Sites of Spring

The Cove Journal by JoDee Samuelson

The big snowmelt has come and gone, and freshets have been replaced by puddles and more puddles. If you’re thinking about moving to the Island, visit now. My partner recalls living on a red dirt road in the 1970s when in spring the only way to get to the highway was by catching a lift behind the neighbor’s tractor… in a manure spreader. Yes, the good old days. 

Here’s more advice: check out property in March or April. Say it’s a sunny day the middle of August, you’re inspecting an older house with a clay cellar, and you happen to ask, “What’s a sump pump doing in this perfectly dry basement?” Hmm. You’ll know the answer in a few months.

You need to be flexible this time of year. Our Women’s Institute meeting was cancelled in February due to record-breaking snowfall that shut things down for three days. This month freezing rain kept some women home. But during COVID we became so used to changing plans at the last minute that things like that don’t bother us so much anymore.

Is it fair to say that the Island is a mess? Snowplows have torn up the shoulders of the roads, potholes abound, and ditches are decorated with a winter’s supply of beer cans and paper cups. Something remarkable that we roadside-picker-uppers have noticed: no one tosses wine bottles out of the car. This must mean that people don’t glug wine as they drive along, but bring it home and drink it properly, in wine glasses, with dinner and friends. Let’s hear it for oenophiles!

Down at the Cove things are scruffy in a different way. Friable damp capes crumble gently into heaps of sandstone rubble, and toppled broken trees dangle precariously over the edge of the world. Along the beach, piles of black seaweed are decorated with tangles of rope and fishnet, and when I kick at a sodden clump, beach fleas hop out, ready to carry on where they left off. 

Life ramps up without any assistance from humans. Plump shoots of tulips, daffodils and daylilies are poking curiously through the soft soil of empty flowerbeds, while under the grass crocuses await their cue to make a dazzling splashy debut. 

In tight formation, Canada geese return from Mexico, tanned and happy, honking joyfully overhead as they spy our potentially verdant hills. If they plan to stay, it will take them a little while to settle in and get everything shipshape—not that nature gives a hoot about shipshape, but we humans do. 

No shortage of projects in the days ahead. Uncover the garlic, tie up the current bushes, put away winter boots. Fix the shed door that doesn’t close. Rake up the chips and bark around the woodpile. Here’s a good thing: soon we will escape the tyranny of firewood. Of course this also means that the quiet season of contemplation will be over, but I can handle that.

In the Cove we deal with rain, snow and changeable weather one day at a time—or make that one glass of wine at a time. À votre santé!

Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, filmmaker and artist JoDee Samuelson has lived on the beautiful south shore of Prince Edward Island for the past thirty years.JoDee always loved drawing and was encouraged in all her creative pursuits by her mother, who was a commercial artist before marrying a Swedish minister. JoDee’s interest in filmmaking began when she took part in an animation workshop at the Island Media Arts Co-op in 1989. Her animated films have been shown at festivals around the world, winning numerous awards for the Island filmmaker.