In May 2011, after four years of life on McNutt's Island, we moved to Montreal. This blog remains, though, as a (sort of) daily record of our time on the island, and a winding path for anyone who would like to meander about among its magical places. For additional perspectives and insights I recommend Greg's book, Island Year: Finding Nova Scotia (2010), and my Bowl of Light (2012). I'll continue to post once in a while. If you do want to read this blog, one option would be to begin at the beginning of it (which is, as we all know, in blog-world, at the end), and read forward, concluding with the most recent entry. It's a journal, really, so it does makes more sense if you read it that way. But, you know, read it any way you like.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Daffodils grow along the stone walls and next to almost every apple tree. There's an old border of daffodils that marks the place where the vegetable garden used to be.
I thought maybe they had been planted by Elizabeth Hyde, who lived here before us. But her daughter Joanna told me that the daffodils were already here when her mother bought the place, in the early 1960s. Elizabeth thought they had been planted by the early settlers.  She called those first settlers The Old Fellers. The Old Fellers were an inspiration to Elizabeth, and they are to us, too.   
The Perrys planted these apple trees and built these stone walls, and probably had a vegetable garden in this very same place between 1860 and the early 1900s.  After that, the Gouldens owned the property until the early 1950s.  So the daffodils that are blooming today have been coming up each spring for many decades, maybe for more than a century. 

I'm grateful to Maria Perry and to Bertha Goulden. One of them planted these daffodils, I think, or got their children to do it. I imagine Maria telling William one fall day, "Don't forget to get some daffodil bulbs when you're in town." Or Bertha down on her knees digging the holes and putting in the bulbs. Whether it was Maria or Bertha, I wonder if she thought about how many years of pleasure these daffodils would give to people she would never know, far beyond her own life.    

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