Life from Death

I have been fortunate over the past few weeks to spend time in the Pacific Northwest on Vancouver Island. Part of my almost daily routine has been walking trails along the beach. The beach here is nothing like the bucket-and-spade golden sands we associate with summer holidays. My path often takes me down through a pine forest beside a rushing river that spills into the sea. The sea-shore is mostly large pebbles where nature’s fence of huge driftwood tree trunks and roots mark the border between land and shoreline. Over the past few days I have seen wonderful birds; a bald-headed eagle who swooped down to carry away something from between large stones on the beach, a hummingbird sucking nectar and a stunning fan-tailed kestrel hawk who flew up from a field close by.

Most of the driftwood trunks are white, scoured by rain, sea water and sun. Some are crumbling and these provide a habitat for a whole miniature world. Besides the long empty shore, the vista of snow-topped mountains and the restless water of Georgian Channel, there is a miniature world of brave little plants that find sustenance from the fallen giant trees. Here are a few of the tiny ones of the sea-side world