Friday, February 7, 2014

Swallowfield on Ice

The bitter Arctic wind of the past few days finally died down, leaving us with a typical clear crisp winter's day.  The past week's frigid weather did its share of damage - my tulip tips emerging from the soil are now the deep mushy green of frozen lettuce, though the leaves emerging on the honeysuckle seem to have survived, as have the lilac and magnolia buds. I am waiting for the temperature to rise above freezing to give the plants a big drink of water - the soil is dried out and cracked from the subzero temperatures.  Not to worry, spring will be here soon enough.

Warmly dressed, one could almost imagine it was spring today despite reports of snow on other parts of the island.  Bonnie and I headed to Swallowfield with the dogs, and enjoyed a leisurely but comfortably warm hike in.  At the crest of the hill just before our descent to the river, the view across the estuary looked as beautiful as we've seen on any spring hike:

As we reached the Chemainus River, we realized it had been, and still was, colder than we thought:

This is the first time in my five years here that I have seen ice on the river, and the winds of the past few days had clearly whipped the water up against the rocks where it had frozen in place:

Still, the blue sky and sunshine encouraged us to keep walking out across the estuary.  To our surprise, the channels where the river and streams run into the ocean were also decorated in ice:

Beauty comes in many forms, and a landscape of blue waters that takes the breath away one day can again take the breath away when glazed with ice.

Eddie and Keaghan didn't seem to mind that the ice caused us to turn around sooner than we might have,

after all, Keaghan was intent on getting back to those dead rotting salmon he had discovered just as we headed across the estuary.

He was, of course, a little upset when Bonnie wouldn't let him eat  them.  But, as dogs are wont to do, once we had passed that spot his mind caught up with his body and he soon enjoyed the rest of the hike back to the cars.

A great day for a hike.  Cobwebs blown away, balance restored, spirit renewed. And a rosy glow to the sunset to top off the day:

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