Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Confessions of a closet peeper…

We complain a fair amount about leaf peepers here in New England.  This time of year, the traffic gets heavier, people drive like maniacs and there are more busses on the road.  Getting from point A to point B can sometimes be challenging.  Even so, Greg and I are not above doing a little leaf peeping ourselves.  In truth, it was our plan to load Olive, the pug, into the car and to drive up into southern Vermont this weekend to see how the leaves are changing there, but things conspired against us and we never made it.  So yesterday, even though the weather was a bit overcast, we went ahead and did a short tour of Vermont.

Starting out here in south central Massachusetts, the day was pretty nice.  The sky was mostly blue but the leaves are quite a way from being at peak.

Still even here, now and then, we saw patches of true autumn color.

As we traveled north and west, the sky got more and more overcast, but the leaves were more and more colorful.

Of course, it is my humble opinion that Vermont is the most beautiful place in this country no matter what the time of year, but in the fall, it has beauty that is beyond words.

Driving around staring at all that color makes one a bit peckish, so as we were heading home, we pulled into a little place that sold ice cream and each had a small cone.  This is what a pug looks like when she thinks that she deserves a lick of your ice cream.  She can hold that pose for quite a while.

It was a nice day in spite of the less than stellar weather.
  I just love this time of year!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

No Excuses for Me...

I’m really offering no excuses for being bad about blogging lately.  Except that it seems to me although we no longer have kids in school and we are both retired, this time of year just gets busier for us.  For one thing, the church we attend, The Brookfield Unitarian Universalist Church, goes back to regular services after Labor Day after a semi-hiatus during the summer.  For me, it’s a complete hiatus because the summer services are an hour earlier and I can’t seem to make it to them except on very rare occasions.  But with on top of that come committee meetings, the book club meetings, a website to maintain and lots of autumn brightness to photograph.  Still, I have plenty of free time so any excuse from me is pretty lame.

At this rate, though we’ve been home from our trip to the Canadian Maritimes for almost a month, I still have lots of photos to post and to go through.  Soooooo…I am going to post a few from our drive into Nova Scotia and along the Cabot Trail.

Nova Scotia is very different from Prince Edward Island.  It’s isn’t red, for one thing, and it has a more dramatic and rugged terrain.  It’s beautiful!  And it’s a place I’m hoping to get back to one of these days.

Looking back on where we've been.

The Orangedale Presbyterian Church...rather charming, I think.
I seem to have found Old MacDonald's farm.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Things You See Along the Way…

One of the things I really love about traveling are the odd and interesting things you see along the way.  One of those things we saw on our recent trip to the Canadian Maritimes was the World’s Largest Lobster.  It’s located in Shediac, New Brunswick.  We saw this guy on another trip to New Brunswick along with the World’s Largest Axe, which is located in Nackawic, NB and the World’s Longest Covered Bridge located in Hartland, NB.  I think these three things alone are worth a trip to New Brunswick so I won't even mention that you can walk on the ocean floor there, too, at Hopewell Rocks.  But we didn’t have time to stop for any of those things this time except for the lobster.  Here he is:

And I was fortunate to get this shot of this adorable kid imitating the fisherman.

While we were stopped at a traffic light, I spied this sign advertising a Yard Sale.   It made me think that all Yard Sales would be more successful if there were BBQs and Music included.  Brilliant!

I have found that many places lay claim to the World’s Largest Potato, but this is the largest potato that I’ve ever seen.  It’s located at The Canadian Potato Museum in O’Leary, Prince Edward Island.  I will say that I am a big fan of potatoes and I was disappointed when we pulled into the parking lot just as the place was closing for the day.  But that didn’t stop me from getting a shot of Greg and Olive next to this prodigious spud.  As you can see, Olive was unimpressed.

Best bumper sticker of the entire trip.

This is not a good picture, but it’s the only driving Canada Geese we the whole time we were in Canada, so I think they deserve to be included.

