Ocean Rebel

Yes, Ocean Rebel! A wonderful name, and I had to use it for this post heading. It is such a good one, could be a story title, and it’s great for a boat – which is where I saw it. If I ever write the untold and untrue account of my exploits as a paddler, I now know what the title will be…

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Prepared, as always – can you see the eagle there?

Never one to be caught up in daydreams about writing, I’m attentive and eagle-eyed, almost always aware of my surroundings. For example, I saw the boat docked at Whiskey Landing (hard to miss) but have to confess it was a few minutes before I noticed the real Ocean Rebel perched up high. Prepared, as always, I didn’t have my camera, so had to snap a few distant shots with my phone. The eagle looked great up there. Patient, watchful, and occasionally ruffled by a gust of wind.

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Perched and patient, a Saturday morning spent sitting on the calm side

A photographer armed with an impressive looking camera stopped by and took a number of shots, and the eagle seemed happy enough about this. A family trundled down to the lower dock to take in the view, and from where I was sitting, it seemed to me they didn’t spot the eagle above them. Either that or they were too cool to show they’d seen it. I still get excited every time I see one…

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The stormy side, Saturday afternoon

On Sunday morning, we were on Long Beach, a sunny day after a stormy one. Gulls were out in force, and we saw and heard quite a commotion down the beach. As we got closer, we could see a bald eagle being harried by a handful of gulls. Or was it a handful of gulls protecting themselves from a rampant eagle? Turf wars and lines in the sand? Ocean rebels? Right and wrong? I’m probably supposed to take a side and stick to it in these partisan and alleged fake news times…

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Calm down, there’s enough space…

Yes, prepared, as always, I didn’t have my camera, so once again the photograph above was taken on my phone. By the time this was taken, the gulls and eagle appeared to have reached an accommodation – smart move, and no need to start a beach shutdown, all was well. It’s a big beach, with plenty of room to roam.

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Can I be an ocean rebel?!

We will be on the beach and on the trails this weekend, as the forecast is for a couple of dry days with some sunshine. This time, instead of wishing I had my camera, I’ll bring it with me, and be thoroughly prepared to capture some ocean rebels, if they don’t move off before I find the right button. (That’s captured photographically speaking – I wouldn’t want to imprison the wild and free!)

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Wild

Hmm. Wild and Free? I believe we have a sequel to Ocean Rebel! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful, wild, and free weekend!

As easy as falling off a log…

If something is as easy as falling off a log, should you do it? Isn’t it easily avoided? Maybe it just happens, no effort at all. I’ve fallen – or at least slipped – off a log, and it hurts. Easy? Yup. But I’m not so sure it’s the thing to do. Why am I asking? It’s the nonsense that fills the gaps in my head when perched on a log.d5bf7b94-1ca3-4863-85e3-9ac083a8d245

Last weekend we were blessed with a day that seemed more like spring than winter. Blue skies, warm sunshine and very little breeze. It was a day made for the beach, so that is where we went. We found ourselves scrambling over the rocks and between the logs, searching for just the right spot to stop and take it all in.6d9d7bbb-30d3-4d9c-9912-c746c57332b4

Getting there, the tide was low, and the stretch of sand was wide. We couldn’t understand (but didn’t mind) why there were so few people about? We were out for several hours and saw only a handful of hikers and dog walkers. Oh well…ef3a9dfc-0af4-461d-bec4-f79371973933

When perching, I didn’t fall off a log this outing, but I did come close to tumbling a couple of times in my attempt to keep up with Scout – she was sure-footed along the trunks, and didn’t mind showing me up as she leapt from log to log.8ed9fab3-4241-4d7d-a871-682a139fe766

We spotted a few bald eagles, but our closest bird encounter was earlier in the morning. We were enjoying a fine cup of coffee from the recently opened Foggy Bean, admiring the view from Ucluelet across to Hitacu when the little fellow pictured below took a keen interest in our drinks. I suspect he was after something to eat rather than a caffeine hit, but what good taste he had…

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“Ooh, is that coffee? ‘Cos, yeah, we’re raven mad for caffeine…”

Not so sunny for us this coming weekend – the ravens will miss us sitting at our usual spot, and we will miss being there. Still, the very early spring day last weekend was easy to enjoy – as easy as falling off a log.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Dark, with a little froth…

