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Friday 31 August 2018

Along the north shore

White caps. We had never seen the water so rough. When it’s stormy in Prince Edward Island, my husband and I are never by the sea. On this beautiful late August day, the wind is high and the water on the north shore is churning. 

You can hear the waves crashing into the shore rather than the gentle lap of waves along the beach which is so familiar.

We can smell the sea too, that salty, seaweed smell which is a welcome reminder of our youth in Newfoundland. That is a first for us on this island too. We let it seep into our beings as we stand on the cape along the north shore in the National Park.

The cliffs of the north shore are in sharp contrast to the depth of blue and the white caps rushing towards them. The cliffs are high too, among the highest on the island, known for its sand dunes and rolling hills. Standing along the edge of the cliffs one is impressed with the power of wind and water. 

At the lookout at MacKenzies Brook, you can see how the wave action has eroded a cave in the cliffs and the end of the cave is open now too, forming a tunnel. How long will it be before the surface above collapses?

From Orby Head, one can see the far east of the island through the haze. 

To the west, the lighthouse at Cape Tryon is visible 

and beyond it, a hint of the western tip of the island.

Below these cliffs, cormorants have their nests but all are empty today. 

They forgot to post the ‘Gone fishing’ signs.

Further along the coast, at Cape Turner, a tree defies gravity and clings to life at the top of the cliff. 

The trees along the shoreline here provide shelter from the wind. All across this area, hundreds of butterflies, mainly the Clouded sulphur species, flit across the tall weeds lining the paths.

The sounds of the sea and the movement of the butterflies are magical.

We continue our drive along the coast and have our picnic lunch at Rustico. But that’s another story.

Wednesday 29 August 2018

On the beach

We weren’t looking for shells like our grandkids do on every beach they visit. The larger discoveries are more to the liking of my husband and I. At least it started out that way.

Driftwood is always a treat on any beach. The weathered remains of trees long uprooted from their earthly homes and cast adrift, often find a resting place on a beach. 

Sometimes the tree is a curious tangle of seaweed and twisted wood.

Driftwood makes a great seat on the beach too.

Colour other than blue and sand always catch the eye on the beach. This seaweed isn’t visible at high tide.

This lobster trap hasn’t caught any crustaceans lately.

Near the Marram grass, children have taken time to position rocks and sticks above the high tide mark.

Grasshoppers were invisible until they hopped on the sand in front of us. We found  them, as tiny and as well hidden as they were, on the sand near the Marram grass.

There is more to see at the beach than sand, water and shells.

Monday 27 August 2018

Trouble with foxes

They are beautiful creatures. However, if they take a liking to your garden, or in this case, flower bed, they are a problem. 

Our daughter’s house is near a greenbelt where foxes have their den. Every spring, it is a thrill to watch them with their young. However, they have taken a liking to our daughter’s flower bed and destroyed it.

My husband and I helped weed and plant additional perennials in a triangular bed in her front yard this year. 


Then we covered the bed in black mulch. The center of the bed had lovely ornamental grasses and around it, new plants from the garden center and some from my garden. The bed looked great.

A few days later, when I visited, the new perennials were pulled out of the soil. The mulch was disturbed and the soil below it dug up. We had no idea what had happened. I repaired the damage to the bed and composted the destroyed plants.

On my next visit, the grass was beaten down. Something was using it as bedding. The plant was tall around the edges but the center had been trampled so as to make a nest. 

Could it be the foxes?

All of the mulch was in the trench around the bed and the soil was dug up again. 

This happened when the June bugs were emerging. When we dug into the soil, maturing June bugs were easy to find. We discovered that foxes like to snack on them. It was a losing battle cleaning up this popular bed and breakfast location. They will even dig and eat worms.

Every night our daughter hears the pair of foxes at the B & B, which now is full of weeds. A few plants continue to bloom in spite of the nightly guests. The ornamental grass is flattened and the red soil exposed around it.

Next year, a new section of lawn will replace the garden bed. Will the foxy tenants destroy a section of lawn? I’ll keep you posted.

