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Sunday 25 June 2023

One of the best

The Dunk River is in central Prince Edward Island about a thirty minute drive from home. We have walked the Dunk River Trail in early spring but never when nature was in her finery. We were in for a treat.

On first glimpse from the entrance, the river bends and disappears into the trees.

The roadside embankment is covered with lupins and rockets now as the late spring bloom has rolled into summer. 

The trail entrance is a hole in the trees which looks like an invitation to another dimension, and really, it is.

Inside the entrance, an open area is cool compared to the heat outside.

The first of numerous bird boxes greets visitors and the trail beyond is lined with rockets, the wildflowers du jour. 

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail butterflies flit among the blossoms and are difficult to photograph before they disappear among the vegetation. This is the best photograph I could manage of one earlier last week on the salt marsh in Summerside.

All along the trail, the sounds are enchanting. The constancy of the flowing water and the intermittent bird sounds are like nature’s orchestra with a masterful conductor leading the way. You can experience it here.

Meanwhile the sounds accompany vignettes like these:

where water and vegetation capture the eye and hold it hostage. One lingers a while at these scenes.

Maples saplings grow on the forest floor while overhead, the distinctive leaf shape provides a screen in front of us. Autumn will be glorious here.

We turned around near lunch time, leaving the completion of the trail for another day. On the way back, we saw a tree filled with mushrooms that resembled pimples on the trunk. 

Another trunk had woodpecker holes, some made by Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.

Five female Mallards fed in the river as we walked by.

The river valley didn’t get as much damage from post tropical storm Fiona as other areas of the island, and while there are some signs of damage, 

the area has been cleaned up and provides an escape from the world.

Anyone who enjoys nature will love this trail. 

Be sure to bring insect repellent with you though. We did and the pesky creatures were still an annoyance in places, but manageable. It is not a difficult trail but watch for the roots which sometimes break ground.

This world along the Dunk River is one of the most beautiful trails on the island and is well worth your time.

Sunday 18 June 2023

Time in nature

My husband and I have continued our daily walks along the boardwalk in Summerside where some of the apple trees are late to bloom. 

The resident Belted Kingfisher provided lots of entertainment one day too as it fished in the stream. 

You can see the catch in its mouth in this photo. 

Meanwhile, Rockets are blooming along the trail now.

We also drove to Cavendish one morning to watch for Bald Eagles during the Gaspereau run. Gaspereau are small fish which return from the ocean and swim upstream to spawn in the waterways of the island. The eagles follow their movement and fill up on the tiny fish each day during the run.

After they’ve eaten, the satiated eagles sit in the nearby trees and let their food settle. 

This time provides a great opportunity for eagle watching and photography and we saw eight eagles, mostly immature ones, during our time there. 

This young one didn’t mind us watching from the trail nearby.

On Clark’s Pond, Canada Geese swam 

as overhead, a Osprey surveyed the pond and occasionally dived for fish.

Along the trail, Forget-me-nots greeted us 

while various species of birds sang their praises to creation. Familiar species like the Song Sparrow were visible as were Common Yellowthroats, singing in their best voices.

We had lunch at Cavendish Grove, one of our favourite picnic locations. 

We ate in a shaded area, probably not the best choice on a day when the mosquitos were biting. A table in the sun would have been a far better choice.

Next time.

Sunday 11 June 2023


We have stayed close to home this past week, keeping our walking to the familiar boardwalk and the trails of the Rotary Friendship Park. My husband and I walked every day between the raindrops, dressed for colder spring weather while summer stands waiting around the corner.

The beauty of nature does not escape us as we walk the familiar trails which have plants sprouting, growing and blooming on the forest floor. 

Patches of plants such as wild Lily of the Valley 

and bunchberry make us stop to look.

Meanwhile, some apple trees are in bloom still 

and juniper also known as larch or tamarack, has its needles again and is looking particularly pretty. 

The animals are tending their young these days and over the last month we’ve watched a family of foxes with four kits, play in the distance. Now down to three kits, the young foxes venture further from home and play with each other while the parents hunt. This one posed nicely one day, the fuzzy fur showing its youth.

In the salt marsh one day, we watched as the mother fox hunted among the bulrushes, stealthily searching for unsuspecting birds or their eggs. This area is home to a female Black duck who is a great mother to her five ducklings. She is on guard as the ducklings feed. 

This momma definitely has her ducks in a row. 

This 10 second  idea shows the ducklings keeping up with her. Here

Lupins are beginning to bloom now and will do so for the next few weeks. The first we’ve seen this year had a slug feasting on it.

Earlier that same day, we had seen a Song Sparrow with a slug in its beak, probably food for its young. 

Meanwhile, the salt marsh is recovering slowly from the damage from sub tropical storm Fiona as bulrushes are growing again after a slow start. The local Great Blue Heron enjoys the setting as much as we enjoy its company. 

Belted Kingfishers fish in the stream and along the shoreline, occasionally landing in a place where we can watch their activity.

The circle of life is evident all around us as we walk the trails. We are privileged to be its witnesses.

Sunday 4 June 2023

The new green of spring

The leaves are on the trees now, having opened here in the Maritimes this past week. We had two days with temperatures of 30 degrees C and high winds which were disastrous for wildfires in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. We didn’t have much rain this spring and the forests were full of downed trees from Fiona last fall, tinder ready. Much of Canada has wildfires raging however. It is easy to get lost in the tragedies. In the east, a forecasted week of wet, cold weather will help with the fires.

Meanwhile, this past week, my husband and I enjoyed the burgeoning spring which has long been posted about by fellow bloggers throughout the Northern Hemisphere. We are slow of leaf here is Eastern Canada. However, enjoying every minute possible is a way to lift one’s thoughts beyond the tragedies, environmental and otherwise which abound today.

We continue to walk every day, if not on the boardwalk 

or the Rotary Friendship Park, we head further afield for a walk and a picnic such as recent excursions to Cavendish, Bonshaw, Cape Egmont and Tignish Shores.

Plants of the forest floor are thriving now, as green takes over on multiple levels in the forest. 

Tiny beauties such as starflower abound 

as do wild strawberry blooms.

A painted trillium was a wonderful surprise this week, one of two varieties which grow on the island.

The blossoms on trees are brief but glorious. They cause us pause, to take in the delicate buds and blooms, 

the subtle colours, the pistils and stamens, 

ensuring fruit for another harvest. 

Meanwhile, the animals go about their lives, the migratory birds having returned already. Some stop briefly while others, like the Great Blue Heron, 

grace the landscape for the warmer months.

Spring is brief here, but welcome, enjoyed and appreciated. Nature has adapted to the short bounty of suitable conditions and so have we. 

As I write this on Sunday to post Monday, it is windy, raining and feels like 3 degrees Celsius. We will don our winter clothes and walk between the drops amid the new green of spring.