A day in PEI with The Greater Moncton Dahlia Club

A quick stop at the PEI Welcome Center gift shop for a picture: looks just lime me when I was 10!
A quick stop at the PEI Welcome Center gift shop for a picture: looks just lime me when I was 10 – if only I could find the family picture to prove it – although I look huge with that large dress!

 

 

 

 

Yesterday, Dami and I had our first organized bus tour although Jasper and Alaska, our Burmese cats, didn’t approve of us leaving at 7 in the morning and returning at 9:30 in the evening! It was a long day indeed but it was nice for Dami not having to concentrate on the road and being able to enjoy the scenery and play some games on his smart phone.

The weather was perfect and we met a great bunch of life loving people. I had my Anne of Green Gables book and a PEI travel guide on my phone and was able to read 1-10th of Anne’s story. I am a very slow reader but so far I can already tell I do have a couple common traits with Anne: I talk a lot and I like to rename things and animals especially cats in my case.

 

 

 

Our first stop was at the Welcome Center where I had my picture taken dressed as Anne. Then it was off to the Jewell’s Country Market in Charlottetown where we met some lovely goats. As we were driving away, the goats went back to their tower perch and would have waved goodbye if they could have I’m sure.

With everybody's gone, the Jewell's Country Market goats are back on their tour where they can see the tour bus arrive.
With everybody gone, the Jewell’s Country Market’s goats went back on their tower (upper left) where they can see the tour buses arrive.

Our second stop was lunch at Sam’s although both of us had packed a lunch and after we ate we went for a walk to a near by park.

At Vesey's Seeds, they try all kinds of seeds, tubers, bulbs to see how they compare to other varieties. I learned that our plant growing in the annual pot on our deck is a cantalope!
At Vesey’s Seeds, they try all kinds of seeds, tubers, bulbs to see how they compare to other varieties. I learned from the manager after showing him a picture that our plant growing in the annual pot on our deck is a cantaloupe!

Our third stop was at the famous Vesey’s Seeds where we had a private guided tour of the trial gardens. It is very interesting that Arthur Vesey, the founder of Vesey’s Seeds never had children, human that is because he created life in so many other forms!

PEI Great Canadian Soap Co. Goats
The friendly goats at the Great Canadian Soap Co.

After that it was off to the Great Soap Company with more goats! We watched a couple of them ruminate their food and then I imagined this parody of the song “Do that to me one more time”: Let me chew it more more time, Once is never enough, For a Goat like me… it turns out both males and females have horns, and goats have 4 stomachs, one less than cows.

As we walked in the garden of hope, we came across this black and white friendly cat. There has to be a painting out there like this? How bucolic!
As we walked in the Garden of hope, we came across this black and white friendly cat. There has to be a painting out there like this? How bucolic!

Our last stop was at The Preserve Company in New Glasgow and we were greeted by a passionate owner who had a great story to tell with a definite talent in Comedy. Dami and I went for a tour of the Beautiful gardens where we saw some Dahlias, sheep, donkeys, lamas and a very cow like looking cat; fat, spots and bell included: If it was my cat I would call it Moo! Our dinner was a big deception: Gordon Ramsey would have spat his food and had a chat with the owner: “frozen vegetables in the middle of summer? Under-cooked low grade Basmatti rice? Nothing but marinated fish and seafood in PEI?” I’d love to visit again but next time we’ll pack a lunch that we’ll eat in the lovely gardens and make a donation instead.

At 7 O’clock it was time to get back in the bus and our driver brought us all back safely to Moncton. What a day! Thank you to Merle and Paulette for organizing this event!

The Sandpipers At The Johnson’s Mills Mudflats

Pipers Gather on the Mud Flats for a snack as they prepare for their 4500 km migration South. Johnson's Mills in New Brunswick is one spot protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada so these delicate migrators can live in peace.
Pipers Gather on the Mud Flats for a snack as they prepare for their 4500 km migration South. Johnson’s Mills in New Brunswick is one spot protected by the Nature Conservancy of Canada so these delicate migrators can live in peace.

We drove to The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s protected lands along the Bay Of Fundy at the Johnson’s Mills Grande Anse Mud Flats. We had stopped at the site on another trip along that coast but the site had been closed and so after seeing on the CTV News a report about the hundreds of thousands of Semi-palmated Sandpipers that gather at the site prior to their 4500 km migration to South America we decided to get and check it out.

The actual interpretive center has a few rooms of displays and information as well as guide books and souvenirs for sale and there was a guide on the boardwalk lookout answering questions. A crowd of bird watchers was on the boardwalk poking their long lenses left and right hoping to see the flocks of pipers either hopping along the mud looking for food or flying in the awesome packed formations the birds create when so many thousands are flying together.

All the pipers had decided to move their picnic spot to a little bay a few hundred meters from the info center so we drove over to the beach area where the pipers were gathered. As soon as we got out of the car we could hear the high pitched squeaking and chirping of the thousands of birds and it created a whispering siren of crystal bells, a chorus of secret communication that we could only imagine what was being said.

Through the binoculars it was amazing, the telephoto perspective flattened the slope of the mudflats and all you can see is a wall of tiny grey and black and white birds moving this way and that. We always like to see a piper on the beach wherever we are but this was something else! It was the sort of sensation you get when you look closely at an ant hill that is swarming and thriving and heaving with thousands of ant bodies; this was similar with the feather bodies seeming to create a moving carpet or a curtain of singing bodies that flitted and danced along the mudflats.

What a lovely visit to this intertidal piece of heaven with all these tiny singing angels who gathered together for one last goodbye before they took to the skies on their way to the warm South. See you in the Spring!

Living in New Brunswick means there are always special places where a piper will appear, not just on the beach or the mud, this little fellow was up near Bouctouche standing on the roof of a baby barn!
Living in New Brunswick means there are always special places where a piper will appear, not just on the beach or the mud, this little fellow was up near Bouctouche standing on the roof of a baby barn!