Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Week on an Island

A week on Savary Island.......it was beautiful. This posting will be about our recent visit to the island and will include a few pictures. Our trip started with the usual preparation beforehand, we were well-stocked with food and other necessities, enough to keep us going for more than one week - best to have enough 'just in case' of an emergency. We stuffed every inch of our little car with our belongings with no room to spare - though the car was burdened with weight, she safely made the journey to Lund. We anxiously arrived at the water-taxi hoping for smooth sailing to the island and that not too many travellers would be before us with their large loads to also be transported. The trip went smoothly and we met some very nice people on the trip. It was a bit of a task to unload all the gear from the water taxi and haul it up the dock ramp, especially at low tide.

Savary Island Dock

We arrived to 'Barky' - the little rustic cabin in the woods - a charming and secluded place, this was to be our home away from home for the next week. We were greeted by our dear Mother who had prepared the cabin for our arrival. We sat ourselves on the front porch to rest for a few minutes before we quickly unpacked. The wonderful fresh air and rich vegetation of the island was a real treat to us after a long trip in the car - we both felt so happy to be there. We made our way to the beach and were greeted by Richard's dear Aunt - she was cozily tucked in the tall beach grass on her lounge chair with a book. We sat ourselves on a driftwood log and had a joyful chat with our Mother and Aunt, the four of us had the beach to ourselves.

We had company of an eagle and heron. We had no schedule to keep and nowhere to rush off to, what a treat. Our keepers of time, watches, would not be seen until the day of departure. We admired the evening sky as it changed its hue, the sand under our feet was cool and soothing. We eventually made our way back to the little cabin in the woods, had an easy dinner by candle light and a restful sleep that night.

We slept in quite late our first morning. We had planned to visit the beach with our coffee but decided it would be just as nice to have breakfast at the cabin on the front porch. The morning light was soft and dappled through the thin cedar trees, there was a gentle breeze from the ocean and we could hear eagles nearby. We were in no rush to finish breakfast and were quite satisfied to rest, still feeling a bit tired from the previous days' trip. We finished unpacking, tidied up inside the cabin, pumped up water for our outdoor shower then made a picnic to take with us on our walk.

After packing our lunch we set off for the trails and beaches. We started walking through the Sunset trail, a lovely pathway where one can step out to the beach at any time from underneath the canopy of trees and lush ferns.

View through Sunset Trail to Beach

Every time I hike on the island, I cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the beauty, quietness and magnificent fresh air. It is interesting to see old-growth cedar, Douglas-fir, pine, arbutus and salal growing from sandy soil. Salal, a type of shrub, grows abundantly throughout the island and some broom grows so large that one can walk underneath their branches! The island is also home to the largest arbutus tree in British Columbia.


Salal Flower

The meadow area and gentle sandy slopes near the shoreline are where various grasses and native plants grow. These are very precious and rare plants where one must follow the pathways to avoid causing any damage to the vegetation.

I especially love the tall blue grass that grows along the sandy shores - not only is it pretty but it offers refuge for those who want to tuck away with a lounge chair and book!

We walked along the Sunset trail through to the meadow and back down to the beach where we beach combed for driftwood and rocks. I was focused on taking as many pictures as possible. We stopped for lunch where a piece of driftwood became our table and a log became our chair. It was so peaceful and quiet. Again, we were in no hurry to rush off anywhere. We watched the ocean's waves and the clouds forming in the distance over Vancouver Island - the clouds did not appear to be heading our way. We had blue skies and sunshine. We sipped a small glass of wine with our lunch and when finished we packed everything up and walked back along the shore towards Indian Point where we eventually met up with our Mother and Aunt. They were nestled in their beach chairs with sun umbrellas amongst the tall blue grass. We trekked back to the cabin to change and prepared ourselves for the beach where we would spend a few hours reading and swimming. Richard was eager to go for a swim! The tide was out a fair distance but it would not be long before the gentle rippling waves would roll in closer to the shoreline and meet up with us.

Later on, we talked about where we would dine that evening - Aunt B invited us to her cottage which was only steps away from 'Barky' - the little cottage in the woods where we stayed. We all had quite an appetite from the day's hiking and swimming - all that fresh air stirred up a hunger! Before dinner, Aunt B and I snuck outside the cottage to catch a glimpse of the resident baby crow who was perched on a spirea branch - its downy feathers gave it a dishevelled appearance. It was waiting for a parent to return with dinner!

The four of us ate dinner then watched the sunset from the cottage, the red coral sky cast its last rays upon us before the day's end.

The next morning we sipped coffee on the front porch and discussed the day ahead. Richard was anxious to 'build' something and decided he needed a beach chair. After breakfast and our morning walk, he enthusiastically set out to collect a supply of wood for his new chair. I was anxious to read my books and settled myself on the pathway amongst salal shrubs and tall cedars, in front of the cabin. The dappled sun shone through the trees and provided plenty of light for reading. A small group of swallows flittered by my side. Meanwhile, Richard was chopping and sawing up pieces of driftwood - bits and pieces flying in every direction. It did not take long before the masterpiece was finished and set up on the beach. It did not take long to become the centrepiece of attraction for neighbours and passerbyers!

