Our love for Vancouver Island and the life we experience here runs deep, it’s in our DNA.  Sometimes Mrs. Toad and I hop into our car and take off for points unknown, with no schedule or real goal in mind other than to find some scenes of the island that convey the character and spirit we feel living here.  This lack of schedule or plan lets us explore the area with an open mind, and we always come away from those adventures with a camera full of shots and hearts full of joy from sharing the experience together.

And sometimes we come away with something special, something distinctly Vancouver Island.  These pieces are truly extraordinary and become part of our Limited Edition catalog.

“Quiet Moments” Limited Edition: 10 Prints –

Our recent visit to St. Andrew’s Anglican Church was a time that Mrs. Toad and I had together, exploring the wonderful old heritage church in the Cowichan Valley and taking in the feel and ambiance of it all.  Our blog post “A Home For The Toads” features the other shots we captured from this visit and talks about how meaningful a place this is to us, personally.  It’s a place we dream of often, one we’d love to buy and convert into a home with a photography studio.

As we were walking around the church grounds and photographing the various features and elements, this particular scene literally came to life for us.  It’s one of those times, a magical moment when the light and the subject come together in perfect harmony, sharing a special scene that comes and goes in an instant.  Only those who are prepared and standing there at the exact moment are privileged enough to be a part of it.  Through the magic of photography, you can share this experience with us.

For us, there are several incredible elements working for this shot.  We love the way the sun back-lights the colorful leaves in the trees around the bench, creating a charming atmosphere accenting the scene as a whole.  The way the leaves themselves are a blanket for the grass and the bench itself also adds a great element here, one that tells a solitary story of a place not often visited.

“Standoff” Limited Edition: 10 Prints –

As our afternoon adventure continued, further magic was to be found in the farms in the Cowichan Valley.  For days I have been traveling past this spot and noticing this tractor sitting alone in the field.  A sense of urgency began to take hold as I knew that this farm is very active and many of the scenes are dynamic and prone to change.  The very next day after capturing this shot, the tractor was gone.  It was as if it was left here, waiting for someone to come along and appreciate the scene and capture it before it disappeared forever as a memory for those lucky enough to have noticed.

This picture is wonderful to us on many levels, and we find a deeper meaning hidden in it.  These farm fields are considered massive for the island, mostly cleared to support the farming of the land.  Yet, even with all of this, two large fir trees remain standing in the field, almost defiant in their scale and stature.  Mrs. Toad immediately recognized the hidden drama in the scene with the tractor in the field facing the remaining stand of trees, almost as if it contemplates taking them on.  The tractor introduces scale into the scene, showcasing the mighty size of the fir trees, and the power of nature herself.  It begins to take on an almost “David and Goliath” type feel, symbolic of how insignificant man is in the universe we find ourselves living in.  We sometimes get a false sense of our own power in the universe, almost as if we can take on any element or event and come out the victors.  History tells us otherwise as events, both man-made and nature born, have altered history at many junctures over time.  Life is fragile and fleeting.

We hope you’ve enjoyed joining us with this brief look at a couple of island scenes.  Please feel free to visit our “Limited Edition Prints” to see our entire catalog of special images and for details on how to order.  We really appreciate you taking the time to visit us today and hope you leave us any comments you may have as we love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Wow these are really beautiful Toad.

  2. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Your wanderings around your wonderful island always produce gems like these Toad. Love, love, love the details in the first photo.

  3. avatar Rick Louie says:

    Nice catch with the tractor in the big space of a field and I love the fall leaves! My favorite time of year1

  4. avatar LensScaper says:

    Two well judged landscapes, Toad. Less is often more, and that’s so true of this pair

  5. Colors, composition and the gentle light work to make both these photographs into real beauties. Nice write up, too. Discovering these little scenes and framing them right is an art all its own.