Mind’s Eye Memories
Photograph, George-Anne Merrill 2010
It is a hard thing for me to choose a particular image of Sable Island—one that captures my fondest memories of the brief several weeks that I have spent there during two visits. I am lucky to be living with a biologist, Bill Freedman, who with his colleague Paul Catling and his spouse Brenda Kostiuk are studying biodiversity on Sable Island. I have been there twice with them. I have wondrous memories of the excitement I felt on first seeing a distant but growing crescent-shaped island of sand as we approached it in an airplane. And there is the wonder of the horses, birds, insects, plants, surf, and sunsets—all are memories for me. My time on Sable was spent collecting plants and bugs with Bill and Paul, with Brenda documenting all with pictures, and me cooking fine meals. In 2009 we had the added excitement of hurricane Bill and the flooding it caused. The next day, when all was calm, we went for several great walks, and out beach combing discovered piles of surf clams stranded on the beach. We collected a bucket of the unfortunate creatures, and with my food-friend and station technician, Gary, I cooked them up into a fine chowder. Our beach combing also discovered a glass fishing float, a coconut, a 6-m length of bamboo, many fine seal bones, and an ancient walrus tusk. Anyone who visits Sable Island leaves a bit of themselves there, but also takes away fond mind’s-eye memories of unique sights, smells, and experiences.
George-Anne Merrill, 2010
Note: George-Anne’s visits to Sable—two weeks in late summer in 2008 and again in 2009—were with a Friends of the Green Horse Society project. Bill, Paul and Zoe conducted a series of surveys for plants and invertebrates, and George-Anne organized provisions and meals to keep the crew well-fed and happy during the long days of field work