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Friday 29 October 2021

Notes from the island

Life is slowly beginning to return to something like normal for us. Three weeks after the bicycle accident, my mobility has improved, though not without pain. It is bearable to move a bit every day. My husband and I have missed the best of the autumn colour but we have been out for a few short walks, less than a kilometre, a few times. It feels so good to be outdoors after so much time in the house. Soon the bitter cold will set in and nature will be shrouded in white for the next number of months. Our outings will return to winter dress mode.

What a wonder it is to have such clear vision in my right eye after the cataract surgery! Mere minutes in the surgical suite, inside what appeared to be a bubble, listening to the doctor and nurse discuss recent family vacations, I knew and could see through a haze that work was being done on my eye, but I felt nothing. Now, the left eye, which was the better of the two, has blurred vision compared to the right but is scheduled for repair in a few weeks. In the end, I may need reading glasses but I am so thankful for this surgery.

We are using Vax passes to enter non essential businesses without any problems and masking is essential. There are currently two active cases of Covid on the island, both due to travel. There have been 317 cases of Covid since the outbreak of the pandemic and two short hospitalizations. We have had great guidance from our Public Health officials which the politicians supported. They have provided great guidance and people have followed it. With a double vaccination rate of almost 90%, Prince Edward Island has been fortunate thus far in the pandemic.

Yesterday, we had breakfast with our daughter and grandson at a local breakfast spot. It is always great to spend time with them and we had a tasty, leisurely breakfast. There were a few other people in the restaurant as well. When it came time to pay the bill, a gentleman from a nearby table approached and offered to pay our bill. What a wonderful gesture from two men visiting from London, Ontario, looking to invest on the island! They are enjoying the island, especially the friendly people and the relaxed atmosphere. We accepted their offer and will pass on the good deed in the near future.

These men and the couple from Montreal who stopped to help us after my bike accident, are evidence of the kind people there are in this world.

Monday 18 October 2021


At this point, eleven days post bicycle accident, I have made some progress. Now I can slither my way out of bed without assistance which is great considering all the help I have needed this past ten days.

For the first four days post accident, all I did was sleep, though not well. I did little other than doze round the clock, from erect positions with head supported as much as possible.

I also lost my appetite. The soreness and pain masked my appetite and I had no desire to eat anything my husband offered or suggested. A mouthful was all I could manage. It is not much better today though improving a bit.

Meanwhile, fifth day post accident, I had cataract surgery. That surgery went well. The young doctor looked like he needed a permission slip from his parents to be away from school for the day. However all medical professionals look young to me these days.

There is a surgical unit specific to eye surgery on Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown and the facility is well used and maintained. We are fortunate to have such a facility and staff to operate it. While there is a wait time to have such surgery here, every citizen is eligible for treatment and it is free. One does not require insurance to access the service or have to come up with the money for such a procedure. Waiting time is a small price to pay for this treatment, in my opinion. 

The day I arrived at Emergency following the bike accident, I was seen quickly and efficiently. Had I needed further treatment, it would have been provided at no cost to me. Though it is not perfect, we are fortunate to have such a medical system in this country.

So the healing continues. Bruises are turning yellow, abdominal muscles are not quite as painful and eye drops are the order of the day. While I read blogs I am not commenting yet. However, keeping up to date with you my fellow bloggers. makes one aspect of life feel normal. I’ll be reading you soon.

Monday 11 October 2021

Notes from the island

The Delta variant of the Covid 19 virus caused a fourth wave in Atlantic Canada. All four provinces have seen an increase in infections with New Brunswick the hardest hit. Here on Prince Edward Island, we have a 94% first vaccination rate and 87% fully vaccinated. Our province has a Vax Pass as well, issued when one is fully vaccinated, which allows entry to non-essential businesses and services.

Shortly after school began, an outbreak in several schools east of us, caused a few anxious weeks but Public Health managed the situation and quickly contained the outbreak. Cases now are related to travel. Masks are in use again though I continued to use them at the stores. Children in school above Grade 3 must use a mask all day now. A children’s vaccine, ages 5-11, will be welcome here.

In September, we met our first Blogger friends, David and Miriam Gascoigne. I follow David’s blog, and enjoy his expertise on feathered friends and Miriam’s photography. It was wonderful to spend some time with them. 

