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Friday, 16 August 2019

The setting sun

We sat on the beach and watched during the mere minutes it took the sinking sun to disappear below the western horizon. 

The kids, sat on the laps of the three adults, 

were silent. The only sound was the water lapping on the shoreline. 

The silence was appropriate in front of the natural spectacle.

“Ahhh...,” erupted as the sun finally disappeared.

Then the search began for the first star for each of us to make a wish.

Some moments are unforgettable for several reasons.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Through the wildflowers

Looking out to the harbour at Summerside from the boardwalk, one must look through the wildflowers in a number of areas this month. It makes for a rare view of the harbour, filtered through the wild colours and beauty of nature. 

Queen Anne’s lace, whether in a meadow-like setting

or a few clumps here and there, 

always catch the eye. Spent blooms close into basket shapes as the seeds form. The baskets have their own intricacy. Could a human hand create such beauty?

Goldenrod adds some of the yellow of its August glory to the scenes 

as it pops up amid various coloured companions, including the purples of thistle.

Various grasses are tall and wave in the breeze, 

reaching over the heads of most of the passers-by. Their height and uniformity make me stop and look.

Insects love the various wild blooms too and occasionally I capture them with the lens. 

Meanwhile, the harbour has diamonds on its surface, the sun offering her best reflections as background.

Every time my husband and I visit the boardwalk, I photograph the same scenes. This month will bring much change to the area as the flowers set their seed. I am interested to see them.

Monday, 12 August 2019


You have to admire their tenacity. In a rock face,

or in a piece of driftwood, 

a seed finds enough soil to sprout and grow. 

How do seeds thrive in rock and other inhospitable substrates? There must be enough soil in the crevices to sustain them. 

Seeds are on a mission. Propagate! Grow! And they do, in harsh circumstances where they hang on, even thrive, long enough to bloom and produce seeds. 

Roots push into cracks and crevices and water gets in. The frost and freezing in the harsher months creates a bit more soil and the next year a few more seeds can sprout. Before long a patch of wildflowers is thriving.

Tenacity helps plants establish life in the most adverse circumstances. 

Sounds familiar!

Sunday, 4 August 2019

Bits and bobs 2

Spring was cold and wet this year. Crops were planted late because of the cold wet soil but everything is growing well now. We’ve been eating from the garden for a few weeks. Lettuce, kale, broccoli and herbs have been available for weeks. Tomatoes are beginning to ripen and the beans soon will be ready too. Cucumbers and peppers will be a bit longer.

Rhodesia at commented that 14 C was too cold for her for a picnic. We find that temperature, 57 F perfect for a picnic, especially if the wind isn’t high. It is easy to layer clothes for comfort and having the right clothing and gear with you makes for great picnics in the spring, even when the temperature is closer to zero. It all comes down to what you are accustomed to and this is normal for us. I prefer the cooler temperatures to the heat and humidity.

The government of Prince Edward Island has banned single use plastic bags at the check-out. I have always carried reusable bags in the car but they didn’t always make it into the grocery store. Nowwe need to take them everywhere or pay for paper bags at the check-out. I haven’t seen one paper bag in use since the ban came in a month ago. People are applauding the government for this step. It is in keeping with the composting and recycling which has been in place here for going on twenty years. At our house, we have little garbage every week and would like to reduce it further. One of the grocery stores, a New Brunswick company which has grocery stores nation wide, is eliminating the single use bags across the country. They are also eliminating the plastic produce bags for reusable ones as well. There is change happening, slowly but surely. The days of our disposable society are numbered. Maybe.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Point Prim

We were on a quest for starfish. They are plentiful around the mussel farms of Prince Edward Island but we never see them on the beaches. On-line searches revealed Point Prim as a location with starfish in the tidal pools but the information was several years old. Since we could see the area from the beach house, we took the kids for a short drive to check it out.

The bonus this day was the lighthouse at the Point. It is the oldest lighthouse on Prince Edward Island, a tapered cylinder which is an unusual design for a lighthouse in Canada. Also unusual, it is made of brick covered in wooden shingles. Built in 1845, it looks good for its advanced years.

The girls went into the museum and up the tower with their mother while their younger brother stayed with their grandfather and me. Every summer we visit some of the lighthouses around the island and the kids have been to the top of several of them.

Low tide meant there were numerous tidal pools around the Point and the girls were anxious to search for starfish. Their brother is delighted with everything we do.

We spent an hour exploring the area, without finding any starfish. We did enjoy watching the hermit crabs which are plentiful in the tidal pools. The most interesting feature however was the “white” sandstone which covered the outer area of the beach.

When we looked more closely, we could see the tiny barnacles which covered every available surface of sandstone. Such a curious sight! Barnacles by the millions waited for the sea to return. 

While we didn’t have any luck with starfish, we had a great excursion with the kids.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Roses through time

The old green house stood overlooking the bay. It was small by modern standards but adequate for the time. The family survived on the hard work of both parents, the fisher/farmer father and the mother, who was involved in every part of life in rural Newfoundland, besides doing everything at home.

Outside the front door, which was rarely used, on either side of the steps, rose bushes grew untended over the years. Who had time for cosmetic gardening when there were fish to catch and process, animals to tend and vegetables to grow besides raising three children? The roses flourished on their own.

These were the flowers of my youth, buds like lipstick, rose-pink petals with yellow centers, scent in the air especially after the rain, petals covering the ground when blooms were spent. 

Recently, another green house, on another island, took me back in time.  At the beach house, the owners had planted rose bushes around the house.

Those bushes, a hub of activity for the insect population, were a source of fond memories of my grandparents’ home in Motion Bay, in the province of my birth.

On Prince Edward Island, the roses are visited by bees and other insects as they bloom untended around the house which faces the Northumberland Strait.

White roses are here too, just as pretty and inviting to the six legged creatures and enjoyable to the humans as the rose-pink ones. 

From the hot tub on the screened-in deck, I can hear the buzz and smell the rose scent as my grandchildren and I relax in the hot water. 

Every now and then, the past and the present merge as life comes full circle.