The Port Renfrew Affair

As life moves us and changes day by day, as it always does, and I get a renewal notice from WordPress that the annual 25 bucks is due again for showing my nice address, this blog may be put to a (perhaps for the time being) stop. It is just that there is not much alone time these days and that is when I do my photographing. Under those circumstances it is fine to maintain a Flickr site but as far as my blog goes there hasn’t been enough time to maintain it right for quite a while. So unless things change once again there may be a few more posts before it all winds down on this website.
At any rate my wife, Frankie, and I needed to get some coolness, sea air, and sea breezes, and for that we went to the west coast of this island. The east coast’s sea, which I live on, is kind of like an inland sea and has a totally different feel, temperature, and smell to it. We drive straight across the Island on what used to be logging roads. I remember these main logging roads being closed to the public during the week. One time as I was exploring there during the off limits time on my trusty 400cc Honda two fully loaded logging trucks sandwiched me in. Eating dust and with a few inches to spare front and back between my bike and the trucks it took me 10 to 15 km to extricate myself from that embrace. I have been more careful with those truckers ever since. Yes there was adventure when driving these roads less than 20 years ago but now the road is nicely paved.
One tree I like to show is a gigantic spruce. When the treeists brought in their legions to cut down every tree they could find, one tree was left. This was during the “forests forever” days and that phrase was turning sour when I arrived here in the sixties. There must have been some worries about that big old spruce wanting to escape because there is a fence around it now and it isn’t going anywhere.
The beach most easily accessible in Port Renfrew is Botanical Beach. Even though there are tidal pools here it is not really the best beach for tidal pools. Sombrio Beach, among the easy to access beaches around Port Renfrew, is nicer for that. Botanical Beach is at the end of the Juan de Fuca trail and right above it starts the West Coast Trail. Here is one photo to show where I approached that beach this time. What I like about this photograph is its westcoastness. Botanical Beach
At the water’s edge stands the Port Renfrew Hotel. The hotel burned down some years ago. I stayed there a few times every year from the early seventies till the mid nineties of the past century. Mostly the finishing inside out was cedar but the walls between the bedrooms were paper thin and every sound from the next room could be heard like it was happening in your own bed which, by the way, creaked at the tiniest body movement. One night I listened to my neighbours fighting and swearing, physically fighting, during the first half of the night. During the second half they made up and out. The bar below the bedrooms could be heard as well. Close your eyes and you’d think your bed was in the bar. The separate bathroom had a humongous bath in it and all that, everything in the rooms and bathroom was always spotlessly clean, for $25 per night. Of all the hotels I have stayed in this one is among my favourites. After the fire the place was rebuilt. The second floor with the rooms is now history and the main floor has become a canteenlike pub and a dining room, just those two areas. Ceilings go up now to the roof. Overall the rebuilding has been done nicely especially the preservation of the outside looks.
Port Renfrew Hotel
Port Renfrew Hotel
Port Renfrew and area is known as Victoria’s playground (not as in Victoria the lady but as in Victoria the capital of British Columbia). The area is as beautiful here as anywhere along the Vancouver Island west coast. It gets of course very busy with people on beautiful days but when the sun disappears even for a short time the people tend to disappear as well and that is when I start thinking about visiting Port Renfrew and its beaches.


Jelly Fish Embracing

Hello, I would like to share this in case it is new to you as well. I have seen jellyfish on different seas from frighteningly nasty to pacific, but up till now I have not seen them embrace, but they do it. Here they are.
jelly fish embracing 2_2014-07-06 [BL]

jelly fish embracing 1_2014-07-06 [BL]
As an illiterate in the jellyfish department I wonder about the color difference between the two: different races, sexes, or excitements?


Final photographs pertaining to winter I took the other morning. It was the light that lured me out before even having coffee. Mostly these photos are right from the phone. Except for one or two needing straightening they didn’t need editing since they pretty well show what I saw.

2014-02-25 08.04.33 [BL] 2014-02-25 08.02.09 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.55.44 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.55.21 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.54.04 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.49.52 [BL] 2014-02-25 07.48.38 [BL]

Thanks for being here with me to see the end of winter. It is almost time now to venture farther from home with camera in hand, so who knows where we meet next time. Take care.

Cowichan Bay Sunrise

I hear that Chinese smog is making its way to the BC coast. That is nice of course in the way that I always thought smog comes kind of from the local mills and their smoke stacks. Either way smog ads color to our skies.

Yesterday morning stepping out of my frontdoor I saw this:

cb sunrise 001-[BL]

cb sunrise [BL]

The colors heralded a change of weather which is happening today. The change is from mild weather and sunshine to a little much needed rain. There are too many sunrise and sunset photographs in the world but we all like to show them sometimes, so I hope you enjoyed these.



About recording history

Driving to Chemainus as I do mostly using the byways rather than the highway I admired the bridge replacement across the Chemainus river (I haven’t taken any photographs there for a long time and probably will check on the new development this spring camera in hand) just before entering Chemainus from the south. The old bridge was like the Cowichan Station bridge I have shown in an earlier installment. Driving across that bridge I thought about how time changes things. Life on this Earth is change. These thoughts brought me back to Cowichan Station. When first I arrived here Cowichan Station was a post office, railroad track and important trainstation with a few houses around the post office, and farms. Oh, and a school. It’s still all of that minus the post office (which now is a private residence) and the school (which now is used for community affairs – I think). So from Chemainus I drove back to Cowichan Station to take photographs of the railroad overpass which is situated in the nastiest crook of a country road, single lane traffic, reckoning that at some time it is going to be history. A similar overpass across the Trans Canada Highway south of Duncan to accommodate train traffic to the CPR docks in Cowichan Bay was removed, I think (or remember) about 30 years ago. The Cowichan Station overpass cannot last. In photographic terms the day was dull, nevertheless here is the Cowichan Station’s overpass. The second photograph I took because I’ve been here so often and summer vegetation always totally obscures one of my favourite buildings, St Andrews church (which is no longer used for services). The photograph is taken from the tracks over the road (by the way here is a portrayal of its beautiful inside by Toad Hollow Photography). Another thing I sometimes wonder about is what will happen to our history on line during the alien invasion…My giddy aunt go run for the hills that sort of thing..

cowichan station [BL]

cowichan station [BL]2

At any rate once again I am so glad to have this chat with you, as I’m thinking about preservation of the beauty and authenticity of country roads and rural scenes.

