Tag Archives: Curious Spectacles

tangled reflections

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.


the back of the rose…

the back of the rose
click on the image for a larger view

At first when I noticed one of my roses nodding its head, I was disappointed to miss seeing the glory of it’s opening blossom,  but after a closer look, it occurred to me that perhaps it was a good gift that the rose was offering: the display of the detail and texture of its oft ignored side.

The gentle curve, the delicate shading of the petals, the texture of the sepals with their furred edge… I wouldn’t have noticed had I been distracted by a more ordinary perspective.  This other side of the rose was intriguing, and stunning in its simple beauty.

Have you been similarly surprised by the beauty of looking at something from a different angle?

Extraordinary Seaweed Phenomenon

seaweed ridges
ridges of seaweed on the rising tide (click image for larger view)

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??


beyond the gate

IMG_2161 HFarm GardenGate 3Some people and places overflow with life in a way that stirs something beneath and beyond our senses: something of glory and grace that we catch in little glimpses, lifting our hearts, catching our breath— inviting … hope. Visiting our friends at the farm was like this for me. It was like stepping  into a Tolkeinesque world: a world where so much more than we ‘realize’ is going on.

We were welcomed— even ‘herded’— into the kitchen by their Border Collie, where our friends were preparing risotto with freshly gathered wild mushrooms, and sautéeing pumpkin with rosemary, kneading dough and pressing it out, and laying sliced apples atop to bake for a fresh dessert.

The gate to the ‘kitchen garden’ offers a glimpse of the light and playfulness that beats at the heart of this place, and this home.  To offer words like ‘creativity’ or ‘beauty’ barely approaches the overflowingness, the superfluity of life.

The curve of the driftwood gate, jauntily placed off-centre, and oh, my — the garden itself. The sun was lowering  but still there was such light and colour in the garden.

May you,  and may we all catch glimpses of such overflowingness of life today, even amidst today’s own dailyness and difficulties.

rain and leaves- skylight art

leaves and rain on the skylightIts a properly wet and stormy day here today.  Our only ventures out today are the necessary ones for firewood, food and dog walks.

A short while ago the rain was making such a racket thwacking the skylight above my desk that I looked up.  The  maple leaves from the overhanging trees have made a delightful pattern of colour and light, the rain-water squiggling the lines, and highlighting the leaves edges.    I snapped the photo with my iPhone and have clarified it and adjusted it a bit so you can see something of what I saw, and am seeing.  Its another example of the ‘curious spectacles‘ the extraordinary amidst the daily round that I delight to share through this blog.


If you want to see more photos, I’ll certainly be posting more here. You can also check my Flickr page here.

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’.



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.