Searching

For Spring! Have you seen it? I like to imagine Spring is wandering around, looking for a place to settle, but has been unable to decide…

Is this Spring sneaking in?

…and perhaps Spring has overlooked or possibly forgotten to pay a visit to the island? Overly fanciful? All I know for sure is seasonal norms for spring temperatures here have yet to be reached. Spring is lost, I tell you!

A hint at least

Scout and I have tried very hard to find Spring this past week. There have been rumours of warmer weather and spells of prolonged sunshine, but it turned out they were mostly just that – hints and rumours.

We looked from the top of Marine, but couldn’t see Spring, or not much more than a hint…

We went all the way to Sproat Lake the other day, into the interior where it’s always warmer than the coast. What a joy to see the outside readings on the Jeep temperature gauge fall from a “balmy” plus 5 on the coast to a practically frigid plus 2/3 at the lake. Spring was not lurking by the lake. Hmm.

Chilly at the lake

To be fair, spring signs are everywhere – the birds are busily vocal, the undergrowth and trees are greening up nicely, and there’s been plenty of blossom and such. Just no warmth, no opportunity to sit in the early evening sun and enjoy a beer. Maybe May will be the month for that?! C’mon, Spring, come and find us, if only for a day or two. Or three.

Lakeside blossom, very pretty, but it wasn’t warm

Before I sign off, I understand Scout took control of the blog last time out and she was a touch judgmental about my range of beer choices? I’d be more than happy for her to go into the store and make her own selections, but she’s not an (official) emotional support dog so that can’t happen. Sadly, she’d just choose any old lager and then be disappointed about the relative lack of froth – the part she likes best. I won’t succumb to beer pressure and make bad choices Scout, let me be clear about that!

No, I will not succumb to- oh… (Don’t tell Scout, but I quite liked this!)
“It’s too cold to sit out, and I am not touching that – where’s the froth?”
“But thank you for choosing something different!”

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

Trail tails

Scout here. Old PlaidCamper is asleep right now, nodded off in his chair. I think he’s finding the pace all a bit much, between unpacking boxes and getting out on the trails. I go slow most of the time, but even so, he will insist on stopping “to take a picture” – we both know that means he needs a break.

He needed a rest

Anyway, while he’s asleep – he makes this weird yipping sound and twitches sometimes, like he’s chasing rabbits? – I thought I’d use this time to do a post about me, put a paws on the usual “man goes for walk with dog then has beer after” – he always chooses a pale ale or stout, have you noticed?

Although, when it’s this good, can you blame him? Yes, sometimes he lets me have some of the froth…

I’ll sit outside the beer store smiling at passersby, and eventually, after an hour or two, out he comes looking pleased with himself, and showing me what he’s chosen. Oh, a pale ale? And a stout? Brave choice old boy. I wag my tail, pretend I care.

Scenery
Probably going to the beer store after this

He’s still asleep, so how about another photo of me? This week, I’ve had to drag him away from the boxes. He gets stuff out, puts it somewhere, moves it somewhere else, shakes his head, and then puts it back into a different box. Odd behaviour… I help him realize he’s being boring, and manage to nudge him outside for a little while, encourage him to scamper about a bit. It does him good. More importantly, here’s me, keeping busy:

Now this is real work, keeping trails tidy

I think he’s waking up, and it’s probably what he calls beer o’clock. So funny, never heard that one before. Just enough time for one more picture of me? I think so. And here I am, looking away from the camera ‘cos he thinks I don’t know when he’s about to take my shot – perhaps I’m camera shy?

Not looking at the camera, not looking, still looking away – oh, I like this one!

Thanks for reading. I expect “normal” service will resume next time, so that’ll mean something about going for a walk and having a beer. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

He took my picture, didn’t he?

It was Spring…

…until it wasn’t!

We took a quick trip to Victoria last weekend, and for the first time in a long cold spell, it felt like Spring. The wind was gusting, but we found a sheltered spot outside a coffee shop, and it was very pleasant to be sitting in warm sunshine contemplating the late turn in the season.

Spring!

The next morning was grey, with a hint of rain in the air. That hint was misleading, because by the time we were heading back on the Malahat Highway, the rain had turned to snow, and snow was our intermittent companion all the way home.

Spring?!

