Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Big Sky

My good friend Faith, came to visit for a few days....we went down to the Pier and we were greeted with this sight. ......absolutely compelling..."If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal.....that is your success." ( Thoreau)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Moon as the Sun

Thought this was incredibly cool........sorry, no dirt today, either.....too busy looking at the moon at midnight. The light was so odd, that it resembled the sun. At the same time, the moon cast some sort of shadow on the zoom lense and reflected itself, in the corner........if the moon could think, I wonder what it would be thinking...

"How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here we will sit and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony." ( from Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice")

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Last vase of sweet peas

You're probably very tired of my sweet peas.................but they just keep blooming. This year they have exceeded their growing time...usually done by the middle of August. Nice surprise to find today, that there was still a vase of sweet peas to pick.

"Like a great poet, nature produces the greatest results with the simplest means. There are simply a sun, flowers, water, adn love." (Heine)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cathedral Grove

Located at McMillan Part near Port Alberni, on Vancouver Island, Cathedral Grove is amazing for its giant Douglas Firs.
H.R. McMillan donated136 hectares of land in 1944, and became a public park a few years later. My parents visited Cathedral Grove in the late 1940's, back when you could really touch the trees and hug the trunks.

All of this is beautiful, but is kept at arm's length from the public.

Some of these trees are 300-800 years old. Probably a good idea to keep people at bay..they might want to carve their initials in the trunk.

Old growth rainforests

Tree roots, gradually dissolving. When we were there, some little boy wanted to kow if he could break off a piece. People were swarming the fences to see the trees.....kindof lik army ants out on a mission.

Hard to believe that just off camera there were hordes of people all jostling for positions to see the 800 year old tree. I was thinking how great it would be if they would all leave, and all be silent, just for one moment and they would hear the trees creak in the wind.
Fallen trees from wind storms
The park had built a lookout.....kind of annoying, as kids were running up and down the ramp.
Loved the broken trunks with the light playing off them.
Another path through the old growth. A brief moment before a crowd of tourists descended on the lookout point.
The ferns were the luckiest of all.....they got to sit at the feet of the trees and just whisper.
Cathedral Grove is good to see, but be prepared for tons of tourists...mostly tourists who take their kids into the forest to run around and scream. Try and go when it is not prime summer months....Then you can stand and listen to the silence. We had a bit of that, this time, and it was amazing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tofino Trees and Sand

Perfect Sand at Combers Beach, Tofino
Us four at the island at Schooner's Cove.

Salt crystals at Incinerator Point

Sand weary feet................................

From Combers Beach

If a tree falls in the forest, can anyone hear it? I guess so...trail at Combers Beach was closed partway..........................

Inlet at Incinerator Point.....usually filled with water.....low tide now.

Massive twisted tree roots on trail at Schooner's Cove. I thought that trail was the best.

Tree hugging...a Schooner's Cove

Moss warts (that's what I called them) in the trees at Schooner's Cove. The birds were using them as nests)
Kelp. Love this shot. Looks slimy and slippery....great on the garden, by the way.

The island at Schooner's cove. The sand makes a natural boardwalk between the main land and the island......low tide.

Fungii...............................not edible.

Post nasal drip on the trees.

Boardwalk at Schooner's Cove...really outstanding. Trees left in natural state.
Climbing into the forest to get to the beach. Schooner's Cove is unique.

Old WW 2 path, leading down from Radar Lookout.

The Sound, from Radar Lookout.
Another view of the sound from radar lookout. Wild.

