Previous posts have included some of the frosty scenes from the beach at Tofino during our visit there last year. Aside from the logs, the strands of kelp that had become washed up on the beach were also frosted. The kelp itself seemed to have maintained its moisture without being damaged by freezing but the surface had accumulated a layer of frost that looked really pretty in the early morning light. As the sun got high enough to warm the kelp up, the frost was soon gone.
A while back I posted about the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. We saw it while walking on the Pacific Coast Trail. At the time of that post, I said I would post more from the rest of the trail. I guess I have finally got around to doing so. The beginning of the trail took us past the lighthouse but it was a bit backlit. As we walked further around the coastline, the light came to be behind us more and the view of the various inlets and islands got to be very nice.
It was such a tranquil spot. I suspect November is not the busiest time of year and the trails might be a lot more crowded in peak season but the sun was out and it was really lovely to be there. The rocky coastline looks like it is something that you need to know your way around carefully if you are in a boat. The presence of a lighthouse tells you that plenty have come to grief in the past. On a day like the one we had, though, it couldn’t have seemed more appealing.
Continuing the theme of casting back into the past for shots of things that compensate for not going anywhere anymore, this one isn’t too long ago. Our visit to Victoria in the run up to Christmas involved staying in a hotel alongside the harbor. We had a view from our hotel room across to the legislative building which is nicely illuminated at night – not just for Christmas but all the time. Here is the shot from the hotel window!
While I didn’t get the shots of the trees over the pass on Vancouver Island and I did get some shots from Port Alberni, I did pull off the road as we descended to take some shots across a valley that we were passing through. The local fire station was on a small rise which gave an elevated view of the valley that was still covered in frost. Plenty of farm structures provided a bit of interest to the shot. The wider shot was nice but the power lines which are, no doubt, very useful to the residents were a bit more annoying to the photographer. I wonder which is more important…
Beaches are great places for dogs. Plenty of space to run and then there is the water to play in if they like. As we were walking along Long Beach in Tofino. One guy was throwing a ball for his dog to chase and fetch. The dog was having a fantastic time roaring around the beach after the ball. The guy seemed to be happy too but I think I was almost as happy as the dog watching it having such a good time. A couple of times it came towards me and I wanted the guy to throw the ball my way more often to get some shots but I think he was throwing it away from me to avoid inconveniencing me. I should have said not to worry.
Drive south from Tofino and you come to the wonderfully named town of Ucluelet. There are some great trails near the town that take you around the coastline and one of them goes past a lighthouse. The Amphitrite Lighthouse is a great looking lighthouse. In the days of modern navigation techniques, the concept of lighthouses seems a little out of date but they still serve a purpose and they do provide a nice focal point to a view of a rocky coastline. The lighthouse was one of the first things to see on the trail we took and I should probably post some of the other views in another post at some point. In the meantime, here is the light to keep you going.
The sunsets at Tofino were beautiful and I included some shots of those in this post. Sunrise was also pretty impressive. Winter means the sun is pretty far south so the position it comes up is not so far off that in which it sets. It does provide a very different light to things with some of the headlands that we could see from the hotel now having nice light on them. When you wake up to a view like this out of your hotel window, you know you are a lucky guy and are likely to have a good day!
On our trip to Tofino, we were on an older ferry from BC Ferries. The Queen of New Vancouver was our ride in both directions. I am not an expert on BC Ferries but this boat clearly looked a lot older than the majority of the fleet. That’s because she is. All of her sister ships have been scrapped but she was refitted around 2007 for another ten to fifteen years. (Wikipedia is my friend.). I guess that means her days are numbered. I am not sure whether she is used regularly but I did hear that another ship was in maintenance. Maybe that is why she was in use. Anyway, here is the old girl. We rode on one of the newer ships a while later and they are definitely better equipped for the passengers. Maybe she still has some time to go though.
Our visit to Butchart Gardens was focused on the lights but we got their before the sun went down and explored the Japanese garden. It was closed for the lights event so this was the only time to check it out. The gardens as a whole were quite quiet so it was peaceful wandering around the plants, across the bridges and around the water features.
There was a device for scaring wild boar. It was a water clock which would gradually fill with running water at which point it would overbalance, tip out the water and then fall back making a noise designed to startle any passing wild boar. I was particularly interested in some branches for one of the plants that were twisted into some bizarre patterns. I couldn’t make out whether this was natural or not but, if it is, I do wonder what the purpose would be.
Early morning walks after a cold night mean frost everywhere. I guess I am accustomed to frost on hard surfaces but softer items, for some reason, didn’t seem like things that would have frost on them. Plants are not warm blooded so why wouldn’t the frost gather on the leaves too. This is probably obvious to everyone but me but I was quite taken with the frost crystals on the leaves.
Aside from the mere presence of frost, I was also impressed by the shapes that the frost crystals had developed in to. They were quite exaggerated and a decent size compared to the leaves themselves. Since it had been a cold and calm morning, getting shots of the leaves was easier than normal since usually the gentlest of breezes will cause motion in the leaves making a sharp shot hard to achieve. The stillness was my friend (and also made for a more comfortable walk since, without wind, the low air temperatures were not uncomfortable).