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!

February already?! How time flies when…

Goodness, the weeks are racing by, particularly now we’ve been able to return to in person work, head across the bay and get the work year going – a happy new, new year?

Yesterday, looking across the bay

We’ve been busy the past few days, catching up with friends and colleagues, and getting on with stalled projects. In amongst all the fun and being busy, we arrived at our 25th wedding anniversary – another goodness, where has the time gone?!

25? Goodness!

We’re off to the mountains this weekend, a little celebration and a chance to play in the snow. (Please let there be good snow…)

Old photo – let there be this much snow!

A brief post this week as we turn our little place upside down trying to find snow gear we haven’t made much use of the past few years. I was going to write something about the ups and downs of mountain slopes and the ups and downs of a (happy) relationship, but that’s a slippery slope and I’m likely to fall down…

Slippery slopes

Instead, I’ll head off now, to some real slippery slopes, to go and fall over and get up again as we rediscover our snow feet and aim to enjoy an alpine weekend.

More to follow. More of what? Well, of course I mean another 25 years happy years! Oh, ok, and perhaps an island snow post next week.

“I’ve always got my snow feet!”

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

Axe throwing? Why not?!

What could possibly go wrong?

It was cold, getting dark, too dark for the planned archery (and by planned, I mean the archery gear was in the truck, but by the time we set up a target, we couldn’t really see it…)

Earlier – a day that got better and better

Plan B! Too dark for archery? How about axe throwing? Keep moving in until you can see the target. That’s safe. Enough. No one was hurt, although I did draw blood. Turns out no matter how close I stand to the (really rather large) wooden target, at least one of my attempts at burying the hatchet will miss, and go flying into the undergrowth. The tangle of thorny undergrowth. So, yeah, I drew blood after pulling out a sharp thorn from my finger. I didn’t cry.

Light enough for archery? Yes, if we’re quick about it…

It was an almost planned meeting of young warriors, the first since the latest pandemic restrictions, and optimistically convened following a flurry of phone calls and texts earlier in the sunny afternoon. A (fool)hardy few gathered around a fire pit overlooking the bay just as it was getting dark. Too many mentors and not enough students meant the fire took quite some time to light – it was a chilly evening, so fire first – sharp objects and play (I mean safety learning and setting up a range) second. With all the expertise delaying the fire, by the time it was lit and we were warming up it was too dark to loose arrows safely.

Too slow! There’s a target?!

So no archery, mission not accomplished, and we didn’t care, because it was so good to see friends and familiar faces for real and not on Zoom etc. There’s nothing like a group of awkward men meeting up after a number of months and discovering the pandemic hasn’t eased the awkwardness. Nothing like a pandemic to improve communication skills. Anyway, you can’t just stand around (not) saying how much we’d missed each other, that’s for your inner voice or a blog. Hence the axe throwing. Doing something slightly silly and feeling less awkward? That’ll work. It was wonderful!

It’s good to be out

We’re hopeful more of the pandemic precautions will ease as it becomes prudent to do so, and as they do, I’m very much looking forward to getting back to working with mentors and youth on life affirming projects – and picking up a few more scratches and bumps along the way. With very early hints of spring here on the coast, it is time to get back outside – playtime!

“Playtime? I’m ready!”

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

A little fuzzy

Not warm and fuzzy, perhaps more like the day after your birthday, and you find yourself a little closer to early middle age than you might like…so let’s say grey and fuzzy…

Slightly fuzzy beyond

Scout and I were wandering once more, taking advantage of a small window in the rainy weather a few days ago, and we were quite enjoying the soothing effects of mist and light rainy suspension on a brow that might have needed it. Scout will overdo every now and then.

Yum! Robust, like a PlaidCamper the following day

It was all a bit of a blur, most likely the adjustment to new contact lenses, you know how it is, or the atmospheric tricks of light sometimes at play between bouts of heavy weather. That’ll be it.

Atmospheric

I’m back on working from home, or if I’m out with Scout, working from phone. Please hold the line, your call is important, and you’ll be connected to the first available OldPlaidCamper once he’s ordered his thoughts and can string together a coherent sentence that doesn’t run on unnecessarily. Did you just hang up?! Well, really.

Hmm…I could work from here!

It’s been good to be able to wander aimlessly mid-week and at random times (after seeing to all the important WFH stuff, of course) with no mission, in a pleasantly fuzzy blur, and enjoying not seeing the forest for the trees on purpose. No doubt I’ll sharpen up once we are called back, but in the meantime we’ll maintain our socially distanced meanderings and check in with our neighbours, ensure all is well.

“Yeah, yeah, we’re fine! Barking? Us? No, check the other platforms…”

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

Can’t see the masts for the aerials for the forest for the trees. A run on caption? Oh dear…

Power trip

Scout and I have been visiting a new favourite place the past week or more. We’ve been there a few times over the last four or five years, but it had fallen off our radar, for no particular reason, until recently.

