a white stone



two sides of a much-loved stone that resides on a windowsill
was it found by one of our children years ago?

rain forest



After a week of sunny frosty weather, followed by a much too short-lived overnight snow, it’s been rain, rain and more rain with gloomy dark days calling for lights indoors. I keep my ‘daylight’ lamp on next to me in the hopes of lessening symptoms of SAD.

In a brief moment between showers yesterday, we were tempted into a walk to the park, only to be caught in the rain again. Thank goodness for umbrellas. Seeing the lush thick green moss growing high up tree trunks, interspersed with ferns reminded us of the beauty of our rain forest climate. Even the rocks were green with moss.

What a contrast to the dry tan and white scenery that we enjoyed over Christmas in the interior of BC. Each its own beauty.

bones, stones & fossils


As so many of us do on seashores everywhere, I like to pick up interesting shells and stones and take some home. This time, on our recent little vacation on the west coast, I discovered small stones that seemed more like weathered bone fragments. Our geologist friend agreed. Of what creatures, fish, whale, bird, I wondered?

Oddly synchronous was a fascinating novel I was reading during those days, an historical fiction called Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier:

In 1810, a sister and brother uncover the fossilized skull of an unknown animal in the cliffs on the south coast of England. With its long snout and prominent teeth, it might be a crocodile – except that it has a huge, bulbous eye.

Remarkable Creatures is the story of Mary Anning, who has a talent for finding fossils, and whose discovery of ancient marine reptiles such as that ichthyosaur shakes the scientific community and leads to new ways of thinking about the creation of the world.

Working in an arena dominated by middle-class men, however, Mary finds herself out of step with her working-class background. In danger of being an outcast in her community, she takes solace in an unlikely friendship with Elizabeth Philpot, a prickly London spinster with her own passion for fossils.

The strong bond between Mary and Elizabeth sees them through struggles with poverty, rivalry and ostracism, as well as the physical dangers of their chosen obsession. It reminds us that friendship can outlast storms and landslides, anger and and jealousy.

My findings were not fossils, of course, but I found the story resonated for me and was the perfect enjoyable read for this trip. I’m glad that I learned about this book from a review by Wandering Coyote. She also wrote about another novel about Anning, Curiosity by Joan Thomas, a Canadian author. I’d like to read it sometime later when Chevalier’s book fades in my mind.

Odd how these things happen together. A few days ago I read about this latter book in our local newspaper: What happens when two novelists have the same idea?

Such fascinating connections! And to think I’d never heard of Mary Anning before!

Added 22/11/2010 – more Mary Anning

west coast rocks






And, of course, since I love rocks so very much, I had to capture these handsome ones on one of our favourite beaches during our recent west coast holiday.

revisiting Hornby’s petroglyphs



This year’s mini-vacation to Hornby Island was a sort of pilgrimage for me as we revisited some favourite spots from past visits. It must be over 15 years ago when we first saw the petroglyphs made by early First Nations peoples. Interestingly, those first photos were captured on film. They later appeared in several of my prints and in a book.

Sadly, the petroglyphs have worn down considerably since then for they are next to the sea and we could find only these two this time. The bright morning light meant the carvings appeared very faint in my digital photos so I’ve had to manipulate these images to bring out the contrast, hence the excessive graininess where the rocks were actually quite smooth. I’m so happy to have seen them again.

Related links:
my petroglyph photos in a book
a petroglyph photographed long ago

ADDENDUM November 10th: To answer Joe’s excellent question in the comments below, I’ve gone to the book mentioned in the link above: In Search of Ancient British Columbia, and the chapter on the Gulf Islands. On page 225, titled Petroglyphs, where my photographs are also featured, authors Philip Torrens and Heidi Henderson write:

Because petroglyphs are carved from rock rather than from bone or other organic matter, archaeologists cannot determine their ages using carbon-14 or other radioactive dating techniques. Attempts to determine ages by erosion are challenged by the fact that we have no way of knowing how deeply carved the grooves were in the first place. Given the heavy rain on most of the B.C. coast, it seems improbable that any surviving petroglyphs date back to the beginning of human presence here – at least 12,000 years ago. Estimates of their ages range from a few thousand years to less than a century, depending on the petroglyph and its location.

more rock lace



…on the very photogenic Hornby Island, naturally!

all hallow’s


A little bit of spookiness created just for you, dear readers, to put you in the mood for Samhain, All Hallow’s or Halloween, All Saints Day, Day of the Dead, Kekri or whatever you celebrate this weekend!

If this Pineapple Express we are having right now keeps up for tomorrow evening, the little trick-or-treaters may be washed away!

Hornby rock lace




more Hornby rocks



HornbyRockwith Wood09.jpg

a few more photos of Hornby Island’s rocks

a busy week but in a good way, despite continuing insomnia
fall gardening, housework and much art making
a most heartwarming time with a friend here for dinner and breakfast
life is good

Hornby Island photos




Still very busy, now preparing for a new schedule for this fall as I head back to the printmaking studio, but wanted to quickly post some photos of the amazing rocks on Hornby Island. More to come…