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Tuesday 15 December 2020

Notes from the isle

Yay! My husband and I rode our bicycles one more time. It was only 3 C but without a breath of wind, it was pleasant enough to take out the bikes. We drove around our area mid-morning so the traffic was light and we could stay close to home in case it was too cold. It was great to be back on the bike again.

Meanwhile we purchased a new recumbent bike so we can continue cycling on some level. Changing the tension on the bike really provides a good workout too.

People were curious about the thistle on the steeple of the Free Church of Scotland in my previous post. I am including a photo of the finial from the

If we ever wondered why Jeff Bezos was the richest person in the world, the pandemic has resolved it. There are nine houses at the top of our street. With the Covid restrictions keeping us at home, my husband and I see the various delivery trucks stopping in our area. Purolator, FedEx and UPS stop at some of these houses every day, including weekends this time of year. You can almost set your clock by the various deliveries. If nine houses generate this number of deliveries and even if a fraction are from Amazon, no wonder the man has so much money.

One of these days, someone will invent a mask which doesn’t cause your glasses to steam up, especially if you are having a hot flash! Just wishing!

The Atlantic bubble burst after cases of Corona virus occurred which weren’t travel related. It means travel between the four Atlantic provinces requires two weeks isolation again. The outbreak on Prince Edward Island involved young people. The Chief Public Health Officer asked 20-29 year olds to be tested and brought in more restrictions until December 21st, such as take-out only from restaurants. The good news is we have been six days without any new cases and the response from the young people at the testing centres was overwhelming. The latest news is the restrictions may be lifted earlier than the 21st. Thank you to our young men and women for their response!  We live in a wonderful place!

Sunday 13 December 2020

Sunny and zero

Mt. Royal is a small farming community in the centre of western Prince Edward Island. We visited the area to see the grave of a local World War 2 veteran I have been researching recently. The cemetery borders a road through farmland, a fitting place for an Islander to rest. 

It was a cold but sunny day with the temperature hovering around zero. The freezing air meant the light covering of snow hugged the grass.

To get to Mt. Royal you drive through Coleman where this little church keeps a silent vigil. 

It doesn’t look like the church is in use now but a search on-line reveals it was the Free Church of Scotland, built around 1900.

The spire looked unique but I didn’t get a clear photo. In this area settled by Scottish immigrants generations ago, 

it is not surprising to learn the spire consists of a thistle. The church was in use at least until 2012.

While the population of the island has increased, mainly due to immigration, rural parts of Prince Edward Island are seeing an increase in the number of empty properties. Seniors are moving to larger centres and fewer people are left to support the local churches.

Leard’s Pond in Coleman has a picnic area where my husband and I hope to picnic in the spring. The pond looks cold this day as the slight breeze ripples the surface of the water.  

The yellowed grasses around the pond, moved ever so slightly by the breeze,

whispered as I stood and took in the scene. An occasional vehicle happened by but the peacefulness of the setting with the sound of the breeze in the grass made the cares of the world disappear. 

Sunny and zero made a perfect combination for a December drive in the country.

Monday 7 December 2020

Cookie day

The kids were excited. They always enjoyed baking with their mother or me and when we all came together at our house to do some baking, it was extra special. They were wound as tight as springs. 

The kids and their mother remain part of our Covid bubble but it looks like that may change soon. Covid has reared its ugly spike-filled head in full force on the island. We were determined to enjoy cookie day but the gloom of social isolation appears to be on the horizon.

Baking Christmas cookies has been a Christmas tradition for a number of years and this year, the youngest, a boy of three, was old enough to enjoy the experience as well. 

I had a head start on the day. I was up early and had two lots of cookies ready to be completed by the kids. It gave us lots of time to do the other four batches of cookies with them that morning. They rolled the first cookie mixture into balls which gave the adults time to gather supplies for the next batches.

One of the recipes we tried was called Moose Farts, from an old Newfoundland recipe. These were really popular with the kids as you can imagine, as much for the name as the ingredients. They couldn’t wait to try the farts which were a big hit.

                                                                      Covid bear

We sampled cookies for dessert that night after a baked ham supper at our daughter’s house. If this is the only time we can get together this Christmas season, it is enough. We are grateful!

Tuesday 1 December 2020

The wild ones

Muskrats have been in residence in the saltwater marsh, now pond, along the boardwalk for a number of years. Over that time, we have seen young and old enjoying life in the area. The latest two are small compared to some of the adults we’ve seen there.

The American Black Ducks which live in the area have a curious relationship with the muskrats. They co-exist, keeping their distance usually but sometimes it looks like they chase each other, as if they are playing. They don’t mind being in the same area together but the muskrats scare the ducks when they suddenly dip underwater.

Recently, a diving muskrat scared a duck which took off and flew downstream.

November was a windy month, but on a few calm days, Cedar Waxwings visited the boardwalk. There were high in the trees and it was impossible to get good photos. They are such pretty birds and aren’t commonly seen along the boardwalk though we have seen them occasionally.

We often see Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers there, spring and winter most commonly. This little one was drilling away on a tree recently. We will see more of them over the next few months I expect.

The other animals I always enjoy are the gulls. This young one was on his own on the beach recently. The markings on the young birds are so different from the adults. 

On an extremely windy day, when we were the only people on the boardwalk, we watched this lone gull playing on the currents of air along the shoreline. 

In the hour we walked there, that same gull continued to float on the air currents over a stretch of shoreline. Pure enjoyment looked to be the only motivation.

Humankind underestimates the creatures we share this planet with.