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Wednesday, 10 August 2022

A visit to the Cape

It was hot with the usual Prince Edward Island breeze making the temperature bearable. My husband and I drove along the French shore of the island, just west of Summerside, with the windows open, the breeze flowing through the car as we enjoyed the sea view. We were headed to Cape Egmont.

The Cape is a headland jutting into the Northumberland Strait and just off-shore, attached to the shoreline via a stoney umbilical cord,

a sea stack is visible below the cliff. The red sandstone in this area has a thick layer of soil above which is easily eroded. 

The stone takes a bit longer.

The sea stack has two holes these days, a larger one on the landward side. 

Above is a great perch for birds, especially cormorants on this particular day. One with damaged feathers makes a curious sight as it approaches for a landing. 

Some on the perch dry normal looking wings in the breeze.

Walking along the headland, one can look east along the coastline as far as Union Corner. 

Looking west, there is my husband on the narrow strip of land opposite the sea stack taking photos.

I could not stand in that narrow place myself and cannot watch my husband there. Instead I focus on the lighthouse and beyond, 

the wharf where lobster boats leave today as the second lobster season begins on the island.

Off-shore, jet skis or sea-doos zip along the coastline. They always remind me of snowmobiles, a common sight in winter in Canada. These summer versions don’t require as much clothing.

Leaving the Cape, we saw a hare crossing the road. I had to settle for a photo through the car window.

On that hot Sunday afternoon, on the way home we stopped for ice cream at a dairy bar in the area. A horse watched from its trailer as the driver lined up to order. The horse wants some too!

P. S.


Are blogs you once followed not appearing on your blog feed any longer though you haven’t made any changes and those blogs are still active? Is there a fix for it?

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Birds of a feather

We look forward to our morning walks on the boardwalk these days as the heat and humidity keep us close to home the rest of the day. My husband and I always start at the gazebo then we walk the short trail to the beach. 

We attempt to slip into the scenery so as not to disturb any birds there. 

I like to sit on the rocks and watch quietly as they come, go and walk along the beach, feeding.

It takes a few minutes to spot the birds. This area of beach has small rocks and most of the shorebirds blend into the scene so well. In time, one sees movement among the rocks. How many birds can you see on this beach below? Hint: there are two sizes of birds there, larger Ruddy Turnstones and smaller Semi-palmated Plovers.

A scan of the water’s edge reveals other shorebirds as well. They forage in silhouette often, depending on their location in relation to the sun. Patience makes for better photos and easier identification.

                                               Left, Lesser Yellowlegs. Right, Greater Yellowlegs.

Then there are the larger birds. Recently, on a visit to Cape Egmont, we watched cormorants land on the sea stack there. Two of the birds had damaged wings which didn’t appear to impede flight. I wonder about their chances during the long flight south however.

Along the boardwalk, several of the Blue Jays recently have had bald heads, probably due to molting. The feathers grow back quickly but make for an unusual sight among the Jay population.

And finally, but consistently along the shoreline, the quiet as we sit and watch is broken by the sound of a shell dropping to earth from a gull above. 

We saw something in an old snag recently and a close-up showed it to be a shell which could have been dropped prematurely by one of the gulls. 

They will repeatedly scoop up the same shell and drop it until it breaks, then eat the food inside.

This time in nature is a great way to forget the cares of the world and just enjoy nature and life in general. 


P. S.

In the photo of the two species of birds on the beach, there are 6 small birds, Semi-palmated Plovers and 3 larger birds, Ruddy Turnstones.

Maebeme asked about molting in Blue Jays. The birds molt after nesting every year. The Jays on the boardwalk here already have their feathers back.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

On the breeze

From late spring to early autumn, it is common to see sailboats in the bay at Summerside. This past weekend, a sailing race from Summerside to Charlottetown made for an interesting morning on the boardwalk as well. While we missed their sail past the lighthouse, we enjoyed watching the boats in the Northumberland Strait as they headed for the Confederation Bridge while we walked in our favourite location.

Meanwhile, one boat was headed in the wrong direction. Before long, it turned around and caught the breeze which brought it close to the others.

However, it was the last one to sail through the Confederation Bridge.

My husband and I weren’t the only spectators that day. Yellowlegs kept a one-legged vigil along the shoreline, 

though on occasion they just couldn’t take the excitement and averted their eyes from the vessels. Later, we noticed some decided to sit it out entirely.

There are always distractions along the boardwalk. That day, we noticed a sunflower, probably from a seed dropped by a bird or squirrel. Every year at least one seed from bird food survives the animals and bursts forth to meet the sun.

As we walked, a Downy Woodpecker was busy among the trees. It is the first one we’ve seen this summer, though they are common in the autumn.

