Most Popular Post

Sunday 29 October 2023

Autumn glory

The Dunk River has one of the most beautiful trails on Prince Edward Island. This trail which we visited last spring was on our list for an autumn visit. It was overcast when we arrived at the river but that didn’t matter as we headed out.

The Dunk is a popular fishing river and someone had an earlier start than we did that morning.

While my husband and I aren’t fishing enthusiasts, it is easy to understand some of the reasons people enjoy fishing in such a location. I love how the trail is full of the river sound and while one can usually see the river, in the minutes when it is not visible, its essence still is.

We were slow to walk the trail, stopping often to take photos. The leaves were in various stages of colour and glimpses of their beauty gave us pause. 

The senses come alive in such a setting, a heightened awareness of all as one’s brain attempts to take in everything. At every turn, the scenes were more lovely. From a multi-coloured veil of leaves at eye level

to drama overhead, there was much to absorb. Then the sun came out.

Shafts of light filtered through the trees and highlighted some of the beauty. 

Some light even managed to reach the river. The trees screened the sun in some areas and the water reflected the colours above.

Each new scene was more perfect than the last. 

We saw mushrooms feeding on fallen trees 

and a maple tree with a branch of red leaves and the remainder still green.

For lunch we went back the way we came and drove to Scales Pond on the opposite side of the road. There, a familiar picnic table sat among the trees where a veil of leaves screened the pond below. 

We had homemade chilli for lunch which we quite enjoyed. 

While we ate, a visitor stopped by, looking like it was securing material for its drey in a nearby tree. 

Chickadees sang among the trees as they flitted about oblivious to the visitors at the table.

After lunch, we walked the path along the pond. On the water, a tree dragon stood above the surface of the water, 

while a Great Blue Heron, invisible along the bank, took flight as we approached.

Across the pond, the hay, cut and baled, waited for delivery to the farm. This scene alone is one of my favourites in a day of many.

Finally today, meet Daisy, our new golden grand-dog, just 10 weeks old. Our daughter’s family is enjoying life with Daisy and we are lucky enough to share the joy of a puppy. Daisy is adorable and you’ll be seeing more of her for sure.

Sunday 22 October 2023

On the trails

We have had some miserable weather again this past week with rain and high winds. Prior to this latest weather misery, we enjoyed several of the trails around the island as autumn colour began.

West of home, my husband and I walked the two new trails in Tyne Valley one day and especially enjoyed the hilly terrain of one of those trails. That trail is well groomed, without roots to slow one’s progress or to trip over.

The trails cross a number of streams 

and have new bridges traversing them. 

The leaves were beginning to show some autumn colour though green was the dominant colour at that time.

We bought our Coleman stove with us that day and cooked bacon and heated homemade baked beans. It was a delicious lunch with a cup of tea.

A few days later, east of home, we walked the trail at Breadalbane where a furry sentinel greeted us as she hunted for mice among the ground cover.

Puss accompanied us for a time, leading the way on occasion.

This trail has older bridges which cross streams through areas of forest which were beginning to show some fall colour.

Part of this trail is root covered and requires one’s full attention. Another section is on the Confederation Trail where the going is easy. In this more open area, the leaves have already reached their peak colour.

Along the way, we happened upon a Hairy Woodpecker, as she searched for food. 

Later, we had our homemade beef stew near the entrance of the trail. 

As we ate, a silk thread wafted through the air between us and a spider appeared on the thread which must have reached from the trees across the road. We watched as the breeze took the thread and its maker onto the goldenrod nearby which had gone to seed. It looked like a safe landing for the arachnid.

On the way home, we passed some Puddle Ducks in a watering hole for the cows grazing nearby. The scene depicts the peace and tranquility we enjoyed both days!

Monday 16 October 2023

A day at the beaches

With the onset of beautiful weather last month, my husband and I made our annual visits to some of our favourite beaches on Prince Edward Island. We went east from our home for the hour drive to Savage Harbour on the northeast part of the island.

The sea is often rough along this shoreline and such was the case that day. 

