Natural Beauty

First of all,I did not shoot this today. It’s been raining for over a week now and I haven’t been able to get out on the water.
I’m getting fungus on my shooting finger! I decided to post one of the nudes I shot a few years ago.
This tree is called “Earth Mother” and is on Meares Island. It is not on the “Big Tree Trail” on Meares. People get confused about that.
Earth Mother is in a spot that requires you to get someone to guide you there. It’s not a long hike by any means,but you would be better served by someone showing you. Not many people go up to visit her anymore. You see ,she was blown down in a huge Winter wind storm.
I shot this in August of 96. She was taken down in the following January.
I was the first person to find her.
I went up to clear out the pathway a bit with a Machete. It was getting overgrown & I thought I’d clean it up a bit and visit my old friend.
I got to work cutting all the bush growing in on the path. I was cutting for well over a hour. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was exactly. I realized at one point that I had trimmed all the way up to where Earth Mother was. I remember stopping cutting & turning around and not being able to understand what I was seeing! It literally caught me off guard so badly that I could not understand what I was looking at! It suddenly came to me that she had been blown over! I was so shocked to see my friend just laying there hopeless & broken! She had taken out 1/2 dozen very large trees on her way down! The root ball was vertical now and reached at least 25 feet high!
Seeing all this made me feel profoundly sad. The scene had caught me unprepared and startled me.
This tree is most certainly over a thousand years old!
Earth Mother is listed as being the 6th largest Western Red Cedar known on the planet.(“Forest Giants of the Pacific Coast” Robert Van Pelt,pg 31)
The volume was calculated at 10,350 cubic ft.
In comparison…….the largest known tree is the “General Sherman”. A California Sequoia roughly 5 times the volume of Earth Mothers!(55000 cubic feet)
Earth Mother started as a seedling during the crusades! She has seen many a moon! She had a full life. These ancient giants are numbered and their numbers are dropping!
Anyone who had ever seen her knew instantly what direction she would fall. She had a natural lean to the south. I am looking north in this shot. One of the reasons I believe she was able to survive for so long,was the fact that a north-south ridge to the east of her blocked all the huge storm winds from the SE! This ridge protected her for over a thousand years!
When a tree becomes so large like Earth Mother,it’s canopy sticks above the rest of the tree’s in the forest. This huge surface area takes on a wind load during a storm. Kind of like the sails of a sailing boat! Earth Mother leaned against the normal storm winds, and that ridge decreased the winds force dramatically!
At the end of January(97) we had a “sustained” north wind all day. It was a very strong wind from the north. We do get storm winds from the north when a storm’s vortex passes over,but they are usually not sustained winds. They are transient winds. The storms rotation is just passing over the area.
For whatever reason,this wind storm drove very strong winds down from the north all day! Earth Mother was already leaning to the south and I guess the sustained northerly was the final bell tolling for Earth Mother. She was brought down on that fateful day!
Of course nobody was there when it happened.I was the first person to find her & that was almost a month after the storm!
After doing a little research on the recent wind storms,I came up with this theory. I’m not really sure what happened but this is my best guess. Nobody will ever know what happened,but does it really matter?
I feel lucky to of seen her standing! She’s not dead by the way. Her root system is still intact on one side. She appears to be getting enough water/nutrients. She’s not growing,but she’s not dieing either!
I think she’ll be around a bit longer.
I use to love hiking up to her and reading at the base. It was always deadly quiet up there. You could here a mosquito coming at you from meters away!
However,this is natures way. These large trees will eventually decay into a “nurse logs” and provide nutrients for many more trees and insects.
Everything gets recycled………including us!

Christmas Day Shots

It was cloudy and rainy when I woke up but I could see a rather large clearing in behind this Frontal band! As it started to pass over ,the wind picked up! It blew too hard to get out in the boat,so I decided to go out to the beach.
The beach was full of tourists here for the Christmas Holidays!
It made the beach seem that much merrier today!

