A Gordon Henschel original painting.

A Brush with Henschel: Spring is early

This painting is now a bit of history, the lake was renamed Ellison Lake in honour of Carl Ellison.

If you live on Northern Vancouver Island I guess I don’t have to tell you we’ve had an exceptionally mild winter; admittedly moisture-laden but, nevertheless, mild.

Like most of us I wouldn’t mind a bit more sunshine but the benefits are more obvious in heating the house. We really enjoy a wood fire and use our wood stove quite a bit. By this time of year I’m usually frantically searching for new wood supplies but this year my woodpile looks rather healthy!

One wonders, however, about the blessings of so warm a winter. (After watching David Suzuki’s show on global warming I can visualize seawater lapping at our doorstep.) The daffodils and tulips are boldly peeking through what is obviously warm soil. Don’t they know it’s mid-March? The alders are taking on that reddish-brown blush that is reserved for March and in south facing, sheltered low spots skunk cabbages are beginning to show signs of life.

Cause for concern? Not really. I can remember other mild winters when the salmonberry bushes audaciously stuck their pink tongues out at the world when they should have been wearing scarves of snow. After all, this is the “Wet Coast” and our environment is incredibly flexible.

I did the accompanying oil painting in my studio from a sketch done years ago of one of the Finger Lakes that are accessible by a spur off the Keogh Main out of Port McNeill. It was sketched on one of those unseasonably warm winter days when the alders were beginning to show off their spring garb.

This painting is now a bit of history. The lake was renamed Ellison Lake in honour of Carl Ellison, a former Mac-Blo employee. I had to walk several kilometres to the lake down an old logging road overgrown with alders. It seems the area had been selectively logged at one time with very little sign of human impact.

This same trail is now a full-blown logging road once more. The wooded hills shown in the painting have been “culturally modified” by present day loggers. Mother Nature has again modified the twelve year old modification and the hills are once again greening up nicely. Time moves on.

Comments e-mail: ghenschel@shaw.ca, or website: www.henschel.ca

Just Posted

Port Hardy’s RCMP Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen: ‘It’s business as usual’ after cannabis legalization

Local RCMP will still be on the lookout for impaired driving despite cannabis legalization.

Jay Dixon finishes top three for School and District Leadership award

“I believe it’s all of our responsibility for our schools to provide quality education,” said Dixon.

7 Mile Landfill operations tender closes October

Taxes covering the landfill have not increased over the past 15 years and are not expected to soon.

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land for expansion

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

Port Hardy municipal candidate Rick Marcotte’s profile

“I feel that we have had a wonderful council that can discuss issues of importance,” said Marcotte.

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

Port Hardy municipal election candidate Leightan Wishart’s profile

Wishart speaks on his experience: “I’ve was elected to the School Board in 2002.”

Most Read