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Thursday, 19 May 2022

Along the way 2022

Since my husband and I are back on the trails and beaches again, we see some unusual or interesting things along the way. On a recent trip to the Bonshaw Hills Park, a new bike station caught our eyes. 





The trials are frequented by mountain bikers and this station, with the hooks for holding the bike at eye level and the tools attached from strings would be helpful to any biker experiencing trouble.


At a cottage at Yankee Hill, near the New London Lighthouse, someone has collected the buoys washed ashore along the beach and gathered them along the driveway. They make a nice decoration, a great way to recycle and keep the beach clean.





This old metal piece is a curiosity hung from a tree along the boardwalk at North Rustico. Is it a symbol? Does anyone have any idea what is it or what it symbolizes?





Also at North Rustico, on a quiet Sunday morning, a man driving a ride-on mower pulled two young children in a cart along the road. The three were thoroughly enjoying the ride.





Closer to home, as I was cleaning windows recently, a Canadian Forces air craft flew over doing manoeuvres as they do periodically in the skies over Summerside. 





As I looked on, paratroopers released from the belly of the aircraft, floated down to earth. There wasn’t much free fall before the chutes deployed and it looked like a gentle descent. 





It made me think of Jan, a fellow blogger at 


who was a skydiver for years. I could only imagine that feeling of floating through the air as I watched, then turned back to cleaning windows. 


Sigh…   






Sunday, 15 May 2022

On the beach

An overcast day with a slight cool breeze on the north shore of the Prince Edward Island made it comfortable for a walk on the boardwalk in North Rustico. 





Then my husband and I went to nearby Cavendish Grove for a picnic as the sun came out. By chance, we met Miriam and David, who had come back to visit the Grove. David is a fellow blogger and both birders visited PEI last week. It was great to catch up with them after some extended time on the island. Afterwards, my husband and I headed east to French River and beyond to the lighthouse at New London.


French River was in fine form with the lobster fishery underway and the boats tied up at the wharf or returning from the day’s work. 





Nearby a Lesser Yellowlegs, the first I’ve ever seen this time of year, was busy feeding. 





At the New London Lighthouse, the setting lived up to our expectations. 





Waves broke in the shallow water offshore, providing a white water backdrop for the remains of the old wharf. 





The grey weathered wood is a perch for birds but only one gull was in residence that day.


Fog rose from the channel and the houses in the distance became faint outlines. 





Mere metres in front of us, a small flock of gulls played in the breeze and dabbled in the sea. Eventually they formed a line in the falling tide as if playing follow the leader.





We didn’t stay long enough to see fishing boats pass on their way to and from port at French River, but we’ll have a picnic and a walk on the beach there later this week.



                                                             Never far from our thoughts


 


Wednesday, 11 May 2022

A day with friends

A blogging friend and his wife are visiting Prince Edward Island this spring and my husband and I met with them this week at Cavendish. Of course we had a picnic and Cavendish Grove was our meet and lunch location. David and Miriam brought good weather with them from Ontario and without any wind, it was a perfect day for birding.


David has been an avid birder since childhood and Miriam is a skilled birder who takes excellent photos. It was especially nice to spend time in nature with such birding enthusiasts.


The only way the Grove could have been better is if there had been goslings. The Canada Geese were swimming or flying around 





and arguing with each other in usual Geese fashion. 





Ducks such as Mallards, Gadwalls 





and Green-winged Teals dropped in while we watched. The Muskrat swam around the bulrushes and dived for tender shoots.





The National Park is a prime location for Bald Eagles on the island and we often see them when we visit the park. That day was no different and in honour of our visitors, the birds were in fine form. We saw one perched on a stump near the dunes 





and two adults and an immature eagle floated overhead on the breeze.





Elsewhere in the park, as per usual, an Osprey flew by.





We saw Golden-crowned Kinglets in a tree, tiny birds which I had never seen before. I didn’t manage a good photo, just a blur of flapping wings as one flew away.


It was a wonderful day with people who enjoy nature as much or more than we do. 


P.S.


I am leaving comments on blogs as I have always done and many aren’t posting. What is up with Blogger these days? Is there a fix for this?



Monday, 9 May 2022

To the Cape

At North Cape on Prince Edward Island, the lighthouse keeps its silent vigil at the tip of the western end of the north coast.




A small flock of Common Eider ducks hangs out on a sand bar formed where the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Northumberland Strait meet but the birds are difficult to photograph in the high winds.


Offshore, boats are on the water again after months in storage. Preparation is underway for the lobster season.





Along the shoreline, a wind farm turns its vanes into the wind, generating electricity without major environmental impact.





