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Friday 30 June 2017

A walk in June

Low tide and the city workers had just finished on the beach, removing the seaweed which accumulates there. 


The sun was in its late morning position in the June sky, its heat attempting to penetrate to the bones. The breeze made it bearable as my husband and I walked on the boardwalk in Summerside, Prince Edward Island.

Our city does a great job maintaining the grounds around this trail and the trail itself. The wild roses, which line a part of the trail, are in bloom now and add splashes of colour to the June green.


We are accustomed to this trail with leafless trees for months of the year. When the leaves are unfurled for the long hours of daylight, we stop often to admire the setting.


                                   Can you find the squirrel in this scene?

While the geese are gone north now, the grackles are busy collecting grubs to feed their young. 


The song sparrows are singing their usual melodies, this time with dame's rockets in the foreground. 


The blue jays, ever present,


are vying for their share of the peanut shells which adoring residents throw out for the squirrels 


and chipmunks. 


White-throated Sparrows are busy collecting the seeds left by human benefactors as well.


Two osprey nests, in different areas of the boardwalk, are occupied, the residents settled deep in their large homes which contain fresh greenery and some recycled material.


The fiddleheads have unfurled now 


and ferns are plentiful along the sides of the trail. Dandelion are gone to seed and some have yet to be dispersed by the wind. 


Meanwhile willow seed covers the sides of the trail in places. 


Nature always has surprises for us along this boardwalk.

Wednesday 28 June 2017

Lupin time

It’s that time again when the sides of the fields and roads are covered with lupins. 


Lupins may have started their days in a flower bed on a homestead, but now they grow wild,


the abundant seeds having spread from their original gardens to brighten many country roads and highways every June.


Looking at the flowers this year, I see far more colours have evolved than I remember as a child growing up in Newfoundland. Mom grew purple,


white and pink lupins in a flower bed at the side of the house. Over time, the lupins spread into the lawn and were becoming unmanageable so we removed them. However I love to see them in a garden or in the wild. 

Large lupin patches always catch my eye and my husband and I stop to admire them. The purple, blue, 


pink, white, 


and the combination flowers are always worth a closer look.


The rose coloured ones are a favourite


but this peachy colour is pretty special too. 


Soon each bloom will form seeds in a bean pod and the sides of the fields and roads will return to the usual green. But, for now, a patch of lupins is one of summer’s rainbows.

Monday 26 June 2017


The rows are straight and look like they continue for kilometers over the rolling hills. 


They hold rows of potato seed or other crops in rotation. Though nothing is growing yet, 


the planting is completed. 


A Global Positioning System or GPS helps take the guess work out of plowing and planting these days, as it is easier to keep the rows straight. Now, industrialized farming uses a satellite.


The days of horses and the plow are long gone. Less was planted in those days and the rows were not as straight. The work was labour intensive too. These days, expensive machinery takes the place of farm hands, horse and plow.

Red soil is expecting as it always is this time of year, nurturing seeds which will grow into crops harvested this autumn. The barns are symbols of the history of the industry, as they stand watch over their domains, the fertile red fields. Some things don't change.


Friday 23 June 2017


Woodpeckers, especially sapsuckers love the old wood forest in Breadalbane. During our recent visit, we heard many bird calls, but the dominant bird sound was the tapping of woodpeckers

My husband and I stopped numerous times to look, trying to pinpoint the source of the tapping. On one occasion, there was activity inside a huge woodpecker hole and we waited, but to no avail. The bird was too busy to exit.


This old trunk, with its row of holes, was evidence of a yellow bellied sapsucker. 


I finally saw a yellow bellied sapsucker. 


He landed on a piece of plywood which was attached to a tree near one of the trail entries. 


He drilled at that sign, flew away and came back several times while I watched. I could imagine what he hoped to find in the old piece of plywood but how long would he continue without success? 

Later, I discovered that drilling on such structures by woodpeckers can be a way to mark territory. The sign was perfect for the bird's purposes as well. 

The more I observe and study birds, the more amazed I am by their intelligence and instincts. 

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Country road

The road is deep in the red dirt.


My husband and I were here last October when the leaves were almost spent, the red and orange remnants falling around us as we passed. Today, the dominant colour is green as we walk with the golden grand-dog, Georgie.


The Millman Road is in the center of the island, a heritage road which cuts through farmland over rolling hills. The canopy was magical. 


The sound of the earth on this day is the wind in the trees while the sunlight dances on the road as it filters through them. It is a feast for the senses.


Blossoms are falling today, not leaves. Mountain ash, 


pin cherry, chokecherry 


and apple trees


are in mid to late bloom and in places, petals cover the road. By the side of the road, lupins are in bud or blooming.


The forest floor is covered with Wild Lily of the Valley and Bluebead Lily but the blossoms are miniature in this setting. 


Their leaves are the dominant feature of the forest floor.


Robins land on the road and hop ahead of us until Georgie decides to run towards them. She soon learns how senseless is that endeavour. Woodpeckers have had their way with the trees along the road, as evidenced by the many holes left in the old wood.


At the top of a hill, you can look out over the countryside, past the fields planted with various crops, including potato. The countryside below is bisected by the Southwest River which flows into New London Bay on the north shore.  


At the end of the road, someone has a garden whose beauty matches what nature provides on the remainder of the road. We walked slowly back to the car, absorbing the essence of the earth as a world of green.


Monday 19 June 2017

After the storm

It rained buckets, the wind bent the trees and the temperature was unseasonably cold. It was one of those stay-in days unless you had to venture forth. We didn't.

The next morning it was sunny though chilly again. That sun alone was enough to tempt my husband and I to take our latest visitor, Georgie, the golden grand-dog and head out. 


We dressed for the cold.

Thunder Cove on the north shore was our destination. It is a pristine beach 


with a sandbar offshore, making the waves break a distance from the beach. Cliffs in the west and sand dunes in the east, give a variety of island beaches in one setting. Only a handful of people were on the beach though many of the cottages in the area were occupied.

Lunch was at cottage level overlooking the beach as we watched the lobster boats travel the Gulf of St Lawrence. 


The sound of the ocean filled the spaces in the conversation. Listening to the sounds of the planet was a welcome break from the clamour of world news.

This beach has a tea cup sea stack which we wanted to see again this year. However, high tide made that part of the beach inaccessible to us older folk. People with more courage and younger joints climbed the cliff to transverse the high tide mark.


We retreated but not before we had a closer look at the sea caves.


One might expect giant mice to peek out of the mouse hole-like erosions in the sandstone. 


Some holes were cave-like, big enough for a person to stand inside, bigger than last year as you can see.


                                                                              June 2017


                                                                              September 2016

On the east side of the beach, Morrison's Pond empties into the Gulf, crossing the beach. We could hear the sand along the banks of the stream falling into the water. 

Rather than cross the stream and get wet on this cold day, we left Thunder Cove to return on a warmer day at low tide.