Other boats not competing in the race sailed past the lighthouse too. 

It is easy to see the curvature of the earth while watching those boats head toward the mainland across the Northumberland Strait. As they dip below the horizon, only the top of the mast and sail are visible. 

And as always, some lucky creatures can sail on the breeze any time. 


The photos of the sailboats were taken with the Nikon 83 optimal zoom. They aren’t great.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

A bench with a view

Sometimes I like to sit and take in the view 

when we’re walking along the boardwalk. Occasionally my husband sits with me, other times he continues on his way and stops with me on his way back. This particular bench has a beautiful ocean view and this time of year, the patch of wildflowers provides a lacy edge along the shoreline.  

The dominant bloom now along paths, trails and roadways is Queen Anne’s Lace. 

The Queen rules her domain by sheer numbers but the individual flowers are quite pretty, and a close look reveals a tiny purple flower in the centre of some. 

Blooms are tall enough to move with the wind making them a swaying sea of white to complement the blue beyond.

They dance to the beat on the breeze which only they can sense. The Queens can be mesmerizing to watch most island days when the breeze is a welcome relief from the heat, or for them, a welcome break from the routine of showing their faces to the sun.

The lacy ones welcome all who settle and grow around them, from the newly arrived Joe Pye Weed

to the ubiquitous yellow blooms of the week. 

Clover adds a bit of interest here and there. Chicory is new this year and goldenrod is just starting its tenure for this season. 

Looking through the cluster, you can’t help but notice the green glow, 

provided by leaves and stems, which is often overlooked when the showy blooms abound.

Put those blooms against a blue backdrop of sea and/or sky and you have perfection.

Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Something new every day

My husband and I walk the boardwalk most days about mid morning, before it is too hot. One of the good things about the area is the breeze along the coastline which cools us as we go. The area which we frequent, is different day to day and my husband and I enjoy discovering what is new or different. 

We always start at the gazebo to see what is happening at the salt marsh/pond that morning. 

There are usually American Black Ducks but if we are lucky, one of the Great Blue Herons who return to Bedeque Bay every summer is visiting the marsh too.

Birds are some of my favourite animals. Birds of any size, shape and description are fascinating to me and I enjoy observing them. I take numerous shots with the hope of one good photo. I especially enjoy photos of birds when several species are in the frame. 

I was pleased this month to see these three species co-existing at the end of the marsh, with the sea in the background. 

The American Black Ducks live in the marsh, moving easily between the marsh and the bay. 

Gulls are always around the bay and this may be a Herring Gull. 

We watched the Great Blue Heron disappear into the bulrushes.

The same day we saw an Osprey that lives in the area perched on a pole which gives it a great view of its domain. 

We hear Osprey and see them hunting sometimes along our way.

A Yellow Bellied Sapsucker was busy among the trees as well. This one stayed at this particular tree long enough for me to take a photo.

Another of the treats that day was the chicory plant which was blooming beside the trail.

It was the first such plant I’d seen along the trail and I’ve noticed it every day since. It is a pretty wildflower which is used in medicine and as a cooking spice.

We always notice the chipmunks too. 

They are so tiny this time of year. Could they be any cuter?

Every day our favourite place for a walk has something which is picture worthy.

Sunday, 24 July 2022

Along the way in 2022

As we travel around the Prince Edward Island, there are always interesting things or curiosities which we see along the way. 

There is an area of the boardwalk which I call Hobbit House. It gets a lot of animal activity when birdseed or peanuts are left there. Hobbits visit when people leave for the day.

Recently our travels took us to the beach at Yankee Hill. Someone in the area put this sign up by the parking lot. 

There wasn’t much there that day but beach toys for kids are left there often. 

Some time later, the evening news reported about the items left at the sign having been stolen. My wish is that life never gets so newsworthy on this gentle island that such stories don’t make the evening news.

This fishing shack at Malpeque has an message which brings a smile to many.

In keeping with the fishing theme, someone decided to reuse fishing buoys found on the beach at Brander’s Pond. It is a good way to keep the stray buoys from littering the ocean or the beach.

This lone Canada Goose enjoyed his time among the gulls and swimming in the ocean with a cormorant. He was an unusual sight, the first goose we’ve ever seen on the beach. 

At French River a kayaker returned to shore after a paddle through the channel. It must be nice to see the shoreline from a different perspective and see cormorants close-up. 

My husband and I are planning to take our daughter’s kayak for a spin after tourist season when the West River area is less crowded. I miss riding my bicycle and the kayak would be something different to experience. It was my husband’s idea and he is not a fan of the water, but is eager to try it. You can bet there will be life jackets involved.