Search This Blog

...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ramble on....

Yesterday was raw and damp and grey and cold...
The perfect day for a ramble in the countryside, collecting a bit of the wayside, to bring home
for decorating the porch.
Griffin and I ventured up  Island to visit with Irma and Griff's brother Frank.
Fueled by lunch and chocolate torte at the Rock Cod Cafe,
Irma wanted to show me another gem of a place she discovered while
out wandering. She's been a bit stir crazy since she broke her arm after it
got in the way of her horse Sophie's hoof.
Our destination was the original homestead of Swallowfield Farm.
 There was once a lovely old house here on a 300 acre farm.
Apparently famous for the potatoes grown there.
So down the long road now abandoned and closed off to vehicles
and used by ramblers such as ourselves...
The lads on the prowl...
The house sat on a little hill and looked down the valley towards 
the estuary and the ocean beyond that...
Just to the right, the view includes the mill.
Looking quite ominous, but at least it's not pumping out the toxic dioxins it used to.
Now imagine... back in the day when, as quoted from the book 'Memories of the Chemainus Valley',
"Sweeping meadow lands alternate, in season, with fields of oats and potatoes, 
Jersey cows graze knee deep in clover and alfalfa, pheasants and duck
"put up" anywhere, for it's probably the richest game preserve
on Vancouver Island. The Chemainus River winds through the 
meadowland to the sea, and on a ridge in it's midst rises
Mrs Hutchinson's most artistic and spacious residence,
full of works of art and books."
We wandered amongst the bright rose hips which speckled across the landscape
in little clouds of scarlet...
As we wandered along on high ground, we spotted something in the bush...
Far from any water there it was...
A boat!
It even had paddles and a life jacket underneath.
It was trying to be in disguise with branches and wood placed carefully to hide it.
So we left it in peace to pretend it should live up on the hill.
Down the old road we went, through the old farm fields,
past a beautiful reclining Garry oak..
Evidence of the containing of livestock of long ago... the banks of the meandering river.
We had kayaked down here many years ago, so seeing the view from
land was quite different.
We talked about coming back in the spring for a picnic along this pretty stretch...
Bald eagles were still hanging around for the last bits of salmon who'd spawned
upriver just a month or so ago...

The Native Indians come here to duck hunt and we found a strange 'decoy'
or whatever it was pegged on a stick by the water...
After collecting rose hips, birds nests, privet branches and ivy, it was time
to head back to the van.
One last stop along the road though...
The old E & N railway line.
Not in much use these days, although there is talk of commuter rails, which
would be LONG overdue.
We took a stroll down to the river crossing.
 Frank, curious of the one hunched on the ground...
All in all a great wander...just what the doctor ordered.


Anonymous said...

love these. i could feel the air.

hey- i am trying to email you but the email addy won't work. would you be interested in submitting some of your photographs to the poetry journal i work for? we need new headers and your work is IT.

email to editor(at) and "talk with michele". i sent her a link to your blog, but if you'd like to send different files of your photos (see the website ithacalit(dot)com so you can see what she is doing with the headers)...send what you'd like when you can.



gz said...


farmlady said...

You have such varied and wonderful places to walk. This area is beautiful.
I thought that we were going to see the ruins of the house or some part of. Too bad it's gone.
The photos of the E&N railway line were really beautiful. Getting down on the track was key to these fine photos. The dogs helped too.
Keep walking and taking pictures. It's what you do so well and I love to read about your jaunts.

Anonymous said...

Ah ha... See Miss Kerry I knew those boots were meant for walking... good for the soul.. keeps You grounded..

Igor De Rycke said...

nice views