Storm’s a brewin’

I’ll stop writing about our forever storm season when we run out of forever, or storms, or both. (Huh? That last sentence doesn’t really hold up to rigorous scrutiny. Still, why pick on that sentence? There are many others, equally guilty…)

Failure to capture the full droplet photo

I’m exaggerating about forever storms – if you stick around to the end of this piece, you’ll see it’s not all storms and floods. Just mostly, or so it seems.

Raining, but less so

We went to clamber over some rocks and splash along the coastal trails last weekend. It hadn’t exactly stopped raining, but it felt like a lull, so off we went, in rain gear and high spirits. Well, most of us had rain gear and high spirits – one four legged friend has never liked to wear anything extra, rain or snow, and is understandably reluctant walking in very heavy rain, but after the first minute or so, switched from disbelief at going beyond the house boundaries to active enthusiasm.

“I think I see the next storm out there!”

It was good to stretch our legs, and inhale huge lungfuls of fresh sea air. Birds were buffeted by winds, but seemed to be enjoying it, and we had the trails to ourselves. Who would go out knowing a storm’s a brewin’? We would, knowing there’s a storm’s a brewin’ at home, a well earned reward and winter warmer. A new one from Ucluelet Brewing Company, and a real winner!

Very good, even if the thought of a latte stout is off putting.

After another week of rain and flooded roads – admittedly not as bad as last week on the roads – it was a relief to wake up yesterday to a chilly dawn, calm water, clear skies, and all followed by a day of wall to wall sunshine. The sun might be dropping early these days, but at least we got to see it on Thursday!

Storms? Where?

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

Dawn patrol

I do love this time of year, if only because dawn is so much later in the day. I can pretend a false virtuousness at being up and out, working hard before sun up. Dawn patrol? Yeah, right. Anyway, when you’re heading out in the dark, you don’t quite know what is out there. We’ve had another week of mostly rain, to the point that on Thursday we had a minor dawn patrol adventure on the Hitacu-Ucluelet road…

Way past dawn, and a lovely sunny morning

There is a section signposted “road subject to flooding” and each time it rains I always look at the ditch, oftentimes close to overflowing, and think, yup, but not today. Yesterday? Yup, it was that day. There were a few stretches of standing water, deep, but you could still see the centreline under the water and tell yourself an old Jeep can handle it. So it proved, and I ignored the inner teenage voice saying “cool” as the water sprayed over the car. I bet it looked like a Jeep TV commercial. Is what a teenager would say. I’m far too mature to be thinking that, and anyway, why would they film it in the dark?

Early(ish)

There was a nerve jangling stretch where the water was not standing but flowing across the road. Not a torrent, but not a puddle either. It’s a Jeep, we can do it, is what I heard. Ever ready to take advice from my inner teenaged self, we crossed that section, and no floating away. Cool.

Late(ish)

That was before full dawn, when it was quite dark and I couldn’t really see how bad the water was. A few hours later, under orders to return home before the road closed, and after a great deal more rain, it wasn’t quite as cool. The teenager decided to keep quiet, and we enjoyed a somewhat nerve shredding drive, arriving with dry feet – phew – and a notion to pay closer attention to overnight rainfall amounts before setting out on pre-dawn patrol.

The photographs this week were taken last week, some on a rare sunny morning not too long after sun up, and some later the same day. Ah, sunshine, we remember you. Sunshine, you say? Hoping to see a little of that today before the next wave of wet weather arrives tomorrow. At least it’s the weekend, we’re not working, and perhaps taking a later and different dawn patrol:

You can’t see the full label, but this is the latest batch of Dawn Patrol coffee porter – yum, but probably best enjoyed nearer to sundown than sun up? “It’s dawn somewhere, OldPlaidCamper!” Good point.

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

After the storm

Well, I know I said I’d get down to the water, see if I could get a photograph or two of big waves at the tail end of the storm, but it just didn’t work out. There’ll be other opportunities through the fall and winter, so let’s look forward to that!

Tail end rain

Chatting with friends and colleagues, the general consensus seems to be that for all the pre-storm hullabaloo, it actually wasn’t that mighty. Did the wind howl? Yes it did! Was the rain heavy? Sure was! Did we lose power? Yup, for about ten seconds! All in all though, it felt like our little corner of the PNW didn’t get as bad a pounding as all that. Hopefully, other communities up and down the coast fared ok as well…

Run of the mill, and so was the storm

After the storm? It was quite the contrast, with a calm inner harbour, barely a breeze, and on one afternoon around midweek, Scout and I sat in almost sunshine. We could feel the hint of warmth radiating through the low clouds after the last of the heavy rain. We sat on our favourite wooden platform, a quiet little space overlooking the inner harbour, watching and listening to a belted kingfisher scold everything. Those kingfishers! So not completely calm then.

