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.
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.
The colours are muted and soft along the Heritage Forest Road, and the ground is rock hard, frozen solid. It may look like there’s little life in the landscape, that it everything is ‘dead’. Dull. How far from the truth!
As we walked the road what struck me was how many signals there were that even in the quiet stillness of winter, and its apparent barrenness, there is a pulsing vitality to the season: the creeks burble beneath a skim of ice, lichens hang conspicuously from limbs all round, colourful slime molds are ‘there’ for the observant eye as are various fascinating fungi; winter birds— wrens, sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees and towhees flit amongst the low shrubs while the finches and others occupy the higher branches; the deer meander and graze undisturbed. Surely the forest pulses with life as much in winter as any season.
I wonder if maybe the forest and its creatures enjoy the relative quiet. Maybe its their ‘sabbath’.
Wandering out to Flagpole Point after sunset, the glow was still bright, and the water magnified the beauty in reflection…
The colours last night were intense — so lovely I felt I wanted to share this glimpse of the awesome beauty of nightfall.
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.
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…
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