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Sunday 16 June 2024

June in bloom

Our morning routine has changed recently to accommodate the weather. It has been humid in the afternoons, so our walks are earlier in the morning when it is cooler. Life has moved to the patio for the summer too, many meals cooked on the barbecue and eaten on the deck. I love this time of year.

It is lupin time now. 

We have seen some along our usual pathways but lupins require a special visit to large patches we know in the area. We will visit the lupins soon. Daisies are present too with their beautiful faces smiling in the sun.

We usually arrive at the trail or boardwalk after eight a.m. and the early morning has attracted some of our favourite animals too. A Great Blue Heron likes fishing at that time 

and a female Mallard likes that hour as well.

Away from the marsh, young foxes enjoy the early morning, playing near the boardwalk.

It is green and shaded along the Rotary Trail though light makes it to the trail in places. 

The wind, usually present here, rustles the leaves, creating its own sound track. However, the birds add their voices too, Warblers I can’t identify and Blue Jays or Robins which I recognize.

A nice addition to nature this past week was the presence of tadpoles near the surface of a pond along the Rotary Trail. 

Hundreds of the larvae were visible just below the surface of the water.

We’ve checked in on the Bald Eagle pair recently too. One adult was in a nearby tree while a young one was visible in the nest.

On-line, we keep a watch on the pair of Osprey at Blackbush, Prince Edward Island, where two of the four eggs have hatched and the parents are busy feeding the two hungry chicks. The photo taken from the feed is blurred but worth a look.

On the home front, the tomatoes, peppers and cucumber plants are all transplanted and doing well but beans have yet to break ground. We look forward to the produce from our strip of earth.

It is a glorious time in nature!

Sunday 9 June 2024

Early June

We’ve had another week close to home working in the garden. Between trips to the garden centre, when weeding filled the day, sore muscles made the next day a chore. The vegetable plants will go in the garden this week.

On lists of healthy dietary must haves these days, kale often makes the cut. I planted kale last June and left it in the garden late fall. Well, fall became winter and those six kale plants weathered the worst Prince Edward Island could throw at them. This spring, when I expected mush where the plants were located, healthy plants greeted me. I swear, kale will be the last plant on earth after the apocalypse.

Garlic, planted late October, will be ready next month 

and rhubarb is plentiful, enough to share with friends. Rhubarb contributed to a great birthday cake recently.

In the flower bed, the nine bunches of peonies we are tending are in bud, waiting for a wind storm to bloom, at least that’s what always happens. They are our favourite blooms though they only last a few days every year.

Under the patio deck, a new generation of robins learned the sad truth about crows raiding nests in the area. The robins abandoned this beautiful nest after the crows ate their eggs.

When we did walk the boardwalk this past week, Dame’s Rockets had popped up along the shoreline. 

Ferns are unfurled now and are a welcome addition to the greenery. Chokecherry trees are in bloom and the trail is lined with them.

Meanwhile, a mama Red Squirrel was in a feeder, taking time to eat before returning to her babies.

It was a busy week but a lovely one in June.

Sunday 2 June 2024

A week around here

Family commitments kept us close to home this past week, so we kept our walking to the boardwalk. I finally finished spring cleaning and we bought the mulch we needed for the garden. My husband and I hope to get the work done outside this week. In between, there may be a picnic or two.

One day, the sun poked through the clouds to illuminate the far side of the lighthouse in Bedeque Bay. Cormorants were visible along the rocks and platform there.

The warblers have returned to Prince Edward Island and we saw a few this past week. Yellow Warblers serenaded walkers 

while this Yellow-rumped Warbler collected material for its nest.

The Black Duck grabbed our attention as it noisily made its way to the salt marsh. The other soon followed.

Great Blue Herons frequent the salt marsh. It looks like they can twist their long necks in a knot.

This male Mallard is without his mate now. She is probably on a nest these days while mister argues with the Black Ducks in the salt marsh. The fine pattern on the white feathers and the fluorescent colours on his head are evidence of nature’s artistry.

Muskrats, which were absent from the marsh last summer, have returned this spring. They are welcome additions!

