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Sunday, 11 April 2021

A chorus

The audience was moving, riding through a theatre with a tree lined stage which was full of performers, many unseen. 





Their voices were varied, some familiar, many not. My husband and I were part of this audience, in front row seats on a calm spring morning as we rode our bikes on the Confederation Trail from Summerside, Prince Edward Island.


The performers were feathered, in a chorus singing their hearts out as we rode by. 





The voices of the Song Sparrows were recognizable as were the Blue Jays. Robins hopped along the sides of the trail on occasion but didn’t stop long enough for photos. Occasionally we could hear them in the chorus. If only we could have identified all the songsters.


A hawk cast a shadow on the trail while Black Ducks took to flight as we rode by, quacking as they went.


Riding along, we could hear the choir as we rode into and out of the songsters’ positions. Thousands of performers put on their best show.



                                                                Snow still fills the ditches in places.

We smiled the entire time.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Feathered friends

The salt marsh which is sometimes a pond along the boardwalk is changed again. A recent storm removed the seaweed and sand which provided a dam at the mouth of the pond. Now the pond is gone and a stream is back in its place. You can see the opening to the harbour in the photo.





The poor American Black Ducks which call the area home don’t have enough depth to swim in places. Now we see them on the beach most days. Another storm is required to wash seaweed and sand back into the opening in the natural dam. I hope the ducks get their home back in their favourite condition soon.





Late in March, a pair of Kildeer were back in the marsh area. A pair hung out there last summer. Could they be the same birds? 





One day recently, this Hairy Woodpecker was interested in the senior taking her photo. 





The American Robins were back on the island during the last few days of March.





A Black-capped Chickadee landed on the bridge while I was there. I placed my hand in my pocket and the little bird flew around my head. I imagine it expected some food.





Mourning Doves like to pick seeds off the bridge when there aren’t any walkers around.





Dozens of Song Sparrows sing their greetings all along the boardwalk. Several were busy on the bridge collecting seeds one day. These tiny birds have powerful voices and their songs fill the air.




Tree Sparrows continue to visit the bridge as well.





A Red-winged Blackbird  finally stood still long enough for me to photograph him. We have heard their chatter for a few weeks.





The Blue Jays along the boardwalk are always talkative. Their voices dominate any choir.





A Herring Gull 





and a Ring-billed Gull 





are from a flock of various gull species enjoying the harbour these days.


The harbour/boardwalk area is an avian paradise despite the cold so far this spring.




Monday, 5 April 2021

Notes from the isle

The temperature warmed up for a week then we had snow again. Now we are into a week or more of rain. Maritime weather in spring is totally unpredictable but it marks our gradual emergence from what feels like our winter confinement.


My husband and I brought the barbecue out to the deck again, ahead of the warmer weather. The only encouragement we needed was the lack of snow on the patio. Clothes are on the line again too. As soon as it starts to warm up, the dryer has a rest for a few months. Probably most importantly though, we open the windows on occasion. The fresh air requires a duvet on the bed for another few weeks but that’s perfect. It will be too hot soon enough.    


What a great feeling to be on the bikes again, more than three months since our last rides. I was shaky for 20 seconds when I started but adjusted easily. My husband had no problems either.


Whenever possible, we walk the boardwalk then ride our bikes. It is quiet in our area in the mornings, a perfect place to try out our bikes again while we wait for the snow to disappear from the trails. Our first long ride will be in Cavendish but around the neighbourhood is fine for now when weather permits.

 

Meanwhile, my husband and I both have our appointments for vaccinations later this month which will be a relief for sure. The province plans to vaccinate everyone before second shots are administered this summer.


Looking ahead, the hope in Atlantic Canada is to have another Atlantic bubble, like last summer, beginning April 19th. This will mean anyone who is a resident of the four Canadian Atlantic provinces can travel among those provinces without two weeks isolation on entering another or returning to one’s home province. Such is not the case at the present time. Maybe other Canadians will be able to visit later this summer. It is almost too much to imagine after the year we’ve had. 


