Friday, September 29, 2006

under the weather...

in some ways, i suppose, that describes this photo. in a more obvious way, it describes how i am feeling - ughh. after a week or so of ignoring my body's quiet pleas for some vitamin c, i am feeling the effects in the form of a congested head.

the weather outside is still beautiful - truly a wonderful fall so far, despite the fact that we desperately need the rain. however, my foggy state of mind is longing for a cooler autumn day, which brought to mind this foggy photo of my parents' sheep that i took last year. now if only i could be curled up with a good book somewhere...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

drive by...

i pass this lake on my way to work, and it, along with so many other things, reminds me why i should really carry a camera wherever i go. that doesn't necessarily mean that i remember to follow through, but in this case i finally brought the camera, and left home a few minutes early so i might have a moment to stop. i was amply rewarded by the calm autumn morning, and a glassy reflection of the bright blue sky.

Monday, September 25, 2006

salt air and sunshine...

home again, happy to be sleeping in my own bed. what a bad traveller am i. however, had a wonderful weekend on the wild west coast. the sound of surf pounding the shore provides a lulling background for a cozy night in a sleeping bag. rising early, i discovered fog blanketing the beach. i wandered the sand, in search of seashells and other treasures tossed ashore by the sea, as the sun appeared behind the trees, cutting through the fog quickly until it was gone.

i have always strived for sharp, high contrast photos with bright colour, but am lately also discovering the pleasures of low contrast with subtle light. photo above case in point. new experiments and evolving, i suppose.

we were in tofino for the surf kayak fest, but the surfers still make their presence known, reminding us that they dominate the local scene. i don't quite understand the whole "localism" vibe, as i occasionally pretend to be a kayaker, and often dream of being a surfer - a definite supporter of both sides. i do admire tofino surfers, sleek, black seals slipping through the waves before riding grace and style. a little more understated and minimalist than the bright colours and bulky gear of the paddlers.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

evening light...

the west coast rule: don't like the weather? wait five minutes.

definitely worth the wait. the rain abated late afternoon and i took my camera out to walk along the beach and meet A. after work. the sky was so dark and moody, but with a patch of sun peeking through. i almost wished for more wind and an unruly sea, but who can really argue with the perfect light that had followed the storm.

the leaves are already changing, but with such a dry end to the summer, they are browning quickly and falling to the ground before there is much chance to enjoy the fall colours. finding a bright spot on the beach like this makes up for it.

hibernation part one...

this was yesterday. granted, a little chilly with a stiff westerly breeze, but sunny and bright. today is the exact opposite. the rain is steady, the southeasterly wind is shaking the trees, and i'm sitting in the house with two sweaters on and a general desire to burrow under the covers till spring. i know i said i like fall, and i do. but when a gale is blowing i'm happier inside, observing nature's fury from the dry comforts of my armchair. i suppose i should be happy that we finally have some real rain, that the parched earth is receiving a bit of attention. tofino, my destination of next weekend, is certainly in need of some water. i just hope we are all done with it by the time i get there, as tenting in the rain has limited charm.

perhaps later i will venture out to capture georgia strait in a fury of whitecaps, but for now i will stay cozy with my knitting and a loaf of bread rising on the stove.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

forest walk...

the air is getting crisper by the day, although the sun is still making its best efforts to stay, creeping in between the rain clouds. could just be a "sucker hole" though - i know a few who argue that any sunshine on the west coast is a sucker hole - the rain is always on its way. i'll take what i can get anyway. or maybe i am just used to the cycle, although i don't look forward to november's steady downpour. i've been steadily making soup since autumn began to show it's face, but i better slow down so i am not tired of it when i need a warm winter pick-me-up.
explored a new little spot on the sunshine coast yesterday, a small park with walking trails through thick forest and beside trickling creeks. unfortunately i was without tripod and most of my shots came out blurry, but a few turned out i hope. happily i was going for the soft-water look.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

west coast dreaming...

am enjoying a bit of sun today as i hear the fall weather will be arriving tomorrow. still, i'm definitely ready for a bit of fall.

A. and i are heading to the west coast - tofino! - next weekend for the surf kayak festival and i can't wait. it's been over a year since i wiggled my toes in long beach sand, and listened to crashing waves - i can taste the salt air already. i know, i live beside the ocean, but it's not the same as the real west coast. i have posted this photo taken last year which i think offers a good feel for the experience. even when the beaches are crowded, you can usually find a spot where you are the only person around, eyeing shells in the sand and staring off to japan.

the paddle fest is also a great time to meet up with friends and long lost acquaintances, take some photos, and get one last "summer" camping trip in. i wish i was there already.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

big water...

in awe of the power of the ocean, the swirling, writhing force that can capture and captivate the unwary and unprepared body or mind. [too much melodrama?] we finally hiked out to see the mighty skookumchuk rapids in the late afternoon light, an "XL" flood tide that proved to be even more amazing than expected. i think i could have sat there for hours, had not the cold and fading light of the sun continued to creep up on me.

in awe too, of the paddlers who venture out to challenge themselves on the big waves, paddling hard for that one shot, and if failing, going on the long tour down to where the current finally abates, and then the long paddle back up. there are so many types of whitewater - river, surf and more, but tidal rapids are a phenomenon uncomparable to anything else.

for those not in the know, skookumchuk is one of many tidal rapids on the west coast, where the ocean is forced through the narrow passage into sechelt inlet, causing a huge overfall and currents up to 30 km/h. as it passes over the shallow bottom, waves and holes spring up, creating a whitewater kayaker's dream. for those not familiar with tidal currents, i highly recommend seeking some out - you too will be awe of the power.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

high as a kite...

well, actually quite a bit higher than that. went up to desolation sound this afternoon for a quick tour with my boss. i always seem to luck out with the weather when we fly, although today was a bit hazy. creates some interesting light, sometimes favourable as i think was the case for this shot. this shows the sound looking east toward vancouver island (note victoria & warden peaks on the right), with cortes and quadra islands in between. i love the low contrast - i think it would be perfect to make a quilt like this.

the second shot here is from another early evening beach walk. the tide was high, leaving only a little strip of sand and rocks to navigate along, the waves crashing at my feet.

Monday, September 04, 2006

sunsets & jellies...

it's a bad time of year for jellyfish. red-purple pancakes beached on the rocks, i stumble upon several in a row. sometimes they are not yet shipwrecked on the shore, but lapping in the waves at water's edge, waiting for the tide to drop and leave them stranded. i am never sure what causes this mass exodus from the sea, but there just seems to be certain times of year when they can be found. there are dozens of gelatinous mounds clinging to the rocks all the way along my short walk.

in the foreground of the photo above you can see one of the jellyfish stuck on the sand. this photo is a bit deceptive - while it was a beautiful sunset, the colours were more in the pale peaches and pinks. here i switched over to a tungsten filter for a few shots to change the mood.

last year, on a trip to tofino, we took to the expansive stretches of sand that i so love about the west coast, and discovered hundreds of electric blue sail jellyfish. after reading up, i discovered sail jellyfish cannot propel themselves, but are swept hither and thither according to the ocean's currents. therefore, their plight on the beach made more sense - they had no choice. but these large maroon jellies - i don't get it.

i had a wonderful walk in the fading light while A. took a small group on a sunset kayak tour. what a perfect night to be on the water.