The wild west wind whistled and the frothy waves crashed as we dashed for refuge in the lee of the Broken Islands. Despite the peril, the gnarled beauty of Mother Nature's "bonsai" masterpieces was accentuated as the trees yielded to the snarling westerly gale. In the shelter of the Islands, we were able to enjoy the rugged scenery, catch a few fish, watch the birds, and admire the occasional gentle but powerful Gray Whale. It was an inspiring and refreshing west coast morning. (The Broken Islands is a world class kayaking destination in the Pacific Rim National Park just northwest of Bamfield.)

Once again, photography from a rocking boat was the most frustrating experience. I filmed a complete sequence (12 frames) of a Bald Eagle successfully diving and catching a salmon but not one picture was clear. Fortunately, a few other pictures were presentable.

Using rock as the growing medium, Mother Nature has created a stunning collection of "bonsai" masterpieces.

The Common Murre was the most common bird in the area. There were also Marbled Murrulets, Pigeon Guillemots, gulls, and cormorants.

It was amazing how quietly 35 tons of gentle giant Gray Whale could slide by, betrayed only by its occasional blowing.

LOCAL SHOTS (Jul. 8/04)

It seems as if the owls were following me as I encountered a second pair of juvenile Great Horned Owls within the past month.

It was interesting to see the adult Olive-sided Flycatcher taking evasive action to avoid its hungry fledglings.

Recently fledged Great Blue Herons at Craig Bay (Jul. 10/04)