Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Chilly afternoon, with cupcakes

"Which beach today?" The sun was shining brightly, but the thermometer was well below zero. Boundary Bay tends to be windy. Blackie Spit is worse. Crescent Beach is warm, up close to the hillside, but too rocky at high tide for a quick walk. White Rock faces a protected bay; White Rock it was.

Maybe we should have gone further west, up against the Semiahmoo Reserve lands. White Rock looked good, but ...

Green lawns, warm picnic tables.

It was colder than it looked, and we're not hardened to it yet this year. We bundled up; I layered a wool scarf over my hat, added a vest. Laurie wished for his longjohns. But the tide was going out; there would be sand and creeping things. We headed east.

Looking back at Mount Baker, to the southwest.

Gull, stepping out.

Rockweed and barnacles.

I picked up a couple of clams and examined them, poked at the rockweed. Got my gloves wet. My fingers started to ache. Laurie was following the tide, keeping out of trouble.

There's a hint of pink already in the sky. It's just past 3:00 PM.

Rock face. The "eyes" are probably limpet scars.

The usual contingent of gulls and mallards were poking around in the shallows. On the newly-drained sand, we came across a large section heavily tracked by smaller birds, the tiny footprints barely disturbing the surface. One peep flew alone across the bay, calling as it went. We didn't see any others.

The sun was low on the horizon already, making glittering paths across the waves. We took far too many photos of clouds and the glare of sunlight; mostly what we got were silhouettes of rocks and birds against a peach sky and yellow waves. The cameras don't adjust like our eyes do.

One that turned out, once I darkened the sky somewhat.

By now, my nose was as achy as my fingers were. I was holding my sleeves down over my fingertips; the nose was stuck out in the cold. Laurie was doing better, but it was time to find some warmth.

Not this. A big block of marked ice, lying broken on the sidewalk. Coors Silver ...? No colder than my fingers.

Tea time. There's a good little cafĂ© near the pier, Tracycakes. We've stopped there before; the tea was good, the staff friendly. I had coffee, Laurie, tea. The muffins were bran, and the soup (hot!) was noodles; sounded good, but not in our diets. (Oh, to be young again!) A woman (Tracy?) was decorating cupcakes:

Yum! But too sweet for us.

Sprinkles and candy to go on top.

It was nice and warm inside. Outside, it only looked warm.

Lettering on the protective screen on the porch outside. "Have you had your Cupcake today?"

"It's High time for High Tea." And a palm tree.

When we left, warmed and happy, the sun was lying on the very horizon. The sky was aflame.

That pinpoint of light above the islands became two, then three. They weren't moving. Were they clouds, snowy mountain tops, towers? We don't know.

I like this scene, with a rock statue in the front. In this light, it acquires a mystery it doesn't have in broad daylight:

Here it is, last July. Rather prosaic, I think.

It was full dark by the time we got home for supper, just after 5:00 PM. Twelve more days 'till the solstice; twenty-four before the days are longer than today.

And how many days before it snows?


  1. You have the most wonderful blog. I am a middle aged naturalist wannabe and I have done gotten interested in critters other than birds. Have you seen the new 'house of herps' meme that will be up on Dec 15. I have a post on snakes up for it on my blog... I live near Buffalo NY and it is cold..and snowy.....Michelle

  2. Thanks! I like yours, too.

    Yes, I saw the herps meme, and your snake post. Interesting!

    We don't seem to have too many snakes around here. I love them, but rarely see one.

  3. Tracy Cakes ... apparently there is one in Abbotsford. My sister-in-law brought some to a family do yesterday and insisted I had to try one. Oh so sweet. Won't be buying those anytime soon!!! Good thing it was just a mini cupcake. I've never been to the actual cafe though we have seen it.

    We are down at the coast at the moment and it's been pretty nippy for the coast but warm compared to our temperatures ... we are already somewhat acclimatized to the cold.

    Always so much family stuff and shopping to be done when we come down that we never get out on explores down here ... so I'm glad to catch up on some of our old haunts from you!


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