Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wounded Wing

About 40 minutes into my return flight home, there was a woman's scream that came from the back of the cabin. The flight attendants rushed down the centre isle and all heads swivelled toward the back of the plane. I am sure that I was not the only passenger whose first thought was that something horrible had gone wrong with the airplane.

A flurry of activity followed and then the senior flight attendant returned to the front of the plane. 

"Is there any medical personnel on the aircraft?"

So, it seemed we weren't all going to die in a fiery crash, but at least one of us was in enough danger to have provoked a woman's scream.

There was a few horribly empty moments when no one stood up in answer to the flight attendants plea. 

"What if someone is seriously ill, maybe even dying!", I thought to myself, "Can there really be no one to help?"

Then, thank goodness, a gentleman across the isle stood up. Several women also got to their feet. 

I am glad to report that the passenger recovered enough for the flight to continue on to Toronto, where the ailing gentleman was assisted off the aircraft by a team of paramedics. He was sitting on a stretcher, smiling and chatting with the paramedics when I walked past, so hopefully he will be fine.

I guess you could say that my trip ended with just a little bit of drama!

Where did I get off to last week? 

I went home to Nova Scotia. The timing of my visit may seem a bit odd, but it was a week that was all about family, not sightseeing or sitting on a sandy beach.

Nova Scotia is on Canada's east coast (see the red arrow above). 

Don't let my grey-winter-day photograph fool you. Nova Scotia is a very colorful place.

In the twin cities of Halifax/Dartmouth where I grew up, the largely wooden houses are painted all manor of crazy colors. Just down the hill from where my parents live, I spied a bright, orange house and second one painted the most vivid shade of aubergine. Nova Scotians' are certainly not timid when it comes to the color of their homes!

Gardening on the east coast of Canada is a little different from it is here in Ontario, where I currently live. Pale mauve rhododendrons grow wild along the wind sweep coast. Heathers (above) thrive in the often moist, peaty soil. 

My trip home was favoured with a few bright, sunny days that brought out the delicate, bell-shaped blossoms on these heathers. 


I had precious little time alone with my camera, but I did manage to snap a few pictures of these heathers blooming in a neighbour's front garden.

I tend to think of the often beautiful, maritime Provence of Nova Scotia as a moody, romantic place. Is it any wonder then that so many artists come to the art college in Halifax and then choose to make the Provence their permanent home?

Meet Wounded Wing. 

This darkly comic character, missing more than a few feathers, comes to the apple tree just outside my mother's kitchen window each day, hoping for a treat. 

I sat with wrap amusement one morning and watched him drop bite-sized shredded mini-wheats into a dish of water and wait for them to become saturated with the precious liquid (many wild birds die of dehydration in winter). Then, I watched Wounded Wing fish out each of the pieces of cereal from the water, one at a time, and gobbled them up in a single bite. 

He was careful not to eat all his treats though. I watched him strut proudly around the backyard for almost half an hour, looking for the perfect spot to bury what he had determined where surplus treasures.

More about my adventures in the next post...


  1. Beautiful pictures. I really like the one of the boats, and the bird looks quite comical.
    I'm sure if I heard a scream on a plane I would start screaming myself!

  2. My goodness, what a scary incident Jennifer!
    I am so glad that everything turned out okay.

    I hope you had a wonderful time away.
    I just love little Wounded Wing!

    Have a beautiful week ahead!

  3. Even in the rain, the boats & train picture is beautiful. Love the bird.

  4. That situation must have been terrible. I won't go in to an airplane. Brrr. Thanks god you are save. Hope you have had a lovely time. The bird is gorgeous. I can also spent an hour looking at the birds trough my window.
    Have a lovely evening

  5. Drama on a plane is not something I want to experience..! Love the pics as always! :-)

  6. I don't think most people realize how intelligent crows are. I wish I could have watched his little show. I have a heated birdbath that I use in the winter to keep my local birds hydrated. It's quite the social gathering spot. :o)

  7. Is he a Crow or a Raven? So sorry for the scare on the plane and glad the man seemed alright. Thank you for the heather pictures - don't get to see much of that here in the midwest!

    1. Hi Sherry, Great question! It is my understanding that Wounded Wing is a crow, but I looked up the difference between a crow and a raven online just to be sure. Apparently a raven is bigger, has more pointed wings and a wedge shaped tail. The bill of a raven is curved and more powerful than that of a crow. There is also a tuft of hair atop of a raven's bill. Crows have a splayed wing tip, a fan-shaped tail and a flat bill. Crows are more socially inclined and are therefore more often found in an urban setting than ravens.
      Based on all these descriptives, I would say that Wounded Wing is definitely a crow.

  8. Oh so wonderful to read you were here...I think you mentioned coming ...I was distracted with things and should have made an offer previously. Maybe next time home you will come to the South Shore? Consider this an invite.

    I love a heartwarming Crow/Raven story. Thank you. Rather a bird crazy kind of gal myself!

    1. Brenda, I just may just have to take you up on your kind offer, if I make it home this coming summer! I would love to visit you and your garden.

