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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Nova Scotia IV -- Peggy's Cove

At the bottom of Nova Scotia, on the South Shore, is a village called Peggy’s Cove – population 60. Beneath its many colored houses painted mint green, bubble gum pink, and sunshine yellow, lays a foundation of molten rock oozed from the earth’s core millions of years ago. The granite has grown cool from time and white with the years of mist.

At the tip of Peggy’s Cove stands a stately lighthouse with a white trunk, a red hat, and one green eye to pierce the fog. This lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in the world, says a brochure at the Peggy’s cove information center. And it is beautiful, standing on a bed of creamy rocks, the pattern of green moss crawling through creases.

Boats hang in the bay, still and tied next to the ports. Each boat as brilliantly colored as the houses above them. “Please respect private property,” a sign says as tourists numbering more than the entire population of Peggy’s Cove walk through the streets. “Friendly fishermen live here,” the sign continues, as if to beg the tourist’s sympathy, but we are already taken with this delicate town.

A plaque at the entrance of the village tells the story of how Peggy’s Cove got its name. A girl named Peggy was sailing to her fiancé. The details of this story are swallowed up in the soft focus of folklore, faded like the mist that clings to your skin. We know that Peggy was on her way to her beloved when her ship crashed on the South shore. While Peggy survived, she abandoned her journey to her lover, seduced by the easy molten rocks. She chose to live on the rocks, alone with the sea, rather than return to her lover. From that moment forward, when friends and family came to see her, they said, “We’re going to visit, Peggy of the Cove.”
(pictures taken by David W. Taylor)


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