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Thursday, 2 April 2020

Copying


The harbour ice was beginning to break up though the ice was still on-shore.





Then the wind changed direction overnight and much of the ice moved off-shore. However, along the shoreline in the outer part of the harbour, huge pans of ice were stranded because of the low tide. 




It made me think of my Newfoundland home.


During the spring years ago in the coves and bays, any chance they had, youngsters were copying, jumping from pan to pan of floating ice, following a leader as they went. Imagine the ice as thicker and far less even as it floated around with the tide. A combination of broad jump and balance beam skills were required as each child in turn crossed a cove pan by pan. A false step could be deadly as falling or slipping into the cold Atlantic was a real threat. Over the years some young people lost their lives.


Many a parent threatened their children with serious bodily injury if they were caught copying. Meanwhile youngsters looked for opportunities when their parents were occupied so they could play on the ice. 


Here in Summerside, the ice is too thin and isn’t floating so it wouldn’t be much of a challenge though it looks like someone checked it out.


The next day the ice was gone into the Northumberland Strait where 7 degrees Celsius quickly melted it. 





However, I enjoyed the memories of home.



Sunday, 29 March 2020

Ducky

The ice is finally gone on the stream and the ducks came back right away, as if they were watching nearby when the water started flowing. There were three American Black Ducks on the stream, 





two swimming around above the bridge and another preening itself 





on ice at the edge of the stream.





The preening one gave quite a show 





as it contorted its neck while we watched.





The large duck looked quite pleased with itself as it finished 





and strutted along the ice.





Ducks are such interesting creatures and are a pleasure to watch. Two of my favourite photos from last year were of a single American Black Duck in a salt water marsh further along the boardwalk.





The bird looks so thrilled with itself and life in general.





Pretty bird! 



Friday, 27 March 2020

Spring around here

These days, my husband and I are on the boardwalk any day the weather permits. Since we are not seeing our grandchildren, family or friends, except via technology, the outdoors and exercise are more important than ever.


Since pandemic isolation keeps us physically away from others, keeping up with fellow bloggers is important too. The signs of spring in your blogs are spectacular as bulbs erupt and bloom and trees blossom. Even the autumn looks of Australia and New Zealand are filled with colour. As we walk here, we look for signs of spring around us, though they don’t involve colour. Here, disappearing ice and snow signal spring. These photos were taken just over a week in time. They show the melting ice, shifting and thinning sea ice and melting snow. 


From the bridge, looking out to the harbour, 





the snow covered ice gave way to clear ice 





which then melted.





When it’s windy, the sea ice moves around. The Northumberland Strait 





which was full of ice a few days ago is now open, with ice predominantly along the shoreline of the island.





Along the walkway, 





the snow is disappearing as well.





While there aren’t any blossoms or blooms, our time in the spring air as the temperature rises gives us hope for the colour to come and the end of the pandemic.




Sunday, 22 March 2020

Meanwhile

People across the planet are faced with the reality of the Covid 19 pandemic. Canada, with the rest of the world, is grappling with how to control the rate of infection so as not to overburden the health care system. Here on Prince Edward Island, returning March break vacationers have been urged to self isolate. The three infected people here returned from vacations.


Meanwhile, along the boardwalk, the animals are going about their business as usual. The blue jays are watching every move as walkers often leave peanuts for them. They provide colour among the trees.





A huge murder of crows enjoyed the boardwalk this past winter. Only a few were visible this day but this one was quite loud. It sounded like it was scolding us.





The red squirrels were active. This acrobatic one managed to retrieve seeds from the hanging feeder.





We’d had snow which clung to some of the trees and as the day progressed, water ran down the tree trunks. We watched several minutes as this squirrel licked the water from the trees.





Now that much of human activity has ground to a halt, pollution levels over large cities have decreased tremendously. Is this virus showing us the path forward for the health of the planet? Pandemic for humans means the earth gets a breather.

