It started with a tweet. “Hey Charlottetown! Keep an eye out for a white pigeon. Our youngest didn’t come home with the rest of our birds last evening.” In September, author Dave Atkinson lost one of his pigeons.
I followed Atkinson on Twitter from my days as editor of Atlantic Books Today. His middle-grade novels, the Wereduck Trilogy, chronicle Kate, a teenager from a family of werewolves who turns into a duck every full moon. Dave’s Twitter feed became a daily touch point for me when he started raising homing pigeons.
As tiny hatchings, they looked like hideous pink dinosaurs with shaggy yellow fuzz. As weeks passed, the pictures kept coming. The dinosaurs started to look like pigeons and eventually learned to fly. Clicking through Atkinson’s photos of the time his family spends with the pigeons offers a glimpse into something special: the simple joy of people and animals bonding. The pigeons nibble at the children’s ears and playfully light on Atkinson’s head while he cleans their loft.
When Bert went missing in September, Atkinson asked Charlottowners to keep an eye to the sky for the young pigeon. Those of us scattered across the Internet, who watched Bert hatch only a few months earlier, kept watch too. We waited for tweets about sightings and sent messages hoping for Bert’s safe return.
That first afternoon, Atkinson sent his older birds out to find Bert, but they came home alone. I went to bed wondering when he’d turn up. Luckily, just before lunch the next day, a tired, but otherwise hale and healthy, Bert touched down in Atkinson’s yard. I’m a soft touch; I cheered at my desk when I saw his tweet.
Atkinson’s story reminded me that we have so many varied and interesting hobbies in Atlantic Canada that I don’t know enough about and likely more I’ve never encountered. I’d love to see more stories about the hobbies and activities that inspire you. You’ll find my email address below if you have any ideas and you may see yours in an up-coming issue.
Also in this issue, we visit a new home with a retro vibe in Pictou, N.S. Crystal Murray, editor of our sister magazine, At Home on the North Shore, introduces us to the Blair family and offers tips on how to achieve mid-century modern style in your home. In The List, we meet Atlantic Canadian rug hookers. Quick-to-make, healthy breakfasts are on deck in Eating In (page 25).
We love to hear your feedback on this issue and your story ideas. Some of our favourite homes and artisan profiles arose out of tips from readers just like you. Message us on Facebook, tag us in a tweet, or email me at the address below. I look forward to hearing from you.
Kim Hart Macneill,