QT’s Spring Dreams

Buck lying down in snow

QT, relaxing outside our kitchen window (click on photos to enlarge & see detail)

The first day of 2022 was a frigid one here by west coast standards – but thankfully, no more snow fell that day. QT’s fur coat seems especially thick this winter, so he didn’t appear to mind the temperature.

In fact he seemed almost to relish that extra-cool mattress, as he stretched out in front of our leaf compost bins for a pleasant little mid-afternoon snooze.

Buck sleeping in snow

I’m guessing he might have been dreaming of spring days to come, when all that white stuff turns into tender, tasty green grass and wildflowers.

Dawn Light

Dawn light through the trees over a snowy yard.

Dawn over our yard, where the wheelbarrow and kiwi vines take a well-deserved rest.

Here on the west coast of British Columbia, we’re ending the year under a thick blanket of snow and unseasonably cold temperatures. But with climate change bringing the world so many wild weather systems these days, who can really say what is “seasonable” any more?

The past year has introduced us (if rather brutally) to phrases like “heat dome” and “atmospheric river”. It has tested our individual and collective resilience – physical and emotional – with extreme temperatures, destructive wildfires, massive floods, and one wretched Covid wave after another. It’s brought tragedy to far too many people and families, here in BC and around the world. So I doubt many people will be sorry to see 2021 pass.

Fortunately though, some of these cold winter mornings have been dawning with the kind of light that brings excitement to photographers and a smile to pretty much everyone else who looks at the eastern sky.

It seems that moments of joy are possible – despite the noisy background of climate catastrophe, pandemic despair and a world gone weirdly awry in all kinds of ways. So here’s wishing all of you a happy new year. May you have the time to look, and may you find, a great many moments that bring you hope, joy and comfort in 2022.

Meeting the Ancients

Rocky shoreline resembling long row of carved faces

Meeting the ancients (click to enlarge).

We often meet unusual characters when we go kayaking. Sometimes they’re remarkable enough to transport me – at least in my imagination – to destinations half way around the world.

So it was with the oddballs in the photo above, whom I chanced upon this past summer at the edge of Queen Charlotte Strait. Contemplating the long row of ‘carved’ faces lined up in stony silence, staring out to sea, I couldn’t help but feel like I was meeting the famous moai of Easter Island.

OK, I know – it was Mama Nature, not the Rapa Nui people, who carved these ones, and I was barely 200 miles from home. Still, even a brief flight of fancy can be fun – not to mention, a low carbon way to travel.

Popping up for Halloween

Black elfin saddle mushroom

Right on time for Halloween, a few spooky characters have started turning up at our place.

Some, like the one above, have come dressed like the Grim Reaper…

two odd looking white mushrooms

while others have chosen a more ghostly costume.

I recognized the “Grim Reaper” as a Black elfin saddle mushroom (Helvella lacunosa) – we’ve had them visit in past years. But the ghostly look of the others puzzled me at first. And then I found the likely answer: according to Wikipedia, Black elfin saddles can have white stems when they’re young, and occasionally they have white caps. So I’m guessing these are Black elfin saddle youngsters, out for a lively bit of trick or treating.

No matter which of the two costumes they’re wearing, they all seem just a little bit spooky!

Light coloured elfin saddle mushroom