Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lawn Art

I took a drive across the North Mountain to Parker's Cove last night. Parker's Cove is a pretty Bay of Fundy fishing community which is only about a 5 minute drive from Annapolis Royal. This is a regular stop for me since my four year old likes to look at the fishing boats which tie up at the wharf. This is also an interesting location to see some of the animals which inhabit the bay. Among the interesting things I have seen from the wharf are northern gannets, seals, porpoise, and even a humpback whale. As it was also a clear evening we wanted to see if we could see across to New Brunswick. Sadly there was a bit of fog on the bay and we could not see all the way across.

On our way home I noticed the large anchor which sits at the edge of the Parker Mountain Cemetery. The anchor as a form of lawn art is something unique to communities who have made their living from the sea. Anchors are an interesting symbol. As I drive around Nova Scotia I always smile when I find an anchor sitting on someone's lawn. They clearly show a connection to the community's past. Like many communities along the Bayshore, Parker's Cove has a tradition of both fishing and shipbuilding. At the end of the age of sail, many of the shipyards closed and these communities turned to the fisheries to sustain them. Anchors were an essential piece of shipboard equipment and were often needed to keep the crew safe. Ironically, these weathered anchors are often the only surviving evidence of ships and men who have long since passed into history.

The anchor is also an interesting symbol as it currently stands. The anchor sits on land in quiet defiance of the wind and elements. This would mirror the spirit of many maritime communities who have eked out their existence despite harsh climate and countless hardships.

While I do not know the history of this particular anchor, I can tell that it is from the end of the age of sail. This anchor was probably made sometime around 1900. The top shaft on earlier anchors would have been made of wood rather than metal. The anchor itself is made from iron. You can tell that it is iron by the parallel lines which run the length of the anchor. You do not see this type of feature on items made from steel.
All for now,
RGS

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