The shoreline itself is sculpted by the wave action, the sandstone giving way to the rhythmic action and constancy of the sea in this exposed area. 





gully to the beach 





is bordered by a sea arch well on its way to becoming a sea stack.





At Tignish Shores, a lone walker is looking for sea glass. She searches there every day the weather conditions and tides allow. 





Gulls are her only company most days.





In a field along the road, horses graze while the wind turbines work nearby and the sound of the sea is carried on the breeze.





One’s senses awaken with a visit to the North Cape after what feels like a long winter sleep!



Thursday, 5 May 2022

Back to the sea

Fishers are back at sea again since the lobster season opened earlier this week on Prince Edward Island.





Prior to the start of the season, boats are returned to the water, traps and other gear readied. In addition, dredging of the waterways occurs since the sand around the island shifts over the winter and can pose a hazard to the boats.





At Seacow Pond on the northwest corner of the island, this was the scene last week as boats and gear were prepared for the season. 





Boats lined the pond and along the wharf, by each boat, its gear was piled, ready for loading on the big day.





It was interesting to be close enough to see the weight in each trap, which causes it to sink in the water. 





The buoy which is the marker for each trap has a weight as well which keeps the buoy upright in the water. The weights on PEI are concrete, made by the fishers.





On Setting Day, the opening of the season, fishers load the gear and head out to the fishing ground as their families gather along the shoreline to wish them a safe and successful season.





Last week in a nearby inlet, we saw a dredger which was pulled ashore,





allowing us to see the cutter head which bores into the seabed. 





The sand is sucked through the dredger and ejected away from the shipping channel. With the weather co-operating, the dredging done and gear and boats ready, Setting Day was Tuesday.


That day on the northwest coast, we had our picnic lunch in the yard of Christ Church at Kildare Capes, a peaceful setting along the coastline. There is a stained glass window at the back of the church with the words, “Peace be still,” whilst Jesus stands in a boat amid stormy seas. It is a reminder of the danger of working at sea and the faith of many people on the island. 





Meanwhile, as is the tradition with many island families, we are having our first lobster of the season for Mother’s Day this Sunday. Even the children enjoy a meal of lobster. It is a part of island culture which our family enjoys.



Sunday, 1 May 2022

In our element

On our second time back at Cavendish Grove this year, the gate was open for another season. Yay! Several geese families which return every year were settled in for another season and some of the frogs were singing as well. Spring! Besides, the return of the contrails overhead made it feel as if life was beginning to return to a semblance of normalcy after two long years.





We walked to the beach which is clear of snow now.





Along the way, animals go about their lives and if you take the time, you may see Osprey, Bald Eagles, Song Sparrows, Grackles, Gulls and Ravens, as we did. One of the gulls was playing, all alone, floating on the breeze along the shoreline.





The Ravens were especially interesting. They can be hard to distinguish from crows but are larger and have a fan-like tail. My husband found a large empty egg shell nearby and placed it on a post. 





Before long, one of the birds checked it out. The Ravens obviously raid nests of the Geese and Ducks in the area. 





Back at the Grove, we passed a Chipmunk, busy filling its pouches. It stopped to watch us for some time and eventually climbed into a hole in a tree. 





My husband and I had lunch overlooking the water, listening to the peepers and the geese. This is our favourite picnic spot on the island.





There was a new resident at the Grove this spring. A muskrat was active in the water and on the islands. We identified an area which could have been its lodge 





but before we left, it looked like a goose was moving in. I wonder if she was evicted.





A good landlord can make all the difference.



Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Respite

He sits on the bench along the boardwalk with a bag of peanuts and feeds the animals. They know him well since the snow disappeared and the air is warmer. He enjoys this time, leisurely giving the nutty treasures to Blue Jays and Red Squirrels as people go by, most greeting him as they admire the antics of the animals. 





He doesn’t have much to say because he’s not there for the people. Besides, his hearing prevents him from understanding much of what others say but the animals don’t mind.


While I watched one day, two squirrels scampered away with the nuts, returning quickly to the man, one coming from behind, quickly jumped to the bench and up to his knee. It took the peanut from his hand. He threw a peanut for the other, as he does with the Blue Jays. The man smiled and talked to them as he sat there, relaxed as he enjoyed the setting and the experience.


Around the man, a number of other birds hang out too. A Robin watches from a nearby tree 





as does a Mourning Dove, waiting for any leftovers when the more aggressive animals are done. 





One can hear the efforts of a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker nearby and see it in the tree behind the man and the other animals.





The area is a playground with snacks for the beasts.


For a few minutes in the day, a person sits and communes with nature. During that time, the cares of a troubled world and those in his own life disappear as he feeds the animals, oblivious to all else.


Everyone could benefit from a few of those minutes.