I pull up to Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park in Sambro Creek, Nova Scotia. A sheet of pristine white snow covers the sand. Even through the cold air, it still smells like the beach. I breathe in deeply.
I walk onto the boardwalk, my boots crunching the crisp, hard-packed snow. A vast sky with wispy, white clouds stretches out and into the sea. The ocean below is a greenish charcoal topped with frothing whitecaps. The deafening roar of small pebbles, pounded onto the beach by the icy Atlantic swell, overpowers every other sound. I snap some photographs.
The beach is a paradise for photographers in the winter with so much natural beauty to capture.
The place is empty except for a few hikers and some winter surfers looking for the perfect wave. I step onto the sand and sink a little into the soft surface. If I close my eyes, I can remember the feeling of my toes in the still warm sand of summer.
I see an artist’s palate of shells, sea glass and driftwood in front of me. Winter storms wash up many souvenirs. With so few people on the beach, the walk is always full of interesting discoveries. I take more pictures.
I make my way down to the water’s edge and watch a solitary surfer past the breaking waves, waiting for his ride. His love of the ocean keeps him floating on the swell in the wind. He turns and starts paddling for a breaking wave, catches it and partially stands up. He hunches down further and slides into the curl of the wave. The ocean is all his today; just he and the sea. The lone adventurer makes for a striking image.
Turning back to the shore, I notice that hills of pebbles and sand dunes have shifted from winter storms. The beach is steeper than usual. It looks wild and it photographs well. I walk further and watch the wind whip the crashing waves into a frenzy, spraying water in all directions.
When it’s time to go, I retreat to my car with a camera full of photos. I leave the beach refreshed, invigorated and serene.
Photo’s taken by Catherine Rose Photography