If you follow my blog regularly, you know my husband and I have picnics as we walk and ride the beaches and trails on the island. Of course we had a picnic with David and Miriam and enjoyed every minute with them on a lovely September day. Blogging expands your world via computer and meeting fellow bloggers is an added bonus. 

I had another accident on my bike. This time I fell off my bike on a trail through the National Park at Brackley. I am not sure what happened but I went down hard and went to Emergency at the local hospital to be checked out. After some tests and X-rays, I was diagnosed with a cracked rib. Bruising on my right side is bad and I am sore. It is the worst injury I have ever had. I didn’t realize how much I rely on my abdominal muscles until they became sore.

We were helped at the accident scene by a wonderful couple from Montreal who was vacationing on the island. Several other people stopped and offered assistance. People are kind.

In other medical news, I am having cataract surgery tomorrow. I had an appointment with the ophthalmologist in late September and he evaluated my need for surgery as urgent. There is a huge difference between the vision loss in my right and left eyes which affects my sight tremendously. The doctor told me it could be a wait of two to three months but there was a cancellation and they are fitting me in tomorrow. I look forward to this surgery and who knows, maybe it will reduce my bike accidents too.

See you all in a month or so. Take care.

Friday 8 October 2021

Autumn on the trail

It’s a scene from a dystopian novel, a farmer’s field with a hedgerow where a gap with an invisible portal takes all who enter to another dimension. Of course, getting back to the present is the problem. My mind worked overtime as we rode the Confederation Trail recently from Emerald to Borden Carleton and back. The gap in a hedgerow in this area is large and it inspires me. I always stop near the “portal” for a few minutes and mentally write another chapter of the next great dystopian novel.

This section of trail is a favourite of my husband and I. Ponds near Kinkora have ducks again though the sunlight on this beautiful autumn day doesn’t allow for great photos. Ducks all but disappear when they moult but look to be in fine form again as far as we can see.

Autumn on the island means the apple trees are bearing fruit again. The trail has lots of apple trees but most of the apples are small. Such is not the case with these huge ones and it looks like those which were reachable have been picked.

Near Emerald, Sumacs are putting on their best autumn show. Some leaves are already flaming red and the berries are plentiful.

I haven’t heard of people picking the berries here but it is said they have a lemony taste without the tartness.

This past summer, the province opened sections of the trail to horseback riders. One such area is north of Kinkora where the trail has new signage. 

We passed several farms but nobody was out riding on the trail that day.

However that day, we discovered one way a horse scratches its back. We stopped to watch this horse and miniature pony 

when the mare lay down on the grass and rubbed her back around on the ground. We had never seen this before.

Not far from the horses, a view over the cornfield across to the hay bales was a pretty scene. The bales in autumn provide one of my favourite sights.

The Newfoundlander in me was shocked to see this Dogberry Tree, without leaves, loaded with berries, a mass of orange. You know what that means for winter this year!

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Greats in the bay

We thought they’d left already. Great Blue Herons had been missing from the bay for a few days. Then, there they were, upwards of fifteen of them spread out along the bay by the boardwalk in Summerside.  Migration is in the air now as temperatures at night are in the single digits on occasion. My husband and I are happy to observe them at every opportunity.


Last month, we watched as one of the Greats caught its lunch as it stood near a sandbar. 

We didn’t know at the time, but it had caught a Sculpin. 

While humans don’t eat Sculpins, herons do. I watched the bird as it turned away from shore to eat the fish. 

Our most recent encounter was with 10-15 of the large birds on a day with a slight breeze. It was hard to keep count of them since they flew around the bay, checking out different areas in the falling tide.

My husband’s photo of four of the Greats with the blue background of a heavy overcast day was my favourite group photo of that day. 

Photos of the Greats in flight show the huge wing span. 

Photos of them landing show the feet reaching for the ground.

The S shaped neck is clearly defined in this photo. This bird looks powerful.

This group photo shows three stances which we commonly see among the birds.

Some of my favourite photos show the neck feathers. Those feathers look fluffy when they are dry.

Wet is a different story.

These birds deserve the word great for so many reasons!