Mayne Island Early Evening At Georgina Point

This is a long story from not too long ago, far off on the southwest coast of Canada. The rain has been raining and we have been having grey days well into what should be summer in middle June. But on this particular evening about 6:30 pm or so the sky clears and the sun shines as if she hasn’t been missed. We look at each other. I grab the camera bag and David his sweater. We scramble into my old blue ford truck, Miss Prissy, which right now gurgles more loudly than usual with a small hole developing in the exhaust. About 10 minutes from our home on Mayne Island, Georgina Point Heritage Part and Lighthouse are our destination.

No this photograph was not taken on this particular evening. It is from late in May at about noon. I just wanted to show you where we are going to be situated for this particular story. You can park yourself on that bench there between the lighthouse and the flag pole beside David or you can wander along the rocky shore with me. Either way, it is a quiet evening with the flapping of the Canadian flag overhead being the loudest sound to be heard.

The grass is getting tall and is in full bloom. For those with allergies you will be glad the wind calm. I notice a rather large cedar stump has been marooned on the shore.

It is oh so still.

The sun is warm on our back and shoulders as the smell of the sea water drifts lazily upwards. It is a time of noticing simple pleasures like the crevices in the sandstone.

David seems to be enjoying his time on bench and blends nicely into our surroundings.

I seem to see a few of you have joined him there on his perch overlooking the Strait of Georgia at the entrance into Active Pass. No pushing now! Shhhh. We seem to be the only ones here. But this might not be entirely so. I decide to go back up by the stairs.

Did you notice them in the first photograph of the lighthouse? No this is not the way I came down. That would have been far too sensible. For those that followed me it is a good thing you had sturdy non-slip shoes on.

The large swinging yellow blooms are gone from the tree now but it is still lovely in the early evening light.

Not much to see really.

The sandstone is as always a constant muse and of pattern and light. We sit awhile picking up small sounds and movement that tell us we are not alone. A couple of seals cough and snort a little to the left.

They always seem to have a cold! A Great Blue Heron glides past…

landing at a favourite fishing hole a little farther off.

A shadow moves overhead as a young eagle sores past in the opposite direction.

It circles around and lands in a tall old fir tree and calls out to another feathered friend hidden in a tree a bit farther over.

The sun is warming the stillness as it seeps into those damp crevices down deep where you thought now weary water could reach. Shall we just sit awhile? Ah yes! So lovely.

Wait! What is that over on there on the rocks. Could it be? Yes, I think it is!

Do you see it? Near the top left! It is about the size of a small house cat but with shorter legs.

We are a pretty far away and these animals are fast and timid so lets use a little paintography to get you a closer look.

It is a mink. We have seen them before but never with a chance to raise the camera up and see what I could capture. They are very red here on the coast rather than the dark chestnut that I am used to seeing in the interior of British Columbia. Now for a little seaweed rub.

Who knows what it has gotten into. These fellows are always up to sneaky mischief. It is a good thing there isn’t a hen house near by! Well, one last look our way before it scoots off across the rocks.

Oh good gravy! Look at what time it is – way past your bedtime. Now off you go and if you are coming with us tomorrow remember to set out your raincoat.

SPROUT: Who last told you a long story just for the pleasure of telling?

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

Sometimes a photographer’s life is for the birds!

I am not a bird photographer. I am mostly a sea and landscape photographer – mostly. But those darn birds! They just keep getting in the way of things and what is a photographer to do? Take for instance this young Great Blue Heron refusing to stop stalking his fish no matter how close I sat beside him.

Then there were those bathtub toy-duck sounding squeakers – the pretty little Harlequin Ducks…

But it was the Red-wing Blackbird singing in the rain that really distracted me from the sound of the surf…

The clouds were waddling their heavy bellies slowly across the sky as the first drops fell. This red-wing blackbird just kept singing as I moved closer to capture his silhouette against the rain-laden clouds.

Those darn birds! 😉

 

SPROUT: What pleasant distractions have you found in your creative adventures of late?

