Early fall colours near Souris

Now that days are getting shorter and nights are getting colder, fall colours are coming along nicely near Souris:

First fall foliage – Prince Edward Island

Yes, there’s still a lot of green foliage in there, but yellows, oranges, and reds are preparing to take over. ๐Ÿ™‚

A late summer walk at North Cape

The Black Marsh Nature Trail, sometimes referred to as the North Cape Hiking Trail, has recently become part of the Island Trail, a brand new trail system that connects trails all across Prince Edward Island.ย It’s also one of the few places on PEI where you can walk along the cliffs:

Walking along the red cliffs – North Cape, PEI

This is a shot of Marije and me enjoying a walk in the late summer sun, taken a few weeks ago. It’s quite a drive from Souris but as you can see it’s a beautiful destination. ๐Ÿ™‚

Foggy morning in Souris

We woke up to patchy fog over Souris this morning, at first it was all over town, then the sun came up and burned it off:

Patchy fog over Souris, PEI

Fog like this is a sign fall is on the way, and it’s not the only sign. Our resident hummingbirds have left, as have many other summer birds, and along the highway we can already see the first fall colours appearing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wildfire sunset over Souris

Wildfire smoke continues to linger over eastern Canada, you can see it most days as a hazy smog on the land, which becomes especially visible in the evening sun. Here’s yesterday’s sunset, with the sun setting behind a layer of smoke instead of behind the horizon:

Wildfire sunset – Souris, PEI

This shot was taken at Souris Beach Provincial Park, just a short walk from where we live. ๐Ÿ™‚

A smoky summer on PEI

For well over a month now, a continent-sized cloud of wildfire smoke has filled the upper atmosphere above North America. This smoke comes from fires burning in the West, but can be seen from PEI nearly every day, especially around sunrise and sunset:

Smoky sunrise over Prince Edward Island

While a sunrise like this looks interesting, perhaps even pretty, the morning sunlight itself barely lights up the land. In a regular year, warm morning sunlight is so intense it makes the red cliffs glow and look out of this world. In this smoky year, I’ve spent many a sunrise waiting for the sun to perform its magic, but it rarely does.

Here’s what the smoke looks like from a satellite perspective, on the morning of this picture:

Smoky sky over PEI – August 7, 2021

That’s a lot of smoke…

 

Sunday afternoon at Point Prim

Marije and I visited Point Prim this weekend. When the tide goes out, this is a great place to carefully explore tidal pools that are filled with small wildlife:

Marije at a tidal pool – Point Prim

Marije at a tidal pool – Point Prim

Marije enjoys sitting by these small pools to see what’s going on. Among yesterday’s findings, we found blue starfish, hermit crabs, snails, and a few tiny rock crabs too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Return of the fox

The family of foxes that lived under our deck this spring has returned for a summer stay. It’s great fun watching them play and pounce, and when the light is just right we can stand right by our window while they can’t see us. Last night after sunset one of the young foxes looked through an open window when it heard voices on our TV, imagine two fluffy ears standing to attention just outside your living room window, it was adorable.

Of course not everything they do is quite as cute, just have a look at what’s going on here:

Fox eats fish – Souris

We’re not sure where mother fox is getting these fish but over the last few nights she’s been bringing them back to our home. Sometimes we find them right outside our front door, sometimes they’re scattered around the yard,. Thankfully the young foxes enjoy eating fish, so they’re gone before they start to smell. ๐Ÿ™‚

Field of lupines

It’s summer time on Prince Edward Island, and that means colours are just about everywhere:

Sunset lupines – Souris, PEI

This field of lupines is just a short walk from home, and at sunset they all seem to glow.

A brief eclipse over Souris

Early this morning, the sky over Souris was briefly graced by a partial solar eclipse:

Partial Solar Eclipse – June 10 2021, Prince Edward Island

This shot was taken in the few moments the eclipse was visible through a gap in the cloud cover. I quite like it, overexposed to include the eclipse-lit clouds. The last time we had a solar eclipse here in Souris it was a sunny day which gave me a completely different result:

Partial Solar Eclipse – August 21 2017, Prince Edward Island

The next eclipse over PEI is 3 years from now and it will be a total solar eclipse, a completely different experience I’m really looking forward to! ๐Ÿ™‚

Strange whale in Mount Stewart

For the past 4 weeks there has been a strange whale feeding near the bridge over the Hillsborough River in Mount Stewart:

A strange whale watching location – Mount Stewart

Why is this whale strange? Well, it’s a beluga whale for one thing, and beluga whales are vagrants here, meaning they are very occasional visitors, not commonly seen around Prince Edward Island. Then there’s the strange location this whale has chosen to ‘hang out’ for no less than 5 weeks and counting. Mount Stewart is located way up river, not along the coast where you’d expect to see a whale every now and then. Then there’s the fact that this particular beluga has a huge hump on its neck/back, it’s like a humpback beluga, it looks very different from the other vagrant belugas I’ve seen in the last few weeks.

Humpback beluga in Mount Stewart, Prince Edward Island

A local I spoke to at Laurie’s Country Kitchen expects the whale to stay until the end of June, as it is feeding on small fish (gaspereau) that have to pass through this bottleneck section of the river to get to sea. The beluga is just waiting for them at the bridge and feeding with relatively little effort.

So it turns out this strange whale is actually a smart whale, slowly turning into somewhat of a celebrity as it draws in a daily crowd, you can even get beluga whale cookies at the In The Mix Bakery (just down the road):

Beluga whale cookies – In The Mix Bakery, Mount Stewart

Let me know if the whale is still there when you go to see it. ๐Ÿ™‚