It’s cool here

How to find this place? Well, wander down a rainforest road, and depending on the weather, feel uncomfortably warm in the sun (rare, but it happened last week), or turn up your collar to keep the rain from dripping in, or slip and slide on ice patches. Keep going. There are little detours along the way if Scout is your guide. She insists we explore each of the last pockets of snow, and we do have to stop at various tree stumps and earth patches, sniff with intent and leave our (her) scent. Eventually, by crossing over the road at the end of the drive, and taking the trailhead, you emerge out of the forest fringe and on to black rocks overlooking the ocean.

Keep going, past these trees…

The stormier photographs included this week are from a visit we (I) hadn’t intended to make. It was blustery, with the icy rain more like pellets, stinging my delicate skin and having me thinking of taking a short cut home. Scout, however, was having none of it, and pulled me along, the sound of the roaring ocean through the trees appearing to get her attention even over the sound of the wind and rain and my gentle sobbing. We both knew she was in charge of this trip.

Chilly

It was worth it! The waves were racing in, gathering themselves up in shades of green and grey before smashing onto the rocks. Our little viewing perch nestled in the higher black rocks was blasted by icy squalls, but we were safely above the pounding, yet close enough to feel the power. What a rush – a power trip! Thanks, Scout!

What a rush

Let’s keep it short this week – wouldn’t want all this going to Scout’s head. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

“A power trip? Me?”

Seasonal norms?

We’ve had below seasonal temperatures for weeks and weeks, and above seasonal rainfall throughout the same period. Maybe when fall/winter is done and dusted, it’ll all average out and all be recorded as seasonal norms. In the meantime…

Chilly

…it’s chilly! We went to Florencia Bay on Saturday, enjoying a favourite beach late afternoon on a falling tide. There were a few cars in the parking lot, and down on the beach there were a few hardy surfers braving the water. Cold, cold water. No thanks! The air temperature was a few degrees above freezing, just warm enough to sit on a log – with jackets – and enjoy a rare sighting of the sun.

Not so chilly

Scout was delighted to be able to dig and dig, purposeful in the moment, fully attentive to the task, and then happy enough to abandon the excavations if there was an off chance of a crumb or two from one of us enjoying our coffee and cookies. Off chance of a crumb? No chance, but we always bring a milk bone or two. Scout also likes them.

Saturday was our sunny day, and Sunday was meant to be a snowy day, or snowy overnight into Monday morning at any rate. There were some disappointed students when the promised snow didn’t materialize. More rain though! We braved the elements and enjoyed the dry hour or two early afternoon along the coastal trails before the next band of cold rain appeared.

I’m predicting more rain!

We consoled ourselves about no show snow with a bottle of Spinnakers Flanders Style Red Ale – it was a little too close to a sour to be a sure fire winner, but we did finish it to be certain our conclusions were sound.

Spinnakers slightly sour seasonal offering – now it’s open, we might as well finish it…

We might not be enjoying seasonal norms, but we’re enjoying where we are, and making the most of the season, whatever it looks like! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Cool beauty?

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!

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…

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

Face off and flight

We had a house guest last weekend, and thought it went very well, not that we remember how to welcome guests in the home. I mean, who entertains at home right now? It should be said, Scout wasn’t entirely convinced. Yup, there was a face off. Fight or flight? Ooh, this sounds wild!

Face off!

Olive came to visit while her human friend had some wilderness time away. As you can see from the photographs, like all dogs, she has wolf DNA, but it was thought it would be unfair to any unsuspecting wolf out there if Olive ran into one, so she stayed with us. The picture below shows how it is safer for the wolves if they are kept apart. Ferocious!

Wolf DNA

Once we conquered our deep ancestral fear, and looked past the wolf-like nature of Olive, she proved to be a delightful houseguest. She enjoyed leaping from chair to chair, a dog in glorious flight, and then running under the table, trying to entice Scout in her wild games. Before the pandemic, I think our last houseguest was my brother, and that visit was much as I’ve described in the previous sentence. To be honest, Olive is quieter, drinks less beer, and sheds less hair…

The glorious dog flights between chairs was funny, but we put a stop to it, because, well, house rules. If my brother isn’t allowed, then neither is Olive. Or Scout, who was mostly bemused.

“Are you really a dog?” “Yes. A flying wolf dog. Here I go!”

Flight? Did you say flight OldPlaidCamper? Tenuous link to a scene change and evidence I’ve cleaned the lens after the water colour effects from last week. A rainy photo below, but no rain on the lens, and I liked this shot of the plane in front of the boats.

Clean lens

The pictures might be a touch sharper, but my timing is about usual. I’ll finish with a great snap of a harbour seal, captured with head out of the water and looking straight at the camera. Couldn’t fail.

Oh.

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