Woods at Brandy Spring (oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.)

oil on canvas 5 x 7 in.                            $275

6 September finds me gazing up into a steep forest of mossy boulders, stout Yellow Birch, Red Maple, Spruce, and Hemlock.  Some of the larger boulders are the size of a small house, and all of the smaller ones are entirely carpeted with moss. Exposed tree roots are also mossy, as are the huge trunks of fallen trees and the mounds of nurse logs. Dark green, leathery fronds of Polypody feather the sides of mossy boulders, and yellow-green Dryopteris ferns grow knee-high where they can find a bit of well-rotted wood between mossy rocks. This scene continues all the way up the slope.

We pulled into a short loop of old highway that parallels Nova Scotia #357 yesterday at dusk, and when I stepped out of the trailer this morning I walked along the edge of the woods to identify a trickling sound, and found water flowing from a dark space beneath a large rock which is hand lettered in weathered red paint, BRANDY SPRING.
The water falls into a depression too shallow for dipping, but after a brief sparkle over pebbles it collects in a small pool and trickles from that into the grassy ditch, spongy with Sphagnum and laced with Cranberries, where it shortly sinks into the ground. The forested slope continues on the other side of the highway, down to a slow reach of the Musquodoboit (pronounced "Muskadobbit") River.

Water from Brandy Spring is clear and pale golden - the colour of watered-down brandy. It tastes fresh, clean, and cold - not soft on the tongue, but with a sort of mineral edge to it, a rocky sharpness. The colour will be from rain that has soaked through leaves and moss and the spongy web of tree roots over granite. I filled all of our water containers.

We have not disturbed the forest here by turning any cover, so we don't know what slugs or salamanders may be here, but Fred noted "autumn calling" by Green Frogs and Peepers.

This original painting is available for $275. For information on purchase and shipping, please contact me at karstad@pinicola.ca


  1. Brandy Spring was a very popular place up to the early 1990s. For well over a hundred years, this spring was a source of wondrous drinking water for the residents of Musquodoboit Harbour and Meaghers (pronounced Myers) Grant. In the 1970s I remember being third in line for water any time we stopped at the spring. My father would fill the travel trailer's water tank with water from this spring. My Uncle Diddy (Norman -- I don't know if he did or didn't) got his household drinking water from Brandy Spring, and all of the locals knew of its high water quality.

    At the rock that Fred discovered, there was once a pipe that spouted constantly, making the collection of water from the spring very convenient. I have not seen the pipe there since maybe the year 2000.

    There is a second pipe just north of the parking loop. That pipe may still be in use. The flow at that pipe was always better than the flow at the rock, but the rock was a safer place to draw water.

    The parking loop is there solely for the purpose to provide access to Brandy Spring. I can imagine the horse carriages turning there 100 years ago.

    The locals would often wait a day or two after a heavy rainfall before returning to the spring for water. Surface water from heavy rain would dull the spring water and spoil its appeal.

    That is my memory of Brandy Spring. I'm happy to hear that Fred took advantage of the bounty of the spring.


    Brian Day


Post a Comment

What do you think of this painting, and what do you know about the subject that I have painted?

Popular posts from this blog

Cooper Marsh Late August

White Water Lily

Little Marsh in Limerick