Sweet Desolation

Posted: 6th March 2014 by ToadHollowPhoto in Photography
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Vancouver Island is a finger of land located just a few miles off the west coast of Canada.  Separated from the mainland of BC and Washington State in the US by a series of straits, the island itself is largely unpopulated with huge tracts of land having never had the opportunity to bear witness to a human being.  With over 12,000 square miles of land and less than a million people populating it you can travel vast distances on the rugged terrain or across serendipitous bodies of water in total solitude.  It’s this seclusion that makes the hundreds of miles of Vancouver Island coast so gorgeous to see, creating a wonderful and unique adventure for those who like to explore and wander.

Ocean Scene - Vancouver Island Coast - Cowichan Valley Region, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ocean Scene – Cowichan Valley Region, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Our coastlines are some of our favorite treasures.  Many of the bays and inlets are only accessible by boat, or in some rare cases by traveling across harsh and rugged logging roads.  But, that’s far from our only natural attraction, the island also hosts a large number of species of soaring trees.

Wikipedia: Vancouver Island says:

Vancouver Island lies in the temperate rainforest biome. On the southern and eastern portions of the island, this is characterized by Douglas-fir, western red cedar, arbutus (or madrone), Garry oak, salal, Oregon-grape, and manzanita; moreover, Vancouver Island is the location where the Douglas-fir was first recorded by Archibald Menzies; Vancouver Island is also the location where some of the tallest Douglas fir were recorded. This southeastern portion of the island is the most heavily populated region of Vancouver Island and a major area for recreation. The northern, western, and most of the central portions of the island are home to the coniferous “big trees” associated with British Columbia’s coast — western hemlock, western red cedar, Pacific Silver Fir, yellow cedar, Douglas-fir, grand fir, Sitka spruce, and western white pine. It is also characterised by bigleaf maple, red alder, sword fern, and red huckleberry.

This very convergence of forest and ocean creates simply magical places unlike those found anywhere else in the world.

Ocean Scene - Vancouver Island Coast - Cowichan Valley Region, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ocean Scene – Cowichan Valley Region, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Winters can be harsh to the standards of the local residents.  We typically get very little snow in the winter, and when it comes it dusts the gorgeous landscapes in pure white that adds so much character to the scene.  Far more normal is a climate in the winter that sees the island immersed in rain, ranging from a delicate mist in the air to downpours described as “the heaven’s opening up”.  Stalwart trees often struggle to survive in this setting, growing in the strangest formations almost as if reaching out to the sky for help.

Ocean Scene - Vancouver Island Coast - Cowichan Valley Region, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Ocean Scene – Cowichan Valley Region, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

A visit to some of the bays and inlets reveals vignettes that illustrate the relationship between man and our environment.  The tall trees are dominant in the scenes, and people who make these enchanted spots their homes tend to carve out just enough land to place a house, completely surrounded by the thick and towering trees that create a lush green blanket over the island.

A sense of sweet desolation is found everywhere.  This leaves you feeling as if you’re the only living soul in the world, surrounded by nature and creatures that are simply beyond description in their beauty.  Cities and communities dot the coastline as you make your way primarily north and south on the island, but between the bustling communities is mile after mile of raw nature.

No two days are alike here on Vancouver Island.  You can visit and revisit and revisit the same spot, experiencing something special and new with each sojourn.  Come see for yourself!!

Thank you so much for visiting us here at The Hollow today, we really do appreciate it.  As always, we love to hear from all our visitors so please feel free to leave us any comments you may have!  Adieu, my friends!




  1. avatar Bev Oliver says:

    Thanks for sharing our beautiful corner of the world, Toad. A little bit of heaven. Bev.

    • Indeed it is, my good friend! Thanks so much for popping by to see us here today, Bev, and for leaving these wonderful comments. We’ve got a deep catalog of shots from the area we’ll be posting in the coming weeks, I am sure you’ll love some of them so please stay tuned!!

  2. avatar Jim Denham says:

    What a beautiful place Toad – someday I will make it there and to see you and the Mrs. That will be an awesome day!

    • That, my kind friend, would be a highlight for us for the entire year!!!!! Thank you so much, Jim, for all your friendship and encouragement over the years, we just can’t find the words to thank you enough.

  3. avatar Edith Levy says:

    These images are truly magical Toad. It’s been so long since I’ve visited Vancouver. I really must get back.

    • Absolutely, Edith, with you talents and skills with a camera, you would come home with a bazillion new shots! Thank you so much for your kind thoughts today, my friend!!

  4. avatar Chris Maskell says:

    Looks amazing Toad, great images. I would love buy a bit of forest, build me a log cabin and settle here

    • There’s tons of room out here, Chris, c’mon over my good friend! 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind visit and comments Chris, that means the world to us here!

  5. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    I have been to your beautiful island a few times but have never ventured outside Victoria much. The next time I am there, I will definitely explore the true beauty that you share with us regularly, Toad. I am sure that I will fall in love with the nature that is there.

    • Thank you so, so much Len! You would love it, I follow you regularly and am familiar with your style and I think Vancouver Island would keep you clicking for quite some time! Thanks so much for popping on by to see us, we really appreciate your kindness good sir!

  6. avatar LensScaper says:

    You write so eloquently and passionately about Vancouver Island, Toad. We all know it comes straight from your heart. I wish we had taken more time over the island when we drove down it.

    • Thanks, Andy! I know this is a place you’d love, for sure! There are tons of hidden treasures around here, enough to keep an avid photographer like you busy for quite some time! Thanks a ton for popping on by to see us, it’s always a highlight to have a visit from you my friend!