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. 🙂


Excavator in the water in North Lake

Today while out looking for wildlife I came across this instead:

Excavator salvage – North Lake

Somehow this excavator ended up in the water and it was now being salvaged. By the looks of things the operator was already out when I got there, let’s hope he’s ok, that water is very cold.

A strange find on the ice

When I was out exploring the island yesterday I came across a strange and slightly macabre find: 6 dead pigs on the ice.

When I spotted the lifeless outlines on the ice I initially assumed they were dead seals, sad as it may be that happens all the time when a bay freezes over and the animals can’t get to open water. When I took a closer look with my drone I soon saw they weren’t seals at all but pigs, frozen stiff and partially eaten by birds and other predators.

The closeup photos are a little too gruesome to just put on this blog, so here’s a photo of the scene from higher up:

So what’s the story here? How did these pigs end up on the ice, in the middle of the bay? My guess is they must have escaped from a nearby farm, huddled together for warmth on a cold dark night, but this winter is a cruel one and they did not survive the night.

A sad end for these pigs, but an absolute feast for the local wildlife, like this guy:

I’m sure it’s not every winter they come across a big meal like this!

House and barn at Priest Pond

I often stop when I drive by the house and barn at Priest Pond, in summer time there are beautiful flowers there, and in the run-up to spring you can usually see sea ice in the background beyond the pond. Last week instead of the usual pictures I took in an aerial view:

This is the same pond where I photographed a snoozing mink last year. 🙂

Ice cold week on PEI

This is the Canadian Ice Service chart for the Gulf of St. Lawrence, you can see Prince Edward Island is pretty much locked in by sea ice right now. This is what that looks like from above:

Thanks to a night of freezing rain we also had a bit of ice on the land the other day:

This shot was taken after sunset on one of the backroads near Souris; because of winter conditions we can’t drive on those roads but sometimes it’s possible to park there and walk a little bit.

Right now all of the sparkle and glitter is gone again, today it’s +4°, tomorrow it’s -16°, the rollercoaster winter continues.

Sea ice on the North Shore

With the end of January in sight, the weather is still bitter cold, with sometimes an unexpected ‘mild’ day in between. I haven’t been outside much, most of the beaches are frozen solid or hard to get to, and backroads that lead out to the forest trails I enjoy are just plain inaccessible when there’s this much snow.

Yesterday I enjoyed a brief walk on Bull Creek Road to see the sea ice on the North Shore:

Something else I enjoy doing these days is finding interesting ice formations on frozen ponds and lakes:

That last shot is an aerial view of a spot in our backyard where a fox has left its tracks. We know this individual well, as it is the fox that sometimes sleeps underneath our deck.

Into 2018

When a new year comes around there isn’t all that much to tell you about, winter is pretty quiet in Souris. Often I’m inside working at my desk, and only when the sunlight floods into the house do I feel the urge to go outside, until I take a look at the outside temperature.

Wind chill temperatures have been hovering around -25℃ all week, often even colder when you go out in the early morning. Yesterday felt especially chilly as I was enjoying the sunrise at Red Point, where instead of a sandy beach there was solid layered ice, and instead of water there was a frozen slush gently lapping the shoreline:

An icy beach like this can be quite slippery, so take care if you’re out there exploring too. I usually cross the ice in a straight line and then wade through the slushy surf, which is cold and offers more resistance, but is not slippery at all:

One of the things I enjoy most about winter on Prince Edward Island is the ice on the cliffs, which is often an artwork in its own right:

Later today there’s a big blizzard coming our way. We’re expecting up to 30cm of fresh snow, accompanied by wind gusts over a 100 kph and rain showers to top it all off…

It’s important to dig out of a storm like this as soon as it lets up, otherwise all that saturated snow is going to freeze again and it’ll be that much harder to get rid of.