Tuesday, October 7, 2008

rainbows and puppies and seals, oh my!

Isn't this double rainbow heartening? I never get tired of spotting these -- they bring me as much delight as when I was a child. This was the view from our porch on Saturday -- just where the pot of gold might be at the base of the rainbow to the left, you can just barely see, through the leaves, a strip of land, mostly rock, just at the horizon, illuminated by that rainbow-creating late-afternoon sun. That's Snake Island to which we've paddled (in our kayaks) often (takes 30-45 minutes, for me at least, altho' Paul could get there more quickly on his own), and on one memorable occasion, had a quick swim with the seals looking on curiously from the beach, not 40 metres away.

Speaking of seals, I spotted my first-of-the-season of a regular circle-of-life vignette for this time of year: a seal thrashing a salmon into submission (and into its stomach!) while gulls screeched and swooped in for the by-catch. This is also the time of year that the salmon carcasses (they come into the nearby river mouth to spawn) get washed up on beaches all 'round, and I have to guard the dog carefully so that she doesn't get out and find one -- this is her true ecstasy, being able to roll around in fish carcass, right up there with otter poop on the list of doggie delights.

Another wildlife sighting recently: I watched a kingfisher hovering and hovering and hovering above the water and then dive ferociously to grab a bite of lunch which he then took back to work on, perched in the arbutus tree. It's an amazing process to watch -- we've become used to the hummingbirds working this apparent miracle, but a kingfisher has more ballast to pit against gravity. Yet it manages to keep itself steady in the air 'til it's worked out an efficient plan of attack. Very impressive.
And here's a sighting that's wildly cute, if not actually wildlife. This is my daughter's new roommate, Henry, seen here with her other roommate's feet:

And just so we don't have a fashion-free post today, how's this for an accessory?
That enough sunshine could be found, as recently as last weekend, to create those optical, multi-coloured wonders seems very unlikely today. The fall rains have arrived, unpacked their bags, and seem to be the kind of guests who might never leave. Today's weather forecast, to be honest, does include the graphic of a partial sun, but one almost covered by clouds which are, themselves, scissored through by a jag of lightning. And there's a wind warning -- very relevant here as we have to cross the water to get to town (work) and back. But I've had rainbows, and there are cute puppies to meet, and marvellous wildlife around me, so time to get out there and enjoy it all -- hope you can find something to celebrate nearby. Let me know if you do.


  1. Ooh - it would be wonderful to experience all that wildlife right at home!

  2. On a recent trip to oxford the sky was filled with those V shaped ribbons of birds flying south which always makes my heart sink. The swallows are long gone and like you the rain is falling again. Who gets all the sun?

  3. I love the rainbows too but why is the pot of gold always in someone elses backyard?

  4. J'adore Henry!!! He could not be cuter! And, I have never seen a double rainbow before. However, I now think that at the end of the rainbow is not a pot of gold but an adorable dog.Le chien est très mignon!

  5. Hi
    We think Henry is pretty great.
    We took hom to the dog park today for the first time and he had a blast!
    He posed for some very studious pictures for you other blog.
    You can steal the photos from facebook if you want.
    What was your good luck for the day after seeing the double rainbow?

  6. oh me and my lack of editing skills...

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. "My heart leaps up when I behold
    A rainbow in the sky:
    So was it when my life began,
    So is it now I am a man,
    So be it when I shall grow old
    Or let me die!"

    What is Meg doing now?

  9. Jillian: It does make up for the mud roads!
    Alison: I know! When the birds are smart enough to follow the good weather, I have to doubt my own wisdom at staying put.
    Cybill: Just like that greener grass . . .
    LBR: Vraiment! Henri (let's Frenchify that dog's name, shall we?) is the greener grass in my daughter's backyard . . . or something that makes sense.
    Girlcook: Good luck? Let's see, they had a special Indian night at the Dinghy Dock and I had yummy aloo gobi for dinner. And I get to meet Henri this weekend, non?
    Duchesse: That Wordsworth! He had the perfect words for everything.
    As for Meg, she's sous-chef at a restaurant that used to be great but was recently taken to task by the west coast reviewer in the G&M. . . she's quite excited about the challenge of having a hand in bringing it back up to where it should be, but she's working crazy hours -- five 12-hour and two 14-hour shifts in the last 8 days -- but she's got a decent salary and benefits and she loves her new apartment so she may even stay put for a while -- Right, Girlcook?

  10. We certainly don't have the views here that you do, but we are close to the ocean. Early morning, a couple of days ago, a grey heron landed in our backyard, a couple of miles south of where he should have been. What a glorious sight, and worth having been woken up by a very old puppy at 5AM.


  11. Christine: Are you close to the same ocean on the same coast as me?
    And while I'm not keen on being woken at 5 a.m., I agree that a grey heron in the backyard would be worth it -- we have Great Blue Herons around here regularly, but I never tire of them

  12. Hello Mater!

    A very late reply, but I'm actually on Long Island, New York, so I'm talking about the Atlantic ocean. We are very close to the ocean, but a far way from Calgary where I was born.


  13. Hi again, Christine,
    So we're a continent apart, but both sitting at an ocean's edge. Very different from land-locked Calgary, for sure!

  14. Yes, a continent away. We always took a trip out west every year even after I moved east. Our greatest wish is to retire out west when we can leave the US. One day!



I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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