Friday, 20 March 2020

An anti-viral tale

Time at home has never been a problem for me or my husband. Since we retired, there have been times in the winter when I haven’t gone outside for more than two weeks. I hate the cold biting winds and staying inside is an option when the treadmill provides exercise. My husband is the same. Our introverted selves are happy at home.


Every winter, I only buy groceries every two weeks or more. By the time I go for groceries, every fruit and veg in the house has been used. We waste little. I bought groceries early last Saturday morning when there were few people in the store. To avoid the flu every year, I have learned not to touch my face so I don’t find it difficult any more. Much hand washing followed though and I washed anything I touched when I came in the house. We have groceries for a few weeks at least.


A parcel arrived and I washed down the box and its contents. Mail gets the same going over and is left to air dry.


There are two confirmed cases of Covid 19 on Prince Edward Island, a person returned from a cruise and another from a trip to the U.K. Their contacts have been isolated and over two hundred people tested. We have had contact with our daughter and the kids and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future.


The kids are out of school for March break and schools are closed for an additional two weeks. Our daughter keeps a schedule of school work, chores, time outdoors, puzzles and games with them. For now, they are excited about their confinement. Who knows how long that will last? Teachers will have academic information for parents on-line next week as well.


I was out yesterday to help a friend in Emergency at the hospital for an issue unrelated to Covid. There was a hand wash station inside the doors as well as masks at the entrance to the area. A nurse in protective garb questioned me before I was allowed any further. To say I was nervous there is an understatement. We owe a huge debt to the men and women who go to work and risk their own health and that of their families every day during this crisis.


We will walk along the boardwalk for some fresh air. It is possible to stay away from fellow walkers there since the area is never crowded. The time in nature is better than a walk in the neighbourhood. However for me, either is better than the treadmill.


How are social distancing and isolation going for you? 











Monday, 16 March 2020

Change of plans

Travel is a thing of the past for my husband and I. Once avid world travellers, it has been six years since we took out the passports to go abroad. That changed last week as we packed the old suitcases and with renewed passports, planned to travel with our daughter and the grandkids. Friday was the departure date. That was until Thursday night when closures and travel advisories changed our plans. The Covid 19 virus hit the travel industry.

Our flight and reservations were booked early last October. This virus wasn’t on anyone’s radar at that time. Our daughter decided she wouldn’t tell the kids about the trip until the morning we left. It would be a huge surprise. Suitcases were readied without their knowledge. I had prepared a scavenger hunt for them for Friday morning, with clues as to where we were going. Our daughter had everything in place Thursday night, ready for the kids. It was not to be.

It was fortunate they didn’t know about the trip because I wouldn’t want them to be one half as devastated as our daughter was. However, at the same time, my husband and I, both in our sixties, had the viral news foremost in our minds all along. It is hard to describe the mixed feelings we had about the prospect of travel at this time. Things worked out for the best obviously.

We managed to recoup the total cost of the trip. The hotel was not an issue. Air Canada gave us a refund instead of another flight because of a mistake they made with our booking. We were very fortunate. How could we plan another trip when it is impossible to know how long this virus will be a threat? 

We hope to survive the onslaught of the virus and travel with our family at a future date.



 

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Out of the ice

My usual poetry is rhyming verse for the grandkids. They love scavenger hunts and I write the rhyming clues which result in giggles and scurrying. Inspired by the Confederation Bridge, I wrote this poem about my winter experience of the bridge. No rhymes involved.



It rises out of the ice and snow


Which blankets the Northumberland Strait...


Thirteen kilometres of defiance.





Ingenuity and design determined


How to span the distance


And withstand nature’s icy breath.





We stand and watch as vehicles


Traverse the distance on this winter day...


Concrete defying winter’s embrace.



Arches are reminiscent of Roman aqueducts,

 

But traffic flows here above the water


As sons and daughters come home to visit.





Economics keeps traffic moving too 


Though nature can stop everything


When the weather dictates.





Soon ships will travel through the arches.


Then tourists will join the regular traffic


As those who watch continue to marvel at its beauty.