A car. A camera. Endless possibilities.
Jim Brown photos.
Jim Brown can be reached at peijim@hotmail.com

Paddling through Dorian
Photos by Jim Brown

Burlington, Ontario residents Mandy and Ian Johnston barely got across the Confederation Bridge on Sept 7 before Hurricane Dorian forced its closure. They had planned to kiteboard and surf during their week on the Island and two days after the hurricane struck they were doing just that in North Rustico Harbour.

Parade of boats followed by dazzling fireworks
Photos by Jim Brown

A stiffening breeze just before launch time made the Pirates and Mermaids boat parade an uncertain proposition on Aug 24, but in the end hundreds of onlookers at the Stanley Bridge wharf were not to be disappointed. The procession of illuminated boats, a marquee event in the 17th annual River Days Festival, went ahead almost on schedule. The parade was followed by a spectacular fireworks show organized by the New London Rural Fire Company. About an hour before first responders’ vehicles travelled, with their sirens activated and lights flashing, several times through the Stanley Bridge Roundabout.

After $80,000 worth of renos, a splash of paint
Photos by Jim Brown

A total of $80,000 worth of renovations are just about completed at the Stanley Bridge Centre. A coat of paint was applied to much of the exterior on Aug 13-15. The work was completed in time for the building’s only farmer’s market of the season, featuring produce, crafts, art and much more – running Saturday, Aug 24, from 10 am to 2 pm. The building will also be open a day earlier, part of the official launch of Stanley Bridge River Days.

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A whacking good time
Jim Brown photos

The Third Annual World Anti-Trump League bash on Aug 3 drew several progressive Americans who summered on PEI, joined by Islanders who shared the same fierce opposition to America’s current president. The morale-boosting party was hosted at the Stanley Bridge home of Eleanor Hora. It was truly a celebration of resistance, with invited guests treated to a lavish spread of Trump-themed finger foods and novelty items. Vladimir Putin, Boris Johnson, Maxime Bernier and others were also given the raspberry. One of the highlights of the afternoon’s unforgettable slate of events included the opportunity to don a blindfold and swing a baseball bat at several piñatas, including those of Donald Trump. Winning swats were rewarded with torrents of candy.


History for sale?
Jim Brown photos

A for sale sign is partially hidden behind tall grasses near a faded church, circa 1890. These photos were taken on the Freetown Road, towards Bedeque.

A sea of fans at the Carrie Underwood show.
Photos courtesy Al Douglas, Cavendish Beach Music Festival

The stars came out at night at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival and so did the fans, in their thousands, to catch a once-in-a-lifetime performance by Nashville superstar Carrie Underwood on Island soil on July 6. More than 25,000 fans packed the CBMF grounds, many waiting hours in drenching rain. But the wait was worth it when the skies cleared and Carrie Underwood took to the stage.

Fans of the festival
Jim Brown photos

The Cavendish Beach Music Festival kicked off on July 5 under sunny, blue skies and soaring temperatures. Only a couple of hours into the festival this welcome board was filled with names and messages, to which these beaming country music fans added their comments.

Tourist season has arrived
Jim Brown photos

The tourist season is officially open in New London, with several visitors dropping by the birthplace of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of the world’s most beloved red-headed orphan, on June 28.

Something eye-catching in Stanley Bridge man’s driveway
Jim Brown photos

Rattenbury Road resident John McDowell has a new boat in his driveway that he plans to have on the water shortly, once some basic maintenance is completed.

The aptly named, head-turning Lil Tugger is a 21-foot Ranger tug boat, manufactured in 2016 in Kent, Washington, just outside of Seattle. Mr McDowell purchased Lil Tugger in Ontario on May 1. It’s engine has about 80 hours on it, he said


A splash of colour for the tourist season
Photos by Jim Brown

Joyce Ling got out her brush to add a splash of color to the popular Seagull’s Nest Gift Shop in North Rustico recently. Unfortunately the dock at the back, which was damaged by heavy ice in early April, won’t be refurbished as easily.

