I moved to Manitoulin Island two years ago in order to get away from the rat-race and focus on returning my body to homeostasis. Although I miss living close to my children and my family, living on the island has been everything I hoped for, for a number of reasons.
Here are 10 ways you can tell you are living on Manitoulin Island … and consequently, 10 ways you can tell this is the right place to be.
1. Whitetail deer
A couple of weeks ago we stepped out of the grocery store and saw a doe and two fawns crossing the street. This is not uncommon! The first thing I ever heard about Manitoulin Island, long before moving here, was that it was the land of the Whitetail deer. I have not been disappointed! They can be seen anywhere and everywhere, anytime of the day! And I never tire of it!
2. [Related to point one] Critters
It’s almost impossible to grow anything in your yard. Between the deer, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks and gophers, it is almost impossible to grow flowers, vegetables or apple trees. Pretty much everything has to be fenced in. You gotta love ’em!
3. Bald eagles
Not so long ago, bald eagles could not be found in the province of Ontario. Nowadays, on the island they are quite prevalent. In fact, there is a nest on the island in front of our house. It is a beautiful site to see an eagle soaring high up in the sky!
A couple of months ago I stepped outside one afternoon to be greeted by the sounds of loons, Canada geese, sandhill cranes, crows, seagulls, Blue Jays, chickadees, a mourning dove, a cardinal and a wild turkey. It was a beautiful symphony! There is a constant cacaphony of bird-sounds and activities that entertains us all day long!
For the past two summers, one of my neighbours has dropped off his wood splitter, without my asking. Neighbours regularly help us with our driveway in the winter. It is not uncommon for people to ask you if you need a hand. A common refrain on the island is, that’s what neighbours are for. People say it, and they walk the talk!
6. Grey hair
It is not uncommon, to walk the full length of Main Street and back and not encounter anyone under the age of 60. There are a lot of retirees on this island. There are also a lot of smiles and waves!
7. Light traffic
It’s also not uncommon to drive to town and back, a 15 minute drive each way, and not pass another vehicle. Traffic is light and generally unhurried.
It’s not uncommon to be sitting on our deck in the sunshine while watching a storm pass by to the north. At any given time, weather can be quite different on different parts of the island, I suspect due to Lake Huron and the Niagara escarpment. It’s fascinating!
9. Avoiding reptiles
You have to be careful driving our roads not to run over turtles and garter snakes. There are lots of them and they are a good indicator of a healthy ecosystem!
10. Island time
A common refrain on this island, is island time. The pace is quite slow [I sometimes think I’m in the Caribbean] and it might take a few extra days for a tradesperson to show up to start or complete a job, but it gets done. Quite often, they’re just as slow to collect their payment! You gotta love island time!
Yes, Manitoulin Island is an ideal place to live for someone looking to return their body to homeostasis! It has a lot to offer and a lot of unique experiences! I love it here!