An interesting example of sand-drift occurs near Wellington Bay, on Lake Ontario, ten miles from Pictou. The lake shore near the sand banks is indented with a succession of rock-paved bays, whose gradually shoaling margins afford rare bathing grounds. East and West Lakes, each five miles long, and the latter dotted with islands, are separated from Lake Ontario by narrow strips of beach. Over the two mile-wide isthmus separating the little lakes, the sand banks, whose glistening heights are visible miles away, are approached. On near approach they are hidden by the cedar woods, till the roadway in front is barred by the advancing bank, to avoid which a roadway through the woods has been constructed up to the eastern end of the sand range. The sand banks stretch like a crescent along the shore, the concave side turned to the lake, along which it leaves a pebbly beach. The length of the crescent is over two miles, the width 600 to 3,000 or 4,000 feet.
Clambering up the steep end of the range among trees and grapevines, the wooded summit is gained, at an elevation of nearly 150 feet. Passing along the top, the woods soon disappear, and the visitor emerges on a wild waste of delicately tinted saffron, rising from the slate-colored beach in gentle undulation, and sleepily falling on the other side down to green pastures and into the cedar woods. The whole surface of this gradually undulating mountain desert is ribbed by little wavelets a few inches apart, but the general aspect is one of perfect smoothness. The sand is almost as fine as flour, and contains no admixture of dust The foot sinks only an inch or two in walking over it; children roll about on it and down its slopes, and, rising, shake themselves till their clothing loses every trace of sand. Occasionally gusts stream over the wild waste, raising a dense drift to a height of a foot or two only, and streaming like a fringe over the steep northern edge. Though the sun is blazing down on the glistening wilderness there is little sensation of heat, for the cool lake breeze is ever blowing. On the landward side, the insidious approach of the devouring sand is well marked.
One hundred and fifty feet below, the foot of this moving mountain is sharply defined against the vivid green of the pastures, on which the grass grows luxuriantly to within an inch of the sand wall. The ferns of the cedar woods almost droop against the sandy slope. The roots of the trees are bare along the white edge; a foot or two nearer the sand buries the feet of the cedars: a few yards nearer still the bare trunks disappear; still nearer only the withered topmast twigs of the submerged forest are seen, and then far over the tree tops stands the sand range. Perpetual ice is found under the foot of this steep slope, the sand covering and consolidating the snows drifted over the hill during the winter months. There is something awe-inspiring, says the correspondent of the Toronto Globe, in the slow, quiet, but resistless advance of the mountain front. Field and forest alike become completely submerged. Ten years ago a farm-house was swallowed up, not to emerge in light until the huge sand wave has passed over.