Fading glory: PEI’s derelict properties
Photos by Jim Brown
Abandoned buildings are scattered throughout the Island. Like once living creatures they are falling into an advanced state of decomposition – but they still retain a rustic, shopworn charm. Drive down the Rattenbury Road from North Granville and turn onto Highway 2 towards Hunter River and within five minutes you will likely see three of the properties featured in this photo essay, along with a number of others. Visit the outskirts of North Rustico, just past the wharf where lobster boats are berthed for the spring fishery, and it won’t take long to notice other derelict buildings. It’s a safe bet they won’t be found in the province’s tourism brochures.

Highway 2, near Stanley Bridge turnoff

North Rustico

Highway 2, towards Hunter River

Rattenbury Road, North Granville

Highway 2, near the Stanley Bridge turnoff

Gobbler takes a stroll in Stanley Bridge
Photos by Jim Brown
On April 26, shortly after 8 am, a turkey was spotted on the Rattenbury Road near the Sutherland Lane turnoff. At the nearby Race Trac gas station speculation swirled among customers about whether the turkey was one of several wild ones in the area or if it escaped from a local farmer.

Lamb on the loose on Easter Sunday
Photos by Jim Brown

There was a little more excitement than usual around the home of Harvey MacDonald during noon hour Easter Sunday. One of the family’s lambs escaped from its barn across the road and he rushed out to corral it. Mr MacDonald, who lives near New Glasgow, looks after 120 lambs and 180 ewes. Needless to say it was an Easter Sunday everyone will remember

Blowing in the wind
Photos by Jim Brown

Protective plastic covers, stripped from bales of hay, were found clinging to fence posts near Cavendish on April 5, blown by fierce, early spring winds.

Dressed for the weather
Photos by Jim Brown

These two winterized whippets were discovered, along with their owner, walking the edge of a farmer’s field near the Stanley Bridge roundabout recently. They likely won’t need those clothing accessories for much longer.


Big melt hits Stanley Bridge
Photos by Jim Brown

The big melt was on in Stanley Bridge and across PEI on the weekend of March 22. Heavy rain and sharply rising temperatures were expected to cause road and driveway washouts, swollen streams and rivers and flooded basements throughout the Island. Large volumes of water also blasted through culverts along the Rattenbury Road onto the still frozen Stanley River.

From backyard rink to swimming pool
Photos by Jim Brown

Over the space of just a couple of days in early March this frozen field of dreams, an outdoor hockey rink in Cavendish, was transformed into a large pool of water, thanks to sharply rising temperatures.

From hockey rink

To swimming pool

Snow clearing day in Stanley Bridge
Photos by Jim Brown

PEI had one of the largest snowfalls of the season on March 3-4 and plows were hard at work removing mountains of the white stuff from driveways, parking lots and roads, including this plow blasting snow from a lane on the Rattenbury Road.


Fire destroys nearly two century old farmhouse in Stanley Bridge
Jim Brown photos
The home was more than 190-years-old and in the Fyfe family for six generations, but in just a few hours it was gone, consumed by fire.
Firefighters from the New London, New Glasgow and Kensington fire departments raced to the blaze in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Feb 20 but were unable to save Alfred Fyfe’s farmhouse, though all four people and their pets inside at the time escaped without injury.
Smoke could be still be seen wafting to the sky from hundreds of metres away by late afternoon.

Big thaw followed by the big chill
Jim Brown photos
Photos taken in Margate, Feb. 16. Roads and highways, fields and streams everywhere across the Island were flooded with water from rapidly thawing snowbanks. But large pools of standing water were to quickly turn to ice a short time later after frigid temperatures returned to the region.

Libraries are more than just books
Jim Brown photos
Jan 25 was Pie Day at the Kensington Heritage Library, with more than a dozen delicious pies of all kinds donated for the special event. Also during the afternoon Kensington resident Bob Millette and 11-year-old Zoe Carroll, originally from British Columbia but living in Kensington, got a chance to indulge one of their favorite pastimes. Mr Millette is impressed at the talent displayed by young chess players, including a seven-year-old who won three straight games against him.
“I think he let me win the fourth game,” he said, with a laugh.

Ragged Flags
Jim Brown photos
Winter has taken a heavy toll on flags throughout PEI, including this ragged flag at the New London Community Complex (Jan 25).

Stanley Bridge Wall
Jim Brown photos

Someone made this laneway impossible to access by motorized vehicle. On one side of a makeshift barrier comprised of a large limb, branches and rope is the Rattenbury Road and on the other are track marks that were likely created by a snowmobile.

Pretty traps all in a row
Little was stirring in early January at the North Rustico wharf, but there was still plenty for visitors to see, including hundreds of snow-filled lobster traps ready for the start of the 2019 spring lobster fishery in April.
Jim Brown photos

Christmas lights are shining

Motorists travelling along Highway 6 to Cavendish and North Rustico in December wouldn’t have far to drive to see homes bedecked for the Christmas season.
Jim Brown photos

Broken home
Motorists driving through the North Granville area would likely have seen this arresting sight. If they looked closely, they would have also noticed a string of outdoor Christmas lights attached to the exterior.
Photo by Jim Brown

Canada geese lingering longer than many snowbirds
Anyone walking or driving past the By The River Restaurant in Hunter River on Nov 15 would have likely been astonished at the number of Canada Geese assembled on the Clyde River during one of the coldest days of the month. There were so many the skies suddenly darkened when hundreds took flight at once.

Photos by Jim Brown

Sign suffers wind damage
A fierce storm, with gusts topping 100 km an hour, lashed Prince Edward Island and much of the Maritimes overnight Nov 3 and into the early morning hours of Nov 4, leaving tens of thousands of Islanders without power. It also downed numerous trees and caused damage to buildings and other structures, including this sign at the Kensington Library.

It’s harvest season, and Halloween, in Cavendish
Halloween has arrived in Cavendish, judging by this impressive display, which has probably turned more than a few motorists’ heads over the past several years.

Photos by Jim Brown

PEI Marathon held under nearly ideal weather conditions
The 15th Annual Prince Edward Island Marathon drew hundreds of spectators and thousands of participants in 10 race categories to Charlottetown’s downtown on Oct 14.

The races were held under sunny skies, but with a crisp snap in the air.

Participants, from young children to seniors, were quickly bundled in foil thermal wrappers to combat the chill once they arrived at the finish line, at the end of University Avenue near the Confederation Centre. Many were greeted by friends and family members, and even their pets. Bear River’s Stan Chaisson won the men’s marathon, while the women’s marathon was captured by Charlottetown’s Amber Spriggs.

Click on an image below for full image slideshow.

Photos by Jim Brown

Big-hearted bikers visit Kensington
As many as 80 bikes, representing at least eight different motorcycle organizations across PEI, made a half hour pitstop at the Kensington Bakin’ Donuts on Sept 15. The bike-owners and their passengers were part of a ride to raise money to help the families of children with cancer. Included in the event, billed the “Cancer Can’t Catch Me Ride, Show and Shine,” were Island chapters of the Guardians of the Children Canada, a fierce advocate in the fight against child abuse.

The ride was the brainchild of Andrea Morrison and Colin Jennings, who had been organizing the event since last October. Andrea and Colin are with the Canadian Lonewolves Independent Riders of Canada. Their ride was supported by the PEI Cancer Society.

Andrea, a cancer survivor, said September was the perfect time to launch the rally, since that month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

She estimated approximately $2,600 had been raised in the event, which took riders from Charlottetown, to Kinkora, Kensington and the Cavendish area.

All proceeds go to support the families of children with cancer.

It’s much more difficult for families when a child has cancer, said Andrea.

Children with more serious cancers may have to go further than the Halifax IWK for treatment, such as Toronto, and that can add to costs.

