Most Popular Post

Sunday 28 April 2024

Spring by the sea

The spring lobster fishery has begun on parts of Prince Edward Island and another area opens today. My husband and I like to visit Malpeque prior to the season opening to see the activity around the wharf after a quiet winter. 

This week, all of the boats are ready to go. The traps have the buoys attached and will be baited before loading.

This past week we had our first meal of crab this season. Crab and lobster are wonderful treats from the sea and we look forward to our first lobster for Mother’s Day.

Meanwhile, at Malpeque, we always watch for herons and one was nearby feeding in the marsh.

In the river nearby, cormorants took flight and the water sparkled around them.

We walked the beach at Brander’s Pond one day too. It was another beautiful day but cold. Winter clothes are still in use since even without any wind, the air is still frigid. Meanwhile, the sea stack at Brander’s survived another winter and the sea sparkled in the April sun.

From the boardwalk this week, it was easy to see the Confederation Bridge in the distance. 

Along the Rotary Trail, the path disappears in the distance and is intriguing enough to keep us going.

We look forward to new adventures this week. Maybe it will be warm enough to have our first picnic for this year.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Island reverie

This past week, we had some beautiful weather and my husband and I headed to Cavendish one day and Cabot Beach/Malpeque another. In between, we walked the boardwalk, some days between the raindrops. These minutes during a day when we immerse ourselves in nature are precious. 

On the way to Cabot Beach and Malpeque we pass a wetland area where we usually stop to look for ducks. 

There were a number of Green-winged Teals in the area that day. 

At Cabot Beach, work by a dredger on the channel to the harbour at Malpeque allows fishing boats to travel safely to port, mere metres from the beach. 

Further from the water, the sand and Marram grass make a beautiful backdrop for driftwood.

Early morning at Cavendish we encountered numerous hares, feeding and frolicking in the early morning sun. 

In addition, the Osprey were newly returned to the area and their nesting platform had been damaged in their absence. The pair perched in nearby trees and eventually one landed on the old platform. I wonder where they will nest this year?

Along the boardwalk, on two consecutive days we saw the same Red Fox as it hunted. This time of year hungry kits must be fed. Before long they will be out with their mothers playing in the sun and we hope to see them one day.

Meanwhile, Black Ducks enjoy the salt marsh most days. This pair always hangs out together. 

When the wind is on-shore, gulls stand along the shoreline, looking along the bay. These two Herring Gulls kept a silent vigil.

It was a wonderful nature-filled week.

Sunday 14 April 2024

Nature at its best

We walked between rain drops this week and enjoyed the boardwalk most days and a morning in Cavendish. No luck with the eagles at Cavendish but we’ll try again this week. However, in spite of the absence of eagles it was a great week in nature.

On Monday morning, Mergansers were barely visible in Clark’s Pond. I always enjoy this setting and take photos every time we’re there. This photo reminds me of an impressionist painting, with the pond, the fuzzy beach, sea and sky. 

Common Grackles were their usual noisy selves that morning and made their presence known as we walked the trail by Clark’s Pond. The iridescence of these birds is visible in the one at the apex in the photo. There were numerous flocks of the birds enjoying the day, chatting with companions.

As we walked back from Cavendish Grove, we came upon an area of trail which was alive with bird talk. While we couldn’t see any birds, we could hear a number of species singing and chatting, some in the distance. Oh how I would love to be able to identify the birds through their song! The video is only 15 seconds. Can you identify any of the birds by their sounds? You can hear the birds 


Monday afternoon we enjoyed a clear sky and a beautiful view of the total solar eclipse. We had the appropriate glasses for ourselves but no special lenses for the cameras. However, a friend allowed me to use one of the photos she took with her cell phone.

During the eclipse, when totality occurred, there was a collective cheer from people in the area, a spontaneous utterance which made the experience communal. 

Can you imagine what the experience of a total eclipse would have been like for prehistoric people?

Finally today, meet Chip, a chipmunk recently returned to life along the boardwalk. He is well camouflaged among the straw and other organic material along the trail. The chipmunks disappear underground during the winter months. 

Welcome to spring, Chip!

Sunday 7 April 2024

To the park

The grips of winter on the island have loosened and snow and ice are gone. One day this past week, my husband and I woke to a sunny day and a forecast of 9 degrees Celsius. After days of rain, it was a perfect day for an excursion to Cavendish, our first for the year. 

We love the area of the National Park on Prince Edward Island, the trails, beaches, dunes and ponds. The park has been a source of immense enjoyment over the years and we look forward to spring as it heralds months of enjoyment in the park and elsewhere on the island.

Our first visit left us feeling sad however. Over the last few years, the erosion in the park has been dramatic along the coastline. Orby Head, where one could look east and west along the shoreline from the centre of the island, is gone. The shoreline above the cliffs is undermined so much the area isn’t accessible any more. We always watched the cormorants who hung out at Orby and this is one of my last photos of them.

At the look-out in Cavendish, damage to the boardwalk from Fiona is being removed and the area returned to nature while a new boardwalk and look-out are under construction. 

The area which had tables where we had picnics, even in winter, is no longer accessible since it is undermined too.

Elsewhere, as we walked along the trail by Clark’s Pond,

it is shocking to see how many more trees have come down this winter. 

Here, Bald Eagles, gorge on the fish in Clark’s Pond which migrate from the sea up-river to spawn. The eagles will have to compete for a place to rest atop a tree as they allow their food to settle before heading back to their nesting areas.

This young Bald Eagle, 

between 2 and 3 years old was a bit early for the smelt run which is beginning now. This one looks like it has been through a rough time resulting in mangled tail feathers. You can see in the photo that snow was falling in Cavendish despite the sunny day in Summerside. We hope to get more photos of the Eagles this coming week. 

Meanwhile, the western portion of the island will experience the total solar eclipse today. We hope to find an uncrowded beach location later to view the eclipse using our solar glasses.

Also, another natural phenomenon which is on-going these days is  iceberg season off the coast of Newfoundland. Most bergs are broken pieces of glaciers from western Greenland and a small percentage are from Canada’s Arctic. They travel through the Labrador Sea south along the coast of Labrador and eventually off Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.

I always enjoy seeing the incredible photos and videos of the icebergs which are posted on the Facebook page, Newfoundland and Labrador Iceberg Reports. If you put that name in Facebook Search on top of the Facebook Page, the site will come up. You can browse or add it to your feed.

Despite the changes to the park, nature has a lot to offer us this week. We hope to enjoy it to the fullest.