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Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Island Sunset

Our evening with family at Cabot Park on the north shore of Prince Edward Island was a great way to spend our anniversary.


We strolled along a path with our granddaughters as the sun set.


Sylvie, at five, understood the concept of sunset. Caitlin, at three, wanted to see the sunset in the morning too.


Twilight has always been my favourite time of day. On a clear day, those moments, as the sun sinks into the west and the light lingers on the horizon, are magical. This particular evening, the trees became a silhouette against the western sky and for an instant, it felt as if time stood still.


Sat around the campfire,


as the eastern sky darkened and the first stars appeared, 


it was impossible not to think of our younger selves all those years ago, not knowing what lay ahead. 


The years, not without challenges, were good and the blessing of family is well understood. The future, unknown as it is, can never diminish what has been. The sun never sets on love and family.


Monday, 22 August 2016

Hanging out

See these friends at the playground last week?


The youngest one is sixty-four, the others more than a decade older. Each wanted to do a chin-up, requiring extreme effort, amid much laughter. They were three kids hanging out at the playground.

As they played, a young father approached, carrying one child on his chest and accompanied by a four year old girl. She waited a minute for her turn on the monkey bars while her father smiled at the scene.


Second childhood? These seniors have never lost the inner child. May they never lose the desire to play. 

After all, age is but a number.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Buoy oh buoy

They are everywhere we go these days, on the beach as flotsam, 


in mussel beds visible from shore, 

on boats, 


on the wharf

as decoration on mailboxes,


in boatloads on lawns, 


or in trees.


When you make your living from the sea, 


buoys are an important tool for your work.


But as we have learned, they are versatile and pretty too. Who knew?


Friday, 19 August 2016

In Pursuit of Alvin

He is skittish and it has been difficult to get a picture. The squirrels which live along the boardwalk by the bay in Summerside, Prince Edward Island will take peanuts out of your hand. Not so the chipmunks. They love seeds, but aren't trusting of humans.

Chipmunks are fast too. Short of setting up a tripod and buying a new camera, I could not imagine getting any pictures which weren't a blur. Then, on a recent early morning visit to the boardwalk, someone had left seeds near a feeder. A single chipmunk, Alvin, was busy collecting the seeds, filling his pouches and disappearing to stash them. 


The squirrels were occupied with peanuts, so Alvin was undisturbed as he worked.

He posed, first at the base of a tree as he searched for the seeds, 


then on the feeder.


These Eastern chipmunks have beautiful stripes on their backs, a central black one and on each side, two black stripes around a central white one. 


The tail is not as bushy as the squirrels' tails and it is gray fur like some of the fur on its back.


Alvin has long sharp claws like the squirrels, making tree climbing easy for him.


Like a squirrel, his eyes are rimmed with white above and below, and the faces of the two animals are similarly shaped. 

                                                                         Alvin's cousin, McNutt

There aren't as many chipmunks as squirrels in residence on the boardwalk. We have only ever seen one on our visits to the area, so there is little opportunity for a great photo. Then again, how fortunate am I when my greatest concern is how to photograph a chipmunk?

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


Yesterday was one of those summer days you remember all year, warm, sunny with cloudy periods and a nice breeze. Picnic time! We enjoyed the park with our friends and on the way home, dropped by Malpeque Fine Iron Products to see their creations.

Take a look. What creatures do you see and what are they made of?


How about this one?


Or this creepy creature.

My favourite...


Everyone knows this creature.


And the following?


Look familiar?


How about these cuties?


There is so much more at the shop and it's all produced in this workshop.

I will never look at old metal items the same way again! Recycling at its best!


Monday, 15 August 2016

On the Beach

A beach can be a place of surprises. Items wash up, some living creatures or their remnants; others are discarded, or lost items, washed overboard or out to sea. We always notice these items and wonder about them.


Like these steps, what is the story here? 


Were they attached to a house or cottage and washed to sea during a bad storm? Found at the back of the beach, they lead one to think they were washed up during high seas.

Drift wood on the beach is a curiosity.


This piece looks like an alien creature to me. What do you see?

Sand often has impressions of wave action, like the faint lines on the sand under this weathered oyster shell. 


This live gastropod was bigger than we normally see along the beach, left behind at low tide. We returned it to deep water.


Lobster traps are a common find along beaches on the island. Was this one washed overboard, broken from a line of traps at sea, or washed away from its location on shore?


The loss of this trap was a financial loss to the fisherman. It is good the trap did not stay on the bottom of the ocean and continue to catch lobsters. This condition is known as ghost fishing by lost traps or nets.

Jelly fish are common victims of the tides along the beach.


Remnants of the dried creatures are common as the tide returns on hot summer days.

Sea weed, dried and fresh, both inhabit the beaches as well. The dried seaweed, plentiful along some beaches, makes a good fertilizer for the garden, a natural addition, like my grandfather O'Brien used on his vegetable beds in Newfoundland. We collected some for our vegetable patch when we visited Belmont Park earlier this summer.

Fresh seaweed is colourful along the beach. In my youth, interest in sea life prompted me to study phycology, the science of algae. The reproductive lives of seaweed were complicated but interesting to my younger self. Looking at brown seaweed today, though it is variously coloured, I see the inspiration for buoys or floats fishers use. 


This buoy on the beach washed ashore from a net or trap.


It is an example of how people learned from nature; the brown seaweed/algae need the air bladders to stay near the surface of the water to avail of light for photosynthesis. The air bladders are important for food manufacturing; buoys are part of food acquisition.  

While a beach provides a place of relaxation, its changing nature makes it a place of interest as well.  We look forward to our next visit.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Moth Flower

This orchid is Phalaenopsis Aphrodite, commonly known as the moth orchid. 


I have had this plant for six years and it blooms every year. 


Usually, some of the buds will bloom and others will not open until the first blooms die. This year, all of the buds opened simultaneously, so the plant is loaded with blooms.


Have a pleasant Sunday and a great week.