Sounds like a coffee order – Mrs. PC does like a good cappuccino…

A super short and heavily caffeinated shot of a post this week. We were stretching our legs last weekend, an exercise in dodging rain showers by getting the timing right. It was a cold couple of days, with drizzle, hail, rain, glimpses of sun, and a couple of rainbows to raise a smile.fcf492dc-e293-496d-a40d-154050c8cf76

Usually, we check the tide tables to ensure there’s enough beach to walk on and head out accordingly, but last weekend we had to go whenever it looked least rainy. On Sunday afternoon, there was a narrow ribbon of beach growing a little wider as the tide fell. It was pretty windy, and the waves had whipped up quite a froth on along the shore.c9e7e5c6-7cf5-4513-8b0c-fe4ffafc005a

Scout had a fine old time nosing in the foam and chasing blobs down the beach. Ravens hopped and skipped ahead of us, scavenging at the tide mark, and looking aggrieved that their raucous display didn’t scare us off. We spied three bald eagles and any number of gulls battling the wind. Some gulls were bobbing in the water just beyond the surf. Our guess was the heavy weather had churned up some good stuff.a42cda02-a29b-44ce-a532-339a3aa31fe2

Further out to sea, menacing clouds marched along the horizon, and the sun made only brief appearances – very welcome periods of relative warmth in the stiff breeze. So the froth wasn’t from a cappuccino, but we did have a good strong French roast in the flask, and Sunday was the day for it. Sometimes you get lucky with the timing – we huddled in the dunes out of the wind and were delighted when a patch of blue sky appeared, big enough to let some sunshine through for as long as it took to finish our coffee.e33788ca-fd3b-4e96-8b11-4e6718654815

The caffeine jolt (and a cube or three of chocolate) was just the thing to set us up for the return leg to the car. It started to rain heavily moments after Scout jumped into the back of the Jeep. More rain? Hey ho. Might as well head home for that all important second cup…dfdc9b87-e0e6-469d-9aee-0ffbe9ffd114

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

Singing the winter greens and blues

For the past decade and more, we have been used to (and very much enjoyed) a snowy December and beyond, sometimes in a blanketed city, and often in the mountains. Still, change is good, and contrast is good. Winter on the coast is very different!

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Vibrant

There are so many colours and moods – vibrant green on the trails, but also blue and grey. It can be dry, grey and cold, or gold, warm and sunny, or blue, cold and sunny, or windy and rainy, just rainy, and very, very rainy.  Every now and then it can be extremely stormy. Exhilarating stuff, and always with so much green. (PlaidCamper, you do know you live in a coastal rainforest, don’t you?)

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Energy

Being by the ocean, it always feels fresh, and there’s usually a breeze. Last weekend, we met up with Wayne and took a wander along Chesterman’s Beach. Fresh? Yup! A breeze? And then some! We took shelter in the lee of some rocks overlooking Lennard Island lighthouse (for shots of the lighthouse taken by Wayne over the years, look on his website here) and tucked into delicious soup and cornbread – thanks, Wayne – and a mince pie. We didn’t know Scout was such a fan of soup and mince pies, but perhaps that’s no surprise…

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Not the Lennard Island lighthouse – Amphitrite Point lighthouse, Ucluelet

The ocean wasn’t calm – we saw the coastguard zodiac and cutter both riding some pretty big waves, and it looked as though they were searching the coastline. It would be nice to think it was an exercise and all was well, but the search looked quite intense.

The grey skies gave way slightly, and there was a hint of warmth from a few weak rays, but eventually we had to head back. Scout chased Wayne, or Wayne chased Scout along the beach, and it was a good game to play, because the breeze had a bite to it. We had a great time, and Scout wanted to go home with Wayne, but eventually she relented and came home with us, even though we can’t promise daily soup and mince pies.

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Colour

Winter blues? We’re not singing that song, not yet. And I’m sure at some point we’ll find some time for a visit to snowy and wintry mountains – blow the dust off the snowboard and snowshoes – but until we do, I’m loving the winter greens.

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Last weekend – a colourful winter warmer

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

 

 

Farewell 2018…

…and welcome, 2019!

It’s the time of year when some people enjoy looking back, taking stock, and then they peer forward into the unknown. Or as far as next year, anyway.

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Reflecting

I enjoy reading the “best of” and “worst of” lists that come out this time of year, but don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a compilation of PlaidCamper almost hits and many misses. All I’ll say is, for us personally this year, the worst thing was when Scout disappeared, and yes, the best was when she came back. I know, you’ve got something in your eye as well.

