2018 Capelin have arrived on Prince Edward Island

When I lived in Newfoundland I always kept a close eye on the arrival of capelin around the island. I even created the Capelin Calendar to keep capelin enthusiasts informed about spawning dates and locations around the island.

On Prince Edward Island, capelin are largely unknown. There is no spectacle associated with their arrival, like the whales and puffins feasting on them near many Newfoundland beaches, so when the capelin arrive here nobody notices anything, and nobody gets excited.

For the past 2 weeks I have been noticing something though. First, I saw gannets and gulls diving into the shallows off my favourite local beach. Days later I found dead capelin on the shore, not from a spawning event, they looked more like they’d been dropped by the birds while they were chasing each other around. Then last Friday while taking a walk on the beach, I spotted a small group of capelin cruising the shoreline:

Capelin on Prince Edward Island

I followed them around for a bit, they didn’t mind, I waded into the water to get this shot. Eventually they returned to deeper waters where I ran into a much larger school of sand lance, they were easily spooked.

If anyone from Newfoundland sees a capelin picture like this I’ll understand if they don’t get excited, it’s such a small gathering of fish, but for me it was my first sighting of live capelin since I left, so it was pretty exciting to me! 🙂


Woodland hikes in the spring of 2018

Now that spring has sprung and a period of dry sunny weather has opened up the backroads, I can finally access the woodland trails near our home again. Up in the canopy, leaves have started to appear and summer birds have arrived everywhere I look.

Here are some photos from my hikes these past few weeks:

And no, that last shot was not taken in the woods, it’s one of Buffaloland’s buffalos. Usually these guys are hiding somewhere in the forest but when I drove past their field last week they were close to the viewing platform.

Young foxes under the deck

This year the red fox underneath our deck gave birth to 3 baby foxes. When Marije and I were very quiet and motionless at our window we could see them playing outside on several sunny days, but after about a week with us they’ve moved on to a different den site nearby. The exact same thing happened last year, they moved back and forth a couple of times.

There is a chance these little ones will return to us in a week or so, until then I’ll just show you a picture of last year’s litter of 4:

Baby foxes in Souris, Prince Edward Island

Pretty darn cute right?

Late April on Prince Edward Island

It’s the end of April, most of the sea ice and snow is now gone, so it’s time to show you some signs of spring on Prince Edward Island:

That last picture was taken yesterday, it was the warmest day of the year so far with an unseasonal high of 21° Celsius!

Hard to believe it was only a week ago when we had a day with 10 cm of fresh snow…

Sea ice at sunset

Spring is here, and days are getting longer and lovelier every week. We haven’t seen the end of winter weather though, this weekend there’s more snow in the forecast, and sea ice is still present around much of the island. The other day I was out on the North Shore taking pictures of the ice at sunset:

I’ll be sad to see it go, but you can already see large ice-free gaps forming near shore, a sure sign it’s on its way out.

Out there on the sea ice

Sea ice is still present along much of Prince Edward Island. From a distance it looks quite uniform and flat but out there on the ice itself, there are plenty of interesting shapes to marvel at:

To me, this icy wilderness is a fascinating place to explore and I think we’re lucky to have it embrace our island every year. 🙂

Spring is in the air today

Temperatures are steadily rising, snow is melting, and robins are singing from the treetops once again. Sure it’s still winter, but it really feels like spring is not far away. You can even see it approaching from the south in this satellite image:

This satellite image is from yesterday and shows that much of the snow in Nova Scotia is already gone, and I’m sure we’re up next. Here’s a closer look at Prince Edward Island:

The sea ice that was all around us just a while back is slowly losing its cold grip on the island, and much of Kings County (where we live) is no longer covered in white either. 🙂