Monday promised a touch of Spring. Without knowing it, I captured a stunning image of a hummingbird – I think the image below speaks for itself, and certainly shows how attentive I can be to the local wildlife.

Hummingbird – or smudge on lens?

Did Spring stick around, with a slow yet steady increase in temperatures? No. More snow, rain, hail, sleet, and fifteen seconds of sunshine has been the week since Monday morning. Very happy we won’t have to worry about melting Easter eggs this coming weekend…

Spring arrivals

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

Here’s to warmer, hoppier days ahead…

Scampering

A very brief post this week, as we continue to be enthusiastic about unpacking the boxes we spent the past two weeks packing. An invisible modern life problem to be sure, but goodness, where did all this stuff come from?

More boxes? Hmm.

Anyway, one of the many delights of our new neighbourhood is that Scout and I can scamper along the beach for our morning walks. Yes, if you’re up early and out there, you’ll catch a glimpse of a scampering PlaidCamper, gambolling in the surf and chasing sticks. Honestly, how does Scout keep up with me?

We gambol here. Or do we scamper? Hmm.

Right, time to shake off the sand, a quick towel down, and it’s back to the boxes…

What boxes? Easily distracted. Hmm.

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

“Has he gone yet? I need some rest…”

Green

And maybe a little blue – the colour, not my mood…

Early morning lake – a little blue

I was sat in my car the other day, enjoying the rain, having timed the top of the hour construction traffic opening to perfection. After waiting for thirty five minutes, I congratulated myself on being early and adjusted expectations accordingly.

Enjoying the rain

At least the views were good, and I found myself thinking about the survival show “Alone” I’ve been watching the last few weeks. As in most things, I’m about seven seasons behind, and knew nothing about the show, so imagine my pleasant surprise when I discovered that the first two seasons (possibly others, I’ve yet to find out) were filmed just up the island! Very exciting, and it added a little extra something to my viewing, being so familiar with the landscapes, if not the challenges, the participants faced.

“Straight ahead, then turn right, paddle a day or so, and after that you’re on your own!”

Not every participant enjoyed the density of the coastal forest they found themselves alone in. I’ve never been truly alone in the forest, or as deliberately lightly (for want of a better word) equipped as they were. I’ve always found the forest to be beautiful, slightly intimidating, but not downright frightening, although it is a dangerous place, as most places can be with or without proper preparation.

Green

Anyway, I was sitting in the car, staring (in a moody yet cinematic way) at the wall of green to my left and wondering how long I could survive alone in that particular forest? The answer? Not long enough to win. I think maybe a week or two, if I avoided injuries, and convinced myself to eat enough fish, crabs, and seaweed to supplement the squashed mouse diet. Even though I’m a confirmed introvert through and through, I could not be by myself for the fifty something days I think the first winner completed.

Fifty something days? No problem! Without beer, you say? Wait a minute…

As the top of the hour came and went, and the traffic didn’t move forward, I began to wonder, peering through the rain soaked windshield, “Is there anybody in the vehicle in front, and the ones behind?” “Am I alone out here?” “Is this the start of an elaborate reality TV show that Mrs PC signed me up for and she forgot to tell me?” “I’m getting hungry – is that a mouse?”

Green and blue

And then the lights on the car in front came on, and it inched forward, the gate having reopened at the same time the door closed on a budding reality TV career. Fifty something + days? Yeah, I could do that…

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Spring breeze

Sounds like a drink that comes with a little umbrella in it, or maybe a perfume? And that’s why I don’t work in advertising…

Barely sunny – bring an umbrella

Anyway, it’s been breezy and rainy, and barely sunny the last few days. The umbrella would have been a proper umbrella, not a decoration, although the “breezes” we experience here mostly turn umbrellas inside out. Best to stick with a hat or a buzz cut.

A great capture of trees swaying in the breeze. Well done, PlaidCamper.

We’re putting the finishing touches to our house move, and that should be happening by the end of this month. Or next month. Or a month. At least we’ll be fully boxed up and packed.

“More packing? Count me out!”

Thankfully, it has been quieter for me on the work front this week, with students on Spring Break, and only a short literacy/numeracy camp last week with a small but enthusiastic group of young learners. I’ve had time to sit and think, and make use of my new outside office.

What rain? Look at that workstation – tidy! Successful planning happens here.

