Category Archives: Inspiration

Into the woods – Photo Wednesday

Above: true Pacific Northwest rainforest… abundant mosses draping every limb.

This post is a bit of reminiscing about past outdoor trips. And dreaming of new trips in the future.

Secret waterfall, from a forest service road. Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The photo above was taken from a forest service road on Vancouver Island, BC. I have no idea where I was (I leave the details to the trip leader) exactly, but I remember it with great fondness.

Big trees. Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredettte

I wanted to show how dwarfed we are by the forest giants. We humans are such small creatures…


Big trees, hard route. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Getting to the big trees is not for the faint of heart. Hard route, uphill mostly.


July forest floor contrats. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The forest floor also offers interesting contrasts.


How tall are the firs? Very tall. Photo by Andrée Fredette

How tall are the Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii), you ask? Very tall. Look up, go ahead.

And in late spring, those fir trees are procreating. Have a look at Douglas fir female cones, in the spring…

Douglas Fir female cones. Photo by Andrée Fredette

While we are on reproduction, here is the Salal (Gaultheria shalllon) version, beautiful dainty blossoms…

Salal blossoms. Photo by Andrée Fredette

“How I go to the woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”  ― Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems


Me again, I will finish with a photo of an orchid that is sweetly growing in my garden… and nobody has witnessed me talking to it…

Orchid in June, Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Sunset magic – Photo Wednesday

Above: from the archives, a particularly moody August sunset from 2009, over Navy Channel, in the Southern Gulf Islands of the British Columbia coast.

Several days in a row this week, the sunsets have been very special. All warm shades, with a little contrast for good measure.

April 18 sunset, all liquid colours. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, that was on April 18, to the right of the horizon. Golden mellow.

April 18 sunset, all cool shades. Photo by Andrée Fredette

At the same time, all the cool shades were gathered on the left of the horizon…

I started taking pictures of sunsets from my perch on this island right from the get-go. Here is why:

December 2005 sunset with Pender Island in the background. Photo by Andrée Fredette

That photo is from December 2005, early days of digital cameras.  The pixels are little “rough”, but they do convey the magical quality of the light, and bright colours at sundown. That boat was in a hurry to get home before dark…

But let me show you a few more examples from various seasons, to give you an idea of the range of colours and cloud patterns involved.

Sunset magic over Pender Island forest. Photo by Andrée Fredette

One evening, that was the sight: the sky on fire above Pender Island’s forest.

Sunset magic, Southern Gulf Islands, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The sky show can be spectacular. I love the light on the water, above.

Dramatic November sunset over Pender Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And clouds can create some truly dramatic effects.

Sunset drama over Navy Channel, Southern Gulf Islands, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I did mention that I love the sunset reflection in the water. Here is my shot of that liquid gold, rippling after a boat went through the sound.

Sunset reflected in the water. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And there are bonus points if you can observe the sunset from a high vantage point, on a cloudy evening. Big payoff!

Sunset blues over the Southern Gulf Islands. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I leave you with this “sunset blues” version. Play some Mozart at sunset, it suits the mood.

Ferry travel = Stunning show

Above: the view from the back of the ferry, as it rounds the corner at the end of Navy Channel, heading into Village Bay, on Mayne Island. (About 30 minutes after leaving Saturna Island…)

Friday morning’s sunrise was exceptional.


Leaving Saturna-2

This is one of the first shots I took, about 15 minutes after we left Saturna Island, heading down the channel. I could tell it was going to be a promising sunrise. I love cloud cover, it adds drama!

Pretty soon, several other travelers looked up from their computer, device, or book, and came out on the deck to snap pictures with their phones. It was a spectacular show, and it kept getting better…

Ferry sunrise, with the silhouettes of Mt Baker on the left, and Saturna Island on the right. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, the pointy silhouette of Mount Baker, in Washington State (did you know it’s a volcano?) in the far distance. To the right, the silhouette of Saturna’s Mount Fisher.

And in the other direction, the still dark blue part of the sky, and the ferry’s motion cutting a swath in the water. Those dark hills are on Mayne Island.

Mayne Queen ferry, going up Navy Channel, with Mayne Island on the right. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I slowed down my camera’s shutter speed, to get the motion blur on the wake.

Here is another shot of the ferry’s wake, down Navy Channel, in the direction of the sunrise:

Ferry's wake in Navy Channel, between Mayne and Pender Islands. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And then… hang on to your hat…

Mayne Queen ferry, quaint pictogram. Photo by Andrée Fredette

…or to the railing, because those colours are about to get boosted to the max!


Sunrise to the max, over Navy Channel, Southern Gulf Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

and one more, for good measure…

Insane sunrise oranges on Navy Channel, in the Southern Gulf Islands of BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And after a stop at Mayne Island, where the Victoria-bound travelers transferred to the Skeena Queen, another ferry, about 30 minutes later, the bright oranges began to fade, and became more subtle.

Aboard the Skeena Queen, leaving Mayne Island and headed for Swarz Bay, Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And then the sky went into the pastels. Still absolutely gorgeous…

Subtle morning on the water, abord the Skeena Queen ferry, on the way to Swarz Bay. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Light on water: pure magic.

Saturday thoughts

Above: yesterday’s sunset, mellow sundown.

Yesterday’s walk in the forest yielded the following images, with which I played.

New growth on an old fir stump. Hope springs eternal. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Renewal, that is the lesson. Out of massive old stumps of fir trees, new growth, both well established (above)…

Renewal, new growth on a massive old fir stump. Photo by Andrée Fredette

…and just starting out.


Tender growth, pushing through. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And back in my garden, there was evidence of new growth, pushing through and up!

Toward sundown, the light shone through the trees.

Sunset through the trees. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And sundown concluded on a very mellow note.

Mellow sundown, through the Garry Oak. Photo by Andrée Fredette