Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lake of Shining Waters

"…the Lake of Shining Waters was blue — blue — blue; not the changeful blue of spring, nor the pale azure of summer, but a clear, steadfast, serene blue, as if the water were past all modes and tenses of emotion and had settled down to a tranquillity unbroken by fickle dreams." 
-Anne of the Island

L.M. Montgomery's inspiration for Anne's Lake of Shining Waters was a pond at Park Corner just next to the Campbell Homestead, home of her uncle John Campbell.

It is a beautiful spot to visit.  These days, there is a lovely little garden with benches and a gazebo nearby.  The staff of the Anne of Green Gables Museum, which now resides in the Campbell Homestead, told us that tourists from all over the world come to be married at the shores of the pond.

The pond is certainly much smaller than the lake described in the Anne books, but that's the power of imagination.  Montgomery admitted in her journals that some inspiration may also have come from the Cavendish Pond.

“‘The Lake of Shining Waters’ is generally supposed to be the Cavendish Pond.  This is not so.  The pond at Park Corner is the one I had in mind.  But I suppose that a good many of the effects of light and shadow I have seen on the Cavendish pond figured unconsciously in my descriptions; and certainly the hill from which Anne caught her first glimpse of it was ‘Laird’s Hill’ where I have often stood at sunset, 
enraptured with the beautiful view of shining pond and crimson-brimmed harbor and dark blue sea.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Red Roads

"But those red roads are so funny.  When we got into the train at Charlottetown and the red roads began to flash past I asked Mrs. Spencer what made them red and she said she didn't know and for pity's sake not to ask her any more questions."
-Anne of Green Gables

I've returned from my Prince Edward Island trip (though I didn't want to leave).  The island is every bit as beautiful as one would gather it to be from reading L.M. Montgomery's work.  The red roads are truly spectacular.  They pop out from the emerald fields and run for miles all around and over the rolling hills.

I had to look up what causes them and I don't think understanding the science behind them makes them any less magical to look at.  Most of PEI is made up of wonderful red sandstone.  Over time, the stone is eroded by wind and water and broken down into the soil.  Iron is what causes the red colour.  Apparently, it's not only beautiful but ideal for growing potatoes, grains and other crops.

I collected a bag of the reddest soil I could find and it's now inhabiting a jar on my bookshelf next to my Montgomery books.  

Over the next month or so I'm going to be posting all about my trip.  I took over 400 photos and I hope you'll enjoy them!