Lighthouse Wind Storm

Notice in the second shot how much cooler the light is! A small passing cloud was producing a shadow in the midground area. The cloud was coming across the water towards me.
The background was in the light. The warmer background and cooler midground work well together I think.

1st Day Of Winter

We had a great morning in Tofino,but I saw some cloud coming in from the west. We lost the light in the afternoon so there was no way I was going out in my boat. I require good light at the very least and hope for excellent!
I went out to the beach to check things out. Not much going on,but this guy was out walking on Frank Island. He literally walked into my frame. I’ve never seen anyone over there. It’s private property. I know the owners and they give me permission to walk about.
This guy looked like he was off in deep thought?
The next 5 days looks poor for photos folks!


The winter solstice happened today!
The sun did come out and I also got out myself to take advantage of it,even though I didn’t think I was going to be able to when I woke up this morning?
I woke up around 4:30am today and checked the cloud cover. It showed a large cloud system moving in from the north! I was choked & disappointed!
However,by noon the cloud had thinned enough & I don’t need to be told twice!
I headed out and went straight down Tofino Inlet to the Lions. After arriving I was pleasantly surprised to find that their numbers had doubled in the span of only a few days! Today was the first day that I’ve seen them hauled out in areas other than the two rocks!
I saw two large groups of Lions just floating and laying still. They had their flippers & or tails out of the water! They were all trying to warm up while hanging out.

The clouds started to move in and snuffed the light. So I decided to head back into town. I wanted to visit with some of my feathered friends.
I went to Deadman Island to visit Romeo & Juliette. Romeo saw and intercepted me unexpectedly! He circled in behind me and went straight for the island to await my arrival! He does that sometimes? I love it when he does it!
I sat there and had a snack while watching them and the Solstice sunset. Tomorrow is going to be 5 seconds longer. The Solstice happened at 9:30pm Pacific Time.
As always,……..It was another great adventure out in the wilds of Tofino!

This is the “Harvest King” leaving Creative Salmon’s Warne Island Fish Farm. It’s the cargo boat for Creative Salmon’s farms.

Size Does Matter!

I laughed when I saw this.
All of the big blonde guys are the large Stellers and the darker ones are Californian’s. The Stellers can grow to be twice the size of a Cali!
It would appear that the Stellers know the best real estate is at the top of the rock. (reminds me of Humans)
The Stellers have hogged the top of the rock and the poor little Cali’s have to be content with being lower on the rock. The poor things……:(
They’ll work it out. Competition for territory,food, mating almost always goes like this……………” HE WHO IS LARGEST, RULES”!
Yes,in Nature size does matter! Always has been,still is and will always be that way for eternity!


They remind me of how Fred Flintsone use to take off in his car! In order to get airborne they need speed. To get up to speed they use their large webbed feet to push against the water.
They basically are running across the waters surface. Once they get enough wind under their wings,they slowly lift. They are a graceful bird to watch but because of their large wingspan they know they can never go into a area that pens or closes them in! They need a big runway to take off! They always have to be out in the open with lots of space around them.

Lion Rock

I should say that there are two rocks that they use but I call them both “Lion Rock”. They are about 2 klicks apart. They are on them right now because they are waiting. They are waiting for the earth’s poles to head back to the south. Then the sun can go further into Cannery bay. If there is no sun,you won’t find them there. The only real estate at the moment in the sun are these two rocky islets. Later when the sun gets higher in the sky,they will start to hang around in Cannery. Cannery right now is very dark and cold! There is a constant cold mist above the water coming down from Kennedy lake!
These guys are sun worshipers,heat Vampires or other wise known as BIG energy soaker uppers!
All the dark ones are Californian Sea Lion’s,while the blonde boys are the BIG Steller’s! I think this rock only had Cali’s.

You can see Tranquil Inlet in the background.
I didn’t get out today. The cloud/rain always put the Kibosh on my shoots!
So I decided to put a pano I shot yesterday (18th) out tonight.

