Monday, July 11, 2011

First You Go Up, Then You Go Down

This weekend, we took a hike to the top of Blomidon Head. It is four km up the mountain and then four km back down.

Here is a Pitcher Plant. So obviously a meat eater compared to the delicate vegan Lady Slipper in McIvers. Blood red, thick petals, leaves tucked down into the earth as steady and sturdy as a lumberjack. No glass slippers and carriages and going to the ball where a prince will kiss your hand. Not for this one. Insects beware!

It isn't a landscape for slippers. It is a landscape for reliable boots and shoes that can transport you to this neverland of glacial action writ large.

Amazingly, that is Wee Ball on the left. It looks so tiny yet it is just 12 km off shore here. Somehow it looks larger from the beach in Gillams where it is easily three times further away. How is that possible?

A mature alder tree at the top, growing horizontally because of the wind. They stretched their branches out across the top of the mountain like lace.

Blomidon Head
by John Steffler

In the evening, in every season and weather, Mount
Blomidon's bronze head floats over the valley
and Arm, wearing a smile that is not one
we can understand - more a pleased stasis that looks
to us like a smile because in spite of cold or heat
or helicopters or prospector's stakes or
funeral processions along Route 406 it never
changes. It looms serene black-purple, black-green
in the dark, and the houses ring its base like flickering
candles. But once when I was in its presence alone
it played a tiny piano and looked sideways at me
uncertainly to see if I enjoyed the tune. And
another time it said in a small girl's voice, "The wind
kept me awake all night. Hold my feet, please, squeeze
them hard and my ankles." And a vole I had glimpsed
scuttling under the blueberry leaves then startled me
with a laugh that was like a snowplow's blade
shaking the road. "I have eaten cities in Azerbaijan
and Peru but you will never find their foundations,
I have crossed glaciers and slept through fires
that left nothing but black nutshells and bones."


Sonya Philip said...

What an amazing landscape. And an island called Wee Ball is pretty fantastic. Your photos make me want to visit.

Robyn said...

Yes, please come! It IS an amazing place.

Jan Morrison said...

wonderful - the whole thing. And who is the marvellous John Steffler?
Everything, your writing, his writing, the photos. Yes. deeply satisfying.