Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eagle Sound

Yesterday I went on a hike with my pan camera in a nearby provincial park – leaving my digital camera behind. I was in a mood where I felt the need to be by myself for a bit and it really was fascinating. There was only one other person in the park – and I never saw them anywhere. It was so utterly quiet – just my breath and footstep and my occasional conversations to the birds and the view. I apparently walked right up on a squirrel and he screamed at me – and it scared the heck out of me for a moment. I hiked along the sea – the sun shining but diminished by a layer of high thin clouds. I shot a picture of the bay, a pile of drift logs, the moss and a few other things. When I got to a place called Francis point where there is a small lighthouse – I sat down on a ledge of flat granite and looked out over the sea. Texada Island across the sound was black in the distance with a perfect line of silver backlit clouds over its top. Beyond was Vancouver Island, a flat blue grey with a sky of layered thin clouds. The sea was breathless and flat and the only sound was the very gentle rapping of small waves on the shore below. I leaned back against the rock and closed my eyes. I heard just the breath of air above me, and when I opened my eyes and looked overhead – a bald eagle was souring past maybe 30 feet up. I watched a seal floating in the water – flipping over and slapping his tail against the water – a loud clap that echoed on the land. I understand is intended to startle schools of fish. I could have lain there all day, but I’d come to take pictures.

The scene before me was a brilliant silver sea with clouds and black islands – with a foreground of mossy granite. Far in the distance I saw a fishing boat – an old boat trolling with outriggers. I thought that this great scene would be so much better should this vessel creep into the foreground. So I waited – the sun shining brightly at times and casting a shimmering line of while light across the sea. It took thirty minutes or more for the boat to get there – the only boat on the ocean at the time. Please, please – I thought as it approached, hoping it would pass close by. With my camera poised – the fishing boat passed some 100 meters from shore – its pilot waving as it went by. I shot three pans – and when the boat passed through the shimmering line of sunlight – silhouetted temporarily by the bright light – the small ship’s wake glistened in the light for a hundred yards behind it – for just a moment – which I think was captured. With film of course, we will have to wait and see – but I will be crossing my finger

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