view from Marine Sciences Centre, Bamfield BC

Bamfield Revisited

Two years ago, I wrote a post about a visit to the town of Bamfield, British Columbia, to attend two concerts of that year’s Music By The Sea festival.

I just got back from this year’s MBTS, having attended three concerts and spent more time exploring this unique community on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Highlights for me included the Sunday matinee concert, which featured chamber music by Brahms and Smetana performed by some excellent young musicians. I was sharper and more attentive than the previous evening, after the four hour boat trip down the Alberni Inlet. The clear light of noon in the superlative performance space made this matinee concert a treat for both eyes and ears. Evening concerts are enhanced by sunsets that create a magnificent backdrop behind the performers.


Rix Centre for Ocean Discoveries at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre


The view from the Rix Centre’s balcony.

Other highlights included visits to Brady’s Beach near Bamfield, and Pachena Beach, several kilometres away.


Brady’s Beach on a perfect July day.

Then there were the Gunneras…


A huge patch of huge plants — the Gunneras that might eat Bamfield?

I’m not sure which species these are, Gunnera manicata or G. tinctoria, but it doesn’t really matter. Apparently they can become invasive, which is a scary thought.

Sadly, the calls of the Swainson’s thrushes, which so entranced me in 2015, were not as evident this time. Apparently, these birds have a short breeding season, and Music By The Sea 2015 was held in early July, so it may be this year the thrushes were mostly finished with the singing which is used by males to claim territory. I hope their numbers haven’t declined; they migrate to South America for the winter, flying by night, so may be killed by collisions with windows, radio and cell-phone towers, and tall buildings. It would be unfortunate if these little singers disappeared from a place that celebrates music every year.



Back from the Rim

I didn’t post last weekend because I was in Tofino, walking endless beaches

Long Beach at low tide -- endless sands.

Long Beach at low tide — endless sands.

Watching waves break — again and again and again and again…

Waves at South Beach, Pacific Rim National Park

Waves at South Beach, Pacific Rim National Park

Finding interesting random patterns

Seagrass and Feather

Seagrass and Feather

Looking at plants without having to think about watering or weeding.

Ferns growing on underside of fallen tree's roots

Ferns growing on underside of fallen tree’s roots

Finding wave-polished stones

Stones polished by wave action at South Beach, Pacific Rim National Park

Stones polished by wave action at South Beach, Pacific Rim National Park

Watching people trying to surf (sorry, no pictures) and deciding that surfing must be hard work. And of course enjoying great meals, shopping for frivolous items and all the other good vacation stuff.  Tofino is only 300 km. (about 150 miles) from Victoria, but feels like a different planet.

And now back to work and the dessicated garden…