September 21st, 2018 – (Click on the Gallery Image for a larger view.) I’m on the beach at Sandbanks Provincial Park after racing a bit to get there in time for the sunset. The decision is a bit last minute as the weather forecast has not been good – in fact the weather forecast has been leaning towards the very bad. Tornado warnings have been on and off all day and the chance of just plain rain is very high.
What happened that evening was a bit surreal it was like watching time speed up and then slow down as seemingly four distinct sunsets conjured up in front of me and then morphed into another permutation. It was the strangest light I’ve ever taken a photo in.
Excitedly I’m snapping pictures on the DSLR and phone both hoping to get at least one shot that I can “write” home about or in today’s lingo post to Facebook. I no sooner start posting when I come to the realization that my sunset of a lifetime has been much more devastating to friends in the Ottawa Valley who have just lived through a cold front fed outbreak of tornadoes that has caused widespread damage.
Suddenly taking pictures is not so important. I’m having a Messenger conversation with an old friend making sure he’s ok and that he has every thing he needs for himself, his family and friends.
I love Sandbanks. When our kids were little (and not so little) we’d go there and always enjoyed the peace, the sand and for me the images. Even now when our widely scattered diaspora gathers (former wife, children and grand-children now) Sandbanks beckons. It always brings peace.
That night as I’m seriously debating with myself long into the early morning about cutting the weekend short and heading home I head to the beach. The storm has passed – the fearful skies of mere hours before is now a black blanket filled with the proverbial “million points of light”.
Night time photography despite modern technology, is still, at least for me something that needs work – but for one night at least my efforts are somewhat rewarded. It’s far from perfect. Not close to sharp but for an hour in the dark, I’m thinking about taking pictures and reflecting on how life twists and turns and sometimes says it’s okay things will be all right. Do what you love to do.
The next day dawns and I set out to do what I’ve consistently failed to do in my many visits and my many photos of the “dunes” of Sandbanks. Capture some the mystery, the mystique, the almost heavy feel I have when walking through the undulating sand, scrub grass and poplars that inhabit the place.
Why heavy? The obvious signs of man losing the battle with nature well over a hundred years ago as the dunes reside where cattle once grazed or perhaps the tales of lost French gold buried in the park – there is history here that is not as obvious as other places but you can feel it’s presence.
Unfortunately, once again, the ability to capture that essence in an image escapes me. Instead I find myself taking cliched images of footprints and close-ups of nature to fill the trip to the highest point in the dunes which is a bit further east than my last visit but still obvious.
That evening – Sandbanks throws up one of the sunsets that it never fails to produce as long as the sun shines. It’s glorious both in it’s variety and depth of colour and it’s ability to once again bend time and seemingly last forever.
Next Time: Part 2 – Pacific Shores