Category Archives: Wanderings

Witty’s Lagoon – Photo Wednesday

Above:  Spring wildflowers abound at Tower Point, Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park in Metchosin, close to Victoria on Vancouver Island, BC.

The Haystack Rocks are just offshore and with their cloud crown, the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, supply the backdrop to a lovely sunny afternoon.

Grassy blooms, seaside. Witty's Lagoon, Metchosin, Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

These alien-looking blooms are everywhere on Tower Point. Very eye-catching in the afternoon sunlight.

 

Macro of inflorescence. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Here is a macro look at the panicles. Anthers like little orbiting planets around the main spike, maturing in sequence from the bottom up… Click on the photo above for a really intimate view!

Here is another shot of these interesting “weeds”…

Spring inflorescence. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And then there were the spring classic flowers, the Camas lilies (Camassia quamash). Intense blue!

Camas Lily and its intense blue. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And Menzie’s Larkspur (Delphinium menziesii)… Bright purple.

Menzie's Larkspur, most intense colour! Photo by Andrée Fredette

After eating my picnic in the flower meadow, I made my way around to the beach at low tide. It’s quite a walk…

Ocean and mountains. The view at low tide, Witty's Lagoon, Vancouver Island, BC. The Strait of Juan de Fuca, Race Rocks and the lighthouse in the middle distance, and the mountains of the Olympic Peninsual in Washington State. Majestic.

Ocean and mountains: that is the view at low tide, from the beach at Witty’s Lagoon, Vancouver Island, BC. The Strait of Juan de Fuca, Race Rocks and the lighthouse in the middle distance, and across the international line, the mountains of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.   Majestic.

The water leaves intriguing marks in the sands of Witty's Lagoon. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I loved the ridges left in the sand by retreating tides.

 

Here is a special effects photo close-up.

Sand ridges, close up and with special effects. Photo by Andrée Fredette

 

And besides the dog walkers, there were young boogie boarders, getting to the water’s edge.

Boogie board teens, on the way to the water's edge, Witty's Lagoon, Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And on the way back to my car, the shady trail revealed this treasure, a tall – as yet unidentified by me – flower spike. There was an entire colony of those, almost three feet tall, in the deep shade…

Trailside shade flower, Witty's Lagoon Regional Park, Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And on May 1st, back at home, this was the sunset moment. A great end to a lovely weekend…

First of May sunset, viewed from Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Quand l’heure se fait plus douce…

Island Wandering – Photo Wednesday

Above: A view of the point at Narvaez Bay, taken from Fiddler’s Cove, Saturna island. Can you spot the hikers?

Fiddler's Cove, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This beautiful and peaceful spot is Fiddler’s Cove at low tide. To get there, you have to clamber down a steep trail (and remember that what goes down has to come up at the end of the excursion…).

This spot has beautiful lacy sandstone (also called tafoni). Over the years, I have watched lots of people take photos of it, because everyone finds it intriguing. How can rocks look so lacy?

Lacy sandstone, or tafoni, on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Here is a closer crop of the above photo, to show you a lichen detail:

Red lichen on sandstone, Fiddler's Cove, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I am new to lichen identification, so this little red béret lichen crowd will remain unnamed for the moment.

 

Big nose rock, Fiddler's Cove, Saturna, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And here is “big nose”, the rock that overhangs the water. It frames the horizon.

 

Anemone in the rocks. Photo by Andrée Fredette

If you look carefully between the rocks at the water’s edge, you can get lucky and spy an anemone…

So the lesson is: keep your eyes open, you never know what you’ll spot.

Weekend Report

Above: close-up of a flowering tree on East Point Road, Saturna Island, BC. Roadside poetry…

What follows is a visual report of my weekend. It involved a little commute on the ferry, a little road trip on Vancouver Island, and a little excursion to Winter Cove park on Saturna Island.

From the back of the ferry, fog between Saturna and Pender Islands, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

On Friday morning, we left on the mid-morning ferry and I got to admire the fog that was caught between islands, hanging on before the sun could do its thing and burn it out…

Islet in the fog, Southern Gulf Islands, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

This is the cute islet that lies just off North Pender Island. I don’t know its name, but it stands out in a lovely silhouette, against a fog backdrop.

While on Vancouver Island, I got to admire the greenery in bloom, including this tall Oregon grape…

Tall Oregon grape, in bloom. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And while walking in a meadow, I caught a glance of a hawk overhead. I was a little slow on the photo op, and got him a little bit “fuzzy”.