Cowichan Bay 2013 finals

I have a weird addiction of photographing beyond the capabilities of the camera. Even when upgrading I still have to go that extra impossible step. ayayay!

The phone is used here where the camera wouldn’t do. Straight from the hip.




The photo above makes us look at the village from the Government Wharf

2013-12-31 07.31.20-1

2013-12-31_07-32-46_HDR 2013-12-31_07-33-43_HDR 2013-12-31_07-35-07_HDR

Actually quite happy to be rid of this year and looking forward to 2014. I’m on my way to a small celebration and will see you all in 2014. All the best and take care.

In the pitch black I used the “HDR Camera+” app. They keep on asking me to upgrade to something with more functions (a bit of a nuissance), but the app is good as is. Using different cameras for different functions this is the most used camera app on my phone.


The Land of the Nisga’a

In the mid eighties I was among a group of people visiting the land of the Nisga’a. The occasion was a conference but time for seeing the sights and tracking the Nisga’a history was built into the time frame. Obviously I used up a fair amount of film which still is safely stored somewhere in my storage. It must have been my first laptop very early this century that I scanned a few 4×6 prints of that trip onto.  I came across them ransacking the dungeons of the present computer. This visit may well be the one that left a deeper impression than other journeys I have been on and going back there is on my list of things to do before keeling over. The prints were old when they were scanned into the computer, but despite a lack of clarity and such, I like to show them after having removed some damage and deterioration.

I see that the Nisga’a highway is paved now. In the 1980s, as soon as we left Terrace, we were on rather rough roads. There were no paved roads.  On our way to Gitwinksihlkw, in those days it was called Canyon City, we drove through a landscape that may be described as strong. big…  and showing a raw beauty. One place of interest was a forest fire, nothing too fierce but potentially dangerous nevertheless.

BL north of terrace, forest fire

Finally we arrived at Gitwinksihlkw. It is situated across the river from the highway. In those days the only access was a narrow suspension bridge that allowed 15 people max on the bridge itself. The nass river, a grand river it is, runs underneath it quite a way down. So the parking place was on the road side and the village across the river and all the large stuff came in by barge. There were one or two cars in town and these were barged in as well. These days things have changed and the suspension bridge does not look as if it is used very much. The old parking lot is empty. On the photo you see us waiting to leave town while a group of 15 people is crossing the river.

BL  bridge to canyon city (Gitwinksihlkw)

Right outside this village are the lava grounds. In the 18th century one of the Nisga’a villages was covered by lava. This must all be part of the memorial park that is there now. The textures of this lava are quite interesting especially where it covered trees and trunks and hardened around them. This dead vegetation has long gone but its shapes are preserved by the lava casts. At any rate what shows on this photo covers a very large area.

BL lavagrounds, canyon city

Beside Gitwinksihlkw there are 3 more villages and I have no idea where the next photo was taken.

BL north of terrace B-PIX2

I hope to take a drive out that way next summer. Among other things I’ll be able then to put a location to this photograph. Thank you for accompanying me on this trip down my memory lane and in conclusion I wish you all a brilliant 2014.


Good morning from Cowichan Bay

a sea lions 001cr2-lze-1 a sea lions 003cr-lze-gr

At times my camera espies the perfect view no tweaking required to update to what I think my eye saw. Well, these photos took little processing as gone through my normal CS curves and, perhaps, crop (the first CS edition) and Lightzone (not the end all to my desires  and hardly ever used here for RAW, sorry, but essential as it handles situations that frustrated the living daylights out of my editing in photoshop’s ancient release). In CS I took out some of the flickering highlights and in Lightzone some minimal dark detail tweaking + seagul enlightenment.

Anyway, the coolness of portrait photography certainly can be extended to these sea hunters. Available light only for laughing out loud:

a sea lions 010cr-lze

a sea lions 009cr

It was the first morning that could liberate your feet off the dock and move them in ways the rest of the body might not agree with (FROST, the tripod became my cane and hands got cold). The top two photos show what my mind’s eye remembers seeing the next photo gives the camera’s interpretation of what it looked like.


Once again, good morning, wishing you a fine day for noticing and enjoying its colors.

Sky between Vancouver and Nanaimo

As always on ferries between Vancouver Island and the mainland cameras clicked constantly throughout the journey. I love to see the photographs that people took this day on the outside decks of more or less all the same subject matter (sky, ferry, and each other), with cameras and phones of varied styles, and all clickers with their personal and artistic visions. It was the day after the storm that saw all ferry sailings in the neighborhood cancelled. The ferry had a good load on but the outside decks were mostly empty. A strong wind that one could barely walk against could have had something to do with that. One (that’s me, not the guy  in the next picture, who stands there like a rock) definitely did not stand still being blown over while trying to be that steady rock for one’s camera, clicking.
Vanc Ferry6 [BL]
Vancouver shows itself in the distance
????????????????It was suggested over the announcement system that people may want to remain seated while crossing these turbulent waters, but doing things on this rolling boat rather than just sitting is more fun.
This was an enjoyable ride and I hope you enjoyed some of it here with me. See you next time.