Every day we set out for a walk. I decided to take a few pictures of 'rocks' along the shoreline - there were so many with different shapes and colours that I had difficulty deciding which rocks to photograph. I wanted to bring a few home with me but the weight in my backpack would have been considerable - not such a good idea. I decided a few pictures would be less cumbersome.

This was certainly too large for my backpack! Maybe a few of these little ones would fit?

We walked along the Sandtrail beach en route to the middle part of the island, if we had continued along this beach, we would eventually end up at the government dock at the opposite end of the island. This side of the island is also very pretty but shadier.

Sandtrail Beach

Almost mid-point way, at Mermaid rock (a carved mermaid sits perched on rock), is where we turned onto a trail which led through a thicket of salal and ferns, we crossed over to the middle part of the island and continued on the pathways. We stopped along the way for a quick snack and orange juice then headed back to Indian Point. Richard was ready for another swim and visit to his new chair.

Mermaid Rock

On our way back we had a quick look at Richard's three-level log cottage he had built fifteen years prior, it was 'hand made' from logs off the beach (no power tools were used for building). Not one tree on the property was cut down to accommodate the building.

We did not see anyone along the pathways and no traffic on the dirt road until a couple of young cyclists whizzed past in a hurry and said 'hello'. Bicycles are a very suitable means of transport on the main dirt road and a great way to get around the island, apart from walking. As I mentioned in my previous Savary Island posting, there are many charming summer cottages and a few permanent residential homes that blend in nicely with the rustic surroundings and which have made use of driftwood, shells and colourful rocks to artistically adorn and decorate the exteriors and interiors. Some of the older summer cottages have retained their rustic charm of long ago and remain unchanged. These vacation homes are where many generations of families have spent summers together and will carry on doing so.

Summer Cottage near Government Wharf

The urge to be creative through artistic expression, whether through painting, wood work, writing or other art form - becomes very strong for both of us whenever we visit the island. Richard usually feels the urge to 'build' furniture (or a cottage!) with driftwood. It is the ideal location to pause from busy mainstream and the outside world, also a chance to reconnect with nature. I knew I was 'connecting' with nature and feeling relaxed about everything when one afternoon I caught myself talking to a bird. Oh gosh........ I hoped that no one heard or saw me! We did meet up with a few deer during our walks, one particular fawn was resting on a pathway and was not bothered by us - I assumed it was tired and did not want to move - or not afraid at all. We did not want to disturb the creature from resting so carried on our walk. Another nice aspect of Savary Island is there are no bears, cougars or raccoons - no threats to the smaller animals or humans.

When we reached 'Barky', we unloaded our backpacks and repacked them with snacks and refreshments for the beach......I was anxious to delve into my book and feel the sand under my feet. We met up with a couple of the neighbours on the beach and our dear Mother and Aunt. One of the neighbours, I will call her Ms. W, had been busy cleaning windows on her cottage - I call it her 'rainbow cottage' because of the rainbow-coloured window trims, the colourful beaded curtains that hang on her doorways (to keep birds from flying into the cottage), the blue, green, yellow flower boxes outside her windows and her outdoor shower made of blue and green hoola-hoops with tropical shower curtains. The cheery and bright property would always catch my eye as we walked past it. One evening whiile walking past Ms. W's property, I caught sight of a honeysuckle flower hanging in mid-air over my head as we walked through the pathway - the sun shone a spotlight on it as if trying to grab our attention.

It was our turn to make dinner at 'Barky' that evening. We decided to make chili burritos, large salad and stewed rhubarb for dessert. The four of us ate dinner by candlelight and reminisced about the day and days that had passed by quickly, but we did not concern ourselves with time, we enjoyed every moment. After dinner, we both fell into bed and into a deep sleep. The next morning we were woken up by a squirrel running back and forth on the roof - who needs an alarm clock!!

Mischievous Squirrel

I will end this posting as it is becoming quite lengthy - I would love to continue this story of our recent trip but will carry on with it after our visit in the Fall. In closing, I would like to say that Savary Island is unique with its rare and special ecosystem, and it is our hope that all who visit will 'walk gently' and enjoy it for its beauty. Thank you for reading this post - I hope it was enjoyable !!

more stories to come.......Michelle


Pastels...colours of Spring and Summer. Here are a few of my recent pictures....I love the light and fresh colours of pinks, lavenders and other delicate soft hues.

Poppies and Bachelor Buttons

Field of Poppies


Cluster of Roses


Pink Rose

Himalayan Musk

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Roses in June

It is June and roses are starting to bloom. I will try and capture a few roses in the neighbourhood for this posting. Though I am certainly no expert in naming roses - I do love them and enjoy their beauty and scent. I will add more pictures as they come into bloom. For now, I will simply start with a few pictures taken in our garden.

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