Calm

The next few days are predicted to be dry and sunny, Friday through Sunday, with the possibility of afternoon temperatures hitting 14C. Balmy! We’ll enjoy that, and likely find ourselves on the beaches and trails, making the most of it before the next storm hits!

Inner harbour, also calm

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

More rain? No…

Thanksgiving, a road trip tale, and a cry for pie

Roasted butternut squash with sage (from the “garden”), something with mushrooms, and apple not pumpkin, please not pumpkin, pie, all washed down with a small glass of beer. Or two.

Yup, it’s a long weekend ahead, and for us, a chance to reflect, acknowledge and give thanks for our great good fortune to be living where we are.

Happy to be here

Our recent stop on Salt Spring was the calm start to a rushed road trip. We drove to Calgary and back in a matter of days. Why?! We wanted to see Junior – she has started a new education journey in Calgary, taking in psychology and linguistics amongst other things, and having not been in the same room with her for over a year, were excited about that. We also had some boring old “you have to be here in person to sign off” paperwork that allegedly couldn’t be done through any digital trickery. So off we went, ahead of the snow, but not ahead of every single road construction project in BC and AB. Actually, every single construction project in western Canada. No, North America. No, the world. The solar system. The universe. Since the dawn of time.

Destination Calgary!

Anyway, there were a few hold ups along the way, but as it is thanksgiving, let’s put a positive spin on that, and say, isn’t western Canada beautiful? It really is. All the extra time spent staring at the same group of trees was great. Once we got our heads around this was going to happen frequently, it wasn’t so bad. Apart from the last straw, the new construction that meant the Trans Canada was closed from Golden to Banff. A two hours and some detour in the dark at the end of a long driving day was quite the bonus. Good thing I am a happy traveller.

The same patch of trees? Maybe…

All the stuff I wrote in the past couple of posts about disconnection and getting off the grid etc? I even managed that in Calgary! That’s what happens when you visit your daughter on the 22nd floor and admire the view from the balcony. I reeled back after taking the photo below, sitting down and placing my phone behind me. Placing it over the wide gap between the balcony floor and the wall. Then watching my phone fall through the gap. Yup, that’ll disconnect you.

Getting high. 22 floors up

Anyway, thankfully, my phone did not break – did I mention 22 floors up? – and isn’t that amazing? It didn’t drop all the way down, but landed on the balcony beneath. The resident below was on vacation, and the building managers couldn’t gain access without permission and notification, so the phone wasn’t recovered until after we set off for home. I’m happily reunited with it, although somewhat sadly despondent that when I didn’t have it, it was revealed just how reliant upon it I’ve become. I did manage without, but not so well. Yikes…

High harvest. Thanksgiving cheers!

We were very happy to see Junior, and catch up in person. We’re hopeful she’ll be in one place for a little while (don’t know where she gets the moving about bug from…) and we even anticipate a winter break visit from her out to the island. Don’t tell her about the rain.

I’ll leave it there, that’s enough heartwarming and exciting thanksgiving/road trip tales for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! But no pumpkin pie – please, not that…

Mystery Island

We’re not quite home and fully connected yet, but here’s an indication of where we were last week (and how we kept busy!)

A short break

I’ll post a slightly longer piece (that shouldn’t be difficult) next week, unpack our trip, after unpacking from our trip.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

A view from Salt Spring

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!

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!

Misty morning strut

A new way to keep fit, PlaidCamper style, or perhaps a new song by the Stones?

Misty morning strut

Nope, just what I saw on the shore one morning earlier this week. It’s been a week of misty mornings followed by sunny afternoons before the fog rolls in for the evening. A fairly reliable pattern for August – I mean Fogust – and very enjoyable too.

Chilled

The fog has added a much needed sense of calm, or it does if I look at the water rather than the full to bursting parking lots. What’s with camping in your car when the lot signs clearly state no camping? Maybe I’m getting too old and too conformist. Can’t be too comfortable, trying to sleep in a vehicle not designed for it. I feel a rant coming on, and that’s not calming, so maybe we’ll keep it brief this week?