Many families face serious financial strain because their children could spend days, weeks, months or longer off Island and the cost of everything from bridge tolls to gas, food and motel stays can be expensive, said Andrea, adding trips may have to be made several times before treatment is completed.

“We had an excellent turnout of riders,” she said.

“I, and several of our organizers are cancer survivors, so this cause is close to our hearts.”

All participating riders paid a registration fee and another fee if they wanted to show their bikes.

Click on an image below for full image slideshow.

Photos by Jim Brown

Come for the fish and chips, stay for the art
Captain Scott’s Fish and Chips in Cavendish has certainly struck a chord with many diners who used a very visual form of expression to show their appreciation. Every wall inside the restaurant is covered with little scraps of paper filled with heartfelt messages, as well as intricate sketches and doodles. Among the thousands and thousands of notes were countless Anne of Green Gables-themed messages.

Photos by Jim Brown

Fields of canola fill the horizon
Rolling fields of canola stretching as far as the eye could see greeted motorists on Highway 2, near the Rattenbury Road turnoff. Several cars were parked on the shoulder on July 23, as their drivers rushed out to snap photos of this beautiful scene. Included among them was the woman in this photo.

Photo by Jim Brown

Walking the wedding dress

Marcel Robichaud and Candice Millar started their new life together as a married couple by walking Candice’s wedding dress across the Stanley Bridge Resort’s parking lot on July 14. The happy couple were married the day before at Clinton Hills.

Photos by Jim Brown

Hoping for a birthday greeting from Luke

Tens of thousands of fans lined up early to see their idol perform on the main stage on July 8, the third day of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. These fans were obviously hoping Luke Bryan would see their sign and send a special birthday greeting.

Jim Brown photos

Now that’s a lot of trash for a music concert

The Cavendish Music Beach Festival will generate an amazing amount of waste during its four day run. On Saturday volunteers, parents of children playing on the U-16 Eastern Braves softball team, were already up to their armpits dealing with tens of thousands of plastic and glass bottles, not to mention discarded footstuffs and other throwaway items.

By the time it is all over several tonnes of cans, glass bottles and plastic containers will have been sorted and taken to recyclers. A volunteer estimated the total could easily reach 250,000.

And that’s not all. Volunteers were finding sandals, umbrellas and portable chairs left on the grounds, the result of a sudden, fierce thunderstorm shortly after noon on July 6, that sent many scrambling for cover. Judging by past years they expect to find plenty of other lost or discarded articles including alcohol tokens and cash bills of up $20 or more.

First the rain, then the sun and then the fun begins

The Road Hammers were one of several acts to hit the stage Friday evening (July 6) with an energetic, rousing performance that included some impressive pyrotechnics. Shortly before noon thunderstorms caused many concert-goers to seek shelter, with rumbling sounds of thunder in their ears. But just a few hours later, except for a few large puddles, there was little evidence of the deluge.

Bound for the Atlantic Veterinary College
Jim Brown photos

Brittney Dow, a tireless volunteer at Yogi Fell’s 100-acre horse sanctuary in South Granville, just received some terrific news. The UPEI student, who lives in Charlottetown, was accepted into the Atlantic Veterinary College. Dow, who overcame a serious medical challenge, says much of the credit for her success belongs to her mentor, Yogi. A feature on Brittney will appear shortly on the Stanley Bridge Centre’s website.

Power out for nearly three hours in Stanley Bridge, North Granville, Cavendish area
Maritime Electric workers were on the scene in a hurry after a power pole was struck by a farm vehicle Saturday morning, June 16. The top part was sheared off and the pole had to be replaced along with several wires. Power was out from approximately 10 am to just before 1 pm, in the North Granville, Stanley Bridge, New London and Cavendish area. The photos were taken in North Granville, near Taylor Road.
Jim Brown photos

Working the land in Hope River
Story and photos by Jim Brown

Alexander (Sandy) MacKay, a certified organic farmer in Hope River, was busy readying his land in Hope River recently for buckwheat. Mr MacKay owns Alexander Fresh Vegetables.

