Seasonal observations of an ever changing coastal landscape 
by Bold Bluff host Tamar Griggs 

The Cove a Mirror

From: March 4, 2002
Date: 3/5/02
Time: 7:27:08 AM
Remote Name: 204.244.9.33

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This morning I was up early to watch the drama of life unfold as night rolled into dawn. The tide was high, the cove a silky mirror, and as night shook off its dreams, there was the perfect reflection of the upside down dock with it's forest of purple martin nests sticking up on 2 X 4's and the white belly of a kayak reflected like a killer whale rolling over in the sea. Vancouver Island was smothered in fog. The daffodils at the edge of the bank were swollen yellow at their tips, and the tulip leaves curled up out of the earth.

A Great Blue Heron flew low over the cove, its reflection flapping close under the giant bird and in harmony to its wing beats. It glided to land on the dock where it poised to catch fish. A lone male bufflehead dove in the cove, and a seal swam in flexing its nostrils and gazing at the scene with big soulful brown eyes. The seal dove near the duck who beat a hasty retreat flapping wings and nearly running on the surface of the water. It settled a few meters away. The seal surfaced and dove again, arching its back, and this time the bufflehead made a beeline out of the cove. Was the seal after him? Did the seal imagine a tasty morsel of dangling duck feet snatched from below? In any event, the bufflehead decided not to stay to find out!

Suddenly the seal made a tremendous SPLASH and lurched on the surface, half its head and torso out of the water. It slapped down and sent giant concentric rings of expanding waves over the entire cove, disturbing the mirror-like reflection of the nests on the wharf pilings, which became blurred like a forest of spindly dead trees.

Meanwhile there was an animated chorus of a murder of crows and the single call of Raven mixed in, coming from the woods close by. SOMETHING was amiss! And later, 4 Barrow Golden-eyes flew into the cove with whistling wings: 2 male (one adult and the other immature but you could see the white crescent moon forming on its brown cheek to indicate an emerging adult male), and 2 female. They dove and dined on tiny shore crabs wrapped in seaweed! The Coast Guard went by in a huge gray ship, and I raced down to the wharf with my tripod and camera to photograph it.

Then eager Gyp begged for play, so I ended my watch, hitting a limp, broken tennis ball on the lawn.


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