While I never tire of photographing Maggie, and certainly took dozens of shots of her during our recent mini-vacation at Saratoga Beach, Vancouver Island, she was not the only target for my lens. It is a beautiful place, full of beautiful scenes of beach and ocean, of flowers and birds and driftwood and boats and shellfish and mountains and white puffy clouds in a blue sky. And dogs. Of course, dogs - Maggie, and the poms (Lexi and Cosmo) and local dogs and tourists' dogs. But the beach was big enough that one could avoid interaction with dogs or tourists or locals if one wished. Nature, however, was not to be avoided and brought such a sense of tranquility and joy - like the slice of joy I felt watching the flock of gulls in the photo above, lifting off from their resting place along the shore.
Or observing the herons, who love to fish in the shallows at sunrise or sunset and sometimes midday too:
And the crow, who hopped up on the bow of this colourful rowboat/planter just in front of our deck:
See the beach and ocean there? Yes, our cottage was That Close to the beach. When we stepped into our cottage and looked out the wide patio doors, beyond the huge partially covered deck, this was the view we saw:
We spent much of our time walking the beach with the dogs (you didn't really think there'd be no dog photos in this post, did you?), The poms love the water, and even Maggie braved the waves once or twice:
|Is there fishes in there?|
|You put your right paw in,|
You put your right paw out,
You do the hokey pokey and you shake it all about!
|Mama! Help! There's a wave chasin' me!|
The sandy beach is a dream to walk on, and walk on it we did.
|Walking on the beach.....or not.|
Cosmo takes a minute to just enjoy the sun on his face.
|Here, Mama! I'll illustrate this point for you!|
Walkin' on the sandy beach!
But to the north is the estuary of the Oyster River, and this provided different scenery, a more pebbly beach, flowers, mergansers, and large old tree stumps.
There's an RV Park near the mouth of the river, with a channel where campers can take their boats out to sea. It was there we saw a mink catching small crabs and hauling them back to his home in the rocks.
By the time we returned to the cottage, the poms were all pooped out, and ready for a towel drying and a snooze on Pat's lap:
If there was food to be had, Maggie was willing to take a break from the beach - even resting her chin by Auntie Pat's knee in hopes of cajoling her into sharing her sandwich:
|A girl works up an appetite with all that runnin' on the beach, y'know!|
There was so much more to see: beautiful sunrises to wake up to, snow-covered mountains turning pink in the setting sun, cruise ships gliding silently through the sea, and other people's dogs fetching sticks along the shoreline -
And, of course, there was always my beautiful, beautiful girl who had the time of her life and made me smile at her joyfulness, her confidence, her poise.
A vacation full of favourites - good friends, a sandy beach, and my dog by my side. It's the stuff great memories are made of.