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Wednesday 30 June 2021

Along St. Peter’s Bay

The trail along St. Peter’s Bay is one of the most beautiful sections of the Confederation Trail on Prince Edward Island, with the bay on one side of the trail and fields and cottages on the other. 

Wildflowers abound with the bonus of the sea as a backdrop.

Wild Madder lines the trails now while the huge, waist high Cow Parsnip pops up in places. 

In several areas, lupins are beginning to look worn but pretty.

Meanwhile, the star of the area, St. Peter’s Bay, always catches one’s attention. On the bay, crews were busy in mussel boats. 

We watched for a few minutes, thinking we haven’t had mussels recently. We’ll soon fix that situation with our favourite recipe involving curry and coconut milk. Fresh mussels are always available locally.

In some fields, workers were baling hay. 

I wonder what my grandfather, a fisherman-farmer in Newfoundland, would think of the location by the sea and the baling machine which rides over the hay and after several minutes ejects a wrapped bale from the back. 

Granda forked hay into a wagon and the old horse pulled it to the barn where it was stored. Gone are the hay rides we enjoyed every year.

It was fascinating to watch the precision of the operation these days, a long way in distance, time and tradition from the back-breaking work of yore.

Monday 28 June 2021

Leave it to the bees

Each section of the Confederation Trail we cycle has items of interest, like on our recent ride from Mount Stewart to Morell in eastern Prince Edward Island. With the Hillsborough River in the distance, you travel past fields of crops and hay, rivers and conservation areas. Curiosity alone compelled us to cycle round that next turn.

Stopping at this field, a type we hadn’t seen before, we speculated about what was happening there and on similar ones in the area. 

Then we saw the bee hives.

Of course! Wild blueberry fields managed by growers.  

Every year this time, wild blueberry growers rent bees/hives to ensure the fertilization of the blueberry blossoms. The honey bees are enlisted to assist island bees at the work. 

The berry blooms have a two week window and there’s lots of pollination to do in that short time.

With enough rain, there should be a good crop of the deep blue berries this year. Yummy!

Friday 25 June 2021

Animal friends

Our walks along the boardwalk aren’t daily any more because we are cycling the trails as well. However sometimes when we are on the boardwalk, we see Great Blue Herons which are always a treat. One morning last month, we happened upon a heron feeding in the marsh.

It took off along the shoreline.

Further along the shoreline, we saw it had met up with a companion and the two stood motionless in the water. They are such elegant looking birds.

On one of our more recent visits to the boardwalk, we were on the way to the car when we heard a ruckus. It took a minute or so to discover the source.

Three birds, two blackbirds and a woodpecker were harassing a crow.

The woodpecker left and two more blackbirds joined the harassment.

Eventually two of the birds made the crow fly off. 

You can see the birds harassing the crow in the 15 second video here.

I saw a similar story on-line recently. Someone photographed as a raven stole eggs from nests and several species of birds ganged up on the raven to drive it away.

There are numerous blackbird nests among the reeds, grasses and shrubs in the area where I spotted them harassing the crow. 

Finally, we had the grand-dog, Georgie with us recently at the boardwalk. She enjoys watching the animals, especially the rodents.

We always give her time to watch and she invariably, 

though unsuccessfully, attempts to chase them. 

Her face is a study in concentration. 

The animals around us provide much to see and enjoy.

Wednesday 23 June 2021


Recently, as we cycled a section of the Confederation Trail in eastern Prince Edward Island, 

we learned from a friendly trail worker about a Ducks Unlimited protected area near Morell, where we were headed. The wetland had an Osprey nest which we were glad to hear about.

Sure enough, we found the area mentioned and the nest was obvious at the back of the pond.

We didn’t see any Osprey however. It is interesting, though sad, to see how the birds recycle plastic when building their nests.

Also in the pond were several male Wood Ducks.

I was thrilled to see them though they tested the limits of my camera. I had only ever seen one such duck previously but had not been able to photograph it.

In addition, a pair of Canada Geese with five goslings nested on an island in the pond. The goslings were the biggest I had ever seen. The gaggle was initially in the water, 

then moved to the island where the adults gave a display of wing spread. Three of the goslings watched intently.

Meanwhile, three Tree Swallows where flitting above the water, moving too swiftly to be photographed. Among the bulrushes, Red-Winged Blackbirds chattered loudly. 

Before we left, two crows appeared to be bothering ducks at the back of the pond. There was a lot of quacking and the two crows looked like they were attacking something in the grasses. Crows can stir things up when they get started.

