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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Redbreast Robins

Painting by Linda Johns in Frontispiece of her book: "Sharing a Robin's Life."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ctenophores and Kite Flying

Ctenophores more commonly known as 'Sea Gooseberry' (Pleurobrachia pileus) were in abundance on the beach at Cherry Hill yesterday.  Ctenophora is an old phylum of invertebrate organisms and fossils have been found that are over 525 million years old.  They are not jellyfish and do not sting.  Voracious predators in the ocean environment they can eat 10 times their weight daily on a diet of all life stages of tiny crustaceans such as the beautiful shrimp-like Calanus finmarchinus which is abundant in our Atlantic ocean.  Many Ctenophores, including Pleurobrachia pileus exhibit bioluminescence at night in the water when disturbed.

Calanus finmarchinus   From:

Sea Gooseberries - Pleurobrachia pileus

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Big Wooden Ship - "Kings County"

From Conrad Byers Collection

From Conrad Byers Collection

From Wikipedia:

“Kings County was a four masted barque built at Kingsport, Nova Scotia on the Minas Basin.  She was named to commemorate Kings County, Nova Scotia (Launched June 2nd, 1890) and represented the peak of the county’s ship building era.  (A much smaller barque also named Kings County had been built in 1871.)  Kings County was one of the largest wooden sailing vessels ever built in Canada and only one of only two Canadian four-masted barques. (The other was the slightly smaller John. M. Blaikie of Great Village, Nova Scotia.)  At first registered as a four masted full rigged ship, she was quickly changed to a barque after her June 2nd launch.  More than three thousand people from Kings and Hants counties attended the launch.  She survived a collision with an iceberg on an 1893 voyage to Swansea, Wales.  Like many of the large merchant ships built in Atlantic Canada, she spent most of her career far from home on trading voyages around the world.  In 1909, she returned to the Minas Basin for a refit at Hantsport and loaded a large cargo of lumber.  In 1911 she became the largest wooden ship to enter Havana Harbor when she delivered a cargo of lumber and was briefly stranded.  She was lost a few months later on a voyage to Montevideo, Uruguay when she ran aground in the River Plate.  Too damaged to repair, she was scrapped in Montevideo where her massive timbers were visible for many years.”

Kings County was built by C.R. (Rufus) Burgess who owned and built the 'Blomidon Inn' as a private residence.  The Kings County was 255 ft. in length, 45' ft in beam, 25' ft in depth and 2061 tons in weight.