Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Days and Nights at Saratoga Beach

[This is the second blog post of my recent vacation at Saratoga Beach on Vancouver Island.  The first focused on sunrises and morning walks;  this one focuses mainly on daytime images and sunsets.]

While sunrise is always my favourite time of the day, and sunrise walks on the beach my favourite activity, a vacation at Breakers Resort on Saratoga Beach isn't just about sunrise.  Even those who prefer to sleep until noon get to witness some beautiful sights.  Of course, they may also miss some marvellous sights, like this seal swimming in a pink and blue sea:

Or the light mist rising as the breaking sun emerges after a stormy night:

But once the sun has risen, one can still see interesting wildlife  - a heron, perhaps, or even some crows fighting over a washed-ashore fish head:

The weather was variable during our week at Saratoga Beach - some sunshine, some rain, some storms.  The glassy-flat water of the first morning and evening gave way to choppy waves  and pounding surf by day three.  While it's nothing like the surf on the west coast of the island, the rhythmic swoosh and splash of waves, Mother Nature's metronome, soothes my spirit like few other sounds.

When the day is calm, Maggie and I enjoy watching boats in the bay, or walking through greenery along the shore a little further afield, or checking out a nearby nature park, or walking the edge of the channel used by boats emerging from the small marina at a nearby RV park:

Maggie, of course, would be happy to spend all day wading in the water or posing on the sand - her favourite sensation is water or sand underfoot, and she has become quite the pro at posing for the camera:

Is this my best side, Mom?

Occasionally, my eye will be drawn away from the water to the beauty of some natural object, like the striated colours in a lovely old stump, or the blush and shine inside an empty shell:

The days at the beach contain their own measure of magic, for sure.  But come evening, the beauty of the morning returns again as the setting sun reflects across the bay and sets the distance clouds afire:

The water calms once again, and paddleboarders and boaters head out for an evening's cruise, sliding silently through the sunset's reflection on the water:

I watch until the light is no more, and then continue to watch as the moon rises above the trees and casts its light upon the water too:

And then I go to bed, lulled to sleep by the sounds of the waves and the scent of the sea air, to dream of another sunrise, another amazing day at Saratoga Beach.

G'night, from Maggie and me.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Saratoga Sunrise

Sunrise on Saratoga Beach

There are few things in life I love more than spending time on a sandy shore with my dog, especially if that time is at sunrise or sunset.  A week at Breakers Resort on Saratoga Beach, Vancouver Island, is my idea of heaven - cottage right on the beach, sunrises viewed from the deck, sunrise walks along the shore, sunsets reflected in clouds and water. 

This was the fourth time I've stayed there, and even though I live within a few minutes walk of another beautiful beach, I hope to return to Saratoga Beach many more times.  Even Maggie, my anxiety-prone sheltie, is a different dog watching the ebb and flow of  the tide as the sun rises or sets.

Maggie's morning meditation

The best thing about sunrise walks is how every moment, every second, brings a new palette to the eye - from dark water and skies to red to yellow to blue. Second by second the image changes, and the variations of light and cloud reflect back from a pool of still water or a receding wave.

These two photos were taken just minutes apart  and from  just a few yards further along the beach, yet the colours and patterns are completely different:

And the clouds!  They billow and puff, they sweep and swish, and they turn salt water to a magical space where one feels they could just fall right in and be enveloped by soft cotton wool, dyed pink and blue, steel grey and orange and yellow:

As the sun rises and the clouds thin out, the water turns to a shiny platter of wonderfulness and even the rocks seem to float on its surface:

But that's not all I love about sunrise walks. Sunrise is the best time to view the birds that feed along the shore.  The kingfisher hovers and dives, and the gulls drop their clam shells on the rocks to crack them open;  the sandpipers race around in tight-knit groups that suddenly fly en masse to show their bellies as they curve through the air to another slice of sand just a few meters away.  I am mesmerized.

But it is the heron who draws the lens of my camera as he wades, stalks, darts down to grab his prey, and stands up again to swallow it, his mirror image so perfectly reflected in the water:

What more could one ask of a few days away ? Morning sunrises of beauty and tranquility, magic and amazement - and yet that is not all.  Come back tomorrow for the second post on our Saratoga vacation - from daylight to sunset.