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“Me? Cause a problem? As if…”

I don’t make resolutions, mostly because I’m bound to break them if it’s beer or chocolate related (why would I want to change those habits?) So long as I can still haul the OldPlaidCamper bones up slopes, along beaches, and over rocky outcrops, then the almost remarkable and resolute physique is just fine. Almost fit for purpose. Chocolate is an adventure fuel… and beer an excellent end of day reward. Oh alright, I resolve to maintain my consumption of both. Not every day though, not now I have school nights.

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Rocky

I’ll keep the post brief this week. I do want to say thank you for reading and commenting on here over the past year, either enjoying or enduring our photos and words. I’ve enjoyed writing each and every post, even (especially) the ones where I’m having a mild rant about this or that. It’s always a delight when you choose to read and comment, and it’s reassuring we’re not alone when concerns are shared.

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Looking ahead

The world has taken a few strange, unpleasant, and wayward turns (I suspect every year some of us say the same) but the people sharing this little corner of the internet remind me that it’s never quite as bad as it seems. Your blogs are humorous, full of wise words, displaying amazing photographs and/or challenging ideas – they can cheer a sometimes miserabilist up – thank you for that!

Looking ahead, I like to think the world will see a happier and kinder year than the one we’re saying farewell to. Young (and not so young) people care about the planet, and care about each other. I believe most of us can see our differences (by race, gender, sexuality or other) as contributing to a wonderful and exciting diversity worth celebrating, and not marginalizing or discriminating against.30A55BF7-3104-4343-9941-72421587796C

So, in the spirit of hope and optimism, I’ll say “Happy New Year” to all, and I wish the coming twelve months are full of outdoor excitement and good health for all of you.

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

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Farewell 2018

Yule logs

The plan was to resume normal service here at OldPlaidCamper after all our recent excitement, but a huge storm has caused a power outage, so I’m reduced to tapping out this post on my phone late on Thursday night and hoping it appears on Friday. Small keyboard, chunky thumbs and poor vision – I’d best keep this brief.

You’ll be happy to hear Scout is no worse for wear after her solo wilderness trip – she’s hanging out with us a bit closer than previously, a little wary, and needing to regain some weight, but otherwise all good.

We don’t go overboard with the seasonal festive stuff, but having Scout back is quite the gift. Soon, we will be back on the trails looking for branches she can chew and places for her to dig – wonderful!

A warm glow

If you celebrate the season, then happy holidays, and have a great weekend and week to come!

Chilling

Short and chilled this week! Yes, chilling, because that’s what you do on the laid back West Coast. That, and it’s been very, very cold out here for the start of December. Not Alberta cold, but certainly chilly.C8CA636E-9E3C-4E72-A33B-38D9036F5EC9

I was on a field trip with a wrapped up and excited grade 5/6 class yesterday, out on the trail searching for mushrooms. Students had enjoyed a presentation about fungi, listening to a local scientist enthuse about the (for most mushrooms) symbiotic relationship mushrooms have with trees, and the wonderful array of mushrooms that can be found in the immediate rainforest area. Puffball, jelly, truffle – no luck, wrong season – bracket, gilled, veined, morel, bird nest, orange peel, blue chanterelle, we looked high and low (mostly low) for many amazing mushrooms. Students were so engrossed in the search, they forgot just how cold it was. Maybe because they were engrossed in the very best classroom…

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Is this the right way up? I’m really not too sure…

It’s not all mushroom mayhem for this fun guy. Earlier in the week I had to drive over to Port Alberni for a committee, and this time I messed up the timing and got caught in a long construction delay. How did I get this wrong? I realized parts of the Ucluelet Small Craft Harbour had a thin layer of ice and couldn’t help myself stopping, barely 30 seconds after setting off, to snap a shot or two on the phone. Yes, I mistimed the traffic, but when I made it through, thinking I’d be the last to arrive, I was the first person there. The morel (oh no) of this story? There isn’t one, just an excuse for a bad pun.

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A good place to chill 

The photos this week are from the early morning stop. The anchor and bench picture is of one of my favourite places to sit and drink coffee, but it’ll be a while before we’re sat back there in warmer weather, chilling.85B1282B-FC07-4D7B-8237-F2C6F5DA11E9

A short post – trying to keep it cool – thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

PS Is it fungi or funghi?