Sunday, March 6, 2016

Marooned For a Weekend

“Nights and days came and passed
And summer and winter
and the rain.
And it was good to be a little Island.
A part of the world
and a world of its own
All surrounded by the bright blue sea.”
― Margaret Wise Brown, The Little Island
I live on an island, but it is large enough that I often forget that it is indeed a mass of land separate from the larger masses we call countries and continents. Our day-to-day speech reminds us mentally that we are separate: "He lives on the mainland..." "You can only get them here on the island..." "I'll need to book a flight on the float plane to meet you there..."

And yet... I don't really feel that separate most of the time.

This weekend, though, we went and visited one of the smaller islands off the northeast coast from here: Quadra Island, one of the Discovery Islands, still larger than a lot of the others around here, but a surprising world apart from where we live. It's the first time I felt kind of "marooned."

It wasn't such a bad place to be marooned, though:

It's been a stormy few weeks in these parts, and, as a person who likes to go for walks, I was prepared to get wet. When we arrived on Friday afternoon, we climbed out of the car after our long drive and ferry ride, eager to get some fresh air an exercise. We found a trail that took us up to Heriot Ridge and got some lovely views:

It was a soggy, soggy hike, though. I am not much of a mountain goat, and wet stones covered by moss are not what I call easy footing, and a lot of the trails had turned into creeks with all of the rain. I stopped to tighten my shoelaces and found this little roughskinned newt at my feet. He was cute: about the length of my middle finger. It's never a good idea to touch amphibians, though. I looked him up later and found out he's quite a poisonous little cutie:

At a later stop to get our bearings, I saw this banana slug... which is a pretty rotten-looking banana, but a pretty neat slug:

We got back to our hotel and took off our soggy shoes and socks, had a delicious dinner, and then went to sleep.

We awoke to this:

And we went out later to enjoy the sunshine, even if it was still somewhat stormy. We noticed that no one was taking advantage of the putting green. Must have been a bit mushy out there:

We thought we'd try a less mountainous trail, but somehow ended up wading through creeks and mushy moss. While negotiating another path, I heard a thumping noise and looked up to see this pileated woodpecker. I had a hard time taking a photo: he kept circling the tree as he worked away:

Slower game was easier to photograph. This banana slug was nice enough to pose in full profile:

We had planned to walk all the way to the beach, but I was getting fed up of having wet feet, so we stopped at this viewpoint before turning around:

We drove a little further south and was able to find a nice, easy trail straight to the beach:

I love the look of driftwood:

This bee seemed to be taking a break here:

But the storms were coming again:

So we headed back into the town and found some lunch and browsed some shops. By then, the sun made another appearance. I was ready for a nap, but the hubby convinced me to go find this lighthouse. It looked exactly as a lighthouse ought to, at least in my brain:

And the beach right below was lovely... even though we couldn't really hang out there because the lighthouse fog horn can sound unexpectedly, and can be so loud that it can damage your hearing. Good for the boats, bad for my ears:

This morning, I pulled out my current sweater project and laid it out to inspect its progress. It has been working up amazingly quickly, considering that I've only really been working on it on the weekends. Big needles and large gauge will do that, I suppose, but I'm a little worried about how it will hang. I hope those big stitches won't gape while it hangs off my shoulders, but I figure that there have been enough people who have made it successfully on Ravelry that I needn't worry:

Besides, who can worry when you have such beautiful stitches to work on?

And if that doesn't soothe you, what about a breakfast of Banana Foster's French Toast? That'll do fix anything, I reckon. Problem is, as tasty as it was at the time, now that I've been thinking of it, those bananas do kind of remind me of the slugs I saw all over the place:

Hmmm... I hope that doesn't put me off bananas now. Geez. This is where imagination fails me...

Ahem, I think I'll go knit now...

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