Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Peggys Cove ~ Quintessential Nova Scotia

Last summer my sister Barb and I 
hit the road together in Nova Scotia.

One of our stops was the perfect spot
for we two geologists to scramble
over the Great Nova Scotia Batholith!

Okay.  Okay.
I admit it!
Most people go there to see
what is perhaps the most photographed
lighthouse in the world.

Peggys Point Lighthouse
aka Peggys Cove Lighthouse
Nova Scotia, Canada

Tourists from all over the world
head southwest out of Halifax 
and travel 26 miles or 43 kilometers
to reach the fishing village of Peggys Cove
where the lighthouse was established in 1868.

Van Taxi tours of Nova Scotia Canada
Taxi van tours of Peggys Cove and to the Bay of Fundy and Halifax Nova Scotia

Peggys Cove is a tiny community 
located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay.

Barb and I have been there a number of times,
because we love climbing all over 
the gorgeous, coarse-grained, 
greyish-white granite exposed
along the southern coast of the province. 

Barb on Granite

We're not the only ones who love to do this!

Great Nova Scotia Batholith
Peggy's Cove

A word of caution though.
Running around on the rocks is hazardous,
especially if they are wet and slippery.

It's never a good idea to turn your back on the ocean, 
because unexpected and large waves
can wash you right off those enticing rocks.

Perhaps this tourist didn't read the sign.

Peggys Cove is most likely named 
after St. Margarets Bay 
which the famous French explorer
Samuel de Champlain 
named after his mother Marguerite
(Peggy is a common nickname for Margaret).

But popular legend attributes the name of the village
to the sole survivor of a shipwreck 
at nearby Halibut Rock in the late 1700s.
She married a resident of the cove in 1800
and became known locally as Peggy of the Cove.
Eventually the village became known
as Peggys Cove.

Scrambling over hot rocks
can work up an appetite and a thirst,
so many tourists stop at a popular restaurant
for a welcome break ~
Lots of tourists,
including tourists on tour buses.

Sou-Wester Gift & Restaurant
Peggys Cove

Today tourism is the economic mainstay of the community,
but some residents still fish for lobster
as others did during the past two centuries.

Lobster Traps

Fishing Sheds


The granite that Barb and I love to explore
formed during the Devonian some 370 million years ago.
Massive crustal plates collided 
and generated enough heat to melt rocks 
at the base of the Earth's crust.
This molten material forced its way upward
until it slowly cooled and solidified into 
a coarse mixture of quartz, 
feldspar, muscovite and biotite:  
the granite underlying the Peggys Cove area.

Fundy Blue on Granite

It's fun to wander around Peggys Cove
and see the boats, wharves, sheds,
and equipment used by the fishermen.

Weathered Lobster Traps

The most recent geological event 
that shaped the landscape in the area
occurred between 10,000 and 70,000 years ago.
An ice sheet several kilometers thick
covered most of Nova Scotia.
Rocks at the bottom of the moving ice
scraped and gouged the granite bedrock
and plucked out huge boulders and rocks.
When the glaciers retreated,
they left these boulders and rocks,
known as erratics, behind.

An Erratic Against an Erratic

The rugged and beautiful rocky coastline
in the vicinity of Peggys Cove
contains bogs, inland ponds, and barrens.

In 1962, the Province of Nova Scotia passed
the Peggys Cove Commission Act,
establishing a preservation area and 
prohibiting development in and around the village.

I can't wait to go back again!

Maybe one day 
you will be able to visit 
this special place too!

Nova Scotia Webcams has a webcam
located overlooking the lighthouse. 


  1. Gadzooks, that's beautiful. Save that yellow house for me.


    1. Thanks, Janie! That yellow house is definitely Nova Scotian architecture, and I would love it too. Although it has been quite bleak along that coastline in recent weeks with all the winter storms slamming the province. Have a good one!

