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Wednesday 29 June 2022

Peony time

It’s our favourite blooming time of year! A few days in late June every year, peonies fill the front garden at our house. The blooms are particularly beautiful this year, though I say that every year. 

Our love of peonies started with my husband’s grandmother who grew peonies and shared her bounty with us for our garden in Newfoundland. We both associate peonies with Classie, a name which describes her perfectly.

Of course there are names for these varieties of peonies which I don’t know. I do know the wow factor of the various varieties which leads my husband and me to take photos leading up to and during the bloom.

In our current garden, some of these blooms are the size of dinner plates. These white ones, 

with the paint-dipped petals near the centres are that big. A bunch of them is so heavy that in spite of a large basket around the plant, the blooms fall over.

These red peonies are not as wide but are as thick as the whites. They are always the first blooms of the lot.

Some of our peonies have a hint of pink with a yellow centre. 

Others are wide and thick with short white petals lining the outer pink ones. Beautiful pink petals make a thick centre.

We call the one on the right a single peony. It is a soft salmon colour without many petals and stands beside a bunch of huge fluffy pink ones. 

While some buds are yet to burst forth, 

the red ones have begun the inevitable fall of petals. 

We enjoy them while we can!

 P. S.

I posted before I checked the peonies this morning.

A surprise bloom this morning.

The depth of this bloom is amazing.

Pink blooms waiting for their moment in the sun.

Rose peonies in their glory!

Monday 27 June 2022

To the lighthouses

It was a day of lighthouses. We accompanied friends, Helen and her husband, Frank to Indian Head Lighthouse after a visit to the boardwalk in Summerside and lunch. The red dirt road which leads to the lighthouse had been recently graded but the going was rough. Arriving at the end of the road, one discovers the lighthouse at the tip of a long breakwater.

The city of Summerside on the other side of Bedeque Bay looks peaceful in the summer sun. 

The Front Range and Rear Range lights are in place as they have been for decades, now but a reminder of the days before navigational systems guided entry to the bay. 

From the sea floor at low tide, one can get closer to the Indian Head Lighthouse. 

Some fishermen fish Striped Bass from the breakwater while feathered fishers watch nearby

This Savannah Sparrow sang from the bushes. 

Erosion of the shoreline just inside the breakwater is dramatic, as trees drape themselves down over the cliff.

I sat on the breakwater and took photos of the sailboat out in the Northumberland Strait. When my husband downloaded the photos, it was a surprise to see the wind turbine in the far distance, one from a wind farm in New Brunswick.

We drove on roads lined with lupins on our way to the Seacow Head Lighthouse at Fernwood.

The area provides a view of the entire Confederation Bridge, which links Prince Edward Island to New Brunswick. 

At the Head, the road disappears into the sea and nearby, waves work on the sandstone. 

The lighthouse oversees the setting and withstands the elements well.

We bade farewell to our friends who are returning to Australia this week. Meeting fellow bloggers has been wonderful!

Thursday 23 June 2022

Along the red dirt roads

Exploring Prince Edward Island will inevitably take you beyond paved roads to the iron-rich dirt roads. The old roads are cut deep into the red earth and this time of year, they, like all roads, are lined with natural beauty, wild and free. 

One can easily stop and admire the wildflowers along the old roads as we did recently on our way to Brander’s Pond and again at the Indian Head Lighthouse with Helen and Frank, our Australian friends.

At the pond, which is behind sand dunes, a stream flows to the beach on the north shore of the island into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The road to the area is lined with lupins this time of year and they are at their peak.

While purples and blues are prevalent, combinations of pink and rose colours vary from a hint of pink to the two coloured pink/rose petals. 

The while lupins are more rare.

With the pond in the background, this piece of driftwood looks quite seasonal.

Another wildflower which is quite obvious this time of year is Dame’s Rocket, which can grow quite tall along the roadsides and pathways. I took this photo from the car window looking up an embankment. 

At the Indian Head Lighthouse, the sea is the backdrop as the old light stands guard at the end of the breakwater. 

Lupins love this place but daisies claim their piece of real estate too.

Soon the lupins, rockets and daisies will be replaced with other names and colours but all of the blooming beauty this time of year gives me joy!