Road being widened in Hunter River
Story and photos by Jim Brown

Winter has been banished for weeks and Prince Edward Island’s second season is already in full swing, with a major road widening project underway on Highway 13 in Hunter River. The project includes a new bike lane. Many visitors to By the River bakery and restaurant had to be directed to and from the eatery by flaggers.

House razed on Victoria Day in Kensington
Story and photos by Jim Brown

Motorists travelling through Kensington on Victoria Day morning, near the Haunted Mansion, would have likely caught a glimpse of a vacant home being knocked down to rubble. The unoccupied structure, except for a startled cat which bolted to safety, was being torn down by a Waugh’s Construction crew to make way for a new Haunted Mansion building.

Top 20 singer, Rachel Beck, shoots video in Stanley Bridge
Story and photos by Jim BrownAcclaimed Charlottetown singer Rachel Beck and her crew were in Stanley Bridge on Saturday, May 12. But they weren’t there to enjoy the spring blossoms and a panoramic view of the Stanley River. They were making a music video.

They had set up at the bridge on the Rattenbury Road, keeping a wary eye on traffic since Rachel had to walk across the road several times, accompanied by her video’s co-stars.

“Just watch yourself with the cars,” warned her director.

“Remember to stay kind of tucked together,” said another crew member.

“Eyes straight ahead, glasses off,” said someone else.

Also overheard: “You mind just yelling ‘car”?

“We’re making a music video for my new single Hearts On Fire,” said Rachel.

“It’s going to radio next Friday, May 18, across the country, hopefully on CBC Music. It’ll be about three or four minutes.

“It’s just about breaking out of your normal routine and taking chances.”

An earlier single, Reckless Heart debuted at No. 13 on CBC Radio 2’s Top 20 list.

Rachel Beck, wearing scarf, and cast and crew members.

Lobster boats and traps are ready

On April 21, 10 days before the start of the spring lobster fishery on PEI, the North Rustico wharf was filled with lobster gear, fishermen and curious onlookers. After several days of gloom and snow, the sun finally appeared. Jim Brown photos

Restaurant makeover

Anyone driving or walking past this popular eatery in North Rustico will have noticed something different lately. By the Bay Family Restaurant is in the midst of renovations, largely to its roof. However, it remains open while the work is underway.

An unusual entreaty

The Kensington Bakin’ Donuts parking lot was packed with cars on the morning of March 26. But this one managed to stand out.


March 13, St Mary’s Road

Even in the depths of winter there are many attractions along St Mary’s Road, along every bend and curve, including this beautiful, eye-catching home.

Winter’s toll

Winter has taken a heavy toll on road signs across the Island, including this sign in New London. Fortunately, tourists won’t be back for a while yet, leaving lots of time to fix or replace them. Jim Brown photos

Nature’s Splendor

Large pools of standing water, turned to ice by falling temperatures, could be found throughout the Island for much of February, including this property near Clinton. What better way to create beautiful outdoor skating rinks than to have Mother Nature do all the work?

Dog with piercing eyes

This unusual dog was photographed recently outside By the River restaurant and bakery, in Hunter River. It’s safe to say its eyes are its most striking feature.

Photo by Jim Brown.

A winter wonderland

It was a picture postcard start to the New Year, with steady snowfall transforming much of the Island, including Clinton, into a beautiful winter wonderland.

Digging Out

Plows were out early this morning (Friday, Jan 5) across the Island, including Stanley Bridge, scraping away snow from overnight (Thursday, Jan 4). A huge weather system, a “bomb cyclone”, which affected more than half of the American population, dumping record amounts of snow and causing devastating storm surges and flooding, slammed into PEI. Winds were very strong on Friday (Jan 5) and schools are closed for the day on PEI.
Jim Brown Photos

Harding Creek Road after the freeze

Through much of December snow was scarce on PEI. These photos were taken near Clinton’s Harding Creek Road in mid-December, after a cold spell that froze ponds and other watercourses across the Island.

