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40 years of hikes on Martinique Beach

HFN founding member Scott Cunningham led an 8 or so km walk on Martinique Beach today (Oct 4) for approximately 35 participants, repeating the very first HFN hike forty years ago. The sun shone, the spring tides had scattered quahogs and kelps on the beach, “peeps” (in this case sanderlings, semipalmated plovers, semipalmated sandpipers and dunlins) abounded, and a porcupine entertained during a lunch break. It was a wonderful closing event for HFN’s 40th anniversary. In the photo, Scott describes the adaptations of sea rocket (Cakile edentula) to the upper beach, its role in succession and its culinary qualities (it tastes like horseradish).

“Martinique is one of the finest sand beaches on the eastern shore of the province. It consists of a long series of dunes stretching across Musquodoboit Harbour. These dunes protect the less stable sands of the beach, and the Martinique Beach Game Sanctuary,from the waves of the open Atlantic. On this hike, we walked out to Flying Point, the island at which the beach terminates. The island itself is covered with heath plants and spruce forest, but for most of the walk we kept to the dune and marsh areas. Birds were noted all along the way…” (From Issue #1 of the Halifax Field Naturalist, 1975).