Sunlight diffused by a the thin fog sifts through the trees. It was surprisingly chilly, yet even the winter sun can warm the ground and raise a mist to meet with the fog.
Usually the ducks and shorebirds take refuge and find quiet spots where its safe to seek their nourishment. But not these two I saw yesterday. While the NE Wind blew over 40knots, and the waves crashed ashore in the sandstone shallows, a lone female Goldeneye cruised through the tossing waves and dove and fished and bobbed bravely continuing her search for a good meal. And on the rocks above, a single Killdeer stood stoutly in the face of the oncoming sea.
Watching these small birds I was struck by how spirited— even audacious— they were in the face of such powerful forces of wind and sea.
The colours are muted and soft along the Heritage Forest Road, and the ground is rock hard, frozen solid. It may look like there’s little life in the landscape, that it everything is ‘dead’. Dull. How far from the truth!
As we walked the road what struck me was how many signals there were that even in the quiet stillness of winter, and its apparent barrenness, there is a pulsing vitality to the season: the creeks burble beneath a skim of ice, lichens hang conspicuously from limbs all round, colourful slime molds are ‘there’ for the observant eye as are various fascinating fungi; winter birds— wrens, sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees and towhees flit amongst the low shrubs while the finches and others occupy the higher branches; the deer meander and graze undisturbed. Surely the forest pulses with life as much in winter as any season.
I wonder if maybe the forest and its creatures enjoy the relative quiet. Maybe its their ‘sabbath’.
In the wintry chill of New Year’s Day afternoon we walked the trail to the beach from the Heritage Forest, down to Sticks Allison road and along the beach access. Its a favourite walk of ours particularly because of the way the little stream runs alongside the path. Where the trail opens to the sandstone shore, the fresh runoff of the stream fans out onto the sandstone and joins the Salish Sea.
The photo above was taken when it was nearly dark, with just the dim available light. It was far too cold to set up tripod and adjust camera settings— fingers and toes were quite thoroughly numb!! The result is, to me, a happy accident.