The road we drive to Marije’s work every day is called Marine Drive.

It’s a quiet road, hugging the coastline in several places, passing two beaches and cutting through the forest for a few kilometres. It’s easy to take such a daily commute for granted, so today I stopped at Middle Cove and got out of the car to explore.

From the road and from the parking lot, wintry Middle Cove beach doesn’t look very inviting. In fact, most of the people parking here enjoy the view from inside the car. The beach is a narrow steep strip of grey pebbles surrounded by a forested hill on one side, a steep cliff on the other side, and it has a shallow river running right through the middle of it.

This month the beach is frozen solid. Meaning that the river is easy to cross, you can just walk over it, and the pebbles are fused together because the individual ice coats have pasted on to one another.

Frozen pebbles

Frozen pebbles – Middle Cove beach

On the beach, I geared up (overshoes!, tripod!). The light was hardly ideal but hidden from the main view I discovered a large wall of ice! Icicles drooping down from the cliffs here were so huge they easily qualified as ice stalactites, each one adding to several stalagmites at the bottom of the beach. In front of this this icy spectacle lay the shattered remains of fallen icicles, some nearly a meter in diameter, you don’t want those things crashing down anywhere near you.

Ice wall

Ice wall – Middle Cove beach

Curtains of ice

Curtains of ice – Middle Cove beach