Most Popular Post

Wednesday 31 May 2017

Cavendish Beach

It was hot, 28 degrees Celsius without much wind. As the four of us approached the beach, we noticed the sands had shifted from the dunes onto the steps to the beach. 


My brother, Frank and his wife, Michele joined my husband and me for a walk that day. None had been to Cavendish Beach before.


The sand was soft and fine; it felt like silk under foot as we walked to the end of the beach. There were people on the beach, more than we are accustomed to this time of year.


People were enjoying the sun and sand except for three young people who sat on the sand-covered steps using their cell phones. A beautiful day and a silky, sandy beach could not draw these young people away from their phones! Were they texting each other?


On our way to the car, we walked through the new tree green of spring 


and passed a friend along the way.


 A picnic under the trees was in order.


A large patch of forget-me-nots along the path was in contrast to the dandelion flowers which were everywhere. 


This photo, captured by my husband, was our favourite of the day.


As we approached the car, a pair of geese watched us warily, but didn't move away which was peculiar. They must be accustomed to people in the area. We see geese in profile and never this close.


As we drove away, they continued to watch us from a stand of last year's Queen Ann's lace. We wondered if people are feeding them. We never would but will return to see the goslings.

Monday 29 May 2017

Tulips and topping

The colour in the opposite field caught the eye immediately. 


My husband and I had never seen anything like it and after we explored part of the Appalachian Trail at Dromore, Prince Edward Island, we checked out the colour source. Tulips!


The farm grows tulips, rows of glorious colour, yellows, pinks, reds, purples, 




interspersed with white. We were welcome to photograph them in all their glory and we did.


The aim is to harvest the bulbs for market later this year. Some bulbs are used for planting again later this fall to ensure next year's supply. 


While we watched, the farmer was topping the tulips, cutting off the flower to leave the green stem and leaves. This process allows the bulbs to strengthen before they are harvested for the market in the fall.


The flies were plentiful and biting that day so the farmer was in a fly/mosquito head net. It must have been hot in there.


We were sad to see those beautiful blooms cut and left in the hay between the beds but such is the nature of tulip farming. We were fortunate to see the field before topping was complete.


Sunday 28 May 2017


We walk the boardwalk in Summerside regularly, but there is always something new to see.

The fiddleheads are unfurling this week.


This song sparrow was giving his best pose to the passing crowd. He is a testament to symmetry.


A white-crowned sparrow is a visitor to the island, on his way to the breeding grounds in the northern boreal forests.


An angry grackle demanded attention.


The jays soon will be harder to see in the trees.


The mourning dove had ruffled feathers.


Squirrels will eat sunflower seeds when peanuts aren't available.


Until next time...

Where is your favourite place to walk?

Friday 26 May 2017

The beach at New London Bay lighthouse

Walking on this beach is unusual because of all the activity mere meters from shore in New London Bay. The beach stands at the entrance to the bay and a channel is marked for boats. My husband and I took my brother, Frank and my sister-in-law, Michele there when they visited last week.

We walked the beach within sight of the lighthouse 



as the lobster


or mussel fishing boats 


powered alongside us in the bay, headed home after a morning of work. We waved to the crews who waved back or blew horns in response.

For Frank and I, the shoreline with the boats in the background, brought to mind our grandfather O'Brien and his fishing career. When he first began fishing in Newfoundland as a young lad with his father, Edward, they rowed to the fishing grounds, fished all day and rowed home. We wondered what he would say about these boats and the seafood fishery.

Some crews threw offal overboard as they motored into the bay, 


causing a feeding frenzy for the gulls. 


The flutter created great photo opportunities.


The beach showed the effects of winter but little garbage. The only garbage we saw was a deflated helium balloon from some occasion which is but a memory now. We were reminded of the hazards such balloons present to wildlife. This one was mired in the sand.


The old lighthouse stands watch as it has since the 1870s. Its tapered construction makes it look small from a distance. Behind the sand dunes, it is protected from the sea as it operates on solar power these days. The lonely hours tending the light are part of history now.


Much has changed with the fishery too, a modern industry today, which developed over the one hundred years since our grandfather rowed to the fishing grounds for cod. Today, this area of New London Bay is a great location for watching these modern boats as they head home from work.

What work did your grandfathers do?

