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Gardens of Hope

A garden growing in support of others needing respite and hope

A Winter's Walk

Posted on March 03, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

Prince Edward Island Winter quote

Do you dread winter? To be honest, sometimes I do. The cold temperatures, the shovelling, the storms, the treacherous driving. I could go on. Do you know what though? Over the last couple of years, something in me has started changing. My dread is melting into appreciation. My life is quite busy in the spring, summer, and fall. When the snow comes, the busyness subsides. Like nature, I have a few months to hibernate. To slow down, to rest, to dream, to plan for the next season. Winter has become a gift for my family and I. We get to reconnect, explore, sip tea by the fireplace. I love the hustle of the summer and the beauty it brings. But there is something incredibly profound about moving with nature's pace. Of course, there's no pause button in life, but winter is an invitation for me to smell the roses (figuratively of course, as all of our rose bushes are buried in snow!). As I've adopted this slower pace of life ushered in with the snow, I've began to see the beauty of winter in nature. The other morning I woke early and was enjoying a steaming pot of tea. I glanced out our kitchen window and saw one of the most stunning sunrises. It was so simple, but so life giving.

PEI Winter Sunrise

Many of you've experience Prince Edward Island in the summer and fall. It's gorgeous, right?! PEI tends to get a bad rep in the winter months, but let me tell you it's all rubbish. Our Island is a whimsical place even when it's buried in 10 feet of snow! I mean, just look at this view from just behind our restaurant over looking River Clyde. 

PEI Winter Gardens of Hope

A few weeks ago, after a snowfall, our talented graphic designer, Katherine, wandered around The Gardens of Hope captured these stunning winter photos! 

Prince Edward Island Winter Gardens of Hope

 Prince Edward Island Winter Gardens of Hope

Prince Edward Island Winter Gardens of Hope

Prince Edward Island Winter

Prince Edward Island Winter

Prince Edward Island Winter

Prince Edward Island WInter

Prince Edward Island Winter

 

Prince Edward Island Winter

 

Prince Edward Island Winter

Prince Edward Island Winter

 Maybe you live in a place that never sees snow or maybe you live in a place that sees more snow than you'd care to mention. Whatever your experience, I hope you can embrace the beauty each season graces us with!

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” Edith Sitwell

Gardens of Hope poem

Posted on April 28, 2015 by Kara Cousins

A poem by Gloria Woolridge 

The Gardens of Hope - Osprey Project 2014

Posted on June 06, 2014 by Tracy Gallant

For those of us who enjoy the comings and goings at our bird feeders, this time of year is so very exciting as we wait for new arrivals who have braved the long, arduous migration north. It is fascinating when one realized the thousands and thousands of miles these small delicate creatures successfully navigate yearly through some fairly extreme conditions to arrive in time to find a mate, build a nest, and raise a family. 

Situated along the peaceful River Clyde among the lush countryside of North Central Queens County in Prince Edward Island, The Gardens of Hope is not only a stop off/feeder station for many species of small migratory birds but it also becomes a summer home for many. If you visit, make sure to bring your favorite bird book, hiking boots, binoculars and camera.

This spring, we have made an extra effort to accommodate a pair of osprey, a species known as a tenacious migrator, and have erected a nesting platform by the waters edge. With the assistance Gerald MacDougall, of PEI Fish and Wildlife Division and the Maritime Electric Company, we have chosen an ideal location and installed a modified nesting platform who’s design comes recommended by the International Osprey Foundation. Now we wait for the platform to catch the attention of a new nesting pair.

The osprey is a fascinating and beautiful large species of raptor (bird of prey) that is widely distributed throughout the world. Adult wingspan is 1.5 to 1.7 meters, the osprey’s belly and underwings are light coloured and it’s facial pattern is light with a distinctive bandit mask covering it’s eyes. Females are generally larger than males and show a pronounced “necklace” of darker feathers. Approximately 90% of their diet is fish and they are expert fishers who have the added ability to hover while they hunt.

North American osprey migrate to South America and during their breeding and winter ranges in the north, thrive wherever there are shallow bodies of water with abundant fish. We can expect osprey to return to Maritime nesting sites usually from late March through May. Once the nest site is chosen and the nest completed, 2 to 4 eggs can be expected.

The exciting next stage in our Gardens of Hope Osprey Project will be to install a nest camera (nestcam) on the upper perch/bracket so that we can better appreciate and share the fascinating daily activities within the nest. Being associated with the Center for Conservation Biology and Osprey Watch, we will be participating in a bit of citizen science and contributing to ongoing osprey research. The feed will be a live and viewable online. The Gardens of Hope will work to develop an interpretive program to coincide with the nest and it’s occupants so check back soon or better yet, come visit us at the Gardens of Hope where "We Are For The Birds”.  

 

Special thanks to our partners, Maritime Electric.