I took this photo last week in the warmth of the afternoon light and the stillness of Whaler Bay. What caught my eye was the complex reflections with the fallen tree, the tangled lines of its branches both above and beneath the water and the curves of the sandstone intersected by the straight lines of the wharf’s shadow.
The resulting design is intriguing: another instance of the playful art of nature all around us.
Walking on the island’s shores is like walking in a gallery filled with sculptures masterfully wrought and generously offered for all to enjoy. Here are a few glimpses of yesterday’s meandering through the gallery.
Since my early days spending my summers exploring the beach, clambering on logs, playing day-long games and building forts with my friends, the tangle of silvered roots has evoked imagination and stories, conjured images of creatures both friendly and fierce.
I don’t clamber quite so quickly now, and I am exploring different beaches, but my love of the driftwood shapes remains as active as ever— it is simply part of me. (Rooted in me?) Yesterday’s walk along the sandstone shore, this marvellous root caught my imagination again, and I’ve played with the image just for fun, and wanted to share it here.
I wonder what creatures you see? and what stories it suggests?
…a glimpse of the afternoon light glinting on the dark water of our bay, creating complex patterns as it washes over tafoni textures. The fluid movement and dancing light is a stark contrast with the steadiness of the rock…
This pattern of wrinkled humps of seaweed on the rising tide is relatively unusual. It takes several different weather and tide conditions conspiring together to create it.
It goes something like this: First, a southeast wind must blow at low enough tide to accumulate a build up of copious amounts of sea lettuce on the beach. Then, the further receding tide must distribute that sea lettuce over a large patch of the shallow sloping sand, a few inches thick. Then, day must be hot enough to dry the surface of the sea lettuce while the tide has ebbed. The third requirement is that the wind drop, allowing a calm windless period while the tide rises. The result is that the thick layer of sea lettuce is moved slowly from beneath, while the baked-dry surface of the sea lettuce layer is more resistant to movement, and makes for these extraordinary folds.
To me it looks something like colourful elephant skin. Or perhaps a satellite photo of mountain ridges. Or the flowing of some strange green river flowing from the distant rocks… What do you think??
These last three days have provided spectacular wave watching as the strong North East outflow wind crossed the Salish Sea whipping the waves to a fury of ‘white horses’. The collision of water and rock made great sprays and splashes, as the rollers moved in steadily.
The light of the rising sun through the cresting waves was a beautiful green and to me it seemed a jubilant dance of light and water.
This afternoon the wind’s dropped, the sea has calmed and life returns to a semblance of ‘normal’, though definitely with a more wintry chill.
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…
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’.
glimpses of the extraordinary amidst an ordinary day