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

Moonlit Camping on the Bluff

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Date: 29 Apr 2005
Time: 07:09:43


On Tuesday, April 26th, two days after the April Full Moon (The Moon of the Opening Blossoms), I rolled up my down sleeping bag, packed my back pack with winter underwear, wool hat, plastic garbage bags, water, treats for Daisy, flashlight, camera, tripod, film and all sorts of lenses (I still prefer my old faithful Nikon camera to the digital camera!), and leaving behind 5 University students who had just arrived for a get-away in the Garden Cottage, wondering "Am I NUTS?!" I slowly made my way up the lush green orchard filled with bright yellow and fluffy "gone-to-seed" dandelions, under the sweet smelling crab apple trees in full bloom, and out the gate into the sun-dappled woods, Daisy trotting ahead. I was eager and full of joy, thinking it has been YEARS since I camped out on the bluff. And this time I had a mission: to photograph the silhouette of stunning Mt. Maxwell as the near full moon rose.

Up the steep North slope of Bold Bluff I panted, stopping to marvel at the tiny copper coloured tight leaves of the Gary oak just beginning to infurl against a blue shining sea. I left my camera, tripod and large 300 mm lens behind to fetch it later, as I did not want to risk toppling over into the shining sea far below!

Up on the hot bluff, I found a cozy spot for our bed, and set up camp, thinking what fun this was! After carefully fetching my camera, and setting it up on the tripod facing Mt. Maxwell, I relaxed wondering what would the night bring? Daisy and I sat down to wait, my shaggy black and apricot puppy draping her paws over my lap. This was heaven! Just my puppy and me high up on the bluff with Sansum Narrows snaking its satin sea below, moving powerfully fast. Two seals broke surface and poked their heads out. I kept wondering how can all this ocean stay on the earth and not fall off as we spin so swiftly around the sun? Why don't we feel the wind as we spin and fly through the universe? I KNOW the ocean is held in by gravity, but how can this all work so beautifully so that we, too, stay put where we belong? Life is utterly awesome and amazing!

Occasionally I'd get up to snap a few photos as the sky darkened and the Big Dipper emerged from the sky. Mostly, I just sat - for hours! We heard a seal or sea lion slap the ocean, breaking up a fish it had caught. We heard the frogs croaking from across the Narrows. We heard, sadly, the faint sounds of traffic on the Malahat Highway far, far away!

We went to bed way before the moon rose. Daisy was alert, hearing all the twigs and creatures sighing. I had to hold onto her collar the entire night! And poor puppy got sopping wet in the dew. I, too got wet! In the early dawn we were surrounded by a thick bank of FOG which swallowed the lop-sided orange moon that I watched for awhile but was too sleepy to get up to photograph.

Daisy and I shared an apple, packed up our camp site, and hiked home to the lush green orchard where I stopped to photograph the foggy garden. One of the University students was outside, and he came over to chat. They had jumped off our dock at night and splashed in the freezing salty sea full of night sparkling bioluminescence! Oh, to be young again! But I, too, had had my youthful experience camping up on the bluff!

       Last changed: January 26, 2012