"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Kenneth Grahame (Wind in the Willows)
Last weekend, as restrictions began to ease, we launched the boat and spent a quiet and relaxing couple of nights on the water, just an hour away from home. The weather alternated between rain and cloud, cloud and rain, with a very few patches of blue sky here and there. On Friday evening, before the weather worsened, we hopped into the dinghy and toured along the shoreline. It was very peaceful until the Canada Geese decided we were coming too close and honked loudly to warn others of our proximity.
This was our view the next morning. Still, with soft rain falling. No matter, we were cozy and dry, and enjoyed a good breakfast and cups of tea and coffee long into the morning. There was no rush to do much of anything.
When the rain eased we stirred ourselves and took the dinghy to shore, beaching it on the sand and tying the painter to a driftwood log before setting off on a hike through the forest.
We stopped and watched a variety of wildlife, including this group of fat seals lounging on the rocks. A pair of seal pups had enough of the inactivity. They played together like a pair of young boys, splashing and wrestling. The repeated whacks of their tails on the water echoed far.
A pair of oyster-catchers poked along the inter-tidal zone with their long red beaks. From the boat that evening we watched seven river otters fishing for their supper. Down they went into the water, then up into the air with their catch wriggling until - gulp - down the gullet it went. Over and over the sleek otters dove and rose until, satisfied, they melted away into the dusk.
This pair of geese appear to be having a disagreement. The one on the left was quite vocal as he/she marched off in the opposite direction.
In 1958 Portland Island was given to Princess Margaret, our Queen's sister, to commemorate her visit to our province. She returned it in 1967 and it is now a park. But long before then First Nations peoples had a village here. In the mid-late 1800s Hawaiians settled here, planting orchards and gardens. There is little that remains, but in the abandoned orchard a pair of bright goldfinches caught my eye.
Weathered pieces of sea glass always catch my eye and I pick them up to add to my collection here at home.
We returned home on Sunday, with Monday a holiday here to commemorate Queen Victoria's birthday. I worked in the garden most of the day. It's starting to fill out and soon we will be enjoying more homegrown vegetables. The first strawberries are turning red and I did eat one luscious ripe juicy fruit.
It's been another week of distance teaching. Students will have the option to return to school as of June 1, but it's unlikely that many of those in the high school will choose that option.
We're looking forward to some family time this coming weekend, including a visit from our Vancouver people. Little Miss Iris is coming and I can hardly wait to see her. She's almost one and so much fun via Skype! Seeing her in person will be so much more fun!
Have a great weekend, friends.