Watching a fishboat depart from the sheltered waters of Whaler Bay in the early morning, with a strong NW wind, and beneath a rather ominous looking sky, reminds me how precarious every venture is. Again the Breton Fisherman’s prayer seems apt, not only for those who literally go to the sea in ships, but for us all: Dear God, be good to me for the sea is so large, and my boat is so small.
Yesterday we had a short reprieve between storms: the sun shone, the wind dropped and the sea settled to a mirror calm. Mt. Baker glowed on the far side of the Salish Sea.
But best of all is the sweep of clouds, with the small pale moon visible beyond them, to the left of centre frame.
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.
I took several photos while walking in Bellhouse Park a few days ago. But it was this one that I found myself drawn to.
There’s something in the image that touches me. Maybe its the way the two trees lean together— the tall slender one, and the one that’s broken…
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.
The days begin with a walk to Flagpole Point before breakfast.
In part it is a necessity, to walk the dog, but equally important is that this outing provides me a chance to appreciate the uniqueness of each morning. Though it is the same place, the variation is infinite: light, colour and texture in differing combinations.
The rising sun’s position is constantly shifting with the seasons, tides varying with moon-phase, wind and weather, clouds, fog, rain, or clear… Add to this, the cast of birds and small animals. I never know just what the morning jaunt will offer: kingfishers, herons, otters, harlequins, eagles, mink, seals…
It has long been my habit to record these first glimpses of the day there with a few photos, usually just on my iPhone, but sometimes with my ‘big’ camera. Recently it occurred to me to share some of my morning glimpses with others, so I created a Flickr Album Mornings at Flagpole Point which you can view here.
My aim is to post one a day. Sometimes, like yesterday when we had a power outage I couldn’t post. There are bound to be other missed days here and there, but mostly it’ll be a daily photo.
Thanks so much for enjoying these glimpses of the world with me.