On this visit “our” beach was almost bare of the usual fascinating stones and shells that I love to collect. I did find a few lovely arrangements of kelp and other sea plants to collect digitally.


Into my pocket went a small fragment of a shell which made me think of the top part of a pan flute, or an ancient comb. The scan shows it larger than life and rather surreal…





Having recently enjoyed reading Marly Youman‘s most magical tale Glimmerglass and while still feeling dreamy over it as I perused more of our recent westcoast travel photos, the above images seemed to call out their own glimmerings.

I love her phrase to describe an artist as ‘pursuer of mystery’ (page 35). She is a writer who understands artists! I also love the cover and illustrations by Clive Hicks-Jenkins. A highly recommended read!

rainforest creatures






Going backward a bit in time from our arrival on the west coast of Vancouver Island and my rusty sand, water and rock photos, I must share the amazing rainforest creatures we met at a rest stop within Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park in the center of the Island. As it was raining we ate lunch in our car then managed between raindrops to capture a few of these wonderful characters.

seeds of oleander



I have grown oleanders for decades and have never seen them go to seed. What a surprise to discover these tiny little gifts. Shall I try see if they will grow new plants? I usually start them from cuttings.

lemon yellow




My first home-grown Meyer lemons, so lovely together with a gift of yellow tulips

more hellebore


While out and about yesterday, a day that was not under another wave of the Pineapple Express for a change, but bright though cloudy, I spotted some plantings of little hellebore with perky heads, unlike those in my garden with their hanging ones, the kinds you have to lift up to look at their faces.


I even found a fallen or picked blossom, somewhat bruised though it is, to take home and scan. Which do you like better?

I think my favourite scan may still be this one and I do love these macro photos.

more lichen


found on a very very rainy day
food for the reindeer (if we had any)

compare to my other lichen images here and here

late January


The Pineapple Express recently brought us very heavy rains matched by warm temperatures up to 16C (60F) at our place, meaning no weekend snowsports in the mountains. Today’s brilliant sunny day tempted me out into the garden. Still swampy in places from that rainstorm, I put on my waterproof boots and went out for a garden inspection. I knew the snowdrops and some of the early crocuses were out, plus numerous emerging green tips of other spring flowering bulbs were a delight to see. As I cleaned up some of the leaf litter to give them light and air, I too felt a cleansing of winter’s cobwebs.

I did take some photos of the snowdrops as I’ve done every year. But the above image found on the side of the house excited me much more artistically. And yes, I did leave this cobweb in place for now.

Meanwhile I hope the folks in the northeast US will survive a major blizzard.

Added later – It has hit the Maritimes as well!

dancing mists

My son-in-law took pity on me for the loss of my photos, which I had written about in my previous post, so he generously offered to share this beautiful moody time-lapse video he made of the shifting mists over the lake last November. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thanks, Jonathan!

P.S. View the video fullscreen by pressing the button with 4 arrows on the right side of video player. Then press Esc on your keyboard to exit fullscreen mode.

gift of wonder



This morning (December 30th), as I sleepily walked into the kitchen, I was stunned by the low deep yellow rays of the rising sun striking the skylights, skylights covered in tiny little frost flowers.


A rare miracle, a gift of wonder! The beauty of nature right at home.


The Old Year is almost past and the New Year is almost here. I now wish all of you this gift of wonder in all you see, really see in this world. There is beauty even in ageing, in deteriorating, in the returning of all to the earth in the cycles of life and death. Wonder at the light and the dark in the cycles of the seasons and years, just as our long ago ancestors wondered in awe.

Have a happy, healthy and creative New Year!