Sunday, 24 September 2017

At The Beach

A couple of weeks ago, we discovered this beach.  It is on the north shore of the island - the water is the Gulf of the St Lawrence, so it is cold, as it comes in off the Atlantic.

Prince Edward Island is known for its red sands.  As you can see, the beaches are not exactly crowded.  We walked along the beach and had it almost to ourselves - the few people who were sunbathing were at the end closest to the access road.  

This beach has to be one of the best kept secrets of the locals.  I discovered it purely by chance, when I was searching the internet for places to visit and it was only a comment on a blog which gave me the clue to its existence.  

To think that we could have been here for years and not discovered it...

It was a hot day, but I wasn't tempted to do more than paddle.  The water was very cold!

We enjoyed seeing the birds in the shallows - I'm not sure what they were eating, but they seemed to have found something tasty.  

We walked a long way, but not to the end, as the beach continued beyond the headland.  

Still, there is plenty left to explore on another visit.

Friday, 22 September 2017


Autumn officially arrived this evening and with it, thoughts of harvest, darker evenings and cooler weather, particularly in the early morning.  It has been cold enough to programme the central heating and it came on this morning, but it was only 6 C outside.
We see signs of harvest and recently visited this stand, where they have fresh locally grown apples, which they grow themselves at a nearby orchard.

The early varieties are ready, but I still miss those with which I am most familiar.  We bought Paula Red and Gravenstein, both early apple varieties.  They are both crisp and slightly tart apples.  We plan to visit the orchard around mid-October to pick our own personal favourite apples - Cox's Orange Pippins (mine) and Russetts (Mr Candytuft's favourite) - if we could buy Bramley apples there, it would be perfect...

Sunday, 17 September 2017


I can hardly believe that I started this post a month ago, but never got further than adding photos.  My theme for 2017 is joy and it has been quite a while since I've posted about it.  Here are some of the things that have brought joy to my life this summer.

Drying washing outdoors.  It smells so wonderfully fresh.

A miniature orchid in bloom.

Wild flowers on a summer's day.

Our new home.

The sky at dawn.

And more wild flowers on our morning walk by the shore.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Walk 1,000 Miles - week 36

Thirty-six weeks into my walking challenge, I reached another significant milestone.  On Saturday, I clocked up a total of 900 miles.  I wanted to be somewhere significant and scenic, so I was happy to walk the boardwalk along the shore.

When I look back at my walks in the early part of the year, they were mostly spent walking the streets of our neighbourhood.  These days, I get to enjoy nature and beautiful scenery. 

So I'm on the final leg of my challenge - less than one hundred miles to go.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

At the End of the Rainbow

This was the sight that greeted me when I got up on Saturday morning.  A spectacular rainbow right across the sky.  I couldn't wait to get outside and take a photograph before it disappeared.  I rushed out with the camera, only to find that my neighbour was outdoors for the same reason.  

Although I captured a couple of photos, I don't think that they really do it justice.  I don't have a fancy camera, so the angle of the lens couldn't capture the rainbow in its entirety.  Within a few minutes of taking my photos, it had gone.  I didn't even have a chance to find the rainbow's end.

Monday, 4 September 2017

St Dunstan's Basilica

Our first visit to Charlottetown was a couple of weeks after we arrived on Prince Edward Island.  We went for a walk after lunch and visited St Dunstan's Basilica.  It was a hot afternoon and pleasant to escape the bustle of the tourist crowds and step into the calm of this beautiful church.  Stepping inside, the eye was immediately drawn to the Rose window and altar.  The stained-glass windows, light fixtures and pillars depict almost three hundred angels.

St Dunstan's Chapel was the original wooden church on this site.  It was constructed in 1816 and dedicated to St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was an Anglo-Saxon saint, from Glastonbury.  The original church was later replaced by a larger wooden cathedral in 1843. 

The cornerstone of the third cathedral on this site was laid in 1896.  It was built in the form of a Latin cross and was dedicated in 1907.  Six years after its dedication, it was destroyed by fire.

The fourth cathedral was reconstructed from the walls of the former one and the interior was completed in the English Gothic style.  Completed in 1919, it was the largest cathedral in the Maritimes.  Ten years later, on the centenary of the formation of the Diocese of Charlottetown, Pope Pius XI honoured the financial sacrifices made by the Islanders to resurrect this church from the ashes and granted St Dunstan's the title of Basilica, one of only twenty such churches in Canada.

The exterior part of the Basilica was difficult to photograph, due to crowds, other builidings and trees.  It is French Gothic in style and topped by spiral crosses on the spires.

I don't feel that my photos did the building justice, so if you would like to see some better images, please visit the Basilica's webiste here.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Making Waves

I started knitting this shawl a couple of weeks ago.  The pattern is Gwindra from Blacker Yarns.  It is a modified garter stitch pattern, which knitted up quickly and had added interest with the addition of the blue contrasting stripe.

The cable and lace edging adds a new dimension to this pattern and is a little more challenging to knit.  I have found this fairly straightforward, as long as I concentrate on the pattern.

The edge has grown slowly: with a 22 row pattern repeat, which is then repeated 28 times, there are a lot of rows to knit.

I've had a sense of waves of cable and lace forming as the pattern grows.  I still have a number of rows to knit, but I'm getting there.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Nature Trail

I've read that exercising outdoors puts us in touch with nature, which brings a sense of wellbeing.  We have recently exchanged pounding the pavements of a large city for a boardwalk on the island we now call home.

Our morning walks offer us sights of seabirds on the beach and the first glimpses of autumn colour.

Chipmunks abound and stuff their pouches with tasty treats left by walkers.

This one looked like he had a bad case of mumps after filling his face with as much as he could carry.  

We have yet to identify this bird, which we couldn't find in our bird guide.

But we do know what is in this nest - osprey chicks, which we can hear calling to their parents.  They are too far away for a good photo and their nest is on the top of a telegraph pole.

Nature offers such riches and puts us in touch with the subtle change of seasons almost before it is happening.  

Monday, 21 August 2017

In Search of the Red Squirrel

On our first walk last Thursday, we were delighted to discover that there are red squirrels in the area.  In fact, one had been leaning over the railing of this bird box, but sadly, the camera took too long to focus, so I missed the shot.

Here he is running down the tree.

And hanging off the edge of the bird box.

When we returned on Friday, we went armed with almonds to entice them out from cover. Though shy at first, the temptation of a tasty almond was too great.

I had the camera on and ready, so I managed to capture this photo.  Here he is with the almond in his paws.  Though we have been back twice since, we haven't seen red squirrels this weekend, so can only assume that they are so stuffed with peanuts (lots of people leave them) that they are sleeping off their overindulgence!

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Bird Boxes of PEI

One of the first things that we noticed on our new walk was the abundance of bird boxes.  They seem to appear at almost every turn and each has unique features.  

Take this one, for example, a very desirable des res, complete with chimney and veranda.

And this one, nicely situated in a shady spot, close to the water.

This one has a larger balcony on which visitors were leaving peanuts - mostly enjoyed by the squirrels.

Then there is the more modern townhouse complex with a shared open-plan aspect at the front. 

Some might favour a more 'cabin in the woods' feel, complete with rustic fence.  

On the other hand, there is the modernist architecture of this box, which has a 1960s feel about it.

I'm not sure who would call this one home, but they must be large, judging by the size of the entrance. 

This one looks more like a rustic shack.  

Here, another with a similar feel to the first box seen on our walk - clearly a popular choice.

For the female nest-builder who wants a more girly pad, there is this cute pink house.

And finally, a little white box with a tinge of blue - seaside colours for a coastal location.  

Which one is your favourite?