It’s November: Time to head to the beach! Huh? Evan Williams thinks it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy the sandy paradises of Atlantic Canada. Morgan the Dalmatian does, too!
I know this is going to sound a bit strange, but as a life-long Maritimer, I think we’re just starting to get into beach season.
No, not because temperatures this week are double-digits and unseasonably warm, but because I think our beaches are the most pleasant from November until May.
Not if you’re planning on swimming, of course. If you want to dip more than a toe into the water right now, you’re going to need at least a thick wetsuit and probably a dry one. I’m not sure how those all-weather surfers do it, though you’ll see them out in the waves all year long.
But if you’re like me, the water is never really warm enough for swimming up here anyway, except for a few spots where sand and tides give a brief respite if you’re there at the proper time of day.
That’s why this is the best time of year for beach exploration.
Come November, the forests have turned from green and vibrant through yellow and red, and are now muted shades of green and loads of greys, beiges, and browns. They’re dull, monotonous and dreary, and they’re going to stay that way for months.
Even the sunlight seems to have given up for the winter, with a bluer light that makes the world look even colder with grey skies and clouds not helping things.
The beaches, though, take this time of year to shine. They embrace the grey. It turns them into a rugged, desolate landscape. The force of the winds, the sands, and the water showcase the power and magnitude of the earth which has shaped this land for millions of years, turning rock into grains of sand.
On sunny days, rare as they may be in November, the shores come to life with the brightness that is gone from the forests.
The water and skies glow blue while the sands pop with their silvers, deep red-browns, and the glitter of the dozens of types of rock that have been pulverized since before time. Even the coastal grasses, dormant for the season, wave and glow when the winter sun hits them.
Best of all, the beaches in the winter are empty.
Only the brave head to where tide and land meet when the cold winds blow, making it a great time for a walk. You’ll see plenty of dog walkers this time of year, and even the occasional horse. Sure the weather is getting cold, but that’s what a coat, hat, and gloves are for.
It’s Canada in winter. Embrace it!
What does this have to do with cars, you might ask? Well, in winter the roads to the beaches are just as windy and twisty as they are in the summer, but there’s no beach traffic. So the drive to get to the beach is more fun, too.
Just maybe bring some hot chocolate along with you.