Photo #1 was taken from near the front deck on a beautiful Thursday morning at, for me, an early hour—5h48. I chose this day to try to hike to Cape St Lawrence and it was an absolutely stunning morning, like many June days I have spent in Meat Cove; I don’t move very fast hiking these days, not that I ever did, but I’m even slower now, so the long days around the beginning of summer are essential for long and hard (for me) hikes. The Highlands seen here are to the west of the village and are all, so far as I am aware, unnamed, except for Little Grassy, the smaller prominence at the right. It is on the far side of Blackrock Point, which closes off Meat Cove (the water) at the right. The views from Little Grassy are fine in their own right, but considerably lower than those from the Meat Cove Look-Off and from Meat Cove Mountain and correspondingly easier to reach. From this vantage point, the village below is pretty much concealed, though, as a later photo will make clear, other vantage points exist from which most of it is visible.
Photo #2 was taken on the previous morning at 10h20 from exactly the same vantage point, when a layer of thick fog unlike any I had seen in previous years, completely filled the Meat Cove Brook valley. At this late hour, it was just beginning to burn off—you can see at the left the ridge which is quite prominent in the same location of photo #1; note also the flowering bush which is at the centre of both photos. The fog makes the vegetation near at hand stand out far better than it did in photo #1, where it blended together with the vegetation across the valley: the road is directly below the vegetation seen here and that road hugs the side of the mountain as it descends.
Photo #3 looks to the left of photo #1 at the same early hour. What an incredibly gorgeous morning in an unbelievably beautiful place! None of the prominences here are named either, so far as I am aware. The Meat Cove Look-Off is above the cliff face seen left of centre in the col between the two rounded prominences there, a decidedly lovely spot from which to survey the views to the east! The long cleft at the right, carved by a brook unnamed on the topographical map whose mouth is to the west of the Meat Cove Campground, marks the path of the trail to the Look-Off, Cape St Lawrence, and Lowland Cove.
Photo #4 looks to the left of photo #3 at the remainder of the western Highlands visible from the Lodge. Probably because I was in a hurry to head up the trail to Cape St Lawrence, I have no photos of this view from Thursday (nor any from Tuesday either, for reasons unknown), so this one, taken two hours after photo #2 with remnants of fog still in the air, will have to serve. Meat Cove Mountain with its recognizable rock face is at the left in the middle ground; the cleft in the foreground is made by Edwards Brook coming down from the eastern Highlands; Meat Cove Road is at the bottom right. The prominence and ridge in the centre and centre right is the same one seen from the Meat Cove Road in the last photo on the previous page.
Photo #5 focusses on the cleft through which the trail to the Look-Off, Cape St Lawrence, and Lowland Cove runs. The start of the trail is at the end of the Meat Cove Road near the open spot seen in the lower right (fifty years ago, the trail was a driveable road to Lowland Cove). The trail forks at the upper left of the photo near where the sloping ridge descends from the centre of the photo to meet it: the trail to the Meat Cove Look-Off is to the left, while the main trail continues around the descending slope and climbs to the top of the ridge behind it. Below that ridge is a field with a corral that is the only open spot along the trail up the mountain, site of one of the earliest settlements in the area, and often frequented by free range horses. The trail continues up from there to the summit and then descends for a short distance; at that point, the Cape St Lawrence Trail forks off to the right and the Lowland Cove Trail continues on straight, both descending as they go.
Photo #6 is a close-up of the Little Grassy summit. As can be seen in the foreground of this photo, the spruce here, like those all over Cape Breton Island in recent years, have been badly damaged by the spruce bark beetle. The trail to the Little Grassy summit passes through some of these standing dead trees, causing the community volunteers who maintain this trail considerable work in keeping the trail open and safe. The views from the top are primarily to the east along the coast, though Meat Cove Mountain and the valley of the Meat Cove Brook are also visible; some photos from there are here.
Photo #7 looks down at Meat Cove (the water), where lobster fishermen are servicing their traps off Blackrock Point (the many dots of colour in the placid blue waters are floats attached to the traps). Several different boats are to be seen here at various times of the day. The Lodge offers a fine vantage point from which to view the activities on the waters below, where whales are often seen swimming and feeding.
Photo #8 is a close-up of the beautiful flowers on the bush in the centre of photo #1; I have been informed by a friend who is very plant-savvy that this is an elderberry bush. The little globes remind me a lot of the shape of lilies-of-the-valley. In the fall, the fruit, small dark purple to black berries, produced in dangling bunches, can be used for wines, jellies, dyes, and medicinal products, although the leaves and the woody parts of the plant are poisonous.
Photo #9 is a wide-angled view showing much of the village of Meat Cove in the valley below from the Lodge. The campground is at the right where an RV can be seen at the edge of the road; the mouth of the unnamed brook that carved the cleft seen in photo #5 is to the right of the RV, where it falls over a cliff making a waterfall when the brook has enough water. The beach area is in the lower far right corner, outside the scope of this photo. The Meat Cove Beach Road is at the centre of the photo, mostly concealed by the trees, but a bit of brownish colour can be seen left of the four corners (made by driveways intersecting with Meat Cove Road) where it descends briskly to the beach area below. The Meat Cove Welcome Centre is at the far left and outside the scope of the photo. This photo was taken after noon, by which time much of the dense, heavy fog seen in photo #2 had burnt off, but enough remained to obscure significant parts of the landscape. Still, with the sun and blue skies, even I will concede it makes for a pretty picture.
Later that afternoon (a bit after 14h), I took photo #10: it looks out at the Gulf of St Lawrence where a huge bank of fog lies not far offshore below some higher, more benign looking clouds. At first, I thought it was going to come crashing back onto shore and obscure everything once again, but, for whatever reason, it moved back and by 17h, St Paul Island was visible in the Cabot Strait, the first time it had made an appearance this trip, although plenty of fog remained further out in the Strait.