  2. I've been to Peggy's Cove a couple of times over the years. It's truly magnificent! The first time I went, I remember being absolutely stunned at the sight of all those huge rocks which are so bare, vast and unlike any rock surface on the prairies. I had just assumed the famous lighthouse would be on some kind of grassy escarpment, I guess. And I've eaten at the Sou'wester too, LOL!

    1. Awesome, Debra! There is something magnificent about granite batholiths. Yosemite certainly must be the iconic location; it's part of the Sierra Nevada Batholith. But the granite rocks in Peggys Cove are so much more approachable. They welcome you! Barb and I made it into the Sou'wester just ahead of a gigantic tour bus disgorging its tourists. Not that Barb and I weren't tourists too! I watched in amazement as the staff handled that huge influx of diners ~ They had it down to a science. I had the best fish cakes, beans, and gingerbread! I was so longing for another taste of down-home, especially after the fabulous fish chowder and berry crisp Ron and Jim made for us the day before! Have a good one, Debra!

    2. I can vouch for that Louise ~~ wants some more!!

  3. Wonderful photos. Very glad to learn of Peggys Cove Commission Act, and that Nova Scotia has not taken this natural treasure for granite --I mean granted.

    1. You are so funny, Geo! Thanks for your kind words!

  4. Nova Scotia is on my " Really want to visit" list, but your photos and words today have taken me on a trip round Peggy's Cove and so much more. A lovely series of photos, showing so much more than any commercial tourism site would, personal and with your words, a perfect outing for me. And, guess what , we actually get to see you there too.

    1. Your lovely comment made my day, Nancy! I hope all is well with you in your beautiful country which I long to visit!

  5. I really like that yellow beach house!
    I would enjoy climbing over the Granite too. looks like a nice place to visit

    1. It's fabulous, Dawna. You've been on my mind a lot because I'm reading "Little Bee" by Chris Cleave. One of the two main characters has arrived in London as an illegal immigrant after horrific experiences in her home country of Nigeria. Not that you went through this, but you've been giving me much needed insight into the African diaspora and the perspective of British and Caribbean blacks. Actually, you've shown me a lot of the joy Africans manage to experience despite the chaos and economic exploitation plaguing the continent. Have a good one!

  6. Thank you so much for the visit to Peggy's Cove. That was just what I needed this cold and frosty morning. I felt like I had been on a vacation. The topography is so different from the forest area where I live. Your pictures are so nice and I felt like you were a tour guide for the area. And so nice that you could share that with your sister.

    1. Thanks, Peggy! You and other blogging friends have left such heartwarming comments for me this morning. You lift my spirits! Your forested Pennsylvanian hills are magnificent, but I love wide open spaces even more. Especially when I have bare rock I can run around on. But that's the geologist in me!
      I think you and I are most fortunate in our sisters! I would go on a road trip, any kind of trip, with Donnie, Barb, and Bertie. Stay warm and safe! Give cute little Sadie a favorite scratch for me!

  7. Spectacular! From coast to coast, Canada has so much to offer. Thanks for the tour and all the information, Louise! Loved it.

    1. Thanks, Martha! I always struggle with how much information to put in a post, so it's good to know that you enjoyed it. I never want to stop learning, and I know that you don't want to either! Have a great day!

  8. haha well that helps me. I'm 40 minutes away and have never been there, now I don't need to as you showed me all. Hmmm that works, right? lol

    1. You crack me up every day, Pat! You need to get out of that incredible imagination of yours and go run on those rocks! Take Orlin and Cassie with you! Now that I'd like to see! But then I'd have to be listening carefully and looking around warily because of all the strange and scary characters than accompany you ~ like seventies, zombies, and the Grammar Nazi! LOL!

  9. I have friends who are native Australians and they have a place in Nova Scotia. They go there for months out of the year. Now I see why. Fishing Sheds was my fave pic.

    1. Thanks, Susie! That red shed on its little cove must be photographed almost as much as the lighthouse. It is an icon! My extended family, which lives all over the world, loves to spend summer in Nova Scotia too. I wish I could get more time there! I hope that your week finishes out well!