I like to sit and think – work thoughts, of course – and if the spring breeze blows away the paperwork, well, that’s a bonus!

Brief again this week – there are boxes to fill and surely we have some of those little umbrellas somewhere…

Nope, no umbrellas, but a decent IPA

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

Change

Keeping this one brief – we’ve a few changes ahead, and we’re busy preparing!

Ready for anything!

Definitely seeing the change of season. It hasn’t been too warm or sunny the past week, far from it, but it’s been nice to see some early blossom.

Spring?

In a change to the usual, here I am going against my own fashion grain:

It’s not always plaid!

The big change for us is an impending change of location out here on the coast, moving from our little apartment to a little home nestled in the trees. We’ll be able to hear the ocean from our bedroom window. We can now, but only on the big storm days.

Here it comes!
View from the bedroom balcony

All this change is exciting, but it’s also exhausting…

Slow it down, won’t you?!

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

Ocean Blue Monday

Not too bad, not feeling too blue, we sat and enjoyed the blue ocean view from a variety of spots around town last Monday.

Not too bad, quite blue, ocean side

It was a sunny one, not too chilly, and we wandered from one place to another, basking in the extra day off for a long weekend, and slowing down. That meant from not too quick to almost at a crawl. It felt good, sun on our faces, bald eagles singing, a relatively calm ocean, and some time on our hands to enjoy it all.

Bright blue, inlet side

I don’t always enjoy the long weekends, it sometimes feels like there is an extra pressure (all in my own head, no doubt) to “make the most” of the extra holiday. I like most days, in my own way, most of the time, so no need to add any extra significance or burden.

Pretty good

Anyway, an extra day, why not go crazy, and have an extra beer? We did, a couple of new ones, from quite local to very local. Both winners, and the red ale edges it if only for being a bit different to my usual fare. A good way to round off a not too blue Monday…

Very good

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

Not too blue at all!

Brighter

Slightly lighter each morning, and with a hint of spring in the air – some days – it feels as if a corner is being turned…

Lighter

It’s been great to inch towards a more normal feel for everyday work life. Students are now able to attend after school learning support. They’re trickling in, and if not exactly excited by the thought of homework, then at least excited to see more of their peers in community. And, maybe, you know, the extra learning?

Tough homework task…

As we get back on track, we’re rediscovering the joys of what we might have taken a little bit for granted, pre-virus. A short stroll to the beach outside the office is all the more interesting when you’ve got young ones thrilled to be making marine discoveries with their friends.

Lighter, later

Hopefully, as the days continue to lengthen, and bears appear and buds emerge, we’ll remain on this cautiously optimistic path back to everyday delights. Brighter? Goodness, yes, I’ll raise a glass to that!

I thought it was rail-ly good. (Ouch. Sorry…)

Keeping it brief, with a long weekend to look forward to. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Snow Day!

I’d forgotten how satisfying the squeak and scrunch of clean snow under your shoes can feel!

We went up to Mount Washington last weekend, hoping for some snow deep enough to justify all the time it took to dig out our snowshoes. We weren’t disappointed! All the worryingly warm rain fell away as we turned onto the road winding up the mountain. We thought it would be a sludgy and wet experience, but as we climbed we emerged from a layer of rain and fog into clear skies and bright sunshine. Imagine our alpine delight!

Snow!

We spent an enormously enjoyable few hours exploring the various trails, wandering between tall trees and crossing open spaces. One trail followed a small creek, and it bubbled and gurgled along beneath us as we bubbled and gurgled along the banks.

We stopped for an all important mid morning snack, some Dutch dark chocolate since you were wondering, easing ourselves down into a little hollow, pushing the snow into comfortable back rest. It was so quiet! I’d also forgotten how peaceful a snowscape can be on a calm and sunny day. Living by the ocean is wonderful, but between the wind, storms, waves, barking sea lions and all, it isn’t quiet. The contrast was noticeable, and we remarked upon it, thus spoiling the silence…

Shhh…

Later, as a reward for facing the trials of the trail, we sampled a beer or two in the Gladstone Beer Company taproom. Can we recommend their porter and their Pilsner? Yes, we can!

Yes we can!

All in all, a fine alpine day – crisp snow, new trails, new beer, all making for a new favourite trip. I wonder if it is snowing up there this coming weekend?

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