a very faint horizon – or perhaps…

… there is no horizon at all?

Yesterday afternoon’s dog walk we ended up back at the beach. The  water was completely still— so unusual. And a very thin mist, not quite fog, hung over the Strait.  It looked so much like sea and sky melted into each other as though there was no horizon at all. Or just barely so. I can actually see it, and also  a ferry  approaching the Pass. Its almost obscured, but not quite.

What I love about this scene is the range of blues, from pale, soft, through a rich royal blue, and into the deep indigo in the foreground.

And I love the suggestion of there not being a horizon at all… which is true. Once you get there, its still just as far away…

a vanishing horizon
(click for larger image)

nourishing the young

young cedar thriving
young cedar thriving (click to enlarge)

The fresh young cedar draws its nourishment from the grand old stump. Forest life and its poignant beauty this afternoon was just what I needed, apparently. I’d been pensive, aware of the passing of time, and the losses that means, the people and generations gone.  The thinning of the fog invited me out with my camera, and I’m so grateful for the hour outside both in the beach and in the woods.

The fog itself wasn’t the focus of most of today’s photos (though I did get some of those too).  Instead I meandered, with my camera,  in the woods, and the slant of light pointed me to some of the beauties that I’d have missed if my gaze hadn’t been directed to them by the shafts of sun, like a spotlight that’s ever changing, every day, every minute, and season to season, moving on.

This image seemed particularly apt, given my earlier pensiveness, and the shifting light and mists and all. And in the midst of it, hope. And new life emerging in unexpected places.

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I’ve edited the photo above with Topaz Simplify. 

an inviting path…

an inviting path to the quiet garden
the path to the quiet garden (click to enlarge)

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…

these precious last days …

the creekside path
a creekside path, diverging around a grand old maple (click to enlarge)

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.

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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.

One of the best tafoni spots

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’.

 

 

an eye on arbutus bark

the extraordinary colours of arbutus bark...
the extraordinary colours of arbutus bark…(click to enlarge)

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).

Morning by morning…

morning stillness
morning by morning, this still beauty… for now (click for full sized image)

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.

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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…?

Sunrise, just before the rain

sunrise as rain begins
the early sun glowing through a slit in the clouds

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).

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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.

About Me

Sarah T Avatar croppedI 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.

Awesome Clouds

Clouds on a September afternoon 2014-09-25IMG_1159IMG_1159For 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.

glimpses of the extraordinary amidst an ordinary day