Floating boardwalk across Bowley Pond
Expanse of the floating boardwalk across the wetlands
The Greenwich Dunes Trail in one of three hiking trails that start approximately 1 km west of the Interpretive Centre for the Greenwich section of the Prince Edward Island National Park. It is a fairly wide trail that is hard packed with a slight grade. The Greenwich Dunes Trail turns and heads through the forest and then follows a floating boardwalk across a natural wetland to the spectacular dunes beyond.
I stopped for a few moments while crossing the floating boardwalk and heard the sounds of the many birds that inhabit the wetland. We headed up the path on the land side of the dunes. When we reached the top and looked at the dunes, the beach and the ocean beyond it was enough to take my breath away.
Challenging climb to the top of the dunes
The start of the trail is accessible for those who are used to travelling on uneven surfaces . The trail very quickly gets difficult for those using a wheel chair, walker or wheeling a stroller. The end of the trail results in quite a climb up and over the dunes and is not accessible
Rabbit cavorting on the Greenwich Dunes Trail
Two rabbits were playing on the path quite a distance ahead of where we were walking. They were leaping back and forth across the path – in and out of the brush. The long zoom on my Canon SX50HS allowed me to get this picture of one of the rabbits.
When taking photos of the floating boardwalk, the dunes and the wetlands I have found that it is very important to think about perspective. I try standing on one of the benches along the boardwalk to get a panoramic view or lying on the boardwalk to get a different look of the curve. I am much happier with my photos when I think about perspective.
The dunes in the National Park on the north shore of Prince Edward Island are magnificent. In the photo to the left you can see the Lighthouse at Covehead that sits on the top of one of the dunes and the marram grass in the foreground that is so vital to the maintenance of this fragile ecosystem. The roots and the rhizomes of the marram grass help to hold the dunes in place.
One of the biggest threats to the dunes and their important role in the ecosystem is people walking on them. Even a short walk by one person across a dune can damage the root system of the marram grass. Please use the boardwalks and paths at designated entrances to the beach. The photo above is a picture of the boardwalk over the dunes at Brackley Beach in the National Park.
The dune on the left at Ross Lane entrance to the beach in the National Park is under repair. It has been damaged by people walking through the marram grass and over the dune. Park staff have placed branches on the dune to encourage regeneration. It is vital that people refrain from walking through this area. The dunes are home to lots of wildlife including the savannah sparrow, the horned lark and even the red fox that likes to make its den in the dunes
The accessibility of the beach area in the National Park varies with the location. In the eastern section of the National Park when driving along Gulf Shore Way there are two beaches that have ramps down to the sand. One is located at Brackley Beach and the other is located at Stanhope Beach. Please follow the link to view a map of the Brackley to Dalvay area of the National Park. The slope on these ramps can be challenging. There are washrooms at both of these locations.
There are many wonderful photo opportunities when you are at the beach. Often we tend to want to go to the beach at the hottest part of the day when everyone else is there too. Try going on a slightly cloudy day, or early in the morning. You will notice more wildlife and will be able to take more photos of the beach and the dunes without a lot of people in them.
When taking a photo that includes the ocean watch the horizon line. The horizon should be square in your photo. If you get home and have a great photo but your horizon is a little off just use one of the many photo editing softwares on the market – many photos can be salvaged by straightening the horizon and cropping.
On a beautiful spring afternoon this week I headed up to Oceanview. I was looking forward to taking more pictures of the waves as it was quite windy. Imagine my surprise when I rounded the bend in the road just before the parking lot and caught sight of a very handsome fox sitting in the sun on the side of the road. I decided to stop and take his picture. He hung back and finally decided that I was boring and went to lie down by the side of the path
I was just about ready to head back to the car when another fox came across theroad to enjoy the sunshine. She was quite pretty and also intent on enjoying the late afternoon sun. I stayed and admired them for awhile. Then I headed down to the rocks to take pictures of the waves. Later on when I headed home the sun was sinking in the sky and they had headed home too.
Sometimes when you are out traveling around the most unexpected surprises are the best!