  9. Nova Scotia sounds like a wonderful place, and a wonderful place to garden.

  10. Oh I love a good crow story. Their antics never fail to amuse me. One thing I have noticed is that the crows on the east coast are much larger than the west coast. Not sure why but initially we were confused if they were ravens or not as well. Glad to hear you had a fun trip, I was in Halifax recently as well and the houses there are really something to behold.

  11. What beautiful photos loved them like the ones of Wounded Wing

  12. Glad your flight ended well! Nothing like a bit of excitement to get the blood flowing eh? lol

    I made it to New Brunswick last summer for the first time ever, even though I grew up just a short distance away on the banks of the St. Lawrence. Do I visit when I live close by?? No, of course not, I wait until I live on the other side of the country before I check it out. Funny how things work out. Hope to get to NS someday soon.


  13. It is good the scream is just a little thing, not something like that of a terrorist or a broken plane mechanism! I learned much about Nova Scotia from a blogger too, Jodi Delong, do you read her? And i learned much also from you in this post regarding the very intelligent bird. And i also realized that maybe more colorful physical things are used in winter climes to balance the color of winter. Here in the tropics, since every living plants are colorful throughout the year, other manmade structures are usually in pastel colors.

  14. I like the pictures of the boats, grey skies and water and colorful boats.
    Wow, what a scare on the plane. Wonder what the guy did to scream so? Heart attack? Someone else screamed? Very interesting.

    1. Janet, I realize now that I should have made my writing a bit clearer. The scream was a woman's voice and so I will make the guess that she was the ill passenger's travelling companion, and possibly his wife. Again, I am guessing, but I think he may have passed out. Was it a mild heart attack or stroke? Only further examination by a doctor could tell the whole story. Hopefully, the gentleman will make a full recovery!

    2. Thanks for the clarification Jennifer. Makes better sense now.

  15. Oh, you must have been scared on the plane, but I'm relieved you're fine.
    You seemed to have wonderful time in Nova Scotia. I love the crow story. Can't wait for the next post:)

  16. Lovely photos, Jennifer. I have never been to Nova Scotia, but you pictured it like I would have imagined it. The boats, the color, the foggy days. It is somewhere I always wanted to visit so I thoroughly enjoyed your tour.

  17. Just got back from a trip to Halifax where my sister lives. I love it down there too. It's so different than the hustle and bustle of Ontario. My favorite place in the world is Lunenberg of which I dream of living one day. Glad you had a great trip.

  18. We have friends in Porters Lake and don't get down there nearly enough to enjoy the maritime music, food and hospitality. They prefer to come visit us in the CITY where the shopping is amazing. The grass is always greener on the other side!

  19. So glad your plane journey ended safely for everyone, must have been rather scary. Enjoyed the photos of the beautiful coral heather and the boats with the train. Had a holiday a few years ago now and visited the Metis Garden on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, it was wonderful!

  20. What a wonderful post. I'm so happy that everything on the plane apparently ended well.
    Your photos were lovely. I really liked the pretty heather shots.
    I also like that last shot of Wounded Wing, It was was very nice.

  21. Having our vacation plans abroad dashed, plan B may turn into a Canadian trip, and I especially want to revisit Nova Scotia. My grandparents took us there, New Brunswick and parts of Quebec longer ago than I care to remember. I distinctly remember the beauty of Nova Scotia and want to see it again. We will likely drive as my wife would be the one screaming on the plane, screaming from terror to fly. A trip to the pharmacy is a must before we get anywhere near the airport.

  22. Jennifer, winter or not the Provence of Nova Scotia looks romantic to me! Thank you for the visit. I can't imagine the terror on an airplane caused by hearing a woman scream like that. I'm happy to read that the gentleman was sitting up on the gurney at the end of the flight.

  23. Hi Jennifer! Your post brought back memories of our trip to Nova Scotia over 30 years ago. The beauty of the coast, Fundy's Bay, Peggy's Cove and of course the Cabot Trail. I loved all your photos but especially of the heather and the little black bird "with attitude"! I look fwd to your next post.

  24. I'm glad you had a safe flight home and that the gentleman passenger seemed to be all right when you landed, too. It must have been a frightening experience for a few moments, though. I love the arbor gate in your first photo--was that taken in Nova Scotia, too? Living in a land-locked part of the Midwest, I'm always entranced by seaside villages; Nova Scotia looks beautiful.

    I knew crows were smart, but Wounded Wing must be especially so to know to soak the Mini Wheats before eating them:)

  25. Jennifer girl : ) .. I, My husband and son are all "BlueNose" .. I spent some wonderful childhood years with the sea, the woods and and the Mira River as my playground .. something I will never forget . You are so right to say it has an amazing atmosphere .. a lot of moody time with the fog that rolls in .. perfect for kids to be creative with ? LOL
    Crows and ravens .. some one had a pet raven that would swoop in to gobble up a piece of dangling bacon as it's treat .. scary and thrilling for a child with their arm extended as far as possible and that "scream" of delight and fear at the same time as this BIG black bird came at you.
    I could go on and on .. but I just wanted to say, we BluseNose people never forget our home . the sea salt is in our veins for good !
    Great post .. looking forward to more !


Apologies, comments are disabled at this time.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.