Posted in Uncategorized

What’s that noise?

It’s been a few days now that I’ve been trying to figure out if some trim was loose on the cottage somewhere… in the middle of a winter storm I found a piece flapping (it sounded like a jack hammer, or a helicopter landing outside my window, or kind of like a really loud seatbelt flapping in the wind from an open window). Once I found the offending piece of trim and fixed it, life was good… for a while.

For the past few weeks, early in the morning, usually when I’m enjoying breakfast or showering, I keep hearing a similar noise… except, there’s no wind. To day though, I saw the cause!

A WOODPECKER!

Apparently he thinks this cottage is a good place to have breakfast! Well, welcome little woodpecker. Thanks for waiting until I was awake before drilling the house 🙂

Posted in Birds, Pelee, Uncategorized

This birdsong is orchestral

While on my run at 5 pm tonight the birdsong was almost deafening: 50 part harmony (is that a thing?) bordering on a cacophony. It was truly a beautiful thing.

Then, at 7 pm on my walk home from school under the cover of darkness, there was pure silence. This world is so different, yet so wonderful!

Posted in Uncategorized

Sun Kissed Island

I have seen many sunrises during the past three years with my early morning commutes. Almost every day the sun would rise orange and fiery like a torch or calm and stringy sending purple fingers reaching across a cloudy sky. The two hour drive to the east gave me time to appreciate its beauty from the first small blue glow of dawn to the bright bold yellow of morning (and all the colours that showed in between).img_8668This morning, the sun kissed the island in the most beautiful way. I had to stop what I was doing, throw my coat and boots on over my pyjamas and walk to the water’s edge to capture this breathtaking moment. It continued to rise and play across the sky in a way that words and pictures cannot even explain.

This is truly a place of beauty.

Island Kindness

Now that I’ve settled into a teaching routine, I’ve decided to do something different each day after school with the few hours of daylight that I have. Then, once the sunsets and I’ve had my supper, I return to school to work. Tuesdays and Thursdays I go running, so that leaves Mondays and Wednesdays to fill. On Wednesday the dump is open so I can take my recycling and refill my water (which is what I did last week).

Last night I decided to tour the “West Dock.” This is the area where the ferry boat arrives when it is running. The Transportation office is there, as well as the Township Office, Health Clinic, Police “Station”, a museum, several Bed and Breakfasts as well as Bar and Grills, and a number of things I still haven’t discovered.

Yesterday’s goal was to meet the employee at the LCBO. A mainland friend told me she was lovely and that I had to go in and meet her, so that’s what I did! I parked at Transportation, and went in to buy the most recent copy of the “Pelee Grapevine” (the island’s bi-weekly newsletter) because I’m front page news! (The Grapevine is “still only 50 cents”)


Then I walked over to the LCBO to meet this wonderful new person. As I crossed the parking lot, I ran into someone I had taken the plane with yesterday. We got talking about photography because I had taken so many pictures on the flight, and he was very happy to show me a large poplar tree that he had just taken down as well as the 80 foot cherry picker they used to do it. He bought a few bottles and invited me to join him a few houses down for a glass on the deck. Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day! Temperatures were warm, the breeze was light, and the sun was about to set off the west side of the lake. Without hesitation, I hopped in his truck with him and off we went! Literally just a few houses away, was a beautiful home with a few people inside surprised to be invited out for a glass of wine on the deck. I introduced myself and we chatted, and I quickly made some new island friends.

All the guests were on the next flight off island, so that left me alone with the cottage owner finishing off our glasses of wine on the deck. Then we walked up to West Dock together so that I could finally meet the person I had come to see, and she could get her mail. We had a wonderful chat on the way, and I look forward to visiting with her again.

Once I finally made it to the LCBO I was overwhelmed with kindness! I was glad to have left school early and taken the time to come meet someone new. I heard a little more information about the library project and the schoolyard equipment project (another blog post is in the works about the schoolyard equipment). 

I am truly thankful for mainland referrals of Island people I need to meet! I’m also incredibly blown away by Island kindness. Yesterday was a top notch adventure day! And then I went back to work…

Homesick

It hit me before the plane even left the runway. It’s been all about the adventure, excitement and newness of it all, but for some reason today I just really want to be home. I went for a run and unpacked, which was a good distraction, and I’m about to have pizza and dive into work, but that doesn’t change the fact that my heart is full of longing for the south shore of Lake Erie. 


Shoreline sunset mid-run


The plane that delivered me mid-afternoon made its final trip of the weekend as I finished my run. 

Lessons learned from foggy days

So I spent a lot of time at the airport on Monday and Tuesday and I picked up quite a bit of new information. I learned that:

  • Sometimes you can fly above the clouds 

  • And sometimes you can’t 
  • You need to be able to see the runway in order to land 
  • Planes land based on wind direction 
  • Pilots are people, too! People who really love to fly and who want to take you to work as much as you want to go there, but also want to be very safe. Like teachers, pilots don’t get paid for all he paperwork they do, so, even when we boarded Monday and they had all the Ts crossed and Is dotted, they didn’t get paid until they were actually in the air Tuesday. However, if their remuneration is anything like teachers, then it would cover the couple of days they were grounded 

  • Pelee pilots work Friday to Thursday. My most recent pilots are new grads who completed a co-op with Great Lakes Air and took the Pelee job as their first big gig. It’s apparently a stepping stone to commercial pilot positions. Our Captain takes care of communicating with the island and all 3 flight control towers/centres based on the airspace we cross on the run. Our copilot packs the cargo, loads the passengers, provides the safety briefing and navigational support, writes lots of stuff in the flight log and does other important things I’m sure. 
  • My favourite new air knowledge was the “pogo” which you can’t see in the picture below but is basically a steel pole that hangs from the tail when we’re on the ground. It’s stored behind the pilots seat and it works as a counterweight/stabilizer (I think). I’ll ask next time I fly and let you know. 

  • It’s fun to be the only passenger on the plane!
  • Islanders are very helpful, even when they haven’t been islanders for a while (thanks H for all the rides, and the impromptu photo shoot)

  • This little plane is my friend and we will spend lots of quality time together over the coming months
  • Sadly, this plane isn’t quite fast enough for my adventurous spirit (it’s like travelling through residential areas rather than the highway), and at the same time it’s way too big for me to want to get one of my own
  • I wonder if they make smart-car sized jets that run on hopes and dreams? I have lots of those…