Friday, May 20, 2011

Birds and beasts

On day two in Tofino, we woke up to a steady rain. It sounded lovely on the roof, but it didn't bode well for outdoor activities.

Even this harbour seal seemed unimpressed...

Fortunately by the afternoon the rain eased up a bit, and treated us to some lovely island skies. Davis and I decided to go for a walk on the beach and see what creatures we could see...

A ton of little shorebirds foraged in the sand, and I saw a few species I'd never seen before including dunlin -

- whimbrels -

and semi-palmated plovers.

We also saw a couple different species of sandpipers, but I don't have any good photos of them. There may be a couple hanging out with the dunlin. We were however graced by the presence of an osprey, floating up and down the beach for over an hour, looking for prey.

The sun started to set...

The tide started coming in...

So we left the osprey to his search -

...and went back to our cabin, where we were greeted by the usual chorus of sea lions.

Up next... adventures in surfing!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To the sea

We've been back from our seaside adventure for a few days now, long enough to recover from our vacation (it was not a restful, lying on the beach with margaritas trip, let me tell you) and for me to go through our photos a little. I won't bore you with an endless slideshow of getaway snaps, but here are some of the highlights of day one.

We stopped as always in Cathedral Grove, a set of trails through MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. This place always seems a little supernatural, a little primeval, a little Lord of the Rings - full of towering trees draped with moss and ferns crawling all over the ground. And the smells like you wouldn't believe - cedar and fir and wet growing things and (maybe my imagination) but a little bit of salt from the sea.

We found a stream with a large log crossing it and stopped for a photo op. I don't know what was on the other side of the stream... maybe next time we'll find out.

We kept driving along the highway, crossing the island, when we came to a pullout next to a bend in the river with large, flat rocks and rapids running between them.

There were tons of little waterfalls leading from one level to the next, it was a great place to practice the effect of shutter speed - but that's another post.

When we got to our cabin, we were greeted (as always) by a chorus of barking sea lions from the docks and eagles soaring overhead. And, a first - by a female common merganser paddling around the harbour.

To be continued...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Depth of field

Having completed my sixth journey across Canada (we arrived in Vancouver on Friday), Davis and I left this morning for our third annual vacation to Ucluelet/Tofino on Vancouver Island. The weather today was lovely - unfortunately, I fear, the only lovely weather we might have this week... but I guess a little rain doesn't matter much when you're soaking wet from surfing and scuba diving anyway. At least, I hope I'll be scuba diving... I'm still coughing up some nasty things and my congested nose is making a reappearance from a cold I picked up on our drive out west, so we'll see what the divemaster has to say about that. Here's hoping it magically disappears before Wednesday, although dunking myself in the cold Pacific surfing for three hours tomorrow may not be the best way to have that happen.

I have tons of photos to share with you, from our road trip and from Ucluelet, but instead of posting all the highlights of the day like I did last year, I think I'll save them until after we get back to Vancouver and settled in... it's a little too manic processing and posting them each night since I am technically on vacation. But here's a little something I took today in Cathedral Grove... I think I should have tried a few more shots, but it's kind of interesting looking. :)