Media Publications.