When I got out of the car to take pictures of the foxes, I was reminded of the lessons I learned when photographing moose and bear by the side of the road in Northern Ontario. When photographing wildlife it is important to either leave your car running or take the key out of the ignition when getting out of the car. This way you avoid the warning noises of a key left in the ignition that are guaranteed to make wildlife head for the hills!
Posted in Foxes, On the road with kadi, Prince Edward Island, Wildlife
Tagged Canon 70-300mm lens, Canon 7D, Fox, Foxes, kadi, Oceanview, Photography Tips, Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward Island National Park
Spring has arrived in PEI! You can feel it in the air. I drove out to Oceanview a few days ago – a stop in the Prince Edward Island National Park on the North Shore of PEI. I love the ocean and the red cliffs of PEI, so Oceanview is one of my favorite spots. I was here a few weeks ago. The cliffs and the access road were still snow covered – now they are bare.
The red cliffs at Oceanview are magnificent and the waves crash on shore. When you stand in the parking lot facing the shore, off to your left you will find a gravel and sand path that is about 25 metres long that ends in a short boardwalk going down to the rocks. This is a very pleasant place to stop. There are benches and those that are more adventurous can get down on the rocks from here. Please watch your footing. There are signs all along the cliff to watch out for erosion and the rocks themselves can be slippery.
This year in June, Pedal the Parkway will take place starting at Oceanview lookout. What a beautiful spot for the whole family to ride their bikes on the Gulf Shore Parkway.
There is a large paved parking lot at Oceanview, but no washrooms. The gravel path to the boardwalk is an easy walk but it would be challenging in a wheelchair, especially on the way back to the car.
One of my big photography challenges is taking photos of water, especially photos of waves in the ocean. The wave on the rocks picture in this post was taken with a shutter speed of 1/400. The particles of water are not distinct enough. I am going to go back and try again using a faster shutter speed, That should give me the look that I want with more distinct particles of water.
I have spent many enjoyable hours at the Speedway. I love the hustle and bustle of the drivers and their pit crews getting their vehicles ready for the pre-race inspection. There is real camraderie here – good natured ribbing that goes on around the track and yet if anyone needs anything someone is right there to lend a hand.
It is almost the start of race season again on PEI and it is bound to be an enjoyable time for the whole family. The first race day of this season is May 20, 2013. The first event of the afternoon is the Demolition Derby Kids Rides – should be lots of fun. Please click the link to view the schedule for the season
The grounds around the speedway are grassy on the pit side of the raceway with a paved single lane road down the middle of the pit area. The grounds on the opposite side of the track are fairly even grass with a small bleacher for viewing the races. There are washrooms on the grounds but they are not accessible.
The speedway presents a number of photographic challenges. There are two main vantage points for taking photos. The pit side and the spectator side. You really need a good telephoto lens. I used a Canon 70-300 mm lens.
I enjoy the view from the pit side the most. You are a little bit closer to the track and the background does not appear as busy allowing for better composition. You can get some dramatic photos in the early evening as the cars are creating smoke. From my experience, the smoke pictures are definitely better from the pit side. If you have a car with a sun roof, try standing on the seat and putting your head and shoulders through the sun roof opening to take your photos. This will put you on the same level as track for catching some great pictures
This little guy lives along the Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island. Mom saw my working dog and I and shooed the family of kits inside. This little one was very inquisitive and stuck his head out the back door. It was not long before Mom noticed and made him go back inside.
The Confederation Trail was built along the abandoned railroad lines of PEI. It is a great hiking, walking ad cycling trail that is well used by Islanders and visitors alike. Please click to get a map of the Confederation Trails in your area
The Confederation Trail is wide and generally accessible for bikes, motorized wheelchairs and electric three wheeled scooters. It is a hard packed service but generally speaking is not paved.
The Confederation Trail is a great spot to take pictures of the wildlife and the landscape of PEI. This may be an instance where you may want to pull out your compact camera as an SLR can get very heavy and cumbersome if you are going very far