there are so many deer photos this fall - they are keeping me busy. i thought i better catch you up over here if you haven't seen them on flickr yet. as always, you can click on any shot for more info. happy wednesday!
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
They roll in one after another, storm after storm. November is wrapped in a howl, a shriek of wind rattling through bare branches, a froth of whitewater pounding the shore. Last night I lay awake, watched the clock blink to 3:33 as the rush of wind swirled around the house and the trees creaked and swayed. Tonight could be much the same. In the middle of the day the wind calmed, bright light tried to poke through the clouds. A little window in between, an exhalation, a lull. We stepped outside for an amble down the road and through the woods. But as the tendrils of evening began to set in, so too did the wind, first tickling at the trees and then blowing through them in great sighs. I rode the ferry back in darkness, feeling the deck shift and shudder underneath us. My truck veered sideways again and again on the rain-slicked highway, pushed by the strong gusts, and even in the black night I could see the white-capped peaks of swell after swell marching toward shore. Now tucked into the house, one small candle burning as I contemplate bed, and a staccato of rain on the windows accompanies the whirling and rushing of the gale outside. I check the current conditions again on the marine forecast, my compulsive habit. Southeast 34 knots, gusting to 42. A mighty wind blows indeed.
By tomorrow morning, there may be another eye. But by afternoon another tempest will be moving in, and Monday will follow the same pattern. The rhythm of the coast. The rhythm of November. Up in the hills this rain is a blizzard, and many an island skier is dreaming of a winter wonderland. Soon. For now my dreams will be woven with the last swirling leaves and the soundtrack of swaying evergreens, the thunk of branches torn free and cast recklessly upon the house. Time to tuck in, curl up under the quilts against the warm man beside me. The storms of winter are here.
>> These photos have nothing to do with the above contemplation, although storm watching is an increasingly popular activity on the west coast of the island. AK and I made a little journey out last weekend to soak up the wild Pacific before we both get caught up in winter in our valley and on the mountain above, both our jobs (well one of my jobs) revolving around the white stuff piling up in the hills. There was even a taste of winter to come on the drive over, winding up through the pass with rain changing to white flurries beating the windshield and snow piling up under the tires. But it was a break we needed and revelled in, even as short as it was.
Keep warm, lovelies. Winter is coming.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
These are the grey days, the gloomy days. November is just that way around here, mostly. So when a weekend morning dawns crisp and clear, it's worth it to crawl from under the cozy covers in the early light and step out into the frosty air. Layers of wool as usual guard me from the chill, but fingers and nose turn rosy. In the twilight of the park deer graze, and a doe stamps her feet at me, but my eyes are drawn to the hot glow through the bare trees. I could have been a few minutes earlier, to get the full effect, but the red ball rising from the horizon blows me away all the same. A fiery orb coming out above the low cloud bank, lighting up the eastern sky with a warm light that defies the frosty nipping my cheeks. Gorgeous.
I wanted to make this post a little longer, but a mystery recurring allergic reaction that today has flared into a full itchy face rash is keeping me a little distracted. Argh. How does a robust, allergy-free (albeit accident-prone) child who became an adult that avoids harsh chemicals and processed foods, also become someone with a growing list of obscure allergies and sensitivities? My body seems to always be betraying me in one way or another these days. Instead, let me attempt to entertain you with others' loveliness:
>> Have you seen these fantastic ornaments from otchipotchi? The little package I ordered arrived today and they are even prettier in person. Almost puts a girl in the holiday mood...
>> There is a food truck in Tofino that makes amazing chocolate diablo cookies - spiced up with cayenne and ginger. I just discovered the recipe online so now I can make them at home!
>> This embroidered denim jumper makes me want to decorate all of my clothes.
Monday, November 05, 2012
Last week I was exhausted, having worked much of the previous weekend too. A cold was tickling at the edges and then overtook me, and I couldn't wait for Friday to roll around. I made great claims on social media that the stormy forecast meant I would be happily curled up on the couch for the duration, guilt free. But I guess when it comes down to it, I'm not that kind of girl.
