Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rainbows - July 25, 2009

Mother Nature is just amazing. Tonight we were treated to a fabulous display of lightning and beautiful rainbows. Now for many people, this is a common occurance. However, on the south coast of British Columbia we don't see lightning very often....and especially not over an hour of both cloud to cloud and cloud to ground snake lightning.

Things got started about 9pm which is 45 minutes before sunset. The storms were to the east over the North Shore Mountains so while watching lightning displays in 1 direction, the sun was shining with clear skies to the west. The result was this fabulous rainbow which the pictures just don't show the real effect. I could only get a shot of the rainbow was a full arc with the entire shape in sight out over Howe Sound. At times it was a double rainbow in full grandeur. As the sun set, the sky became a wild shade of red as the storm built.

Once the sun was down, the storm really kicked in. Major lightning display across the entire horizen for a full hour. While it was only sprinkling here, the rain was so heavy over the water that I could no longer see the mountains. Eventually it poured here as well which was wonderful after months of unseasonal dry weather.

I only hope the lightning didn't spark any wildfires. The forest is extremely dry and there are major fires in other parts of the province.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oceanbeach Esplanade - July 22, 2009

Another absolutely beautiful day on BC's Sunshine Coast. I took time today to head out to the beach for the first time in weeks. Oceanbeach Esplanade aka Bonniebrook Beach is on the southern tip of the Sunshine Coast just outside of Gibsons. This protected beach stretches on for about 5km. It is mostly rocky, but there are a few stretches of sand depending on the tide levels.

People walk and bike this stretch of beach 365 days a year. Today, on a somewhat hot day, (25C) it was warm enough to swim, stroll, or just about anything. There are multiple park benches along the route that I found perfect for relaxing in the shade and feeling the refreshing ocean breeze. A very pleasant place to meditate and enjoy the rhythmic pounding of the waves along with any number of birds.

In the background of the first photo, you can see Vancouver Island and, if you look really close, the ferry that travels from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo.

In the second photo you can see Canada geese swimming along the shore.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Music in the Landing - July 11, 2009

One of my favourite summer activities is Music in the Landing. Gibsons Landing puts on free concerts in various parks every weekend all summer long. Kick off the weekend on Friday nights at the Gazebo, Saturday afternoon by the Visitor's Centre, Saturday night by the marina, and Sunday afternoon at the artisan's market. Every concert features fabulous local talent and the series covers a wide range of musical genres.

Saturday nights are my favourite, as they are a great way to wrap up a long day following the Fiddlehead Farmers' Market. Tonight's show (sorry, forgot the camera) featured Chelsea Crawford and Verna Chan each playing 1 hour sets. Winegarden park is next to the marina. You'll have to imagine sitting by the ocean, watching the boats come in for the evening, with picturesque mountains in the background listening to light jazz. Some people spread out the blanket and have a picnic. Others stroll by with gelato from down the street. Everyone greets their friends and neighbours who have come out for the evening. Kids run freely in the back with plenty of space for tag and other games. By evening, temperatures slip into the 60's and with a light ocean breeze a jacket or a blanket is required.

What a fabulous way to spend a Saturday night! I can't wait for next week.