Lovely

Here’s another misty one, lovely to look at and maintain some calm, seen on my misty morning strut around the harbours this week.

Calm

Yup, definitely a brief one this week – off I strut, thinking calm thoughts… Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Hazy and calm

Smoking…

…hot! That was the west coast earlier this week. It was bad, but other places had it worse.

Before the heat

Temperatures in parts of BC were hotter than Vegas – ever! – and hotter than Miami and Houston – ever! Beyond the usual assumptions about ice and snow, Western Canada does get very warm in the summer, but the west coast of Vancouver Island isn’t one of those places. The heat was ridiculous, and very uncomfortably so. Even the breeze, when it got up, was too hot – a blast of heated air flowing into our home, through each room and out the front door and windows, to no good effect. Nothing worked to cool us down, and for over three days, it grew hotter and hotter. Finally, on Monday evening, at the same time the sun dropped below the tree line and the tide turned down on the inlet, a cool breeze started. Within a few minutes, word had gotten out, and people were gathering on balconies to enjoy the cool air and decreasing temperatures. What a blessed relief!

Too hot, no breeze, can’t stop to enjoy the view

On Tuesday, I stopped by a friend’s house to compare heat stories, and he told me about a bear that had been nosing about his smokehouse just up from the shore. It hasn’t been used in a while, but he thought perhaps the bear fancied the shade, even if there was nothing to eat? A bear in a smokehouse? I asked. Bears smoke? I left soon after, promising to come back when I was more sensible and less senseless due to heatstroke…

Sensible measures

As I drove home, a minute along the way, a bear wandered onto the road from my friend’s house, ambling from one side to the other, smiling and taking its own sweet time to stroll into the shade of the trees. Was this the smoking bear? It looked pretty contented. Maybe it was the nicotine? C’mon, bear, you know better than that.

The first cool morning after the heat

Anyway, a smoking hot few days has given way to more reasonable warm days, with temperatures we’d have considered pretty high until the events of last week. We’ll be back out and about on longer hikes with Scout, who is very happy that normal(ish) weather has resumed. She’s definitely a non-smoker. Sensible dog!

Yesterday morning – cool air and fog – just right!

My brain is too cooked to be able to get into it about climate change. Even after this week, with stories of wildfires ripping through communities, and an increase in unexpected deaths due to the heat, there are still some in denial. It was unpleasant where we are, but we were lucky, most likely due to our coastal location and lower temperature starting point. Long past time to acknowledge and act collectively to reduce the warming. Hey ho, let’s leave it there…

Thanks for reading, I hope you stay cool wherever you are, and have a wonderful weekend!

Abandoned

Abandoned was the word that came to mind when I saw this little boat sitting all alone on the mudflats. Is this the prompt for a “feeling sorry for himself” PlaidCamper rant? A quiet one, of course, being an introvert and all that…

All alone, but not actually abandoned

No! Keep reading if you’re still here, there’s no rant or feeling sorry for oneself. Or do stop reading if you were hoping for a rambling rant. We’ve enjoyed another calm week, not too fast, not too slow, and certainly not too many people, even though travel restrictions are starting to lift. Our lifeboat isn’t crowded.

Last Sunday we wandered down to our favourite little shell beach, and although the tide was high, it was calm and there was dry space enough to make it worth the clamber down to sit for an hour, enjoy the quiet.

A touch woody? I’d rather share your pastry…

We heard bald eagles in the trees above and behind us, and peered and craned to catch a glimpse, but they were out of sight. Well alright, it was enough to know they were there, so we settled back against a log and poured the all important second cup of caffeine. Maybe there was a pastry to go with it, or most of a pastry after Scout tried to snag her share.

Any of those pastries left?

Later in the day we went down to the outer harbour, to look at the boats and do some more sitting. We’re getting quite accomplished at it, and the lapping of small waves against the dock, and waving to the small craft sailors made for a pleasant late afternoon. We couldn’t sit there into the evening, although that would have been good. No, we had an important appointment to keep.

Keeping busy…

Sunday evening appointments? Sounds unnecessarily busy PlaidCamper – what was it? Good question, and I’m glad you asked! We had to meet up with the new cans of Ucluelet Brewing Company Kolsch. Yes, on a Sunday, but not a school night due to a few days off. I wouldn’t abandon my no drinking on a school night principle. Actually, I would, but didn’t this time.

…but not too busy. An abandoned principle? No!

I’ll leave you now, keeping with the non-existent abandoned theme, and wish you a wonderful weekend ahead!