I don’t want to be left out of Theresa’s Good Fences, so here’s one I managed to pick up along the way.  Also not a good photo, but it’s a pretty cool fence.  It would look weird if it were in Arizona, but it’s right at home on PEI.

Linking to Good Fences!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trying to make sense of 3,000 photos…

Okay.  I’ll admit it.  I take too many photos.  And one of the problems I am having right now is how to put them into some kind of order so that I can blog about them in a way that makes sense.

Well, I haven’t figured that out yet.

But I have to admit that when we were on Prince Edward Island, I was quite taken by the fishing huts or boat houses.  I also have to admit that I’m not sure exactly what these buildings are, but since they are always located near water, I am guessing they are fishing huts or boat houses.  We saw a lot of them and I took quite a few photos of them.  And I’ve been a little bit afraid that they would get lost in the shuffle, so I am going to post a few today.

The other building that I don’t want to overlook is King George Hall that we spotted on the North Cape Drive.  I was quite taken with it and Greg was kind enough to pull over so I could get out and look at it for a while.

And lastly…at least for now…I don’t want you to miss this gorgeous church that we passed, Notre Dame du Mont Carmel.  It looks so dramatic against that vivid, stormy sky and the cemetery was perfect.

Whew!  Now, I can go to Nova Scotia with a clear conscience.  No, wait!  I still haven’t posted anything about the Bottle House.  Oh, no….

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Good Old Odds & Ends Fences...

Here are a few random fences from Prince Edward Island before we leave and go on to Nova Scotia...

Linking to Theresa's Good Fences on 

The Run*A*Round Ranch Report!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

“Dear old world", she murmured, "you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” ~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

I have to wonder what Prince Edward Island would be like had Lucy Maud Montgomery not been born.   Much of the popularity of the Cavendish area of the island is owed to her.  I wouldn’t have necessarily understood that if I didn’t have the habit of reading a book set in a place I am planning to visit.  The book I chose for PEI was the classic Anne of Green Gables, written by L.M. Montgomery.   Reading it made me wonder how in the world I missed it in my youth.  I read everything I could get my hands on back in the day.  I still do but my tastes have been refined to deal with the overload of books and the underload of time.

When I mentioned a few blog entries ago that I hadn’t read the book as a kid, I got an interesting comment from Blogger friend, Beth of “E.”Lizard Breath Speaks.  She said, “ok - i have to address something 1st - (not yelling, just totally shocked??!) you have NEVER READ ANNE of green Gable???!! what????!?! are you kidding me. i have read & seen the movies a billion million times. wow, i am laying on the floor. that is so wild. can't wait to hear you thoughts. i know you will love it. such a great story. as a kid i played Diana, i would never pull it off as Anne - i loved the play. it was such fun. ( :”  SO, I am dedicating this post to Beth.  I think she would really love going up to Cavendish and seeing where Anne (with an “e”) roamed around.  And I did love the book, by the way.

If you go, stop in here first.  It's a small museum of Montgomery's life and there are relatives of hers there hanging out who talk about her early life on PEI.

Then they direct you toward the Haunted Wood Trail, which is part of the Green Gables Heritage Place.  This wood is said to have inspired her description of the hollow described in the Green Gables books.  Along the trail are placards that talk about Montgomery’s life and have quotes like this one:

Yes, it rained that day.
The wood opened up onto the area where the Green Gables house sits.  It pretty much matched my imagination, but then my imagination is nothing compared to Anne’s.

This is what Anne’s room might have looked like.

And out in the barn, we actually met Anne who roamed around and greeted people.  This young woman did a nice job staying in character.

