Before the storm

We have weather warnings as I write this, with heavy rain and wind speeds of 80 gusting to 100kmh predicted. That means trees will fall, and the power will likely go out. Hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, I thought I’d better write and schedule a post before losing power, and place candles, flashlights and my favourite power outage toque in accessible locations. Oh, forgetful me, and chocolate.

A little beach

For this quick before the storm post, I decided to use a few photos taken over the last long weekend, when we went down to our not-really-a-secret-but-let’s-hope-no-one-else-is-there little beach just off the Wild Pacific trail. As in a previous post, this isn’t the real name, but I’m quite getting into making up names for places.

Slow down, Scout!

When we arrived, after a little clamber down from the trail made more exciting by Scout’s absolute determination to haul me over rocks and under logs, we found the beach was empty as hoped for. Not the warmest of days overall, but we sat out of the gusting wind and enjoyed the wave action. Not storm waves, but still pretty powerful at beach level.

Wave action

If conditions allow, and it’s safe, I’ll head back to this little beach, or at least the trail above it, after the worst of the wind gusts, and see if I can catch a shot or two of big waves. I’ll wear my favourite after the storm toque, and take coffee – and chocolate.

Not stormy, still powerful

Right, enough for now, time to put on that toque, have matches at the ready, and enjoy the show. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

“Slow down? Ok!”
Blue skies

Salish sunrise

Last week, I jotted something about unpacking after our recent trip, and then getting around to sharing some of our adventures. I’ve decided to be nonlinear in the narrative, due to a blissed out attitude and an unshackling from convention, post vacation. Or laziness. Anyway, let’s start at the end…

Our departure from Salt Spring Island was an almost civilized affair, with the cabin we stayed in located a short jaunt from two ferry terminals. Arriving at the island at the Vesuvius terminal, we were only a kilometre from the cabin. Yup, that’s right, Vesuvius. Nope, no idea. Determinedly off grid, or at least unconnected (Salt Spring is not actually off grid) I was determinedly intellectually lacking in curiosity about the Vesuvius name. No research has erupted since the trip either…

Salish sea at sunrise

Hold on, OldPlaidCamper – an almost civilized departure? What happened? Good question, and if I wasn’t relaxed after a short break away, why, I could go on a rant, asking who was the genius behind booking a ferry departing at 6:20am – yes, that’s right, 6am – requiring a wake up alarm of 5:00am – yes, you read that right, 5am. 5AM! On a vacation day. On an island with several ferries and multiple mid morning departure times. Anyway, I’m not one to rant or assign blame.

Pretty

We arrived at Long Harbour in the dark, far too early, like an over-prepared and overly cautious senior traveller with anxiety issues about missing the ferry. Not that I recognize that description. We sat in the dark, enjoying watching the sky change from a deep blue-black to a less inky and dense shade, as the predawn hint of sunrise began to show. By the time the ferry boarded, there were streaks of pink and gold showing through the mist over the water.

Calm

I won’t write too much more here, as the photographs do a pretty good job. I will admit, as you likely suspected, it was me who booked the early morning departure. It was necessary (for reasons to be revealed in a later post) and not actually a wilful effort to get as little sleep as possible on a day off. Turned out a pretty good decision (writes Captain Hindsight) as the Salish sunrise was breathtakingly pretty.

I could become a morning person

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

Malcontent

A malcontent? Me? Never!

Never! Alway hoppy and refreshed…

All is reasonably well, if you were wondering. We’re heading out and will be off the grid the next little while, so I’ve no reason for being a malcontent. I might not be able to get to WordPress, read my favourites, but will catch up upon our return. I’ll be hoppier, I mean, happier and refreshed no doubt. Buzzing, even.

Buzzing? The future has arrived. Bit late, but cool…

Buzzing? What was that sound up and down the bay the past few days? It was the coast guards in their retro-futurist hovercraft, doing some essential maintenance in and around the channel. Goodness, it was noisy when it was drifting past the office. I had to come outside, look for what I thought was a low flying helicopter, when it turned out to be a slow speeding hovercraft. Once it got past the restricted part of the channel, it revved up and took off at quite a pace. Fun toy. Oops, I mean fun essential work vessel.

Fun toy!

Sunshine will be changing to rain by the time this is posted. Lots of rain, long overdue – I had to rescue our tomatoes before the storm. Two tomatoes last season, hard to top those numbers, but we’ve had a much better crop this year if you look at the photo. Almost a glut, I’d say.

A glut

Right, I’d better go pack, add the rain gear and, optimistic and hoppy as always, sunglasses. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Warm and fuzzy

Am I, though?