Sea Lion Pano

It has been raining and overcast all week! So when todays sunshine happened,I was ready for it!
I got out and went down the Inlet to visit with my furry friends,the Lions!
Unfortunately Mother Nature suckered me! The light was great when I left but by the time I got down the Inlet,some lower cloud had crept in from the south and blocked the light on the Lions!
The shadow line literally was only a few hundred meters away from them! The shore was in great light but the Lions were not! I waited for about a hour and the clouds stayed put! The clouds shadow was staying in the same dam spot! I couldn’t believe it! I was chocked! I took some shots anyways and left.
I came back into town to see how my fine feathered friends were but the same thing happened at Tsapee Narrows!
Literally as I was coming into the Narrows,the golden light got snuffed! I couldn’t believe it!
So I didn’t take any shots of the Daredevil or Delilah today. I continued on to Morpheus Island to visit with Moe & Maggie,but neither were home!

However,Romeo and Juliette were around and it was good to see them!
So I guess what I’m trying to say folks,is that I didn’t get much today!
But it still was great to get out!
My worst day out is still better than most peoples best day anyways!

Dead Head

This is what a future train wreck looks like! When a tree becomes water logged enough,it turns vertically before sinking. The weight of all that water makes it heavier.
This tree will continue to slip further & further under the waters surface,until it’s just below the surface and thats when It’s most lethal!
A boat operator would never see it ,but only feel it!
I carry a VHF for emergency calls. I can’t use my Cell phone down the Inlet. I’m usually out of Cell range or in a Cell shadow.
These things send a chill down my spine!

Mooching Gull

While I was waiting to see if the light was going to return to the Lions.I decided to have my lunch. I just sat there with the motor off watching the Lions while I ate.
This Gull saw me eating and hung around me like a dog! After I was done and decided to go check the other rock with Lions around the corner,it followed me!
It followed right behind and above me all the while. Just like if it was my pet!
When I left the Inlet,it followed me for more than a mile as well! I turned while in transit and took a few shots of it.
Crazy Gull

John & Jane Grice

Jane was born 6 days after John and died 3 days after him! Which would make her 3 days younger than John when she died!
They also were born in the same town & I assume died in the same place as well?

They died during the “Great Depression” as well. The medical report listed their deaths as being “cardiac failure”. John died of “Enteritis” & Jane of “Bronchitis”.

I’ve noticed that people who are together for a long time,usually die soon after their mate.
There’s something to be said about that!

Harvest Moon!

This is the “Harvest King”. She was leaving the harbour early in the morning with the full moon setting in the West.

I got out twice today! Whenever the moon is setting,I always get out”IF” I can? I did the early morning shoot with the setting moon and also the normal afternoon’s shoot as well!
The moon is setting so far north that I couldn’t line up the Lighthouse with it! I could line them up if I went out in my boat,but thats just plain dangerous!
I would have to go out before sunrise in the dark and the ocean at this time of year isn’t exactly calm.
I settled for a harbour shoot hoping that something of interest would wander by?
The moon set and I got ready for the afternoon’s shoot down the Inlet.
I went to see what the Lions were up to and once again,there were no Lions! They must be off eating while the tide was high? Or they are further down the inlet? I am going to go down to Deer bay to check things out. Deer Bay is at the very end of Tofino Inlet. It’ll probably take me around 90 minutes just to get there. Thats 3 hours travel time alone! I do not do this very often as a result.
After being disappointed with no Lions out and about,I went back into town to visit with my finely feathered friends. The light was perfect and this time I was able to get back in time for the sunset! When the Lions are around ,I loose track of the time and always seem to stay too long with them! I end up missing the sunset!
Romeo and Juliette were not home which I found ODD! However,it appears that they are building a new nest in their old spot!
Their nest fell to the ground 2 years ago and they ended up building a nest in another tree. I didn’t like the location because I couldn’t see anything!
It would appear that they didn’t like it either and are building a new nest in the same spot as the old nest. Great news for me! I’ll be able to see them & their eaglets alot better!
All in all a busy day for me!