The onshore breeze cooled the air enough to require a jacket as we walked the beach at low tide and watched gulls sail on the wind. 

A small flock of juvenile Black-bellied Plovers walked the beach too, though they stopped to eat periodically. 

Further down the beach, Peeps and Semi-palmated Plovers gathered on the leeward side of small piles of seaweed left by the receding tide. 

Later we had a picnic in sight of the beach, listening to the rhythm of the sea. 

Cormorants flew overhead and nearby Warblers flew among the trees along the shoreline. We watched dragonflies, specifically male Autumn Meadowlarks, dance around us. Their colour makes them easily recognizable.

After lunch we drove about ten minutes farther east to St. Peter’s Lighthouse, one of our favourites on the island. Nestled among the sand dunes on the western shore of St Peter’s Bay, the structure is a wonderful surprise at the end of a red dirt road.

The beach looking west draws one forward and looking east, 

the beautiful beach at Greenwich on the far shore of St Peter’s Bay is upstaged by the pylons of an old wharf. 

At low tide, these pylons were still off-shore. This is a huge change from pre-Fiona, the tropical storm which did so much damage to the island just a year ago.

A photo from our last visit to the area, just prior to Fiona last year, shows the position of the pylons at low tide. 

The sand obviously shifted along the shoreline with that storm. There is little beach left in parts of the bay at high tide now. The power of nature is a wonder to behold, though sometimes a scary one.

The sea and sky with the birds that day all made for a picture perfect day which was good for the spirit. 

Sunday 8 October 2023

A day at North Cape

One of our most memorable outings ever was to North Cape on Prince Edward Island which we visited recently. We saw on social media about seals at North Cape and changed our plans that morning in the hope of spotting some. We weren’t disappointed with the seals but they were a small part of the experience that day.

North Cape is on the northwest tip of the island and on a beautiful autumn day, the hour drive was enjoyable. When we arrived, the seals were obvious, 

on the rock reef, part of the longest such natural reef in North America. There the waters of the Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence merge.

Double crested cormorants and a variety of gulls enjoyed one end of the reef 

while the seals took up two areas at the far end. 

Looking at the water nearby, bobbing heads of the furry mammals basked in the sun between fishing forays into the briny blue. 

Meanwhile, human fishers shared in the bounty of marine life as well.

We walked along the shoreline to the sea arch in the area which has greatly expanded since our last visit. Storms may make a sea stack out of this arch in the near future.

The trails along the shoreline are lined with grass which was full of crickets in an orchestra that was loud but tuned. As we walked by, dozens of Savannah Sparrows flew out of the grass and flew nearby, waiting for us to pass so they could continue lunch. This one landed on a nearby rock on the shoreline.

We had lunch at the head of the Black Marsh Trail, and listened to the sounds of the crickets and the sea. Afterwards, we walked the trail and watched three Turkey Vultures as they sailed on the thermals above the shoreline, smelling and looking for carrion. 

The trail meanders along the edge of the shoreline and through trees nearby. One viewing area lets observers see what lies ahead. 

The wind turbines in the scene always give me hope that one day, humankind will be easier on our environment.

At the black marsh, we sat and looked out over the landscape, a marsh which is familiar to Newfoundlanders like us, containing cloudberries and pitcher plants. 

We continued on to the sea stack, past the remains of the trees along the shoreline. Weathered by sea spray and wind, they stand as sculptures created by nature’s hand.  

When we arrived back near the reef, we noticed sea birds enjoying the area too, floating around among the seals bobbing in the water. Eider Ducks, Scoters and Mergansers added to the nature quest for the day. 

Nearby, a small flock of Sanderlings landed on the rocks in front of us.

On the way home, we stopped at St. Simon and St. Jude Roman Catholic Church to see man’s creation compared to the natural one we had just left. 

The church is a beauty, with some stained glass windows, not often seen in island churches. Its ceiling is reminiscent of a night sky.

It was a gorgeous fall day on the island and at every turn, there was something to appreciate and enjoy!