Thursday, April 02, 2009

In like a lamb ...

... out like a lion. So they say. March started for us, with sunny, warm days. I left my jacket at home.

And now ... does this look "lionish" to you?

Blackie Spit, March 30th.

Appearances are deceptive. The wind was blowing; chill and strong, so strong it pushed me along the beach, willy nilly. Facing it, I could barely breathe. I couldn't stand still to take photos; I rocked back and forth in the wind unless I was holding on to a fence or bench. My fingers went numb.

In spite of the flying branches along our streets and the invisible hand pushing the car here and there on the highway, we had gone down to Blackie Spit. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, the tide was out; it would be a good time to explore the lower reaches of the beach.

The beginning of Blackie Spit, at low tide.

Ah, but look there, far down the beach; see the whitecaps?

Blackie Spit is a hook forming a protected bay at the inner end of Boundary Bay, at the outlet of the Nicomekl river and the Serpentine, both slow-moving, gentle streams. The water is shallow all the way across the inlet, and at low tide, exposes wide mud flats. Only in the centre of the Nicomekl channel is there depth enough for boats.

It's a quiet spot, where waterfowl of all sorts dabble in the stream and sleep on the mud. Usually they do.

Brown water in front; the Nicomekl. Then mud. Then the blue line that marks the Serpentine.

Here's that quiet water, day before yesterday:

The Nicomekl, disturbed.

Four ducks bounced through the waves. A seagull tried to walk along the shore; most of the time he was moving sideways. He found a clam, and flew up to drop it on the rocks to break it open. The wind blew him backwards, and he missed his aim. He struggled back to the clam, flew up and dropped it again three times while I watched, missing the rocks every time. I've never seen that happen before. Around the bend, in the shelter of the headland, a few seagulls and an eagle rested.

We had the beach almost entirely to ourselves. Farther inshore, three teenage girls played at leaning on the wind; a car parked, a couple of women got out, then quickly got back in and drove away.

Empty beach.

Empty headland.

Empty benches.

And it was beautiful, exhiliarating. The air smelled fresh and salty. The sky looked as if it had been just re-painted, piled with new cotton clouds. And our legs and lungs got a thorough workout.

A lion, but a friendly lion.

And April? Isn't it supposed to be spring? Then why is it snowing tonight?



  1. I love walking the beach when the wind is wild...and no one is around.
    Snow you say...hope not much.

  2. A powerful, but friendly lion indeed. A lion that brings me sunny skies is a friend in my book.

    Glad to see you had the beach to yourself. I, too, almost had the dyke to myself - that's why I can run around like crazy with my arms wide open to see if the wind can make me fly.

    Sadly, it's not a flying lion.


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!