Sunday 19 June 2022

The north shore

It couldn’t have been more perfect. We’d had rain which was needed for potatoes and other crops. Now the sun was out and the island breeze, which one can usually rely on, made the heat bearable. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

We packed a picnic and headed to the central north shore to meet Helen and Frank, our Australian friends who are visiting family on the island. Helen is a fellow blogger. They know Prince Edward Island pretty well, so we wanted to show them an area they hadn’t visited before. We met at the wharf at French River.

As we talked and watched boats return to port from their morning at the lobster traps, 

a local mussel fisherman came by and we talked briefly. He doesn’t have a long commute since the buoys are his workplace. 

His family can watch from the living room window.

We proceeded to the New London Lighthouse at Yankee Hill where the view over the dunes is familiar. 

However, the lobster boats returning to port add the human element to this gorgeous setting. 

Gulls and cormorants are usually busy in the area and many photos capture them flying by while the boats speed past. 

The Livin Large was one of a dozen or more boats making their way back to port while we walked the beach. Sometimes, like the Knot Inarush, they looked close enough to touch.

The pylons off-shore still stand against the onslaught of nature. They were certainly meant to last and the metal spikes which hold them together are visible today. 

The birds use the area as a perch.

On the way back to the car, we met two artists sketching the old lighthouse.

The view of the old sentinel was enhanced by the blooms which are bursting forth everywhere these days.

The north shore was in her glory!

Thursday 16 June 2022

Of cabbages and things

When Lewis Carroll wrote about the adventures of The Walrus and the Carpenter and mentioned “cabbages —and kings” together, could he have imagined a time when only kings could afford cabbages?

My husband and I like cabbage, both green and purple. We have it roasted, boiled, stir fried, in soup and as coleslaw. It is a versatile vegetable. My husband bought two medium sized heads of cabbage last week and they cost ten dollars. Just for two cabbages! 

I cannot understand why so many items we purchase now have increased in price by multiple dollars. How much price gouging is involved? Will prices ever return to what they were pre-inflation? I doubt it.

Why are so many drugs being advertised on television these days? During commercial breaks, pharmaceutical companies are peddling medicines which we can’t live without. Supposedly. Have you ever listened to the lists of side effects, which often include death? Ask your doctor for a drug? How about actually having a doctor? That would be nice. Lots of them are retiring or leaving Prince Edward Island and there are none to replace them. 

I have only been on the bike twice this year, once around our subdivision and once on the Confederation Trail. The result was too much pain to try again. Physiotherapy is helping but I am not ready for the bike yet. I really miss biking with my husband. 

We had a great year last year and I realize how fortunate I am, as a senior, to have had that year. I don’t want to give it up without a fight. My husband goes on short rides by himself and I want to accompany him. Maybe later this summer…

Enough complaining already!

We have completed the work outside for this year which included painting some trim. Then we weeded and mulched the garden. The perennial alyssum was magnificent this year.

Now it is time to plant the vegetable patch. Our daughter grew some herbs, tomato and pepper plants from seeds and enjoyed her first foray into gardening. Growing plants from seed is what her paternal grandmother still does, at almost ninety years old. I always buy plants, to this point anyway. Later this week I will fill the garden bed with some of our daughter’s first plants, nurture them and watch them grow. The seed packets cost 75 cents each. Quite a savings this year! Yay!

Monday 13 June 2022

Spring beauty

The boardwalk is looking particularly pretty these days, decked out in its spring best. The trees lining the walkway, dressed in their green finery, rustle in the breeze to the backbeat of nature. The birds add a familiar chorus, all the usual ones which frequent the area, the blackbirds, jays and sparrows are joined by Yellow Warblers which are less frequent visitors. They add a flash of sunlight as they flit among the leaves.

Lining the boardwalk now, the first wildflowers in are in bud and blooming. Dame’s Rocket is so pretty among the trees, growing up to waist height. 

Yellow Salsify is closer to the earth, giving first impressions of dandelion blooms until you look closer. 

Buttercups are more earthy and fill in the background.

The male Red-winged Blackbirds are plentiful and chatter in their familiar way. They flit among the trees, their epaulets adding a flash of colour. 

The females are about now too, probably busy feeding young. 

The sentinels of the boardwalk, the Song Sparrows, are always present. They sing their hearts out, as if nature depended on them for its continuity.

The Choke Cherry trees are dripping with clusters of blooms, made of tiny individual flowers. 

They will provide food for the birds later this year.

The coming months of warm weather are a delight along the boardwalk.