Dutch Mason Blues Festival 2012

Dutch Mason, 1986, Photo by Louis Siegal, from the Canadian Encyclopedia

When I first moved to Nova Scotia I was blown away by the richness and variety of the culture in this province.  I seldom missed an opportunity to see the Dutch Mason Blues Band.

Dutch played in rock and roll and rockabilly bands in Nova Scotia in the 50’s.  By the 70’s he had found his passion and performed in several blues bands.  During the late 70’s and 80’s he toured Canada developing a growing reputation for his tough urban blues style.   He was dubbed the Prime Minister of the Blues by BB King.  Dutch passed away in Dec 2006.  His son Garrett Mason is thrilling blues audiences from coast to coast these days.

Last night we attended the first night of the 8th Annual Dutch Mason Blues Festival in Truro, Nova Scotia.  As always it was a great experience.

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the RealLukas Nelson and Promise of the Real.  Lukas’ voice is similar to his father’s, but he has found his own style.

Lukas Nelson, Dutch Mason Blues FestivalLukas Nelson

Georgia Satellites, Dutch Mason Blues FestivalGeorgia Satellites.

The Sheepdogs, Dutch Mason Blues Festival Canada’s own Sheepdogs from Saskatoon.  The Sheepdogs won three Juno awards for Rock Album of the Year, Best New Group and Single of the Year.  They will be performing again in Nova Scotia in September.  Check them out if you get the chance.

SheepdogsTonight Charlie A’Court, James Cotton and Darrell Nulisch, the John Oates Band and Delbert McClinton hit the stage with an after hours Jam featuring Joe Murphy, Garrett Mason, the Dutch Mason Blues Band and special guests.  The music continues  Sunday until 7:30 pm.

Kudos to the people who put on this well organized event!

For more information go to:  http://www.dutchmason.com


Weekly Photo Challenge: Wrong

Swans, Red Light District:  AmsterdamSwans in the canal in the Red Light District of Amsterdam.

Swans, Red Light District AmsterdamFlood Platforms, St Marks Square VeniceThis is St Marks Square in Venice.  The risers are put up when the tide comes in and floods the square.  It saves the tourists from getting their feet wet.  I thought it was a kindness to put up the risers but found it wrong-looking just the same.  I didn’t climb on board.

St Marks Square, VeniceSt Marks Square again.  This is just wrong.  The advertisements cover the work that is being done to repair the buildings.

A new pet

I haven’t been doing well at filling my blog with tales and pictures of my travels.  I look forward to the weekly photo challenge on Fridays to add new posts to the blog.  (Any ‘comments’ and ‘likes’ I get act like a drug encouraging me to keep at it-thank you all so much!)

For the past few months my focus has been much closer to home.  I have a new puppy!

This is Koopa, the momma of 9 healthy english bulldog puppies which were delivered by C-section (a common procedure for bull dogs).  We were told not to leave the puppies unattended with the mother, so kept them warm in a box when she wasn’t feeding them.    When Koopa was feeling better she was a wonderful mother and wanted to have access to her puppies all the time.  In this picture the puppies are making noises in the tote where she is resting her head.

This is our new puppy, Princess Peach.  Many dogs in our family have been named after characters in the Super Mario game.  I think a full grown english bulldog snorting and snoring answering to ‘Peaches’ will be somewhat comical.

She already shows an aptitude and interest in gardening.

Her best buddy is her brother Bowser.  She is able to play with him every few days.  On this day they found mud and after a bath needed to be wrapped in a blanket to warm up.

Vacationing Close to Home

For our 29th Anniversary we decided to take a few days and be tourists around Moncton, New Brunswick which is a little over 2 hours away.

Our first day in Moncton we tried out Magnetic Hill.  Magnetic Hill is a place where the layout of the surrounding land produces the optical illusion that a very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope. It was well worth the visit, although if many cars were testing the hill it could be a bit dangerous.  We were there after the park was closed so didn’t pay a fee to get in.  Cars are directed to drive down the hill on the right side of the road, stopping at the white post.  Pull the car over to the left side of the road and put the car in neutral.  The cars seem to roll up the hill backwards.  We watched lots of people turn their cars around and try to go up the hill forwards-I don’t think that was working.  Some people did not have very good steering skills rolling backwards.  It was fun watching other drivers figure out the hill.

