A Barrow’s Goldeneye paddling with seeming determination—
I love how his ‘bow-wave’ and wake are so clearly defined in the calm water and the early morning light. Trailing behind him you might see the little eddies left by his webbed feet as he powers forward.
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.
The sun is setting far earlier than in the warmer days of summer. Autumn is truly upon us which made our rowing expedition particularly sweet the other day, the last sunny day of the recent stretch of spectacular weather. The reflections on the water, the light and shadow, the ringed pattern of the drips from the oars, and the darkness of the shore as the sun dropped behind the cedars— all perfectly lovely.
Heading homeward offered this glimpse of peace and safe harbour, with the assurance of a warm fireside, and hot supper…and ‘thawing’ my very cold bare feet.
My daily walks up the road are always a pleasure. Well, mostly always. Sometimes, if its just plummeting rain, my pleasure is dampened (so to speak). But today it was a real pleasure, as the leaves dappled the road, and the sun was still slanting through the trees, even if weakened by the light overcast.
In places, like the spot in the photo, there was a little light on the road, which struck me as this morning as a fine metaphor of how life works— a little light here and there. Not alway blazing brilliant light, but light all the same. And then the road curves in to the shadier spots.
The patches of light are exquisite— I love and appreciate them— their clear colour and beauty, but even in the shadier spots there are marvelous things to see: moss and mushrooms, lichens, winter wrens chattering and woodpeckers flitting. These treasures were certainly present today and interestingly, they were for the most part, in the darker, less glorious places.
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.
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…?
glimpses of the extraordinary amidst an ordinary day