Slowly but surely, we are creeping back into the world after a pandemic winter.



Thursday, 1 April 2021

Shades of blue

The shades of blue in sea and sky always catch my attention and the boardwalk in Summerside is a perfect place to see them. While I appreciate a clear blue sky, the hues of blue cloud which often precede rain are captivating. Add in the sea and I am in blue heaven.





Sea ice adds another element to the blues.





The colours along the shoreline provide some contrast, while sometimes the ice in the harbour is all that distinguishes sea from sky.





A sky in hues of blue is reflected in a small section of open water in the harbour. It doesn’t take much water to make a perfect scene.





This favourite bench is a perfect place for the blues.





Then, on occasion when you only have a cell phone as a camera, fog beyond the harbour, the dark blue patches of sea between the surface ice and a storm-blue sky stop you in your tracks. 








Monday, 29 March 2021

Foggy mornings

Ahhh...spring, when an islander’s thoughts turn to fog. That’s what I was thinking during our 9 a.m. walks on the boardwalk this past week. We don’t have a lot of fog on Prince Edward Island but we had some every day last week.





Fog is a genteel visitor, faintly covering the harbour on occasion, adding an element of beauty to the familiar Front Range Light. She adds a sense of mystery to the landscape on a beautiful sunny day, when she creeps onshore.





Other times, fog is ostentatious, blocking our view of familiar landmarks, as she asserts her presence. 





The same scene can look dramatically different if she changes her approach.



Either way, she is a curiosity of nature.


Her long finger stretches forth in this photo from Saturday. Fog sits at the surface of the harbour, slowly stretching over the land she encounters.





The Indian Head Lighthouse at the entrance of the harbour knows all about fog. 





It has endured all of her moves and moods for 140 years. Fog nor her sister ice are no match for this seasoned sentinel.




Fog adds another element of beauty to nature.




Thursday, 25 March 2021

Spring melt

It has been warmer this week, double digit temperatures and sunny days. Spring! Here, we measure early spring by the snow on the ground and ice in the harbour. Both are taking a hit this week. The boardwalk is more exposed each day as the snow melts.





More water is showing through the harbour ice every day as the ice melts too. Before long, the ice will be broken up enough so that a strong off shore wind will take the ice out to sea.





People walking the boardwalk have spring in their step as well. Everyone comments about the beautiful weather. We are enjoying every minute of the spring melt.


The birds along the boardwalk appear to be enjoying the warm weather too. Their voices are raised in chorus, the year-round Blue Jays and American Crows are joined by the newly arrived Mourning Doves 




and dozens of Song Sparrows. 





You can also hear Red-winged Blackbirds but we haven’t seen them yet. A small flock of European Starlings watched the proceedings from a lofty perch above the entire scene.





The stream was partially frozen one day and two American Black Duck were back checking out the area again. They appear anxious to be back home.





The next day, the stream was open and the muskrats were out and about too. 





The Red Squirrels are busy as always. They approach walkers, expecting peanuts or other seeds or chase each other around the area. 





Before long there will be new members of the community as mating season is on the horizon. 


Meanwhile, the forecast is for 30-40 centimetres of snow on Friday. That too will melt! 


Update:


The temperature has stayed warm. The snow has been replaced with rain, such that now we have a heavy rainfall warning. 


Monday, 22 March 2021

Signs of spring

We drove along the north central shore of Prince Edward Island to check out the Parkway biking/walking trail in the National Park. There are long sections of trail we will be able to ride soon as the temperature warms up this week. While we were in the park, my husband and I visited some of our favourite places.


Cavendish Beach stretches out in the spring sunshine, 





with the countryside visible in the distance.





There is a great deal of snow around yet and ice hugs the shoreline.


In North Rustico, the harbour ice is melting,





which the birds appear to enjoy.





At Orby Head, the last of the ice clings to the shoreline. 





From the cliffs there, it looks like water poured from the rocks and froze on its way down to the beach.





Maybe the warmer temperatures this week will melt the ice on the weeping cliffs.


Welcome spring!