A few words from a friendly person can make an already great day even better.

Monday 21 June 2021

Down on the farm

The Confederation Trail on Prince Edward Island travels mainly through the centre of the island, an area which is farmland. Industrial farms and remaining family farms come into view as we ride the Trail. Fields sometimes appear to go on forever as they stretch over the countryside. Now crops are beginning to emerge from the rich red soil.

Horses and cows/cattle are a common sight along the trail. I always stop to watch and admire the beauty of these animals. On a recent visit to the area of Grand Tracadie, these horses looked so peaceful as they grazed on the family farm. In the distance clover fills the field.

In and around Darlington, PEI, there are several farms with horses. Young foals in the fields were curious as we rode by. The older animals had more pressing needs.

Another day, before I saw cattle, I heard a flock of birds, starlings for sure. Then through a break in the trees, I noticed a herd walking through a field. I stopped to watch and listen to the birds and a young calf stopped to watch me.

The animals we encounter are often as curious about us as we are about them.

Further along, the main herd had settled in around their water source and frenzied starlings visited around them. 

In the pond, a female Mallard and her ducklings swam, unconcerned about the cattle nearby. It was an idyllic setting.

On the way back through the same area, what looked like a cattle trailer cut across the trail from a nearby field. 

Some of the cattle may have been headed to market. The reality of farm life for these animals is not idyllic though these cattle are not raised on a factory farm. They looked content in the pasture.

Country life is one of the reasons I love Prince Edward Island.

Friday 18 June 2021

Along the way

As we travel around Prince Edward Island, my husband and I often see things we like, appreciate or find amusing. There is always something to grab our attention along the way as we cycle or walk the trails of the island.

Early one morning last month, this Cadillac was parked at the boardwalk.

Look at the length of that beauty and those curves! What a treat to see such an oldie so beautifully restored.

We often see Great Blue Herons around the beaches and waterways of the island. This one by a friend’s shed cast a shadow on the wall. Reflections not shadows are a more common sight around herons here.

Along the Confederation Trail, as we approached the community of Winsloe, someone had placed an old milk can over a tree limb. I’ve seen a few of these in different locations around the island. I wonder who last used this one?

Walkers along the boardwalk in Summerside leave feeders with seeds for the birds and other animals. One of the recent additions is this trailer, a unique feeder. It looks like someone enjoyed a nibble on the trailer as well as its contents.

Theodore Tugboat was a Canadian Children’s television series with a model set of radio controlled tugboats, set in fictional Big Harbour. Theodore, the main character wears a red hard hat. The series was produced in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where a life size tugboat was fitted out to resemble Theodore. That tug visited Summerside this past week and we caught a glimpse of Theodore Too as he left the Harbour.

On the Confederation Trail near Winsloe, someone put a few Christmas decorations on a tree by one of the picnic stops. It is surprising any stayed on the tree with the wind gusts we have on this island.

It’s been a year of lemons. Is it too soon to celebrate life getting back to normal?

Wednesday 16 June 2021

Best if by sea

Prince Edward Island is covered in rockets and lupins this month. The beautiful blooms appeared just as the dandelion blossoms made way for puffs of seeds. As my husband and I cycle or walk along the trails, we stop to take in the colourful scenes, fleeting moments in a natural flower show which are too beautiful to ignore.

Dame’s Rocket pops up along the Confederation Trail. Bunches of purple, pink and white blooms can be waist high.

Along the boardwalk, it grows between the walkway and the sea. On closer look, the flowers have four petals and blooms in a cluster. 

In an industrial area of the city, Dame’s Rocket lines the metal fence which closes off the area from the Confederation Trail. It is such a softening element to the industrial look.

My favourite photos of rockets are those with the sea as a backdrop.

It was the same for the blooming trees. There is a common theme here.

Along the Confederation Trail, lupins or lupines as some refer to them, are abundant in some areas. They spread quickly, so we haven’t found single flowers but huge patches. One such patch, this past weekend within the city limits, caught my focus.

Lupins have a variety of colours and shades, including white.

The pure purples, pinks, rose and blue colours are pretty as they are but I am always drawn to the dabs of white on various colours, dabs of rose on pink or purple on pink.

In this lupin patch, yellow day lilies found a footing. They add an interesting puzzle to the scene. How did the day lilies happen to be there?

Lupin season doesn’t last long but the quest is on for a seaside setting which includes them.