Winter keeps us in more than we like, especially when the wind is high and the temperature low. As I write, the -13 C feels like -25 C with a strong wind making an otherwise sunny day too cold to venture forth. However, we have been out on a few excursions recently and as always, a few interesting items have presented themselves.
On our way snowshoeing one day, I took this photo of the boat in front of us on the road. This is unusual sight when the harbours and bays are frozen and the fishing season is months away. It is a common sight in April around the island as boats are returned to the sea.
We often see foxes on the roads of the island, especially on the backroads. Such was the case recently but this poor fox is sick. There is an outbreak of mange among the foxes on the island. Mites burrow into the skin of the animal and lay eggs which hatch and cause itching and hair loss. The animal dies of exposure in the winter. This poor creature looks scrawny and infected in the hindquarters and tail. This is the first such infected fox we’ve seen.
The first cases of mange in island foxes was reported in 2018 though the population recovered and will again. It spreads when dens are crowded.
On a visit to Grand River we saw the domestic geese which hang out there.
There isn’t a farm nearby so it is a mystery where these beautiful creatures come from. We’ve seen them in a variety of colours over the years but this year, they are mainly white. They congregate in the same area, this time near the bank where the road and river bank meet. They were well hidden and I only saw them by accident as I tried to photograph a huge flock of mallards. Unlike the wild birds, they were unafraid of us and stayed as we photographed them. They are well worth a photo.
A river runs through Tyne Valley, a small community west of Summerside. In the heart of the community, a pond collects the water before it flows over a small dam.
Several homes in this area have a view and a sound booth for the waterfall. As I listen, I imagine a summer’s night with the windows open and the sounds of the water lulling me to sleep.
At the wharf at Malpeque, everything is battened down, waiting out the winter. The inlet is icy and snow covered, the boats high and dry. Fishers decorate the exteriors of some of the shacks.
This one has the tail fins of bluefin tuna caught during that commercial fishery which allows one tuna per licensed vessel every year. Inside the shack, you can see lobster traps and other gear. The weathered wood on the exterior has seen many winters. Oh the yarns this shack could tell!
Finally, after such a mild early winter, some recreational fishers placed their smelt shacks on the ice this past month.
The sight of the shacks is a reminder to buy smelts the next time we visit the fish monger. The little fish are delicious!
We are in another lockdown due to Covid on Prince Edward Island. There are 18 active cases currently, the origin of some is unknown. This lockdown is for the next three days when the situation will be reassessed. Ages 14-29 in our area are being tested, schools and all but essentials are closed. We’ll see how it goes this time round.
Six percent of the population was tested over the last several days and no new cases were reported. We are waiting to see Tuesday’s results.