I do try to be, but as I’m not a morning person, it’s a challenge. I’m not an afternoon, evening or night person either. Might as well throw in I’m not always a people person – odd, for an educator? – and warm and fuzzy isn’t too accurate.

Warm and fuzzy? Check!

However, it isn’t always all about me – stamps foot, throws tantrum – I was referring to the weather earlier this week when we went down to the beach, and the fact that I should have cleaned the lens before taking any photographs. It was misty, but not that misty…

Not that misty…

September already? Time has done what time does, stretching and shrinking, making me look back and think, gee, summer was really long this year, or, goodness, summer simply raced by! Either way, it is almost over, and we’re definitely leaning into a fall feel, with chilly and foggy mornings giving way to pleasantly warm but not hot afternoons.

Pleasantly warm

On our beach evening, September 1st, we set off in sunshine, but by the time we arrived the fog had rolled onto the shore, and we wondered if we’d mistimed our visit, at least for sitting in some warmish sun? No no, not to worry, less than ten minutes passed, the fog drifted off and the sun reappeared. Hello fall. Goodbye summer. Hello fall. Oh, hello summer again, wait your turn, fall. Hmm. Was I really sitting on a log talking to the seasons? Warm and fuzzy? Or somewhat strange? Looks like I’m a season person.

Make your mind up…

Right, I’m off to clean the lens and talk to some clouds. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful (long) weekend!

Waves

It’s been pretty full on this week, busily wrapping up summer learning programs, then switching gears and attention to the swiftly approaching school start up. Why, the work is coming in waves…

Incoming

Waves, you say? Oh look, below this paragraph is a clip of some waves! Yes, we see what you did there, PlaidCamper, well done. Thank you. The snippet of video was taken on our visit to South Beach a little while back. I’d tried and failed to capture the broad sweeping expanse in a photograph, the wonderful bowl of sand, ocean, sky, trees and distant mountains we could see from where we were sitting. I simply couldn’t capture it in a single snap, so shot the video instead.

Waves in sound and vision…

Having played it back a few times, I found I really liked how it captured the sound of the ocean, the steady roar of the sea. The waves were moderate, but the wind was quite calm – usually, all I hear when I take a video is the rustle or roar of the wind, and me clumsily clonking the microphone. On this clip the wave sounds are quite clear.

In other news, temperatures here took a tumble as the week went on, and we’ve even had some welcome rain, another sign the season is about to change. I’ve seen a couple of big bears along the grass verges the past few days. They look healthy and very intent on packing on some extra pounds before winter. I drove past a very impressive pile of purple bear scat yesterday, so the bears must be doing ok on the berry front. I decided against taking a picture. Or a video. I mean, as if I’d even think of doing that…

Seasonal delight

So there you are, a brief post this week including a brief clip of waves in sound and vision. And not including a photograph of purple bear poop. That could’ve been a good one. It was for the bear.

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

Shimmer and haze

We went to South Beach midweek, taking our trip late afternoon/early evening and aiming to avoid too many people and have some quiet moments.

Quiet

It’s great when a plan works out! Only a handful of vehicles were in the parking lot, the sun was high enough to provide warmth, and the worst of the wildfire smoke had dissipated.

On the fringe

The beach was quiet, and we found a convenient log close to the forest fringe to settle down and watch the water. Shimmer on the water, a haze in the distance, fresh air and no chill to the light breeze – it was pretty much a perfect evening, and felt like a mini-vacation.

Some haze

Summer seems to have raced by, and the hints of fall being not too far ahead are growing. Dry yellow leaves along pathways and verges, ripe salal and blackberries, and the shock of seeing the sun set long before 9pm – yikes, we’d best make the most of the fast fading warm days…

Fading

That’s some good advice about making the most of the remaining summer days – looks sunny and warm here the next couple of days, so off I go! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Cool

Why thank you, but no, this isn’t about me.

We find ourselves in the midst of another heatwave, perhaps not as hot as the one earlier this summer, but still pretty warm for this little corner of the PNW.

Pretty

As a soothing balm to counter the sultry heat, I thought I’d post a few pictures from last weekend, when we wandered down Long Beach, and wondered where the promised sunshine might be?

Just over there?

We set out early, aiming to avoid the later in the day crowds, and the beach was quiet. Cool. So was the temperature, and we were happy to have sweaters and a second cup of coffee to take the edge off.

Helpful

Scout enjoyed the wide stretch of sand, running in crazed circles and digging many holes. Yeah, she digs the beach. Cool.

Yup, I’m cool

From our log perch, we saw small flocks of sandpipers working their way along the shore, the sudden flashes of white in banked flight brightening the day. Seeing sandpipers always brightens our day. We think they’re cool.

