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?

Saturday 19 August 2017

Our Morning Walk

We set out on Thursday morning to explore somewhere new and decided to walk the boardwalk.  We parked close to the beach and headed west towards the lighthouse.

We saw an inviting path to the lighthouse, but chose to continue on our route.

At this time of year, there are many beautiful wild flowers blooming.

I saw cow parsley amongst other varieties (I definitely need a wild flower guide).

In the distance, a light buoy to mark the harbour entrance.

Wetland habitat along the shore.

We passed the lighthouse and continued our walk.

We reached the shelter of the trees, which gave us protection from the blustery wind.

The boardwalk continues to wind its way and all that we hear are the sounds of nature.

It is a lovely walk because we can see the shore for almost the entire route.

Seaside goldenrod in bloom (I have yet to identify the purple flowers).

Wetland habitat, where we saw many birds.

And on towards the end of the trail.

The path ends in a rugged spot where we can stand and listen to the waves.

Looking across, we can see the Confederation Bridge in the distance.  It is hard to believe that we have been islanders for almost three weeks.

The view back towards town.

The rocky sandstone shoreline, for which PEI is famous.

The perfect end to a pretty boardwalk and a walk which is set to become a firm favourite.  We enjoyed it so much that we returned yesterday and retraced our steps.

Wednesday 16 August 2017


What do you do with leftover yarn from various knitted projects?  When I've paid for quality yarn and end up with oddments, I've tended to keep it in the hope of finding a use for it.  Then I came across this pattern on Ravelry and decided to make a knitted bowl.

I had oddments of coloured yarn too, so I was able to recreate the look of the original pattern, but then I decided to use up some other colours from my stash and made a second one in earth-tones.

This yarn was leftover from herdy the hot water bottle cover.

I like both bowls for different reasons but, now that I've got the bug for knitting these, I think that there may be a few more made in the coming months.

Monday 14 August 2017

Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead

This is a bit late in appearing on my blog but, shortly before we left Ontario, we travelled to visit friends and stopped off at Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead.  Unfortunately, the visitor hours had not been updated on their website and we arrived on a Friday, only to discover that the house was closed.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with her story, Adelaide Hunter Hoodless was born here in 1857,  and she was the youngest of 13 children.  She grew up on the family farm, which was run by her widowed mother (her father had died when Addie was only a few months old).

Addie met and married John Hoodless and in the process, became known as Adelaide.  She became a Victorian socialite, living in a grand house in Hamilton, Ontario and bearing four children.  Tragedy struck when the youngest son, John, died from drinking contaminated milk at fourteen months of age.

Adelaide began public life from a desire to prevent other women experiencing a similar tragedy.  She wrote a book about domestic science and spoke to women about the importance of hygiene.  My readers may recall that she featured in my previous post about Erland Lee House.  She was a founding member of the first branch of the Women's Institute in Stoney Creek and honorary president.

Adelaide went on to collaborate with the British Governor-General's wife, Lady Aberdeen, in setting up the Victorian Order of Nurses, which provided health services to women and children who lived a distance from any surgery or hospital.

Lady Aberdeen left Government House in Toronto and travelled home in 1898, after five years of residence.  The following year, Adelaide Hoodless travelled to London as Canadian delegate to the International Congress of the Council of Women, where she spoke about 'technical education' for girls (domestic science) and also mentioned the Women's Institute.  Her British audience were interested and Adelaide was inundated with enquiries about the organisation.  However, it would be some years yet before the Women's Institute as we know it today, would come into being.

The site of the original homestead is  marked by a commemorative stone and a time capsule.

There is a shelter in the garden with benches and I think that talks are held here in the summer - the site is also the official headquarters of the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada.

 The garden is filled with plants which are butterfly-friendly and there were many butterflies and other insects visiting.

 Another view from further down the garden.

A beautiful Monarch butterfly enjoying the flowers.

Some beautiful colours on this fine summer's day.


Although I was disappointed not to have the opportunity to visit the house, in order to complete the story of the Women's Institute, we still enjoyed the grounds and the sight of some beautiful mature trees.