Gotta love that Sand and Dirt

It was a work based trek. Easy. All we had to do was bask in the dirt and sand that belonged to Tofino. Promises of bear watching, whale watching and sand. Well, the sand part was a sure thing.No one said anything about the roller coaster ride .........
Whoosh! Whoosh! Zing! That was us, roaring down a road so twisty, I felt like a cruller at the end. Wasn't that fun? That was the question . Fun is such an odd little word. It was kind of cool counting the motor homes swooshing down the steep turns, wondering if any of them would make it. How far was Tofino, again?
When we arrived, nothing was ready. No parking spaces either at the end of a dead end street, resembling a black hole. Had to wait three hours till the room was ready. Do you kow how many motor homes we counted, coming down that street, only to do U turns. It got to be a game. The "resort" (and I use that term loosely) was in a time warp. Not sure what kind of time warp, but they weren't going to beam us up, at any time soon. Tofino seems to be in a constant state of "Hey, man....groovy, far out". This "resort" had been advertized as a memorable stay. Memorable is a good way to look at it.
I wasn't expecting the Empress, but I wasn't thinking there would be a smell.....such a smell....sniff, sniff...... musty mold. Mold along the windows, stuffed into the tile floors, cracks and gauges in the walls, pink slime in the tub and sinks. Moldy rust stuck in the crevasses of sliding doors, leading out to the rotting, mossy deck. Don't jump on the wobbles up and down. Dishes in kitchen cupboards still encrusted with someone else's food. And then there were the couches........ever been swallowed up by metal and thinning fabric? Hideabeds, they were labelled......unchanged; old , crunchy Nacho chips crackling their way to the floor. Ugh. Small bugs ( I didn't look that closely) marching their way to the outside world, until we smash them in a glorious combat.
And still that smell.....I knew I should have brought cleaning supplies...
Best way to get away from the stench, was to wander around and meet the locals. Interesting bunch.Seem to live on their own plane of existence. Went to the local art gallery, and talked to a local sales lady who was expecting a baby, any moment, it looked like. She said she was going to Comox to have the baby, as the local hospital in Tofino had lost babies in the past. Quite a few, in fact. Sometimes the air lift hadn't come in time. She did tell me there were a number of women who chose to have their babies at home, or in the bush. What a choice.
Walking down the main drag was not what I expected. Hardly heard English being spoken at all. Like a melding pot. I wondered, a little forlornly, if their rooms had black mold and smelly sock syndrome......................
Didn't need any cleaning at the Botanical Gardens. Just the real dirt at this place.Soooo low key, soooo relaxed. Honour system , any time of day, it never closed. Great place to sit and have coffee, read a book, debate the properties of manure on the artichokes growing by the entrance. Ahhhh.......great dirt.
Speaking of which......never saw anything quite as ahhhhhhh, as Long Beach. Definitely could live on that beach, with all the sand pipers. That means I'd have to become a surfer. Watched the surfers congregate in the ocean, waiting for that perfect wave. Just floating with the kelp, everything so right-eousss..... I wouldn't have to worry about mold....great sand.
But for now, it's time to be one with the bugs........have another day of mold to tolerate.....sniff, sniff.........

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tofino...Day two....Land, Sand and Bog

LAND............................This is where we were today. Not your usual Botanical Garden...much more earthy and creative. Sculptures line the walkways.......plants grow naturally, and wildly. Not a lot of manicured lawn.
Curved wood twists its way around benches and platforms.........

Dancing couple....just love much life, so much happiness......

Hobbit bridge....have to bend down to get through

I call this the "Yes Dear", can just imagine what they're talking about.
On golden pond


Twisted trunks
Wire man greets you as you come out from the rain forest.

Great sitting area in the centre of the Gardens.
Artichokes grown in raised beds.
Wikinnish Lookout, Tofino. Love sand almost more than dirt!
Surfers sit in the cold waves, waiting like a pack of killer whales, for a single wave to catch and take them sailing into shore. Cold August day to be surfing.....
Wikinnish Rocks

Shorepine Bog is really fascinating. It looks like a broccoli forest. Ancient, gnarled trees, rise above a mossy surface. The bog hosts a strange forest.

Trees, deprived of adequate nutrition,suffer stunted growth and malformed limbs. The soil is acidic and waterlogged. A lack of the mineral phosophorous inhibits upward growth of the tree tip, causing it to branch sideways. That's why most of them look like big bunches of broccoli.

Slow to grow, slow to die, some of these trees are about 300 years old.

A full sized forest once grew here. 20,000 years ago the Long Beach area was covered with a sheet of ice, about 300 metres thick. About 12,000 years ago the glaciers melted, leaving huge quantities of clay, sand and gravel.

The boardwalk was created to "float" along the moss, and it tends to move and buckle as you walk along. Kind of like walking in a forest created by Dr. Seuss........