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Monday, 31 October 2016


Children love Hallowe'en but many of us take that love with us through adulthood. Costume stores abound today, not like years ago when we put costumes together from the clothes of family or friends.


Today you can find a costume for every character imaginable. 


Our granddaughters want to be Bat Girl and Skye from Paw Patrol this year. Bat Girl I can imagine but not Skye. We shall see them later today.


The farms nearby decorate for Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en. 


These pictures are from a local orchard, a farm and pumpkin patch. 


They show some of the colour and images we like.


When I was young, Hallowe'en nights were cold. As the sun set, my brother and I went door to door in our neighbourhood in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. It felt magical, especially when the moon came from behind the clouds to help light the way across the lawns and driveways.


Enjoy the fun of the children today through the lens of your own fond memories. And as our daughter said when she was a small child, "Happy Hallow-treating!" 


Sunday, 30 October 2016

Those eyes

Recently, we walked the Millman Road in Prince Edward Island, a beautiful heritage road lined with autumn colour.

The junks of wood lay along the side of the road and looked interesting. When I downloaded them to my iPad, I saw them. Those eyes...


They're watching you!

Friday, 28 October 2016


It was the day before the full moon and the tide was the lowest we had ever seen at Cabot Beach, Prince Edward Island. The retreating tide had exposed a huge swath of beach 


and the sand showed the tidal action. 


The imprints in the sand were so unusual, they caught my eye.


What happened here?


Or here, around the seaweed and clam shell?


Low tide also exposed some interesting items such as this egg sack of a skate, commonly known as a mermaid's purse.


Crab shells and claws were common as well.


Several people had their dogs on the beach and the human and canine footprints could be readily identified. 

There were lots of birds around too, gulls, cormorants, plovers, hawks, to name those we could identify. Since cormorants have webbed feet, these tracks don't belong to them.


 There was one set of tracks we could not explain, a line of tracks, ending abruptly. There were no human footprints around these prints. Could it be a large bird, which took off, lifting itself more with each step. 

Later, when we visited Darnley Basin nearby, we saw these traces of tuna caught over the years.


Oh! Where is the horse?

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Oysters anyone?

Those fresh, briny molluscs, eaten raw in oyster bars and fine restaurants, are not my favourite. While I have sampled a few, I don't understand the fascination with consuming live food. It's all about the taste of the ocean, according to oyster aficionados, who also relish the liquor of briny water which bathes the flesh on the half shell sitting on ice.

Should one chew this morsel? First timers often are encouraged to let the oyster and liquor slide down their throats. Long time oyster consumers usually chew them. I was a slider. Ocean taste? I couldn't get past the idea of raw, living flesh and the texture as it slid over my tongue. I was not familiar with them from my youth in Newfoundland though other Newfoundlanders are. Here in Prince Edward Island, people know oysters and consume them raw, by the dozens, as the beaches can testify. 


Cooked oysters are more to my liking. 

However, on the last morning of summer this year, we saw oyster fishers busy in Foxley Bay, 


using their oyster tongs to rake the molluscs from the bottom of the bay. They don't get any fresher than this!


On deck, the fishers separated the tongs releasing the oysters, measured the shells and returned the undersize oysters back to the bay. Those large enough went to market.


That day was sunny and warm, with the slightest breeze. Fishers so close to land were an unusual sight as they raked the oysters off the floor of the bay. People stopped to watch and photograph the unusual scene which denoted island history and tradition, low tech, in a modern world. 

Where is that recipe for Oysters Rockefeller? 

Monday, 24 October 2016


A sand dune is a wonder of nature. 


The interaction of the physical and plant worlds evolved over time to a system which prevents erosion of a beach. 


Left undisturbed, with all factors as they developed, erosion of a beach would be minimal. 

The marram grass, sea oates and other beach plants, help to keep the soil in place in a delicate balance with the physical world.


Then there are the catastrophic storms, the high seas and winds that destroy the dunes and allow the sea to move further inland. In the past year, students of the environmental program at the island university worked to restore dunes to the Cavendish Beach area of Prince Edward Island which had seen such destruction. 

For dunes to develop, they require something which acts as a barrier to block beach sand which blows around in high winds. In nature, seaweed can be such a barrier. 



When people help the process, they make use of old trees to aid the accumulation of sand. In addition, plugs of cultivated marram grass can be transplanted to areas where it has been destroyed by human activity as well.

The natural beauty of the dunes is something to behold. 


The wind blowing over the grass creates a green wave which often has various shades of green due to the different plants. 


Its gentle sound blends with that of the ocean to create beach music, especially if the wind is not too high. The dunes, as much as the sand, the water and the breeze, make this setting my favourite place on earth.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Spectator Sport

Two weeks makes a huge difference in the life of deciduous trees this time of year.


Walking the streets, trails and boardwalks is a spectator sport!


Friday, 21 October 2016

Heritage Road

The trees behind the parking area on Millman Road are a surprise. 


We are here to see the autumn reds and yellows, but the grays of the tree trunks,


darkened by last night's rain, are vivid in this light. I stand in the undergrowth and look up.


The artistry of nature!


The lane is lined with maple, birch, and apple trees.


There are rolling fields on either side and ferns add a bushy yellow at ground level.


It is windy and the trees rustle, shaking loose some leaves which have a tentative hold on the branches. The air around us is still as the leaves above us sing with the breeze.


Up and down we stroll, breathing in the fresh air, listening to the wind, birds and squirrels. 


In several places, the grays of the trunks predominate. 


In another area, coniferous trees stand back from the lane, while Queen Ann's lace, long gone to seed, stands guard.


The lane is inviting, drawing us onward to see more. 


Where the ground is covered with fallen apples, their scent is in the air. My husband squishes apples under foot. "It speeds up decomposition," he says as his inner child takes great pleasure in the squishing. 


We don't speak too much more, taking in the glory of the setting. 


We gasp audibly a few times, so taken with the scene, we stand together silently.


The scent of apple fills the car on the drive home.

Note:  Millman Road is a designated Heritage Road in Prince Edward Island. It is a red dirt lane, with native trees providing a canopy for a vegetative tunnel.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Greenwich, Prince Edward Island

On a recent visit to St. Peter's Bay, Prince Edward Island, on the northeast coast, we visited the National Park at Greenwich. By this time of year, the park is accessible but without park personnel, although maintenance people worked in the area.

This park provides hiking trails and a beach along the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The area feels unspoiled, peaceful, pristine. On the glorious autumn day, the squirrels were busy collecting material for their nests and eating apples.


 The park has numerous apple trees, providing lots of food for the local wildlife.


Mushrooms were abundant along the trails, including these shaggy mane mushrooms near our picnic area.


These pin cherries, over ripe at this time of year, 


lined the trails, as did rose bushes. There must be a scent of roses on the breeze earlier in the year. Even now, the leaves and rose hips are a red 


which is only matched by the maples.


The fireweed, gone to seed, demands a look, 


while raspberry bushes behind a rustic fence, still hold some berries. 


Layers of beauty surround an old tree which reaches its bare weathered branches into the deep blue sky. A natural sculpture!


One side of the park borders on St. Peter's Bay, an area of early settlement by the French. Today, mussel farming and fishing are a part of life in the bay. 


One trail follows along the shoreline, parallel to the movement of the boats. We sat and watched for a time, enjoying the sun, the activity on the water and the peace around us.