Jim Brown photos.

Christmas is coming

A motorist driving through Hunter River over the past few weeks couldn’t help but notice the community is decked out for the Christmas season.

Jim Brown photos.

Renovations underway

Looks like extensive work is being done to the former Margate Apartments in Margate. Photo taken on Wednesday, Nov 29.

Jim Brown photo.

New flags needed

Flags flying at the entrance to Seawood Drive near Cavendish were looking more than a little bedraggled in early November. They had definitely seen better days.

Jim Brown photo.

Fine weather for farm work

Farmers were working the land on Nov 1 in New London. October shattered a century old record for heat and meteorologists are predicting unseasonably warm temperatures will extend into early November. Jim Brown photos

Jim Brown photos.

A spooky good display.

Motorists driving through the empty roads of Cavendish over the past couple of weeks, confronted by “closed for the season” signs everywhere they turned, still had something interesting to capture their eye – this impressive Halloween display at the entrance to Forest Hills Lane.

Jim Brown photos.

Walking into the Devil’s Punchbowl.

Members of the province-wide Trails 4 All Hiking Club took advantage of bracing late October weather to visit the Devil’s Punchbowl Trail, near North Granville. In addition to spectacular fall colors they also got to see several horses at the trail’s end.

Jim Brown photos.  Jim Brown can be reached at peijim@hotmail.com

Wanted: a loving home.

On Sunday, Oct. 15 motorists driving past Kensington Intermediate High School might have had their eyes drawn to this sight. A large teddy bear encased in protective wrap, about the size of a small child, was perched at the entry to the school. It seems all the kind-hearted donor wanted was for the new owner to provide the bear with a loving home.

Jim Brown photos.

St Mark’s Anglican Church has a bee problem.

The lower floor of the Kensington church has been infested with bumblebees, but rather than call a pest control company to clear away the crawling, buzzing pollinators, church parishioners went with another approach.

Pulling back the curtain.

Rona Burt pulls back a curtain in the lower floor of St Mark’s Anglican Church, where bees have been gathering

“Although we’ve tried a number of things to try and get them out, we haven’t found the source,” said Margie Fagan, rector of The Parish of New London.

“So we’ve been picking them up and letting them go (outside). We don’t want to hurt them.”

It seems a dozen or so would be removed and they’d be replaced in a short time by another dozen, said Fagan.

On Sunday, Oct 1, Rona Burt took a small glass bottle and some plastic wrap to the church and collected one of several bees still in the building. She brought the captured bee to the church’s first annual Blessing of the Animals ceremony on church grounds.

Rector Margie Fagan blesses Rona Burt’s bumblebee.

Rona Burt with her bumblebee

Rona Burt with her bumblebee after its blessing.

The bee, along with several dogs and cats, was blessed by Fagan and then released.

Emptying the shelves

One of the surest signs of summer’s end in Cavendish is the appearance of “closed for the season” signs throughout much of the resort municipality, including the the Cavendish Tourist Mart, which was to close its doors Sept 21. These photos were taken a day earlier, when shelves had been all but emptied of merchandise.

One thing will not be returning next year when the tourist mart re-opens its doors to hordes of visitors – the Globe and Mail. The Globe announced last month it was yanking its print edition from Atlantic Canada on Dec 1.

Globe and Mail box

Store owner Brian Ellis stands beside one of the few Globe boxes of its kind left in Canada, one he has had for as long as 20 years. He plans to hold onto it as a keepsake.

Something is in the trees

Forest tent caterpillars, encased in large silken cocoons, have invaded the Stanley Bridge area and probably much of the rest of the Island. Heavy infestations can result in widespread defoliation of affected trees.


This bakery in New London cooked up something special for passing motorists.


Judging by these recent photos, a small motel in Margate has seen much better days.