 

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

Great Blue Heron and the surf

Here at Creative Potager we haven’t been down for walk on the beach for a while. It must be time – yes? About yesterday’s adventure with a Great Blue Heron and a good strong surf, will that do? Get all settled in because here we go…

It was about three o’clock in the afternoon and a wee bit of sun was coming out after a morning of heavy rain, hail and even a bit of snow. Miss Prissy, the old blue ford 4×4 seemed as ready as we were to go stretch our legs down at Reef Bay. David and I chatter away at each other as we stop in at the Farm Gate Store. We have a quick visit with the owners Don and Shanti McDougall as we pick up local eggs, bread, plum jam and a few other odds and ends. One more stop at the Trading Post to pick up our weekly bottle of red wine and then it is time to head for the sea.

Of course we had to stop and check out the daffodil field along the way. Not enough blooms for a photo op yet. Soon though, very soon.

As we come by Oyster Bay I can see the surf is up and we almost stop there but I had a hankering for Reef Bay. By now you know it is a favourite and I thought we might be just a bit more sheltered from the wind. Pulling that old ford around on the half-acre at the entrance to the trail to the water we park. I leap ahead and David comes along more leisurely behind.

Right away I spot the Great Blue Heron over on side of the reef closest to the Strait of Georgia. These birds are a bit skittish here and keep their distance. So I get my camera set and begin the trek to see if I can meander close enough to get a good photograph.

Oh, I am spotted but still the heron seems content to pretend to meander just a little way down the reef hoping I haven’t noticed it. As it disappears behind a rock I think it thinks I have missed it. Then up pops its head. I move the camera just slightly to position the frame and there it goes…..

At first it is high over the crashing surf and then swoops down in a long glide close to the water.

(image available for purchase HERE

I go back to enjoying the surf for a few minutes

thinking about the sea

and the sandstone…

life and relationships and time.

The heron is contentedly hidden among the seagulls as I watch the Oyster Catchers and notice another large storm cloud coming our way.

With stiff fingers from the brisk wind I look to see where David might be as I make my way carefully back across the sandstone. The tide is coming in and I must clamber over the boulders to reach the beach again.

SEED: The Great Blue Heron is a favourite bird for many and particularly nature photographers. Its beauty and prehistoric squawk seem to keep our attention longer than most shore birds.

Great blue herons’ size (3.2 to 4.5 feet/1 to 1.4 meters) and wide wingspan (5.5 to 6.6 feet/1.7 to 2 meters) make them a joy to see in flight. They can cruise at some 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 kilometers) an hour.

Though great blue herons hunt alone, they typically nest in colonies. They prefer tall trees, but sometimes nest in low shrubs. Females produce two to seven eggs, which both parents protect and incubate. Chicks can survive on their own by about two months of age.

reference: National Geographic at http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/great-blue-heron

Well, I hope you enjoyed your seaside walk and feel refreshed and energized to meet the day! All the best, from Mayne Island to wherever you are in this grand world of ours.

© 2012 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

Terrill Welch online Gallery at http://terrillwelchartist.com

Paint to Great Blue Heron

I included two of Sue Wiebe’s paintings (“The Cow” and “Water Lilies”) as a bonus feature in early March. Sue has another painting to share with us. As an artist I find there is nothing more satisfying than when I look at my painting and I no longer see paint but rather the image I have been inspired to create.

Sue had sent me this early photo of her “Great Blue Heron” painting in progress.

A few days ago, she sent me this photo of her completed painting.

I get frequent opportunities to observe these great birds. I feel like this one is watching me and if I take one step closer it will take flight, squawking its prehistoric song in annoyance because I have disturbed its fishing.

Thank you so much Sue for allowing us to share in your creative process and you’re your beautiful paintings.

I often feel like there is a transformation of the individual doing the creating in the creative process as well as the transformation of letters, paint, light, or sounds into what ultimately become the “finished piece.”

Sprout Question: Can you tell us about a profound experience you have had in creating a piece of writing, art, photograph or music or…?

(And please, links to the work you are writing about are always welcome:)

© 2010 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Purchase photography at http://www.redbubble.com/people/terrillwelch

Creative Potager – where imagination rules. Be inspired.

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada