Monday, April 17, 2017

There and back again

I had four hours before sunset. And I'd been shut in by wet weather for too long; I needed space, an empty road, the whispering silence of the north woods. I took the highway north, stopping occasionally to take another photo, or follow a short trail down to a lake or to a bridge over a river. In spots, the sun shone. Around the next curve, it could be pouring rain, or the road might be hidden in grey fog. A minute later, the sun would be in my eyes, so dazzling I had to duck and squint to see the road.

At sunset, I turned back. I had almost made it to Port McNeill, but there hadn't been a goal; the road was enough. It took two hours to return, driving slowly through rain and drifting mist, keeping an eye out for deer.

Somewhere along the road. The sun hangs low in the sky, creating deep shadows.

Scotch mist leaching most of the colour out of the landscape. Down south, most of our trees are bright with new leaf buds; here, the branches are still bare.

Nimpkish River, I think. 

And Nimpkish Lake.

Nimpkish Lake forms a wide and extremely deep spot along 14 miles of the Nimpkish River. In fact, Nimpkish Lake is the deepest lake on Vancouver Island, reaching a depth of nearly 1000 feet below sea level. Located within the traditional lands of the 'Namgis First Nations tribe, legend says the name Nimpkish means "halibut on the bottom".

Pink-stemmed horsetails, Equisetum sp. These are the fertile stems, with spore-bearing cones; the sterile, brush-like stalks show up later in the year. E-Flora records 10 species of Equisetum in BC.

Hoomak Lake. Steps lead down from a rest stop above, and an interpretive forest trail leads off in both directions. Another day, after the rain gives up, I'll check it out.

Interesting plant with its feet in the water.

Zooming in on a few branches. Much lightened up: this was in fairly deep shade.

At one rest stop, a small flock of pale brown, sparrow-like birds foraged in dry, yellowish grasses. The birds' bellies were the same yellow as the grass. I tiptoed towards them, so cautiously, but they saw me coming and took flight.

And I passed fields bright with skunk cabbage. Some photos tomorrow.

A Skywatch post.


  1. Such a great road trip you took. Wonderful photos and I am sitting here mulling the fact of a freshwater lake on an island, with a depth of a 1000 feet below sea level. I love that kind of stuff.

    I am glad that you got out with your camera and shared these with us.

    1. "1000 feet below"... Next to 5000 ft. peaks. Our geology here is awfully bumpy.


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