Hi everyone, welcome back to our blog today!  Thanks so much for taking the time to visit, we’ve got something really special to share.  Today we’re going to look at a totally magical cabin that has been in my heart for over 25 years now.  This is one of these things that as a photographer I don’t even really understand why I love this place so very much, I just do.

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

In 1980 my mom became gravely ill.  She always loved Vancouver Island.  We used to visit here frequently as kids growing up and when things weren’t going very well, we decided as a family to move out here.   I totally understand the love she had for the island here, and I have now completely taken on this love on her behalf.  I see things that amaze me, things that are distinctly west coast in flavor, and my love for photography has a life of its own as a result.

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

She passed away a few short years after we came here.  At that point, I was about 16 years old and very confused.  My mom and I were very, very close and those who know me best all say I am her son, no doubt about it.  This is something that fills me with immense pride.  She was an amazing person.

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

As I found myself trying to cope with this loss, I was surrounded by some of the best friends a Toad could ever have.  We were all young, and we used to party quite a bit.  For me, it was a form of escaping the harsh reality of what had just happened.  Duncan became our regular haunt, sometimes we’d make the 40 mile trip several times a day.  I am pretty sure this is where my intense love for the Cowichan Valley and the Duncan area came from, and when Mrs. Toad and myself had a chance to move up here a few years ago, there was no way I could resist.

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

Each time we come to the area, we pass this cabin on the way into town.  Now that we live here, I commute each day to the big city and each day I pass this place…  and it truly beckons me.  It is so very distinctly west coast.

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

I finally had a chance this past weekend to stop and grab some photos of this place.  I had been here once before in an attempt to take some pictures, but they did not turn out well at all.  This even further added to my yearning for a chance to really do this scene justice with my lens.

During this shoot we had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the property.  Bob came out while I was wrapping up and introduced himself and we had a wonderful chat together.  I am going to make a few prints for him and drop them off, as a gift for the opportunity to do the shoot.

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

Magic Cabin - Duncan BC Canada

As I sit here and write today’s blog, I am overcome with a few emotions.  The chance to think about my mom and all she meant to me is a really strong presence in this photo series.  Also, the area in the valley here means so very much to me, personally, both for all the wonderful people and relationships I’ve formed up here, but also for the deep meaning behind the personal healing I was able to find during a very sad time in my life.

So, this shoot is more than just a few neat pictures of a wonderful old building.  It is deeply and personally profound.  I find myself both absolutely relieved to finally do justice for the constant tug I’ve had in my heart for this cabin, as well as a small sense of melancholy because something that has really been a driving force in my photography career is now complete…  almost like closing a chapter.

I think I’d like to sit a spell in the tub in this last picture just to the left of the door there, and ponder life and it’s deeper meaning.

Well, my good friends, we thank you so very much for taking the time to pop by our blog today.  We really do hope you’ve been able to enjoy this series and as always, we encourage you to leave us some comments as we truly love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. avatar Jason Hines says:

    Wow. Thank you very much for sharing some of story. The deep emotion and love for this place really came through in these pictures and although I’ve never been there, I have to say that you did this place justice. Well done my friend, well done!

  2. Once again the detail in your images blows me away.

  3. avatar Jim Denham says:

    “those who know me best all say I am her son, no doubt about it.” She must have been one special person Scotty! Really great getting to know more about what makes the Toad tick! Great pics and post my friend!

  4. What a wonderful story Toad; and it’s yours. You have done the cabin justice through your images – the third one is my absolute favorite. At every angle, there is an external brace straining to sustain the little cabin and its importance to you. Do you think that Bob would invite you in to photograph the interior? “The Toad Chronicles” begin here!

    • I am going to drop a few of these prints off to Bob, and you just never know.. I hope so! He was a truly wonderful person, and I enjoyed meeting him. Thanks ever so kindly for your wonderful comments today here, Barbara, you are a true and special member of The Hollow here, and we appreciate you very much!

  5. avatar chrisdmrf says:

    I think you can feel justifiably proud of the images you have created here and I’m positive in my soul that your mom will be looking down on her son with pride

  6. avatar Viveca Koh says:

    What a poignant post Toad ….. thank you for sharing this with us. X

  7. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    What a moving post today Toad. Wonderful building and I really love the little canoe flowerbeds in the front of the house. Terrific and moving post!

  8. avatar Heather says:

    You sure know how to touch my heart Toads 🙂 I totally relate to this particular journey in life. And I love the cabin. I love every single shot of this cabin and I hope there will be more 🙂

    • You are such a wonderful friend Heather, thank you profusely. We will work on getting some more of this wonderful site, that’s for sure. In the meantime, please know that your comments are really special and we are truly honored to read them today.

  9. avatar Jim Nix says:

    we’ve all lost a loved one Toad, and time heals but we never forget, and having photos of cherished locales just brings it all back, so thanks for sharing and I am sure your heart is thanking you for taking them – great series as usual my friend!

    • Jim it’s always a big highlight here for us to see you pop by. Thank you ever so kindly for your very wonderful comments today, my friend, they really mean so very much. We are honored to have such a wonderful friend.

  10. avatar Jerry Denham says:

    It’s amazing the legacy our parents leave with us and the choices we make based on our upbringing. Glad to hear a circle has been closed for you Toad. Thanks for sharing the emotions and the fabulous images that helped close it.

    • Thank you ever so kindly for your wonderful comments today, Jerry, I have found them to be utterly profound. We sure do appreciate all the kindness you’ve shown us here at The Hollow, thank you kind sir.

  11. You continue to amaze me with your talent Toad! Every post lately is becoming my new favorite! I can feel your passion for and love of this charming place, and your Mom, in every image. I also find it touching how you open yourself up in your writing. Great, inspiring work my friend!!

  12. avatar young poopster says:

    is this place haunted or what?? it looks pretty haunted to me