I am currently living on Vancouver Island and if you know the Island well, you know that in winter you need to learn to get used to the color gray––as in gray skies and gray seas––and…rain rain rain or, be miserable.
It is all too easy to complain about our Island rain and oftentimes “horrid” weather. I think most of us do it at some point. Gray skies for weeks on end can get to you, as can the rain. Cabin fever is real. As a matter of fact, I just read that for the month of January 2020, we had 30 of 31 days in January 2020, where it rained!
So this dark gray kind of weather makes it difficult for a photographer without an indoor studio or without a massive travel fund to escape to warmer tropical sunny locations, to work and to make images they dream of. So you work with what you have, and love where you live and be grateful. (for all the rest of the year, Vancouver Island is paradise)
As I had started to slip into a negative weather complaining mood the entire week prior, I decided the day before I took this photo, that either I can keep on complaining about rain and stay indoors and not do what I love, or just get out there no matter what, no matter the weather and just make photographs.
So the very next day I did just that.
I spent the entire day in Parksville, with dark gray skies and often pouring down pelting rain.
I was bundled up nice and warm with wool socks and hiking boots, thermal layers, three different options for coats, long underwear, a wool toque, gloves and rain gear.
I packed my car with my camera, some water, snacks, and my standard poodle Teddy, thinking if nothing else, I would have canine company on an Island winter day photo adventure, and he would at minimum give me some forced breaks from making images, because as any dog owner knows, they need to be let out and walked.
So, I stayed out ALL day, in the rain … except to run back to my car for brief breaks to warm up and dry off or change camera batteries, have a quick snack. I also took a few breaks to walk my dog in the forest and on the beach. Otherwise, I kept on taking photos, both with iPhone and my Fujifilm cameras. A few lucky breaks with moments of sun upon arrival and upon leaving were an added blessing. Aside from that, rain.
It was windy, chilly and a little stormy, the sea with gentle whitecaps and the kind of waves that you could hear as they touched the rocky large round pebble shoreline.
I was fortunate that I wasn’t alone out there. There were were three young but large bald eagles on that beach, being harassed by crows, and also plenty of black oystercatchers.
The black oystercatcher is one of my very favourite shorebirds that we can find on Vancouver Island. I find them very comical and entertaining––always busy and on the move looking for their next oyster or mussel snack. I love their unique and identifiable “peeeep!” Truly one of my favourite birds. The long and pointed brightly coloured beak seems to change from a red/orange/yellow depending on the light.
I took many many photos of these black oystercatchers, but this one, was laying down. It was windy, and I assume this is a way to escape the wind a little, hunker down as low as possible. I held my breath, took baby steps to get as close as I could. Birds always tell you if you are too close. They quickly fly away! I am always honoured when I gain their trust and they don’t leave.
On this day I learned, that sometimes it does pay off to get out there in the rain, with a “no matter what” attitude, as CBC Vancouver featured my photo of a black oystercatcher laying down, on their Instagram feed!
I am honoured, and it truly made my day upon finding this out, and being featured made that rainy cold chilly windy stormy day all the more worth it, that I braved the weather to keep on living my dream.
Thank you CBC Vancouver!
Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog, and oh, YES! My photos are for sale as both prints and as prints on canvas. Please email me at brenda @ brendajohima (dot) com to inquire and I would be happy to give you a custom quote. There’s nothing like hanging local Vancouver Island nature on your walls. Thank you! Brenda