I have to say, that I have added the rest of the Anne books to my list of things I have to read one of these days.  But you know how it goes…so many books, so little time.  But if we manage to get back to PEI in the future, it will give me an excuse to pick one up.  Unfortunately, so many places, so little money and so many obligations that keep you stuck in one place.   But a person can hope and dream, can’t one?   Here’s what Anne said about it, “Oh, it's delightful to have ambitions. I'm so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be any end to them-- that's the best of it. Just as soon as you attain to one ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life so interesting.” 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Willy Nilly Lighthouses…

1.  If you like lighthouses, Prince Edward Island is the place for you.  There are 63 lighthouses listed on the brochure I picked up about PEI lighthouses – some are still active (37 according to the brochure), some decommissioned, some private and some are non-accessible by car.  The brochure states, “With 63 lighthouse and rangelight buildings, this averages one lighthouse for every 34 square miles, which we believe is the highest concentration of lighthouses in any province or state in North America.”  So if you like lighthouses, PEI is most definitely the place for you.

I never really identified this one.  I think it is one of the Malpeque Outer Range Lighthouses.  Correct me if I'm wrong.

2.  Actually, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like lighthouses.  I can’t put my finger on the reason for the appeal, but they definitely do have a romance about them.  It’s interesting to me because my understanding is that the life of a lighthouse keeper back in the day was pretty rough and very lonely.   Of course, these days, modern working lighthouses are automated.  There are no rugged, haunted characters in residence in those stalwart buildings nowadays whose mission is to weather storms and winds and the wild rages of the sea in order to warn others about the sea’s potential dangers.   Computers do it now.  Pop! goes the romance.

North Rustico Lighthouse...with wires.

3.  If you would like to read a book that has a lighthouse keeper as a character (albeit, a short-lived character), I would recommend The Bird Artist by Howard Norman.  Here’s a description that I found on Goodreads:  “Howard Norman's The Bird Artist, the first book of his Canadian trilogy, begins in 1911. Its narrator, Fabian Vas is a bird artist: He draws and paints the birds of Witless Bay, his remote Newfoundland coastal village home. In the first paragraph of his tale Fabian reveals that he has murdered the village lighthouse keeper, Botho August. Later, he confesses who and what drove him to his crime--a measured, profoundly engrossing story of passion, betrayal, guilt, and redemption between men and women. “   I liked this book quite a lot.  It was a five-star read for me.   It’s a moody and interesting piece that is definitely engrossing.

Seacow Head Lighthouse on a very rainy day.

4.  Point Prim lighthouse is said to be the oldest on PEI.  It was built in 1846 and is one of only a few there that is constructed of brick.  These days, as you can see, it is covered with wooden shingles.  But you can still see the brick if you go inside.

Point Prim Lighthouse.
Point Prim again.  Wouldn't this make a cool Fiat commercial?

5.  I thought that this quote I found might give you a little chuckle.  Conan O’Brien said, “I’ve been described as a lighthouse in the middle of a bog:  Brilliant but useless.”  Kind of like my blog…lol.  Although I am not sure about the brilliant part.  And by the way, I am not an expert on identifying these lighthouses, so if you happen across the blog and know better, please let me know.

Cape Egmont Lighthouse.

Linking up to Tanya's Willy Nilly Friday 5

on Around Roanoke...a Daily Photo Blog.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Good PEI Fences...

“When weeds go to heaven, I suppose they will be flowers.”
  ~ L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl

Finding the cottage we rented on Prince Edward Island was a bit of a challenge.  The cottage was located down a red dirt road.  On one side of the road was a field that was fenced in.  Inside the fence was a profusion of wildflowers, in particular Queen Anne’s Lace.   If you follow this blog, you know that I love Queen Anne’s Lace.  Okay, I know it’s a weed, but it’s a beautiful, graceful weed.  And seeing a field loaded with it is just breathtaking.  It may have been my favorite thing about the house we rented…even with the baby eagle and the gorgeous views.  I took a gazillion and one photos of the Queen and you will probably see a lot more of her on this blog, but for today, here are a few that feature the nice rustic fence that was holding her back.

Happy to be linking up with Theresa's

Run*A*Round Ranch Report's Good Fences.