The Barrens Project
The Peggy’s Cove Preservation Area includes thousands of acres of an amazing landscape littered with boulders some larger than a bus. It has a rugged shoreline, salt marshes, small lakes and boggy areas. In its centre is the iconic fishing village of Peggy’s Cove and its famous lighthouse.
Like many I just call it The Barrens.
This landscape emerged after the last ice age ended around ten thousand years ago, when the glaciers retreated and left bare rock behind. The Glacier was up to a mile thick and the boulders dropped out from the bottom of it but they look like they literally dropped out of the sky. It seems like they are reaching for it. It appears that some of the bigger boulders are perched precariously on smaller rocks but they have been balanced that way for hundreds of years.
After the Glaciers retreated plants gradually re-colonised the thawing land. Some are
very similar to the flowers, mosses, lichens and bushes you see on the arctic tundra. There
are a few trees in sheltered spots but the real forest only begins a mile or so inland.
The Barrens is near my home - great for walks and hikes. It feels primeval and you can’t help but contemplate that your life is but a small measure in the immensity of the Earth’s time.
I started a photography project here a few years back, paying attention to the wide landscape
and skies, but also the smaller world of plants, flowers, shrubs, birds, people and animals.
The Barrens are on the edge of the North Atlantic Ocean and the sea is ever present. Depending
on your vantage point you can look straight out across the ocean towards the nearest landfall which is the west coast of North Africa, or to the south west you can see the other side
of St. Margaret’s Bay, and a few small islands off shore.
The weather can be changeable and the winds fierce. One day I experienced, rain, snow, ice pellets and sunshine within a few hours. It can also be pleasantly warm and sunny. As for photography - I try to relax and look deeply. Look at this, look at that, the unseen beings seem to saying. There are layers upon layers to be discovered. Just when I think I have seen or
felt it all there is a new surprise. It is unending.
I am hoping to some day have any exhibition of the collection and/or make a book of this work.
So I hope you enjoy a preview of a few of these pictures.
(Click on Images to Enlarge)
To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record
the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.