Yesterday, walking in Galiano’s Heritage Forest, my eye was drawn to the shapes of the trees— the shapes that will soon be hidden by the profusion of leaves.
Mixed with the evergreens are are are several willow trees of varying kinds, along the main path. They’ve been there, as their size indicates, for years and years, but it wasn’t til yesterday that the light caught them in a certain way, and I ’noticed’ them. They are, to me, absolutely beautiful— the stature of the tree as a whole, and the detail of the slender curves…
I will likely post several more photos of these and other trees in the days ahead, either here or on my Curious Spectacles Facebook page which you can find here.
Maybe because we’ve waited so long for spring this year, or maybe its just that these wonders are more precious with each passing year, but surely the delicate beauty of the huckleberry buds opening has never been quite so breathtakingly beautiful to me.
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.
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??
Finlay Lake Conservation Area – Click on image for a larger view
We’d wanted to walk in to Finlay Lake for a while, so with the sun shining brilliantly, it seemed a good day to set out for this quiet spot.
The path leading through the forest was bursting with spring shoots, and the birds were singing in the canopy above us, and the winter wrens and towhees rustling in the ferns and salal.
When the path opened to the lake there were a few Buffleheads on the far side, but otherwise all was still. Occasionally a raven’s call echoed through the trees, and an eagle flew past. Otherwise, simply stillness— but a stillness that is burgeoning with life.
Clearly I have an affinity to the deep mystery of rainforest beauty. The moody grey weather invited another walk along the lower trails of Bluff Park. Its impossible for me to walk these paths without thinking of stories and fairy tales, and of Ents and Hobbits— I have yet to see one of those, but doesn’t this scene make you wonder if maybe… if we waited very quietly … ?
This afternoon for a change of pace, I’ll go and hunt for some early spring buds, but for now, its deep forest that I want to share.
Its such a stunning change from the drought of summer to the soaking forest creeks of this season. This is one of several creeks that run to the NE shore of the island, from small lakes in the hills, tumbling down onto the sandstone beaches and into the Salish Sea. This creek has widened its path with the fresh rains of this past week, dividing into two streams around an island of ragged fern and moss and logs. The mosses are luminous green today, and the lichens on the trunks in the background give a grey-blue hue to the stand of young trees. Everywhere, life burgeoning.
glimpses of the extraordinary amidst an ordinary day