Photo #1 is a bucolic scene showing the lush fields of Colindale bearing their quite fresh spring greens. The red barn sits left of centre atop the hill overlooking the Gulf of St Lawrence. This is still an active farm, though no cattle are visible in this photo. At the far left, you can see utility poles; they mark the route of the Colindale Road and there are some fine views at the curve there, marred, unfortunately, by wires crossing the view; it is, however, possible to get beneath those wires. The patch of red in the left foreground is a colony of grass in flower; it is of a variety whose name I do not know, but it is found along roads and trails and in fields throughout the Cape Mabou Highlands as well as elsewhere in Southwestern Inverness (see this photo for a close-up view).
Photo #2 is a telephoto view of the red barn, a landmark readily visible from Beinn Alasdair Bhain (Fair Alistair’s Mountain) and Beinn Bhiorach, as well as other vistas from the Cape Mabou Trail Club trails in the Cape Mabou Highlands that are open in this direction. The barn is equally visible from the waters off shore, making it a very useful navigation tool. If you look closely at the grasses in this field, you can see the occasional reddish tint that was seen in the large patch in photo #1.
Photo #3 is a wide-angled view of MacLeans Cove in Colindale and the gorgeous fields adjacent to it. The reddish hues seen in the centre foreground and at the right along the fence are not more of the reddish-coloured grass, but leaves on brush which are so newly opened that they have not yet turned green! There are not many good landing places along this coast, nearly all of which is lined with cliffs; Sutherlands Cove, further south, is one, with MacQuarries Beach, a fine long sand beach, while MacLeans Cove is far smaller and is clearly not endowed with a sand beach.
Photo #4 is a telephoto view of MacLeans Cove, which is littered with driftwood that has come ashore from the Gulf, some, doubtless, from a boat that lost its cargo of pulpwood in a storm off Prince Edward Island a few years ago; that wood floated ashore all along this coast and remains of it are seen from Colindale to Mabou Mines. Small though it may be, the cove is sufficient to land a small boat and doubtless was so used by those living here in the 19th and early 20th centuries; the next available landing spot on these shores is at West Mabou Beach. According to the topographical map, Schoolhouse Brook runs down from Rocky Ridge to MacLeans Cove; its path can be seen running across this photo and a bit of its water can be seen at the cove; this strongly suggests that there must once have been a school nearby, perhaps using the brook for its drinking water.
Photo #5 looks back along the road at the lovely fields and forests of Colindale clad in their finest spring colours. At the far left and extending into the middle of the photo, the lower slopes of Rocky Ridge are covered with evergreens, except where a field has been cleared among them. As this very severe and seemingly everlasting winter of 2013-2014 reminds us (it is still ongoing in Cape Breton as I write this in late April), snow, sleet, freezing rain, and ice blanket this coast, fully exposed to the strong, gusting, icy winds off the Gulf. I have been in Cape Breton in winter, though during a far milder one than this year’s, and recognize its winter beauty—see the essays Cape Breton’s Winter Colours and “White Beauty” for many examples; still what joy and relief its inhabitants must feel when the land once again turns so green and lush, full of peace and tranquillity! Truly a cause for celebration after such hardship!
Photo #6 looks at the slopes of Rocky Ridge on the east side of the Colindale Road. This is a decidedly mixed forest of evergreens and deciduous trees, many of the latter showing that special shade of green that indicates very new leaves. What a lovely drive on a lovely spring day!