Monday, June 29, 2015

Petroglyphs

Gabriola Island seems to want to keep its petroglyphs a secret even though they are clearly marked on the tourist brochure available to visitors at the ferry terminal.

In order to keep to my timetable and make the return ferry I had to cycle pretty hard to get to the location marked on the map. When I got there -- nada... nothing to be seen but fields.

I stopped a local who seemed to think they were in a field behind a nearby church. It turns out she was right. A simple sign in the church parking lot directs you to a short path into the woods where you'll come across the designs carved into the rock that peaks out through the moss and dirt of the ground.

According to the sign: "Many of the images resemble wildlife commonly found in the area..."

It appears that the local wildlife included Sonic the Hedgehog and Raving Rabbids.

Sonic the Hedgehog appears in a Gabriolo petroglyph...


Raving Rabbids in rock relief...



Friday, June 26, 2015

Gabriola Island

The Malaspina Galleries of Gabriola Island...
Gabriola's Malaspina Galleries

Carved by wind and waves...
The artistry of wind and waves...
Over the years I've managed to cycle many of the Gulf Islands off Vancouver Island. The latest was Gabriola Island off Nanaimo where you can find the Malaspina Galleries.

They are a geological formation created by wind and wave erosion which have undercut the sandstone cliffs and carved out alien-esque shapes and curves.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sleeping on it...

How to get through a hot day...
Hot day at the beach
 Cool breeze through open window
 Good time to catch ZZZZs
Been awhile since we've had a haiku here...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Cemetery

Hornby Island cemetery...

In the same cemetery as Tempest Grace Gale are a number of quirky grave sites befitting an artistic creative community. Anything goes as a headstone, including a chainsaw, a bicycle, unique sculptures... some of which tell their own sad stories (see below).

A colourful headstone on Hornby Island...

A short life remembered...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Tribune Bay

The fantastic beach at Tribune Bay on Hornby Island...
Hornby Island's amazing beach..
Tribune Bay on Hornby Island is one of the best beaches on the coast. The fine sand goes on forever and the water is hardly more than waist deep at most. As you emerge from the bushes onto the beach, you almost expect to see a pirate ship at anchor in the turquoise waters of the protected harbour.

Unfortunately, the photo above doesn't do justice to the tropical colour of the water.

And because this beach is located on Hornby, I have never ever seen it remotely crowded with people.

Overlooking the bay and water is "The Llama", an appropriately shaped piece of nine-foot-high driftwood that stands upright. I have no idea if it is actually called "The Llama"... I overheard one woman refer to it as such so I assume that's what the locals have taken to calling it.

The "Llama of Tribune Bay"...
The Llama overlooks the beach...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bombproof

Outhouses on Hornby Island... built to last... forever...
An outhouse built to last... and last... and last...
Hornby Island is serious about its public outhouses. These things are built out of cinder blocks!

Smoking is not permitted in the outhouses. Because you wouldn't want to stink them up or anything...

:D

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wayback Wednesday: Another visit with Tempest Grace Gale

Sunlight touches the face of an angel...
Tempest Grace Gale... ever present...
The final entry in my previous blog, Alternate Tales from The West Coast Cafe, was the story of my encounter with Michael Gale, the father of Tempest Grace Gale.

I'm not a believer in God or the supernatural but, if anything were to convince me that there is more to this universe than meets the eye, it would have been my encounter with Michael Gale.

It had always been my intention to return to visit Tempest's final resting place once again. Last week I made a special cycling trip to Hornby Island to visit her. In the mid-morning light, the tall trees around the cemetery cast shadows over the grounds. However, as I approached Tempest's burial site in the mid-morning light, a single shaft of sunlight pierced the canopy to illuminate the face of the angelic headstone that marks her grave.

I just had to smile. Yes, I think that Tempest was making her presence known once again.

R.I.P Tempest Grace Gale
RIP, Tempest Grace Gale...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Landlocked II: Hornby

Landlocked boat on Hornby...
A boat looking for someplace to float...
The sequel to Landlocked in Lantzville?

This derelict can be found on the side of the main road on Hornby Island. I got a little 'artistic' with it, but you can see the original here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Met him? I gnome...

The world's largest garden gnome near Nanoose, BC...
Tom's thumb...
Okay, the title of this post is an awful pun...

Standing at nearly twenty-six feet high, this is the world's largest garden gnome as certified by the Guinness Book of Records.

It was built by Ron Hale and is a fixture adjacent to the island highway just north of Nanoose on Vancouver Island.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Portage Inlet

The Gorge leading to Portage Inlet...
The Gorge is a sliver of ocean that extends deep into Victoria and Saanich almost like a river. At the top of this 'river' is Portage Inlet, a broad but shallow basin of water. You would almost think that it was a lake, except for the fact that it's salt water that rises and ebbs with the tide.

A favourite activity of mine is to take a leisurely paddle in our kayak or on our paddleboard up the Gorge and into Portage Inlet. Typically, I'll start just north of the Tillicum bridge -- the yellow star in the image above.

Along the way, I like to admire the big waterfront homes with their jetties and boats along the water's edge. Not that I would ever want one... you never see the owners out actually enjoying their waterfront views. They are usually too busy maintaining the house or the property to have the time to enjoy it.

The house at the end of the spit...
Overlooking Portage Inlet...
This particular home is maybe my favourite. Google Maps tells me that it's at the foot of Ashley Road. The owners could take a boat to and from all the way to downtown Victoria and never have to deal with a single traffic light. How sweet is that?

Can you see the grey heron perched on their 'front yard'?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Guest photography: Angel of the Lake

I have two cousins who are avid photographers. They are brothers, Paul and Mark, who still live in my old hometown of Sudbury, Ontario.

Paul favours nature photography, particularly sky photos. His photos frequently appear on the banner of the CBC Sudbury Facebook page.

Lately, it is my cousin Mark who has been getting attention with his photograph of the 'Angel of Lake LaCloche'. A unique combination of rocks and still water reflection produced an angelic shaped figure if you turn it sideways. The original photo can be seen here.

You can read Mark's full story here in this article re-printed from the cbc.ca website.

"Angel of the Lake" by Mark Laplante
"Angel of the Lake"
I had a good chuckle at the wacky woman who describes herself as a 'crystal shamanic practitioner' and who went on to conduct a long-distance exorcism of sorts.

Pareidolia is the name of the phenomena that causes us to see patterns -- most often faces -- in random data. A famous example of this is the Face on Mars. Periodically, it pops up in the news when someone claims to have seen the face of Jesus in their scrambled eggs, or the Virgin Mary on the side of a faded painted wall.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sage advice...

The end of the jetty at Fishermans Wharf in Victoria, BC...
Well, they're not lying!
... found at the end of a jetty at Fishermans Wharf in Victoria.