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Monday 30 April 2018


Spring activities are in full swing here. Barbecues, walks, hikes, picnics are on-going now any day the weather permits. On our most recent excursion, we went northeast to the National Park. We drove along the Gulf Shore Parkway, with sand dunes on one side and marsh land or ponds on the other and stopped at Covehead.

A lighthouse set in the sand dunes at Covehead

guides boats in and out of Covehead Harbour. Nearby a bridge allows the boats access to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The bridge has a pedestrian walkway on either side and a barrier with a sign, discouraging people from jumping or diving from the bridge. 

It overlooks the wharf where everything is ready for today, when lobster traps are set for the season.

The beach on the other side of the dunes has seaweed mounds, sand drifts accumulated on pieces of seaweed thrown ashore over the winter.

We have our picnic below the lighthouse in front of the dunes. The empty beach and sea stretch before us. Our homemade fare is perfect with switchel, unsweetened black tea. While there, tourists, speaking an unknown language, arrive to walk the beach and take photos by the lighthouse. As we watch, we feel lucky we can come here any time to enjoy the scenery and the lifestyle.

Friday 27 April 2018

Around here

During our excursions this spring, my husband and I have discovered some interesting sights. It is a good thing our rural roads are not busy this time of year as we stop to take pictures on many of them.

This cottage at Tignish Shores is prepared for high seas.

At Northport, an example of recycling at its best caught our attention.

Near Oyster Cove, a hydrant needed some assistance.

When you need a place for your boat, a swing comes in handy.

Last week the trouting season opened so we stopped at the mouth of a river in western Prince Edward Island to watch a group fishing off or through the ice. 

While there, I found a magnetic key case by the side of the road. Unbeknownst to us, it was a geocache. Inside was the sign-in sheet for players. I placed the case in the exact position for a geocacher to locate.

We never know what we will discover around here.

Wednesday 25 April 2018

The boat pond

North shore coastal communities on Prince Edward Island are a flurry of activity these days as fishers prepare for the lobster season. During our recent visit to Northport, we stopped at the wharf where fishers have been busy preparing their lobster traps.  

The wharf was lined with the traps and buoys; everything looks ready to go.

The traps sink in the water because of two concrete slabs held in place at the bottom of the cage.

A boat with its traps loaded aboard at the beginning of the season lies low in the water, as we saw last April on setting day, the first day of the season.

The ice is offshore but remnants linger in the boat pond inside the breakwater/wharf.

Here, the boats are slowly being returned after the winter ashore. Google maps shows the pond inside the unusual wharf, middle left. 

On an island off-shore, the former Cascumpec lighthouse still stands. It has been decommissioned and is privately owned today. 

On shore, near the wharf is the range light which still guides boaters home.

Next week it will be an important part of the life of the community.

Monday 23 April 2018

The blues

Shades of blue that is! It’s been so long since there was open water in the harbour and almost as long since it was a warm sunny day. The blues of river, harbour and sky make the spirit rejoice in the subtle differences. 

It’s been too long. 

Who knew it was possible to miss a colour so much?

A male mallard swims around in the river, dabbling for food, oblivious to the people stopping by to see him. There are various shades of blue 

visible in different areas where he swims. 

He is a living contrast to the scenic pigment.

Temperatures will be above zero this week. More blue is on the way. We can take it!

Friday 20 April 2018

Birds birds everywhere

We are escapees, broken out of the house after the winter. My husband and I have had that first glass of wine on the patio and the first barbecue is on the horizon. The first picnic has already happened. The beach, heritage road and trail walks have begun. Meanwhile, our fascination with birds is on-going. They are everywhere we go these days.

From our patio, we watch a starling check out this bird house in the neighbour’s yard.

Gulls float around in Richmond Bay, having gorged on the fish which stir up the water around them.

Puddle ducks, including male and female mallards, swim around water accumulated beside a field. They waddle away as we leave the car. I bet they complain to each other about our interruption of their morning routine.

Canada geese take to the air as the car door closes.

Blue herons are back. Five of them have taken up residence in a pond near Malpeque. They wade in the water and dip their beaks in to grab food. Stately creatures, their movements are slow and deliberate.

Black ducks fit in anywhere, among the geese, the mallards or the blue herons. 

The male blackbirds are among the bulrushes again, their coloured wings obvious even at rest.

This song sparrow sings its happy notes along the trail to Cavendish Beach. 

Wouldn’t it be a sad world without birds?

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Lunch at Northport

It is a tiny strip of land which juts into the water at Northport. Every year my husband and I visit this place and have a picnic. We are early this year. The far western portion of Prince Edward Island still has lots of snow, so our picnic was among the melting drifts. While the breeze was cold, the setting was invigorating. 

There is nothing like a cup of tea in the great outdoors. Today, the heat of the mug warms our hands. We enjoyed our sandwiches as if they were a gourmet meal, the bread made the previous day. We listened to the lap of the water and the birds. No need for conversation.

The gulls were busy around the water, talking to each other while we enjoyed lunch. Normally, we watch the boats go by too, but we are a few weeks early this year. In the distance we can see the activity in the port around the wharf as fishers prepare for the season.

Then a group of three juvenile bald eagles take our attention. The eagles circle the area, scanning for any movement on the sand or in the snow. They cross the water and disappear on the opposite shore for a few minutes but come back again. Two circle each other closely in what could be an aggressive move, then disappear in the trees nearby.

One reappears and plays with a sea gull. They circle each other high above us and take turns chasing each other. They glide on the breeze sometimes, in an effortless use of the air currents. They are birds at play.

You couldn’t pay for the experience.

Monday 16 April 2018

To the sea

A few sunny days with temperatures above zero, without any wind, became our first picnic excursions for this year. Heavy coats, sans hat and gloves, were sufficient to be comfortable. We headed to the water, eager to see the beach after the winter.

Richmond Bay, just north of home is mostly frozen but the ice is thin now. 

In a cottage area, a picnic table awaits the return of the cottagers.

At Cabot Beach, vestiges of winter cling to the coastline. 

Some waves aren’t fluid yet.

In nearby Malpeque, the frozen inlet is busy as fishers work on their fishing gear for the upcoming lobster season. 

Boats wait for the ice to melt. Before long, they will be back in their natural environment.

In a yard nearby, buoys by the hundreds wait for the time they’ll be afloat again for another season.

It is busy in the harbours again. Lobster season is only a few weeks away. The sea is calling!