Magnetic Hill.  The white car backing up the hill is doing it correctly.  The two cars going forward up the hill in the left lane are not.

We visited Hopewell Rocks.  It is about 40 klm or 40 min from Moncton along the Fundy Coastal Drive.  The entrance fee was 9.00 per person and this was valid for two consecutive days, so visitors could visit during high and low tides.  There are well groomed walking trails to observation decks and trails to the ocean floor.   It is safe to walk on the ocean floor three hours before and three hours after low tide.  We arrived at about three hours before low tide and were able to watch the tide go out.  There are also restaurants, playgrounds, boot wash and sea kayaking located at the Hopewell Rocks.

The tide is starting to go out here.

The tide is almost all the way out here.  For the most part the beach was rocky, but as the tide went out there was more mud.   Many people made use of the boot washing area.  If you go make sure you wear appropriate footwear.

Further along the drive we stopped at Cape Enrage on the Chignecto Bay, one of the Marine Wonders of the World.  The tides rise as much as 53 feet over a 12 hour period twice daily.  Admission is about 5.00 per person.  The site has a lighthouse, fog horn and hiking trails as well as a tremendous view from the top of the cliff.  The beach is reached from a set of stairs that descend 99 feet.  Visitors are warned not to linger near the foot of the cliffs as there is a constant danger of rock falls and to be sure to know the tide schedule.  Departure from the beach is only possible by the stairs.  The beach was made up of smooth flat rocks that made interesting clacking noises when they shifted while walking on them.  It was quiet walking on the beach so the noise of the clacking rocks was all you could hear.  Right before you get to the site there is a nice rock beach for swimming.  The site also offered a restaurant, rappelling, rock climbing and a zip line.

Cape Enrage.  You would not want to mistake the time for high tide.

The rocky beach of Cape Enrage.

We had stayed at the Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown before and really enjoyed the experience.  We were looking forward to another great visit and were not disappointed.

We ate at the Tajmahal restaurant in Downtown Moncton.  The food and service were great.  On our anniversary we ate at Little Louis’ on Collishaw St.  The restaurant had received good reviews, but I found the menu did not offer many options and the meal was expensive for what we had.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Growth

It is amazing to see the capacity the natural world has for growth.  Trees and plants send down roots and grow in the most surprising places.

These trees are growing on the Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick Canada,  Twice a day the tides rise to great heights, as they recede they take some of the rock and soil with them.

This is how they grow grapes on the Greek island of Santorini.

The roots of these trees climb down the hill and sustain small shrubs on this beach side hill in Santorini.

These unusual trees grow at the University of Havana

Weekly Photo Challenge: Purple

Purple is one of my favorite colours.  I have many purple flowers in my garden.



At a square in Nice, near the waterfront,  I noticed a series of plastic men perched atop high poles and wondered why plastic was used for them.  In the evening when we walked by again the men were lit up with colours that kept changing.  It was a pretty neat effect.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

When traveling what we often see is the outside of buildings.  We walked by this impressive building several times, before we decided to go inside and see what it contained.

It was the Army Museum and

Napoleon’s Tomb.

We were amazed at what we found inside.

There were rooms filled with armour.  There was even armour for children and horses, which must have been hot and heavy to wear.

Napoleon’s Tomb under the dome was beautiful.

An army museum is not something I would venture into normally, especially when there are so many art museums to visit in Paris. This museum was well worth going inside.  For more information on the museum visit their web site at:  http://www.invalides.org.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Close

Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia.  (Overlander Falls I think.)   These falls were a short hike in from the parking lot.  A group of kayakers arrived at the top of the falls.  We waited to see what they would do next.  I snapped some photos of close calls with the rapids.