A Little Reveal: A Comb Jelly

If you saw my last post you would have seen the above unexplained image. Most people knew it was some sort of sea jelly.
Although not a true jellyfish, it is a type of comb jelly, (perhaps Mnemiopsis?)

In the first image the jelly is inverted and at rest, sort of folding back on itself. I like how it’s so abstracted and looks somewhat like a drawing.

The following images show that same sea jelly in motion. This little Atlantic comb jelly is only about 1cm long. I  photographed it with a macro lens, while it was temporarily captured in a bucket. (click on images for a larger view)


Thanks to everyone who “played” along. I love all the creative suggestions as to what it might be!

All images © Karen McRae

In and Around The Cabot Trail

The Cabot Trail is a winding scenic drive along the coast and through the highlands of north-east Cape Breton. Even though it was quite early spring when we were there at the beginning of May, and the day went from sunny to grey rather quickly, the majesty of the highlands was breathtaking. One of the upsides of traveling in the off-season is getting to experience each place without the buzz of the tourist season. We practically had the road and the beaches to ourselves.

If I were to travel here in the summer it would definitely be a camping destination. Perhaps at Meat Cove, on top of a windy cliff overlooking the Bay of St. Lawrence where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.


A tufted sand dune at Inverness Beach, looking out into the Gulf of the St. Lawrence.
The Inverness Beach and the breakwater on the horizon.






One of several gorgeous cobble and sandy beaches along the coast.



A young male moose stopping to feed at a pond. Note the missing antlers which are shed each fall and regrow in the spring.
Much of the interior of the highlands look like this with miles of rolling tree covered hills and valleys.



A view from above Meat Cove and the velvety looking reddish beach below. Meat Cove is the most northern community in Cape Breton and lies at the end of a winding and sometimes steep road. You have to travel several kilometers off the Cabot Trail to get here, but it’s well worth the trek for a visit.




The boulder scattered beach at Black Brook Cove.




All images © Karen McRae

Connections, Disconnections

Cape Breton: The Island That Almost Isn’t an Island

The Strait of Canso lies between mainland Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island. In 1954 over 10 million tonnes of rock were used to build a causeway connecting the island to the mainland. This snaking rock wall is 65 metres deep in places, making it the deepest causeway in the world. There is a canal that allows ship traffic to pass through. If this remaining thread of water wasn’t here, Cape Breton would really, no longer be a true island.

I am struck by the simultaneous connection, and disconnection, of such engineering. On one hand, a community has been bridged. On the other, a community shut out. A safe harbour has been built. But also, an impasse. We are nothing, if not a contradictory species.

These images really, have little to do with what I have written about here, except that they make me think of how we impact our environment. Of how I impact our environment. They make me think of what gets left behind. What could be left behind. They make me want to tread a little lighter on this intriguing planet.






The above 3 images are of a decaying Pilot Whale, washed up onto a Cape Breton beach.


This large engine, is reportedly from an old steamship wreck, I was unable to find any other information about it.

It is doing it’s best to blend into the environment…


Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

*If you are interested in reading more about the environmental effects of blocking the Strait of Canso, there is some interesting reading here, here and here.

All images © Karen McRae