Wednesday 24 May 2017


No matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, the days my brother, Frank and I shared with our parents, make time slip away. The shared experiences make wonderful memories and conversation neither of us can have with anyone else in the world. 


My brother looks like Dad and I resemble Mom, so Sam and Mary live on in the appearances of their two children. Our gestures are reminiscent of our parents as well, as our spouses can attest. Still, in the above picture, my father's eyes stare back at me and my blond-haired, blue-eyed brother with the fair complexion, looks like the Irish O'Briens of my mother's family.

Remember a big part of any conversation. The days of our youth are the good old days which we can laugh about now. Stories abound as memories flood back, one triggering another. Between us, we can generate the details of events and circumstances, as we finish each other's sentences.

Where are they now? Childhood friends and classmates have children and grandchildren so there is catching-up to do. Stories of school events, teachers, sports, music lessons, Sunday dinners, and church are all shared memories.

Because of our age at this stage in our lives, conversation always comes around to who has died. We are at the stage when the older generation is almost gone and our generation is beginning to disappear. Questions center around the person's age and cause of death.

Favourite conversations revolve around our parents, those two people who shaped our lives and helped make us who we are today.


However, the words and phrases used by our parents and grandparents are part of our vocabulary today as well. Nan's pronouncements about life, Dad's assessment of world affairs, and Mom's spiritual wisdom and vernacular are all part of the family history, memories and traditions. The hard work of our grandfathers is not forgotten either. Those two men did a great job supporting their families in difficult times. Today, laughter accompanies quiet moments of remembrance.

Meanwhile, my daughter, Claire, gave birth to our grandson, Owen, this past week while my brother and sister-in-law, Michele, were visiting. 


Owen joins Sylvie and Caitlin as the fourth generation from our parents, another little one to teach about his mother's ancestors and Newfoundland heritage. My brother and I look forward to sharing the memories of our side of the family with him.

What's it like when you get together with your siblings?

Monday 22 May 2017

Cavendish Grove

After several busy days at home we were ready for an excursion. We headed to Cavendish and by accident, turned into the Grove. It was a great discovery with over 12 kilometers of trails. We were pressed for time, and didn't explore too far that day but we will return.

Spring has taken hold on Prince Edward Island now and the Grove showed us its splendor. Sugar maple trees, which are not common on the island but are to this place, were in bloom. 


Some trees have their leaves, including the willows. They were resplendent in their new spring colour. 


Around the ponds, the old bulrushes stand their ground 


while nearby new plants are ready to take their place. 


The birds showed their spring behaviour as well. 


A pair of geese appear to be nesting on the banks of one of the ponds. 


A family who lives near the pond and visits there often told us a pair of geese comes back there every year. Goslings mature in and around the pond. We hope to see them this year.

A pair of red-winged blackbirds, male and female, darted around the old bulrushes on another pond. We were fortunate to see a female of that species;


the males are the showy ones who make their presence known all of the time. 


Bees were out in full force on the dandelions all over the Grove.


It was good to see so many of them. The Grove was a-buzz with spring.

Friday 19 May 2017

The beach near Brander's Pond

Brander's Pond is mere meters from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. A river flows from the pond onto the beach and into the Gulf. As my husband and I neared the trail to the sea, we paused and looked at each other.


"We won't be able to have lunch on the beach today. The sand is blowing around," he said.

Approaching the beach, we realized it was not sand but ground fog. It emanated from the damp sand, just inside the waterline.


Then the wind blew it further on-shore where it quickly dissipated. It created an ethereal look to the beach. 


We walked in the fog, watching it rise around us. The air was cold and the breeze made it necessary to wear gloves. However, it was fresh, clean and invigorating. Walking there, I forgot about my aching hip and knees, feeling like my younger self for a few minutes. The brief experience of that younger body felt good.


This area of coastline is shallow. A sand bar is visible under a thin layer of water. The waves, which were high that day, broke a distance from shore, creating white water. The ocean sounded powerful.


Faces were everywhere, carved by that power, etched into the soft sandstone. 


Every year, the faces change with the erosion of the cliffs.


This year, they were more obvious than ever before.


We were the only people on the beach and walked for almost two hours. We had lunch sat on a huge piece of driftwood as the fog rose around us. It was a dining experience, as if from a mystery novel. Every day on this gentle island brings new wonders.