Sunday, August 07, 2005

Blue Remembered Hills

When I run at home the colour is green. The canal is lined with trees whose leaves colour the view and on the edge of my vision are grassy fields or a golf course. Ashridge, has trees, ferns and commons – mostly green. In Canada there was a lot of blue. Although the mountains were covered in trees they always looked blue from a distance and when we were by the sea or the lakes there were shimmering layers of water, hills and sky.

Here are a couple of examples:

Miracle Beach on the east coast of VI looking out over the Georgia Straits towards the mainland.

Looking out from Tofino on the Pacific coast.

Fire planes on Sproat lake

This sense of colour probably doesn’t mean much but running in the landscape did feel refreshing. “First the body. No. First the place. No. First both. Now either. Now the other.” I am strongly affected by the landscape when I run. Somehow I want to feel part of the land; also I want views to distract me – when the going gets tough I want to be able to look up and convince myself that I am doing this for enjoyment.

When I looked at the mountains or the water I stood a bit taller and probably ran a little bit slower. Not that I did much mileage, mostly they were small runs at the start of day – but through running easy I discovered the value of the filler run. It gives rather than takes energy and sets up the day.

There were a couple of wildlife encounters to spice the interest; the most exciting of which was seeing a cougar. My wife and I were running a forest trail outside the campsite at Goldstream when we heard a crashing through the undergrowth about 30 metres away, up the hillside. At first we thought it a deer or large dog but when we looked closely we recognised the movements of a large cat and the markings of a cougar that had been disturbed by the sound of our heavy footfalls.

Another time, when I was by myself, I came close to a deer. We looked at each other, both standing very still, after a couple of minutes the deer sidled away, still keeping eye contact, before ruining off into the woods.

There was plenty of wildlife – watching eagle became almost commonplace and plenty of views. Above all there was space.

Coming back from Canada always feels the same – everything feels crowded and a bit claustrophobic. But I am now back, still a bit hazy but beginning to adjust... It is home after all.


b-z said...

welcome back

beanz said...

welcome back

super photos

Michelle Mitchell said...

looks amazing. Nice pics.

C A D said...

ahh HK, your pics pricked my heart. I love Canada and it's true about the blue. Lovely lovely scenery. Although... I have to say - whenver I've been there it's been too cold to be anything but crystal clear so the ozone haze doesn't tend to sit quite as much... and especially not in the Rockies.. so the hills look green and blue.

More Canada pics to share here:

But... welcome home.


Leon said...

It's great to see you back

and the pictures are stunning..