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Leaving the Sea Behind

September 4, 2018

La Pocatière, Québec: August, 2018

On any trip to the coast, there will always come that day when we must leave the sea behind us, catching the last glimmer of blue water in the rearview mirror as we steel ourselves for return to a fully land-bound existence. This summer, our “last chance to sea” came at the salt marsh park of La Pocatière, Québec.

Zoned bands of grasses in the salt marsh lead to the sea.

La Pocatière is a most appropriate place for this: the broad St. Lawrence estuary is narrowing here and becoming fresher, in comparison with downstream shores around Cacouna or Trois-Pistoles. Still, the salinity is at about 15 parts per thousand, almost as salty as some parts of Hudson Bay and far more salty than the Baltic Sea, so we can definitely say we are still “by the sea.” Also, the shore here is characterized by a Spartina (cordgrass) dominated marsh, and it is lovely.

The grasses and other plants occur in distinct bands of colour, their growth affected by distance from the river and its salinity. They could not appear more artistic if they had been arranged by human hand.

And speaking of artistic arrangement, the man-made part of this shore features art installations, which change every year. The installations speak to the relationship between people and this natural setting, and they gently weather as they are affected by sun, wind, water, and salt.

Each year, the park at La Pocatière features a different set of outdoor art installations. This year, it was these “coastal” woven pieces.



A few years ago, there were these fantastic fishy forms.

One last glance, then we must start the motor and continue our drive westward. Perhaps we can find some fabulous Québec ice cream to assuage our sadness.


© Graham Young, 2018

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