April Point, British Columbia
Without really intending to, we have been lingering in arbutus land. Arbutus - also known as Madronne - grows only on the western coast of North America, and only as far north as the middle of Vancouver Island. They thrive on the rockiest shores, with their roots apparently squeezing into the cracks. The trunks of the older trees are elephantine in scale, and the limbs twist and stretch for the light. The bark, which is the color of cinnamon, peels back to reveal smooth wood that can be green, pale yellow, or red. They are the landscape's most perfect contrast to the acres and acres of dark conifers that line the shores.
Because Arbutus grow here along the shore of southern Vancouver Island, and because they favor open, exposed spots, we have come to associate them with warmth and sunshine. When we go north from here - as we plan to do tomorrow - we will be leaving the arbutus behind.