Turns out I'm the kind of girl to head out into the wild just before the storm reaches its full strength. The kind of girl to go stalking tree to tree to sneak up on the deer laying out in the open field, where they bed down on windy days when the trees swoosh and shudder and muffle all other noise, so that no one can sneak up on them, in fact. Out in the open, the newest big buck on the block watched me steadily but still let me creep in close as he tucked his hooves underneath him but stayed bedded down. His second in command lay nearby, and a scattering of does and fawns dotted the grass, while a few more only revealed themselves as my eyes adjusted to the shadows under the nearby bushes. A flick of movement and a large pileated woodpecker works its way up one of the trees edging the field. The wind was a howl around us, fading leaves rattling as with their last gasp they clung to the weather-beaten trees.
Turns out I'm the kind of girl to walk into the gusts of the southeaster along the shore of the bay. Watch the clouds race across the sky and block out the mountain peaks for yet another day. Purposeful waves wash in to the beach even on this 'protected' stretch, and I know there is a snarl of water waiting on the other side of the spit. My spirit races from the energy of it all, even as my head tucks low from the cold wind that find my ears through my thick wool toque. I turned back into the woods, boots crunching through swirling leaves on the path as thick trunks creaked overhead.
Turns out I'm the kind of girl to linger, even has the sky turns abruptly black at two in the afternoon, as the squall becomes a bit more determined and the raindrops a bit closer together. Okay, a lot closer together. A last detour to spend a few fleeting moments with the hooved dancers again, maybe catch a glimpse of that eight-point buck spotted the day before. But even the deer have moved under cover in this weather, and I stand with a few stragglers nuzzling for acorns under the carpet of leaves. With a last big inhale of the wild air I head home in the rain, finding the couch finally.
So, it's November then, and the clocks have changed. This morning was greeted with bright sunshine, but I know the workday will end in darkness. Weekday after work walks are suddenly a dying breed around here. While I look toward the next weekend, maybe the increase in inside time will be good on the crafting front. This year feels like a big wash on that front (actually on a lot of fronts...). Since the forced hiatus following my injury at the very start of the year, despite fits and starts I feel like I've never really found my stride again. My inspiration has fled into other activities. How do you find your crafting inspiration? And for that matter, how do you get your fresh air quota when balancing life and work in the dark days of winter?
Friday, November 02, 2012
Clack, click, clack! I knew that sound, deep in my bones, even if I couldn't quite believe it at first. Clack, clack! Feet quickened on pavement, reaching the edge of the towering hedge to peer through the iron rods of the gate. And there, two bucks across the field, tangled up in a joust for power. Awe, and then my instincts took over and I knelt to change lenses on my camera. When I looked up again, the pair were grazing side by side, best of friends, and I wondered if I had imagined the whole thing. I moved in tentatively, footsteps soft in the leaf-covered grass. In this neighbourhood they feel safe; letting me approach close if I keep calm, move smoothly. These two males had both been congenial before, when I found them individually. But two bucks in rut was a recipe for an antler to the gut, or worse. I kept a big oak between us as I peered through the telephoto lens, my boots buried in the leaves and acorns blanketing the grass. Day was easing into twilight, the grey sky and last remaining leaves providing a perpetual shadow on the park.
Soon enough one two-spike eyed the other, and with a low head pushed his rack against the waiting tines of the other. A slow, lazy sort of dance took place, each testing their skills without pushing it too far. It seemed like practice, either easing into the mating season or prepping for bigger bucks who might come looking for the large group of does in the adjacent field. One buck had a slight edge on the other, antlers just a bit thicker on a head with just a bit more weight - but neither was ready to make any claims to "king of the forest". I barely breathed and watched their tangled tango.
You may have noticed posting has changed around here, a little. I've been doing this for quite a while (2006!) but more and more I've felt my posts churned out more for quantity than quality. I'm trying to change that, focus a bit more on my writing for what I hope is a better narrative. It used to be all I ever wanted to do was write, before I delved into photography and other hobbies. And I'd like to bring that writing back more. Somedays I feel I could just abandon the whole thing, but for now I'm keeping this little corner of my world. I seem to be filled with a lot of discontent these days, dissatisfied with the life that's unfolding. But when I'm walking through the sodden forest trails, out in the crisp wind at the shore, or stalking deer through a field - I'm never happier. So I hope to share that with you more here in as realistic a way as I can, do my best to bring you out into the wilds with me, and hope you will love it as I do. I'm sure things will keep evolving, but for now this is what I can do. If you have thoughts on what you'd like to see here, shoot me a note at fogandswell [at] gmail [dot] com.