As the sun lowers, the path entering the little ‘quiet corner’ of our garden is particularly inviting — the sunlight glowing through the leaves, and the variety of colours dappling the path itself, and one lone vibrant fuschia — It all suggests something of the beauty of the space on the other side of the small archway…
Spending a few days in ‘town’ offers a chance to walk the paths along Mosquito Creek. The delight of these walks comes not only from the beauty alongside the tumbling creek-water, but the poignancy of recognizing these are likely last days before the green leaves the trees (so to speak). The sunlight shining through the still vibrant green is more precious perhaps because these days are so limited. But its not only the colour and light. For me its also their shadow patterns on the path — constantly shifting, and intriguing.
The photo above is one of my favourite points on the trail where it diverges around a grand moss-clothed maple. To the left it goes down to the creek itself. To the right, up to the road. The main trail is straight ahead, past the maple, following alongside the creek.
Last week we ventured out to Salamanca Point. The access path opened to a stunning view— the open strait, from NW to SE— but it was the tafoni that was particularly awesome. Galiano’s sandstone shores are a great place to study tafoni — the intriguing shapes sculpted in the sandstone— but I think this particular spot is one of the best on the island.
The slant of the afternoon sun called attention to the variety of shapes with patterns of shadow and light, gentle curves and straight lines, the regular pitting and the random swoops and hollows.
Watch for further photos of tafoni in later posts. Its one of my favourite ‘subjects’.
I’ve been asked about the image on my Curious Spectacles Welcome Page, so I thought it best to post a special post to respond to the question.
The photo is a close up of a piece of arbutus bark that caught my eye. It was quite a large curl of the delicate and brittle skin that’s characteristic of those precious trees, and I was struck not just by the size and colour, but by its own ‘eye’ design as though it were looking back at me.
I figured it was an auspicious image*, just the right thing for this blog.
*I’ve enlarged and edited the photo to simplify the pattern, using Topaz Simplify with Aperture (my main photo app).
Every morning is different. And beautiful. My early morning venture out with ‘the girls’ (our two Golden Retrievers) is not only for their benefit. Clearly. It is for me too, as I breathe the morning air, and revel in the daily beauty. Today again, the stillness of the water, the reflections of the clouds, the congregation of gulls on the rocks, the warm glow of the rising sun— all of it.
Soon perhaps, it’ll be winter storms, biting cold wind, and raucous waves. But for now, this is what we have. And its glorious.
These daily excursions outside and the morning by morning-ness of the wonders I see remind me of a line of an old and fine hymn that remains with me: ‘…morning by morning new mercies I see…’ Maybe that’s the tune for the day today…?
The reward for venturing out with our two Goldens this morning: the rising sun spread its light through the one opening in the cloud, lit up a path of light on the water, and gave a rosy gold hue to the underside of the clouds.
In the brightness, just to the right of centre you can see the outline of the mountain peaks of Washington State. The southern shoulder of Mt. Baker, just barely discernable in the centre of the light. (Click on the image to see it full sized).
Happily the time of sunrise is getting later: one of the benefits of autumn. I’m grateful not to be sleeping through the glories of the early morning light-shows like the one I was grateful to see and posted here.
I am a mum, grandmother, wife, friend, pastor, photographer, aspiring writer, and ‘partly retired’, living amidst a vibrant and creative Gulf Island community, a ferry ride away from Vancouver and Victoria.
Ever since I was small, I’ve been a passionate and curious observer of my natural surroundings, taking delight in the birds and animals small and large, the way the light plays on the water, the cycles of the tides, variations in weather and the way the extraordinary is always present amidst the daily doings of life: the trips to the mailbox, or grocery store, dog walks, and cooking dinner. These daily marvels are to me signals of the grace and mercy that is ever present, the love of God beyond our imagining, and God’s kindness-beyond-comprehension. As Gerard Manley Hopkins so wonderfully expressed: The world is charged with the grandeur of God. (The poem God’s Grandeur in full here)
So why write about this publicly? Why do I want to share these ‘Curious Spectacles’ with you?
Simply because noticing these things gives such joy to me. And joy, it seems to me, is to be shared. I just can’t bear to keep these glimpses of beauty and wonder to myself. You may be a person who appreciates these things deeply too, and so together we can add a little bit to the pulse of joy in the world.
This blog is a place to stop, and see, and think a bit, maybe of beauty amidst the ordinary, and even beauty in the most unexpected places of hardship and groaning. And maybe, just plain beauty and wonder — the kind that makes you exclaim: Wow! Did you see that??
Preparing this blog feeds my soul. And my hope is that in some curious way, it will feed you too.
For sheer magnificence and awesomeness, nothing to me surpasses the wide sky looking out across the Strait. This view is looking north from our spot in the Gulf Islands, toward the mainland and Vancouver, and up Howe Sound (left). The clouds gathering over the North Shore Mountains are stunning, and the sweep of cirrus… a wonderful contrast. It all underscores the drama of the daily weather.