In the woodland along the trail, Blue Jays find peanuts left by walkers 

before the chipmunks can get to the nutty treasures. 

In the field by the trail, this American Robin draws our attention due to the feathers on the front of its upper breast. 

Could this be the start of molting?

This Red Fox, photographed from a distance, proved it has beautiful teeth.

Finally, closer to home, these two male Northern Flickers landed on a backyard fence. 

The bird on the right mimicked the movement of the bird on the left. They stayed in the area for several minutes bobbing their heads and other movements, initiated by one and repeated by the other. 

The animals make any day more interesting.

Sunday 26 May 2024

Blooming May

It was a great week of weather, with sunny days though coats were required on the north shore due to the cool on-shore breeze. We even had rain one night to keep the farmers happy.

My husband and I made some new friends this past week, fellow blogger Dorothy and her husband Patrick, from New Hampshire in the United States. This is Dorothy’s blog     

When bloggers I follow visit the island, circumstances may prevent us from meeting. This week however, we were fortunate to be able to spend time with Dorothy and Patrick on the north shore and in Summerside. A shared enjoyment of nature and similar interests quickly made us friends.

On the north shore, we visited Savage Harbour where the lobster boats were returning to port. I captured one between a gap in the trees along the shoreline. 

I always photograph the remnants of these two trees along the shoreline when we visit the harbour. Despite their demise, they stand against the elements and the colours in the setting always appeal to me. 

On this excursion, we had a picnic at St. Peter’s Bay with Dorothy and Patrick.

Another day, we walked the part of the boardwalk with our friends. We were fortunate to see our first Great Blue Heron of the season in the salt marsh.

It stealthily fished in the marsh but my favourite photo was of its wings, which look like a heart in this shot.

There was a small flock of Cedar Waxwings along the boardwalk too. 

They are always a welcome sight. The Red Squirrels were their usual entertaining selves.

Dorothy and Patrick took us to lunch and we took them for dessert at Holman’s for homemade ice cream. The garden at Holman’s is lovely, full of blooms, including magnolias.

The canopy of magnolia is a beautiful though fleeting pleasure enjoyed for a few days every spring.

Finally, we bought gas this past week for the first time for our plug-in hybrid car which we purchased in early January. We drove 3200+ kilometres on a tank of gas and the hydro bill isn’t higher. This car, a Kia Niro, is perfect for our lifestyle and we are pleased with it.

Sunday 19 May 2024

A sunny week

This past week was sunny, a run of days when one enjoys being out and about, not wanting to miss the lovely weather. A warm day in Summerside doesn’t mean it is warm along the north shore however, so warm clothing was a must. Of course we had picnics. Unfortunately a week of excursions meant the garden didn’t get tidied after the long winter, but window cleaning is well underway between outings. 

Our first visit to Covehead this year included a stop by the lighthouse and a walk on the beach. 

Along the north coast this time of year, you can hear the lobster boats even though on occasion they aren’t visible on the horizon. Sometimes their traps are close to shore and you can watch as fishers work.

Further along the shore from Covehead, we walked the beach at Brackley that day as well. Part of that beach is closed to visitors now, to allow an endangered species, the Piping Plover to nest in the area. There is still lots of sandy beach to enjoy however.

Another morning, at Yankee Hill, before the clouds lifted, the sun peaked through, shining on the sand dunes in the distance. It foretold of the sunny day ahead.

At Northport on the northwest coast of the island, we watched the fishing boats return to port for the day. This is one of my favourite places to visit during the lobster season.

We also visited North Cape for the first time this year. It was another cool day, with the sights and sounds of the boats off-shore. The sea stack was formed out of a sea arch this past winter.

A small flock of Common Eiders made the day though I had seen them in the water off-shore previously. This time, the ducks were relaxing on some rocks along the shoreline and we could appreciate their size. The males are black and white.

I was impressed with the feathers and reminded of the warmth of eider down contained in a duvet when I was young. It was a treat to observe these great ducks.

In between, we walked the boardwalk and the Rotary Trail where the forest floor is beginning to turn green as plants appear out of the leaf litter. Along the trails, the promise of lupins next month is welcome..