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Wednesday 31 August 2016

Rusty sneakers

The soil is thick and rich, red with few rocks. The iron in the soil oxidizes or rusts, causing the red colour which stains white socks and other clothes if you are not careful. In one way, sneakers rust with use on Prince Edward Island.

There are beautiful beaches, which when crowded by island standards, are not crowded like beaches elsewhere. We have visited those beaches numerous times this summer and observed the sandstone shoreline from a distance 


and up close. 


The sandstone is easily eroded by the sea, 


creating more red sand, the accumulation of which can become more sandstone over time.


The natural cycle of nature is at work with each wave.


The wonder of this place is a backdrop for life with family and friends. Rusty sneakers are a small price to pay for the pleasure afforded by life on the gentle island.


Monday 29 August 2016

Lobster in season

All along the south shore of Prince Edward Island, lobster fishers are busy as they have been for the last several weeks. Their turn has arrived. Fishers on the north shore fished lobster in the spring into summer. 

                                      Lobster traps in Darnley Basin on the north shore after the season closed

Now the south coast fishers are away each day, weather permitting, to check their traps and turn their catch into cash.

The morning the lobster fishery opened on the south shore, my friend, Jodi Arsenault was at one wharf at sunrise to watch fishers head out to set their traps. She took these pictures.


The boats were low in the water, laden with the tools of the trade. 


I look at this scene with admiration, knowing how dangerous this work can be and how hard it is. It makes me appreciate lobster for more than the taste.


Thank you for the pictures, Jodi. They are beautiful!

Sunday 28 August 2016

Island Green

During a recent visit to the Macphail Woods in eastern Prince Edward Island, we walked one of the woodland trails. The beginning of the trail was inviting, as you can see. The birds were singing, the sun broke through the trees occasionally and the green was brilliant. 

Have a brilliant week!



Friday 26 August 2016

Side by side

We live in seafood paradise on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Haddock, halibut, mussels, oysters, lobster, scallops, crab, and more are available in season and beyond. There are fish markets all around the island which carry mostly fresh inventory, all of which we have enjoyed. Cod, our favourite white fish, is usually available, though often brought from Nova Scotia.

                                                         Meal of cod and photo by Aunt M. Smith

With many of my forefathers having had a history in the fishery in Newfoundland, I always enjoy the sight of the fishing boats in the harbours around this island. Though many of these boats look different from the boats I remember, they are reminiscent of home. During a recent visit to Cabot Park along the north coast, we watched the boats go by in the channel on their way to and from Darnley Basin, their port. People relaxed along the beach and in the water at low tide, oblivious to the marine activity.

One boat looked like it had tourists out for a cruise on the bay, as beach-goers walked on the sand bars. It was a setting representative of the island.


Many of the boats have black buoys on the deck. 


They are from the mussel fishery, as socks, long mesh bags of mussels, are kept floating in the ocean by the buoys attached to the supporting line at the surface. Harvesting of the lines of mussels means the buoys are brought ashore, where they are stored.

The fishers hoist the lines of mussels out of the water via a winch located in the center of the deck. 


They remove the mussels from the socks on deck and in port, deliver them to the fish plant across from the wharf.


The day we were at Darnley Basin, a transport truck left the plant with fresh mussels for markets around Canada and beyond. 

                   Bird's eye view of Cabot Beach with Darnley Basin left of center, photo by B. Noall

The mussels are available year round, though production is reduced in the summer when the animals are spawning. The fishing industry makes Darnley Basin a busy place, while locals and tourists relax on Cabot Beach on the other side of the sand dunes. Work and relaxation exist side by side on this gentle island.


Thank you to Aunt M. Smith and B. Noall for the photos.

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Island Sunset

Our evening with family at Cabot Park on the north shore of Prince Edward Island was a great way to spend our anniversary.


We strolled along a path with our granddaughters as the sun set.


Sylvie, at five, understood the concept of sunset. Caitlin, at three, wanted to see the sunset in the morning too.


Twilight has always been my favourite time of day. On a clear day, those moments, as the sun sinks into the west and the light lingers on the horizon, are magical. This particular evening, the trees became a silhouette against the western sky and for an instant, it felt as if time stood still.


Sat around the campfire,


as the eastern sky darkened and the first stars appeared, 


it was impossible not to think of our younger selves all those years ago, not knowing what lay ahead. 


The years, not without challenges, were good and the blessing of family is well understood. The future, unknown as it is, can never diminish what has been. The sun never sets on love and family.


Monday 22 August 2016

Hanging out

See these friends at the playground last week?


The youngest one is sixty-four, the others more than a decade older. Each wanted to do a chin-up, requiring extreme effort, amid much laughter. They were three kids hanging out at the playground.

As they played, a young father approached, carrying one child on his chest and accompanied by a four year old girl. She waited a minute for her turn on the monkey bars while her father smiled at the scene.


Second childhood? These seniors have never lost the inner child. May they never lose the desire to play. 

After all, age is but a number.

Sunday 21 August 2016

Buoy oh buoy

They are everywhere we go these days, on the beach as flotsam, 


in mussel beds visible from shore, 

on boats, 


on the wharf

as decoration on mailboxes,


in boatloads on lawns, 


or in trees.


When you make your living from the sea, 


buoys are an important tool for your work.


But as we have learned, they are versatile and pretty too. Who knew?


Friday 19 August 2016

In Pursuit of Alvin

He is skittish and it has been difficult to get a picture. The squirrels which live along the boardwalk by the bay in Summerside, Prince Edward Island will take peanuts out of your hand. Not so the chipmunks. They love seeds, but aren't trusting of humans.

Chipmunks are fast too. Short of setting up a tripod and buying a new camera, I could not imagine getting any pictures which weren't a blur. Then, on a recent early morning visit to the boardwalk, someone had left seeds near a feeder. A single chipmunk, Alvin, was busy collecting the seeds, filling his pouches and disappearing to stash them. 


The squirrels were occupied with peanuts, so Alvin was undisturbed as he worked.

He posed, first at the base of a tree as he searched for the seeds, 


then on the feeder.


These Eastern chipmunks have beautiful stripes on their backs, a central black one and on each side, two black stripes around a central white one. 


The tail is not as bushy as the squirrels' tails and it is gray fur like some of the fur on its back.


Alvin has long sharp claws like the squirrels, making tree climbing easy for him.


Like a squirrel, his eyes are rimmed with white above and below, and the faces of the two animals are similarly shaped. 

                                                                         Alvin's cousin, McNutt

There aren't as many chipmunks as squirrels in residence on the boardwalk. We have only ever seen one on our visits to the area, so there is little opportunity for a great photo. Then again, how fortunate am I when my greatest concern is how to photograph a chipmunk?

Wednesday 17 August 2016


Yesterday was one of those summer days you remember all year, warm, sunny with cloudy periods and a nice breeze. Picnic time! We enjoyed the park with our friends and on the way home, dropped by Malpeque Fine Iron Products to see their creations.

Take a look. What creatures do you see and what are they made of?


How about this one?


Or this creepy creature.

My favourite...


Everyone knows this creature.


And the following?


Look familiar?


How about these cuties?


There is so much more at the shop and it's all produced in this workshop.

I will never look at old metal items the same way again! Recycling at its best!