  10. Some amazing shots! You're right, even the rocks are fascinating.
    And you both look good on granite. That's a plus.

    1. Thanks, Alex! My favorite fashion accessory has always been rocks! Have a good one, my friend!

  11. Beautiful place and the pictures are beautiful. I like the one with the tourist who appeared as though he didn't read the warning, but I love the one where I see your reflection in the water.

    1. Thank you, Peaches! It is one gorgeous spot! Have a good one!

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks, Jackiesue! I wanna go back!!!! Take care!

  13. Louise ~ this is so thorough and just about says it all.

    Peggy's Cove is and has been our refuge any season when we needed a long or short breather from the city. I have discovered a few trails over the years which I think need to be retraced again, perhaps this summer since my legs are back in commission now.

    With the changes in parking etc we decided viewing the monolith was interesting from the far western side around the bay inlet. Sophie loves it so much! Safer for her too.There is a huge pond for her to swim in and lots of rocks of course and cranberry bogs. YAY!

    Thanks for all of this and if and when you pass through and if you have time ~ Peggy's Cove ~ LET'S GO !!


    1. Let's do it, Ron! I remember your posts on the other side of the inlet very well. And Sophie does not need to fall off those treacherous rocks near the lighthouse! I will make sure we have time passing through Halifax!!!!! Take care, my friend!

  14. cool pictures of the light house and ocean

    1. Thanks, Adam! They are amazing in real life! Have a good one!


  15. Hey Fundy, I must say I am always surprised when I find myself staring at myself in one of your blogs - lol
    I always think - omg -look at that wild hair. Hair aside, this is a great post about one of my favorite places in the world. And being there with you just make it perfect. Hugs Barb

    1. You're such a good sport, Barb! I loved climbing all over those beautiful rocks with you, and I'd do it again with you in a heartbeat! Hugs right back at you!

  16. What a great collection of photographs (and you sure do have a way with words). It's not the first time I have seen that lighthouse! It sure would be nice to get off the farm and visit Nova Scotia.
    Thank you for visiting my Journal...appreciate your very kind comments.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lori! I'm sure having your beautiful horses is a huge responsibility, and they must make it hard to get away. I definitely recommend Nova Scotia!

  17. You and your sister look happy as you climb around those granite rocks. It must be good to visit Peggy's Cove in the Summer months. I've been looking at the web cam website and you get a different perspective in wintry weather conditions. I'm sure it's a challenging place for the small fishing community and for those working in tourism. I've enjoyed seeing the lighthouse, the wild waves and natural elements of the cove as well as the huts, the village and the bagpiper. I noticed some structures (made from the granite?) that look like a string of beads just across from the village and wonder about the significance of them.

    1. Hi Linda! Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I was watching the webcam too, and Peggys Cove is definitely bleak in the winter. I caught it at sunset which was starkly beautiful. Nova Scotia has lots of webcams around the province now. Sometimes in the summer, my extended family gets in front of one in Digby, and we all wave to our relatives around the world who can't get there. Then they can see us all on their computers. Silly, I know, but I'm sure we aren't the only ones who have done that! The string of beads that I think you are referring to is a fisherman's net with floats. The floats do look like little granite boulders on the granite base, but they are made of a material light enough to float. In the past the floats were made of hollow glass balls. I'm not sure why it's laid out on the rocks like that. I should have gone closer to look, but there was so much to see. Have a great Frida, Linda!

    2. What a clever idea to stand in front of the web cam camera and wave to family and another positive way of using them! Thanks for the info about those floats. That makes sense to me now. I remember those glass ones that were used once upon a time.

    3. Thanks, Linda! I have a glass float in my bedroom just to remind me of "home." Take care!

  18. Oh my! This is so cool! We were at Peggy's Cove when we went to Nova Scotia several years ago. We met the nicest people there. It's so much fun to see these photos. It brings back a lot of memories.

    1. Hi Kay! I'm sorry ~ I just found this comment of yours! I'm glad that you enjoyed Peggys Cove! Have a good one!


Thank you for your comments! I appreciate them very much.