 

Hawk overhead

Patrolling the fields for mice and other goodies, no doubt.

Back on Saturna after a pleasant road trip and a return ferry commute, we all headed to the pub for sundown.

Pub sundown, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The sky and water had a dramatic moment…

Sunset on April 2nd, from the Pub on Saturna. Photo by Andrée Fredette

You have to keep a watch on the sky and water, at sunset. It pays off handsomely.

 

And this morning, I headed to Winter Cove with a friend, and looked for spring wildflowers.

Fawn Lily season at the Cove. Photo by Andrée Fredette

We were rewarded. Lots of Fawn lilies (Erythronium oregonum) and what looks like soon-to-open chocolate lilies (maybe).

 

Fawn lily single. Photo by Andrée Fredette

There is always one that stands out. This was the pinky one:

 

Fawn lily with a pink shading. Photo by Andrée Fredette

There were masses of them, right up to the edge of the rocky shore.

Fawn lilies by the ocean. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And there were also daisies here and there.

Daisy at Winter Cove. Photo by Andrée Fredette

At the water’s edge, a solitary heron was watching the shallows.

Heron silhouette. Photo by Andrée Fredette

It is good to get out and breathe some fresh air.

Birds, big and small

Above: “What are you looking at?”  This bald eagle spent a good hour on that branch, in a brisk wind, drying out after fishing. He spotted me, when I decided to take his photo. Had a bit of an insulted look…

At low tide, I returned to Winter Cove, determined to get some bird close-ups.

Through the bushes, I spotted this Great blue heron (Ardea herodias)...

 

Great blue heron, on the shoreline at Winter Cove, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Very slowly, I crawled through the bushes, on hands and knees(it was not a graceful maneuver). Close enough to get a clear shot through a long lens, but far enough to avoid disturbing him (or her).

 

Great blue heron, hunting. Photo by Andrée Fredette

There was a snack to catch, so he turned his attention to the work of getting some vittles.

 

Great blue heron, snacking. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And success. Bon appétit.

Here is the setting, Winter Cove.

Winter Cove, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A lovely afternoon, a sunny Friday.

Male Barrow's Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica), at Winter Cove, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

There were lots of ducks, like this gorgeous male Barrow’s Goldeneye (Bucephala islandica).

Barrow's Goldeneye pair at Winter Cove, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And some went around with their girlfriends…

And back home, later in the afternoon, I refilled the bird feeders.

We have feeders for big birds, like this Pileated woodpecker (Hylatomus pileatus)…

Pileated woodpecker. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And feeders for little birds.

Rufous hummingbird male. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Here is another shot of a little Rufous hummingbird male (Selasphorus rufus), in flight (camera shutter not fast enough!).

 

Rufous hummingbird male, in flight. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And to conclude, I offer you a flower: a Fawn Lily.

Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum), blooming on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

 

Spring flowers on Saturna

Above: today’s header photo is a budding Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum), a sweet sign of spring if there ever was one!

 

First day of spring, and here is a report of the flowers that are starting to appear on this shore.

Salmonberry blossom (Rubus spectabilis). Photo by Andrée Fredette

Took a walk at Winter Cove, an area that is part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (there’s a mouthful) and pointed my camera at assorted blossoms. Above: salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), looking a tad bedraggled after an iffy late winter.


Oregon grape in bloom (Mahonia aquifolium). Photo by Andrée Fredette
And this warm golden yellow is a gift of the Oregon grape (Mahonia oregonum), which was blooming on a bluff, out of the reach of our ravenous black-tailed deer…



Flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), spring blossoms on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: the assertive pink flash of Flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), another sure sign of spring on this island.

Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum), a spring wildflower on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: another shot of a Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum), starting to open up.



And if you wonder about the setting, here is a shot of the salt pond by Winter Cove.
Winter Cove, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

On the right, above, you can spot a weed – Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) – that is incredibly invasive. It’s the tall thing bearing yellow blooms.

At my house, I keep pulling seedlings out of the yard, the neighbourhood paths and meadows… But it is a losing battle. The park is losing the broom battle, and the weed keeps marching forward, taking over. More info on this link.


Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius), invasive plant in bloom, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette


Scotch broom blooms in the spring, and its blossoms redeem it somewhat…


Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) in bloom, March, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette
And finally, because my garden is also offering interesting yellows of a more tame variety…

Spruge (Euphorbia). Photo by Andrée Fredette

Spurge (Euphorbia), starting to get its alien-like flowers into position.
And the stars of my spring garden:

Daffodils. Photo by Andrée Fredette