I had planned to go back to Blue Beach in the Avonpart area for a while now. The site and other neighboring lcoations have always yielded wonderful specimens and I was itching to get back on the beaches and under the warm Nova Scotia Sun. I hadn't had the chance to hit the road for weeks due to some illness, but seeing the opportunity to go on a day trip, I took it.
1st stop Cheverie (red), 2nd stop Hantsport (red)
3rd and final stop Parrsboro (blue)
(red path - from Moncton to stop #2 in Nova Scotia )
(blue path - from stop #2 to #3 in Parrsboro, then back to New Brunswick)
I had planned to make a few stops in the Windsor area along the coast. I'd decided to check the white beaches of Cheverie and its gypsum cliffs. These evaporites were left from an ancient body of water, the Windor Sea. Gypsum makes up big sections the area, and is intermixed with very fossiliferous limestones and shales, from Cheverie to across the bay at Blue Beach, which would be my second stop.
Cheverie is a few hours from Moncton, about 3 hours drive one way. I took the scenic route via Walton to drive along the coast. The drive itself was excellent as the weather couldn't have been better. Sunny with +30 degrees Celcius along the coast, what more can one ask?
I left Moncton at around 7:30am and arrived at my first destination at about 11am. There was some road construction so that added a few more minutes to the trip. Parking on the side of the road, I grabbed my camera and proceeded down the beach. These cliffs are mostly composed of gypsum, with some limestone outcrops jutting out from time to time in some areas.
White beaches of Cheverie
After a short walk on the beach, I packed my gear and headed on the other side of Avon River, to Hantsport. My second stop that afternoon was Blue Beach down Bluff Road. I've been here a few times before and there is so much to see. The outcrops at Blue Beach are abundant with fossils from the Carboniferous Period, with layers transitioning between land- and water-type paleoenvironments.
The shale and mudstone are rich in fossils, with numerous brachiopods and bivalves, fish scales, bones, and arthropod trackways. Some of the other sediment type such as some of the sandstones contain various well preserved plants and tetrapod tracks.
Arthropod and worm feeding and resting traces
Outcrop where loose material contained many fossils
Molluscs in groups
Tree segment with bark impression
Diplichnites (arthropod tracks)
Trackways (?) - fossil plant part of the sandstone block
I spent a couple of hours on the beach and kept coming up on a lot of material to look at. When it was time for me to leave, I noticed that I had only walk a tiny fraction of the beach that I had initially intended to. This site deserves another visit really soon from yours truly to check the rest of the beach.
Having spent most of the day on the other side of Cumberland, I thought that it would be nice to have a bite in Parrsboro, across the Minas Basin. It was 4pm and I realized that it would be a 2 hour drive, or detour, but the Sun was out in full and the drive would be nice, especially driving along the coast. I packed up my stuff, and made my way towards Parrsboro, which would end up being stop #3.
I drove into town and went down Two Island road to finally end up at the Harborview Restaurant, which had opened a few weeks earlier for the season. The food's great and you just can't beat the view.
View from outside the restaurant
Even though I wasn't able to hit all the spots I wanted, it was a very nice and productive day. Being cooped up in the house with the flu for two weeks, it was nice to catch some vitamin D from the good fiery globe in the sky. I arrived back in Moncton at about 8:30pm, but I could have kept on going. I will definitely have to swing back by that area very soon.
Till then, cheers!