Slowing down

With new COVID restrictions – or are they the same ones with greater amplification? – we are attempting to appreciate an opportunity to slow down.

Earlier this week I found myself staring out of the office window (thinking deep and meaningful education thoughts, of course) and enjoying the sun setting over Ucluelet across the bay. It was so pleasant, and I was so busy, I stepped outside to take a couple of photographs. A smoke break. Ok, I don’t smoke. A coffee break? Yes, that’s allowed! If accompanied with deep and meaningful education thoughts.


A variety of shore birds were flitting up and down the exposed mud flats, in silhouette as the sun dropped below the trees on the Ucluelet side. It was a calm scene, with a slight breeze disturbing the surface and rustling the last of the leaves holding on after the recent storm.

A heron was stalking tasty morsels, moving back and forth with deliberate and elegant intent, watching, winding up, and then striking. It seemed to be doing well, as far as I could tell, given the fading light.

A happy heron hunts here

With fewer student contacts, and increased “office” time, I’m looking forward to further coffee breaks overlooking the mud flats. I might not see any bears this time of year, although I have spotted them into December, but I’m hoping to catch sight of a wolf. I’ve been told they are sometimes seen patrolling the shore along the Hitacu side. I sense my caffeine intake might rise, and replies to emails will be delayed…

“Don’t you have any work to do?!” “Yup, in a minute…”

No, I’m not really slowing down to the point of a sacking! I appreciate the current good fortune of being in employment when so many are struggling. What a year. I find myself thinking “what a year!” over and over, as if repeating this will yield a better understanding or calmer acceptance. Not there with that as yet, and I think it’ll take the turn of the year and a good many steps into 2021 before some equilibrium returns.

This will slow me down

In the meantime, it’s steady as we go, and enjoy the slow down, as far as we can. Take a cue from that heron, and maintain (the appearance of) elegant poise…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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I am a would be outdoorsman - that is if I had more time, skills and knowledge. When I can, I love being outdoors, just camping, hiking, snowboarding, xc skiing, snowshoeing, paddling a canoe or trying something new. What I lack in ability, I make up for in enthusiasm and having a go. I'd never really survive for long out there in the wild, but I enjoy pretending I could if I had to...

13 thoughts on “Slowing down”

  1. Enjoyed slowing down with you this morning while sipping hot coffee & munching on yesterday’s pecan pie. What a year, indeed! We’ll hope for healthier days, and take it easy along with that heron hunting slowly for some morsel on your shores.


  2. Over the years I had often thought of coffee breaks as the most important moments of the day and the perfect time for creativity, which you perfectly captured here with your wonderful descriptions of the birds along the mud flats and the beautiful “Happy Heron” photo!! It brought to mind the memories of photographing the sunrise over the Detroit River looking toward Canada back when I worked and how many days that felt much more productive than meetings. Now on to another important topic, how do I become a craft beer enthusiast, because none of my cider labels equal that absolutely fantastic James Joyce Finnegans label and their Down Easy pale ale label. We need a post on the perfect beer flight for beginners!! Hope the slow down keeps everyone safe in your community and look forward to more of your coffee breaks (hopefully a wolf photo) and maybe we can talk about Everton and Tottenham next weekend.


    1. Thank you! I think coffee time is creative thinking time, or that’s what I say if anyone asks…
      I was out with Scout in the wind and rain yesterday afternoon, and turned a corner into a small park to be confronted by two herons on the grass. Gave us a start! One took off, in that slow way they do, and the other strutted over a knoll and was gone when we skirted on round the other side.
      I’m not going to talk about Everton anymore, or at least, only when I’ve stopped sulking which will be if they start winning again. This might be some time. Through gritted teeth, well done to Jose.
      Hoyne Brewing isn’t too far from here, and their bottles turn up in the beer store quite often, but the one I’d most like to try, the pale ale, hasn’t been in stock. The stout was very good, label and all! I like the idea for a beer flight post, but fear the heavy research necessary might spill over into school nights! Oh no…
      I’ve three afternoons/early evenings scheduled in Hitacu this week, and very hopeful for a wolf sighting along the shore, perhaps one of the times I happen to glance out the window or take a short break?!
      Have a good week, enjoyably free from home construction!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely post PC. I’ve missed your posts which, for some strange reason, have disappeared from my Reader. At any rate, these photos are as beautiful as always. So good to slow down and hopefully you’ll get many more ‘coffee’ breaks and see a wolf along the way too. Take care.


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