(For context, see the Day One narrative.) In this day’s narrative & pix: beaches, a bald eagle (!), a visual physics lesson, and an orgy of roses. (Later: there’s no Day Three; the camera stopped working. Sigh.)
The Beach · Our party split along gender lines, the women going to the farmers’ market, the kid & I to Tribune Bay Provincial Park beach, one of several on Hornby that we’d heard were good. Indeed, here’s proof:
The beach was big enough to soak up a crowd (which arrived) and bright and clean. The water was warm by BC standards, which still isn’t very warm. And limpidly clear, in the blazing sun the gentle little waves were like motions of light not water. I caught one: those simultaneously up on the wave-mechanics and optics subdisciplines of physics can appreciate this as a textbook illustration.
I wanted to explore and the kid just wanted to splash, but we managed to get along. As we drifted along the beach, a bald eagle circled lazily over us; they’re not very rare around these parts, but they’re always impressive, in rest or in flight.
As I said, the kid had a one-item agenda.
The Old Rose Nursery · This establishment was the reason we came to Hornby as opposed to some other little island. Most commercial garden roses, in particular those with the bigger and flashier blooms, are “hybrid teas,” the results of many generations of cross-breeding grafted onto the root of a more-plebian rose. This seems to work fine, but apparently plants are less vigorous, less prone to repeat flowering, less fragrant, and less resistent to common rose ailments than they would be if they were growing on their own roots. The Nursery specializes in “old” plants that have not been bred in modern times, and it sells them on their own roots.
I say “apparently” because I know nothing about rose propagation or plant pathology, but our experience would bear this claim out: the more conventional roses we’ve purchased have given us considerable trouble and some failures, while the six we’d purchased from the Nursery had thrived and rewarded us with beauty; if you’ve been looking at the pictures in this space you’ve seen some of them.
Another nice thing about the Nursery is that they have an effective and efficient Web presence, and if you get confused they make it easy to call them and ask questions.
The Nursery claims to have 700 different roses on display, and I believe them. Walking into it is like slipping into a dream. Wherever you turn your eye, masses of colour; and fragrance everywhere, but the fragrance shifts as you walk around, with crescendos and decrescendos and changes in depth and sweetness. I’ve been to lots of rose gardens, but never anything as intense as this.
I’ll start out with some shots from around the garden; I don’t necessarily know what all these roses are. After that, a few highlights.
The sunshine was brilliant throughout our visit, which gave the camera overload problems, but after an hour the human eyes and nose were reeling more than a little, too. These might be easier to photograph under a light overcast.
I have a soft spot for red roses (flowers aside, the phrase “red rose” is evocative). But they’re really hard to photograph accurately, for me anyhow. The one below is included because I got the colour a little better than I usually do, and because I like its name: Commitment.
They have some flowers that aren’t roses; the gaily-striped citizen below is a dahlia.
And, they have a terrific pool with water-lilies:
A decadent afternoon; burned-out by beach and market and flowers, we loafed at the B & B watching a ball-game on the satellite TV (the only kind they have there), which hardly seems to feel like island culture.
Then to dinner at the pub at the ferry-landing, which serves a very decent barbecue in a beautiful setting, and has grass growing on the roof; the embedded lawnmower however is purely decorative.
To close, two views: the first looking West from the pub toward Denman Island (behind it, the mountains of Vancouver Island); the second, looking East from Whaling Station Bay beach across the wider straight toward the mountains of the mainland, still snowy in July.