Usually as we set out to create a new blog here at the Hollow, Mr. Toad will give me some incredibly inspirational photos and then we put our little green heads together until we put the last period at the end and call it a wrap!  But today, perhaps because it is finally Spring and suddenly it’s okay for grown-ups to play in the dirt, or maybe because April Fools’ Day recently passed and I’m still feeling a little cheeky, we are going to shake things up a bit.

Touring around our little island is somewhat of a passion for us.  No matter where you choose to rest your eyes, they are in for some kind of treat.  Mountains, valleys, ocean, lakes, rivers, blue skies, friendly folks, the list just goes on as far as the horizon.  So, understandably, it would be very difficult to choose a favourite.  But today, since the golden skies have put me in somewhat of a jubilant mood, I am going to share with you all some of my very favourite things about living on Vancouver Island.

Cowichan Bay Marina - Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

Cowichan Bay Marina – Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

When you visit an island, you spend a lot of time looking in.  When you live on an island, you spend an equal amount of time looking out.  The landscape does not end at the shore, it is simply where you can tie your boat and claim your tiny homestead.  Every year as the grey slowly comes apart at the seams, revealing months of lazy summer days stretched out as far as the eye can see, new explorers from all reaches of the Earth chug and bob their way to our coastal towns to become de facto neighbours for a while.  Cowichan Bay marina is one of three major marinas in our area, and one of my favourite places to watch the island grow.  Comfortably seated on the terrace of one of my favourite restaurants, the Cow Cafe, and usually munching on a big basket of the best fries anywhere to be found, it is easy to see why an afternoon here could easily turn into anyone’s favourite thing!

Cowichan Bay Marina - Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

Cowichan Bay Marina – Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

It is not by accident that the Cowichan Valley is called the “Warmland”.  It is truly the best word to describe both the area and its people.  I am not sure if it is simply the relaxed island lifestyle or the fact that we really do have the best fries, but it’s not long before someone starts chatting to you and you find yourselves sharing stories all afternoon over a coffee, or another of my favourite things, a tall glass of Chardonnay!

Cowichan Bay Marina - Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

Cowichan Bay Marina – Cowichan Bay, BC, Canada

Like a living art gallery, unique pieces crafted by numerous talented local First Nations’ artists are to be found not just on dark walls in obscure places, but as a part of the landscape.  Like a pop-up storybook reminding us all of the rich heritage that surrounds us, each colourful piece tells a tale that is meaningful to each of us in its own distinctive way.

And of course, like any good story, we must save my very favourite thing for last.  Looking out over the crystal blue water, the black mountains towering in the distance, and the myriad of floating pathways makes me think of my most favourite thing of all…walking hand in hand with Mr. Toad, capturing pictures of the place we love so dearly, and sharing them all with all of you.

Thank you so much for spending some time with us today!  Please do drop by our comment section and let us know some of your favourite things.  And if you find yourself irresistibly lured to our wonderful little warmland, let us know and we can add another entry to our list of favourite things, meeting you!

Until next time!


Mrs. Toad

  1. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Can totally see the attraction for you amphibian type! What a beautiful place! Well done Toads!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you Jim, if ever you make it to the island we would be happy to share our Chardonnay with you!

  2. avatar mrjom says:

    Great write up and beautiful photographs of a beautiful place, my backyard. 5 Stars out of five 🙂

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you so much Joseph, you are indeed very lucky to look at these scenes every morning when you wake up. We would be so happy if you could join us next time!

      • avatar mrjom says:

        Mrs Toad, just now I look out at the wettest pastel sky Cowichan Bay may have to offer (Shades of gold to grey show in sky and sea as a fine drizzle fragments the light). At any rate meeting up still is something I very much look forward to.

        • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

          It sounds like another beautiful day in Cowichan Bay to me Joseph! A shame we couldn’t get there with our camera to capture it! We look ever so forward to spending some time together on one of those perfect terraces!

  3. Awesome shots Mrs Toad, looks like a wonderful place to explore!

  4. and Mr Toad of course!

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you Michael, I must give all due credit to Mr. Toad for the images. I will admit he makes my part very easy!

    • avatar ToadHollowPhoto says:

      Thank you, Mike, you’re a true scholar and a gentleman of the highest order!

  5. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    I don’t know what I am more mesmerized by: Toad awesome images or Mrs Toad wonderful way of spinning words. Thankfully for those who follow this blog, we get both!

  6. avatar Chris Wray says:

    Your photos are beautiful, Toad. What an idyllic setting. How fortunate you are to have such beautiful scenery. We do, too, in CO, but we’re pretty landlocked! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story and photos.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you so much Chris, it’s true we are a bit spoiled when it comes to finding great things to photograph! Thanks for popping by today!

  7. avatar Edith Levy says:

    WOW….first of all terrific post Mrs. Toad. I’m sold and I”m thinking that making the cross country trek to Vancouver should be something to seriously consider 🙂 These images just blew me away….stunning.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you Edith, we would indeed be thrilled if you ever make it here for a visit! I promise the fries are worth the trip alone!

  8. avatar LensScaper says:

    As always your writing is a joy to read, Mrs Toad. I keep kicking myself that in our mad rush round BC a few years ago we spent only one day zipping down Vancouver Island with barely a glance to left or right. Our son has visited Vancouver twice and seriously considered working there. Maybe I should try persuading him to do just that and then we would be hopping over from time to time.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Thank you for your kind words Andy, I am sorry too that you didn’t get much of a chance to see the island, it would truly be wonderful if your son ends up relocating to Vancouver, it would be great to get to meet you in person!

  9. Thanks for the tour Mrs. Toad. Now I have learned that Toads thrive in and around salt water too.

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      Haha! Thanks Keith! In this case, yes, we toads just love the salt water! Thanks ever so much for popping by today.

  10. Take pics of what you love and they’ll turn out great!

    Or so that’s what someone told me once… 🙂

    • avatar Mrs. Toad says:

      True words Derrick! I must admit we are pretty lucky when it comes to finding extraordinary things to photograph, and we love them all! Thanks for your visit today!

  11. avatar ehpem says:

    Nice post, once again. We remember fondly our meeting with you in Cow Bay. It is a nice part of the island – you are lucky to have it nearby.