Brighter? Different day, different location, still cool..

It probably isn’t too cool to keep repeating cool, so I’ll leave it here for this week, a brief post, playing it coo- oh. Oops. Not cool.

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

Ready meal

A dead seal has provided plenty of nutrition to any number of birds this week.

“When is it my turn?”

We heard a commotion when a gathering of eagles started to make some noise just outside our learning space last Friday. Looking out over the tidal zone, we could see they were doing a dance around the dead seal. Well, not so much a dance, more they were setting the ground rules – or the table? – about who was going to eat first. It seemed the answer to that was whichever eagle could get away with it.

“Nope. I can’t watch you eating that…”

Oddly, the carcass was still there the following Monday. A bit more chewed up, but it hadn’t been dragged off, floated off or disappeared. It seemed anchored, and when the tide was low, eagles flew in, landed nearby, and waddled over to grab a tasty morsel or two. All the while, other eagles were in the vicinity, as well as gulls and a pair of kingfishers. On Tuesday, I saw a kingfisher dive down, snag a chunk and fly away, chased by another kingfisher determined to steal the goods. They flew in and out of the dock pilings, and back and forth over the water, a fine spectacle of chase and evade until they flew out of sight. I don’t know who came out the winner in that game…

Hanging in, and not handing anything over

It was quite some sight watching an eagle balancing on the body as the tide came up. It kept on eating as long as possible, until the seal was virtually submerged. A latecomer observing the scene would have been forgiven for thinking the eagle could walk on water. The eagle didn’t stick around, flying off before it got wet feathers.

“Quick! It’s our turn!”

The children and youth have been fascinated by the whole show, enjoying the comings and goings down by the shore. I missed when a bear came through, but was surprised to hear it didn’t take any interest in the dead seal. I’d assumed it would? Better pickings elsewhere, a well fed bear, or maybe it didn’t fancy taking on the feathered competition…

“Move along, young ones – it’s my turn!”

Anyway, I’ll leave it there for this week. If there are enough leftovers in the next few days, and I manage to get a shot or two, I’ll serve up a small dessert next time. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

On the rocks

Scout was one determined dog last weekend. We went to the beach early – early enough to leave the first dog and person prints in the sand, and before the (are you sure your travel is essential?) out of province visitors started to fill the parking lot.

First dog, no prints, and fresh sand – let’s go!

With Scout in charge, it was a case of whatever she’s having, it’ll be on the rocks. The refuel stop for a coffee top up, water and kibble was just barely tolerated. Yup, sticks, logs, and odour laden washed up ocean mysteries were all well and good, but they weren’t on the rocks. So on we went!

From Scout’s happy place

Eventually we arrived at her happy place, and after choosing the most slippery route – for humans – to the top, Scout relented and let us rest. While we recovered from the frogmarch (or dogmarch?) down the beach, Scout took up a high position to scout for threats. We observed a few gulls and a pair of passing bald eagles, but nothing to threaten our place on the rocks.

Watchful

With the sun starting to feel pretty strong, we eventually persuaded Scout it was time to make tracks for the car. She excitedly picked up the scent and tracks of two slow humans and one smart husky/shepherd/tyrant cross, and away we went, off the rocks and back to the car.

Looking back

When we got home, Sergeant Major Scout trampled a few circles into her cushion and promptly crashed out for three hours. Make hers a double. Probably overdid it on the rocks there, Scout.

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

I’m not tired…

Spring greens…

…and blues! The colour, not the downer. It’s been a good week for feeling positive, as we’ve enjoyed above seasonal temperatures, warm sunshine, and the opportunity to get a first shot vaccination for all eligible Ucluelet residents.

A shot of green and blue

Often, we’ll be wandering through the fringes of coastal rainforest, admiring the fresh greens and wallowing in the damp environment, but any photographs taken haven’t really shown what I’m seeing. Perhaps it’s my tired old eyes?

Fresh greens

Last weekend, the sun was just right, as was our timing, and I managed to snap a few pictures that more or less show the greens as we see them. Or think we see them. And the blue of the ocean just beyond.

Greenery and, erm, bluery?

We walked and walked last weekend, mostly on paths straight from our door rather than heading to beaches requiring a car trip. With a bit of planning, we were able to avoid the (what are you doing here with non essential travel restrictions?) visitors and find quiet spots to pause and think along the way.

Another good colour here

All being well, the bright weather is set to remain with us for the next few days, through the coming weekend and maybe longer. More bright blues and greens to enjoy! Ah, spring! Boing! (That’s for any Zebedee fans…Zebedee? Huh? Feel free to ask or comment below!)

A brief, bright and bouncy piece this week, as we leave it there and head outside. Boing! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!