Sunday 26 August 2018

Air Show 2018

The Air Show is on in Summerside this weekend and our house is on the flight path for some of the jets. It is a challenge to capture them in flight but my husband and I had some success. We love the Snowbirds especially, Tutor jets.

                                         There are six Snowbirds in this photo.

This Vampire jet did a solo acrobatic performance too.

Some of these photos were taken during practice on Friday when the smoke from the wildfires on the west coast of Canada was carried in the jet stream across the country to Prince Edward Island and the rest of eastern Canada.

Saturday the smoke was not as significant overhead but closer to the horizon.

Friday 24 August 2018


She sits nestled among the trees, barely visible from one side of the road. 

The clapboard is gray, having lost its colour to the elements. The faded brown roof looks intact for now. The old place has stood empty for years though someone mows the grass.

The laughter of days gone by is but a faint echo and tears a mere stain on the old wood floor. Her glory days are past and she faces an uncertain future.

The old garage is showing its age as well. Vines have climbed over one side and make their way down the front too. Soon it will disappear into the tree line.

Every now and then people stop to take photos of the sad house. Maybe one day, someone will buy the property and return her to full life again. I hope it happens soon.

Wednesday 22 August 2018

The beach at Brander’s Pond

In the summer, the pond is hidden behind summer’s flourish.

A stream flows from the pond into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The gurgling, soothing,

trickling sounds of the gentle flow can be heard over the surf ahead.

My husband and I are compelled to stop, look and listen.

Cottages along the shoreline mean a few people are on the beach but it’s far from crowded. Young families play in the sand, the stream or the sea.

A chair nearby looks comfortable.

Imagine a chat with friends around a fire there.

Don’t look down though.

The red cliffs and sea stack are a sharp contrast to the sea and sky.

Cormorants usually sunning themselves on the sea stack are gone fishing.

As we walk down the beach,

a glance back reminds us why we love this place.

Monday 20 August 2018

Snow crab

This past April, we saw crab nets on a wharf at the western tip of Prince Edward Island, waiting for the season to begin. 

At that time, there was ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence 

delaying the season on the north shore.

Recently we visited Victoria by the Sea on the south coast of the island where crab fishers were unloading their catch of the day. 

Workers weighed the boxes of crab and loaded it for transport.

Meanwhile, fisheries officers selected random boxes of crab to measure the bodies and ensure the catch met the size limit for the industry.

We bought snow crab at the local fish market on the way home. Yummy!

Friday 17 August 2018

A dashing visitor

It’s been hot and humid so we recently spent a day at Cavendish Beach with our daughter and the kids. A sea breeze was a welcome relief. The children enjoyed the water and sand while the adults enjoyed time outdoors under umbrellas. We also had visitors while we were there.

The picnic blanket our daughter uses is an old quilt. It is large and heavy, perfect for the location. It has plain blocks of various colours on one side and is red on the other. We spread it out with the block side up.

Within five minutes, two Blue dashers found the quilt. They were interested in the blue, turquoise and denim blocks. 

They hovered above the various blue squares as they flew around the quilt. After a time, they landed on several of them.


The kids were interested in the insects but didn’t want them around during meal time. We turned over the blanket to the red side and the Blue dashers were not seen again.

Did the insects think the various blue blocks were water? We can only guess. They were an interesting addition to the day at the beach however.

Wednesday 15 August 2018

A rare bird

It was different, not a regular Canada goose with its white cheeks and chinstrap. 

It accompanied such a goose on Grand River when we visited there recently. This one had a shorter neck and extra white over its eyes. 

It was different enough for me to ask a bird expert, Denise, about it. 

She thought it might be a Barnacle goose, due to the shorter neck and the face pattern. This bird did not closely resemble Barnacle geese however. So Denise asked two other bird experts on Prince Edward Island.

The consensus is this individual is a hybrid Canada goose. It could be a natural mutation in a Canada goose. Or, some Canada geese are raised and bred for different facial features. This one could be an escapee, hanging out with wild geese now. The thick neck is from a resting posture as compared to the long neck of the alert goose. It was quiet while its partner honked loudly. The two stayed together the whole time we were there.

Whatever its story, this goose was a curious site on the Grand River