Welcome everyone, this will be our final blog post for 2011. It’s been a year of highs and lows with big changes and tons of great adventures. We’re very much looking forward to 2012 and all it will bring with it.
One of the biggest changes we’ve faced this year was the increase in our workloads, and the effect this has had on our activities here at The Hollow. As most of our regular readers know we had to curtail our involvement online and via our social media outlets to work on external projects. This was a very sad realization with very real effects. We truly miss everyone, but not being a pair of Toads that spends time reflecting on the negative we’d rather look forward and consider the future outcomes from all this effort. With any luck, all the best laid plans will come to fruition and we’ll be back here at full speed as we once were.
Lake Cowichan and it’s surroundings in the Cowichan Valley are very active places in the summer. Tourists and locals alike flock to the area to enjoy the abundant water activities and typically wonderful weather.
Winter finds the area quiet and peaceful, almost as if it awaits the coming seasons.
Mrs. Toad and I found ourselves recently out on one of our infamous adventures together. The lake and its immediate surroundings are an area we frequent during the year due to the gorgeous landscapes. Forest, mountains and lakes are all predominant here, creating scenes unlike those seen anywhere else.
In the dead of winter, one is left with a strong sense of peace. You can stand by the side of the road and not see a car pass for quite some time. This leaves us truly feeling like we’re the only Toads on the planet, and that we’ve found a secret hideaway full of wonder and beauty. We think this is the perfect place to visit with you as the year comes to an end and we look forward to all the wonder that 2012 has in store for us.
Just before you find the town of Mesachie Lake sits this summer camp. It’s been a scene we’ve been meaning to photograph for quite some time. As the lovely Mrs. Toad and I stood here holding hands and taking in the landscape, we were truly struck by the incredible beauty and wonderful contrasts that this little place shares. It was a cold, cold day but when you have your lifelong love in your arms everything seems much brighter and warmer.
I am truly a blessed Toad to have such a wonderful girl to share my life with. Today’s post is dedicated to her.
The frost never really left this day. Even late in the afternoon this particular spot is absolutely bereft of sunlight, and thus the frost didn’t get a chance to change form. This suited us just fine as it presented a beautiful accent to the scene. The air was crisp, but felt clean as our breath formed clouds of dense fog.
Not a sound permeated the area; even the birds have all but completely packed up and headed for warmer environs. That strong sense of still is both wondrous to behold, but is also a little eery.
Far off to the right sits this beautiful little home. Perhaps the home for the caretakers of the camp, perhaps just a house that sits next to it… through the trees peeks the still lake which reflects the warm tones from the sky back to us.
The only sentries to remain are the trees. In this image we can see a special stump that appears at first glance to be an open hand reaching to the sky. It felt as if it was reaching for the sun, to bring it closer.
As we take in this last scene for the day, we find ourselves mesmerized by the contrast of the dense forest that envelops the town peppered with the character homes that reside here. A wood stove puffs in the cold winter air, furthering the sense of mystery and wonder.
As my beautiful wife and I stood here looking down the road that appears to go on forever, we felt a strong hopefulness overcome us. We’re not exactly sure what awaits us down the road, but we do know we’re entranced by that which surrounds us here today, and the future is something we are embracing with longing and love.
But never ones to hurry a journey, we take each step one after the other. The road will reveal its mysteries in its own due time. No need to rush. No need to push time along. No need to miss a single detail or experience as we travel together.
Life is a truly beautiful thing, my friends. We can only hope that you are looking forward to what the new year will bring as much as we are. And on that note, we’d really like to thank everyone for all their support over the course of 2011. Happy New Year, our dear friends, and may 2012 be all that you wish for, and more.
Happy New Year, from The Toads to you.