One of the Finger lakes painted from a sketch.

A vista preserved

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.

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-February? 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.This January 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 Mac-Blo 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 six-year old modification and the hills are once again greening up nicely. Time moves on.Gordon Henschel owns an art gallery in Nimpkish Heights.www.henschel.ca

Just Posted

People’s Party of Canada plan to have a candidate in the North Island-Powell River riding

Elections Canada formally recognized the North Island—Powell River PPC Association

NVIATS takes over NIEFS space in Thunderbird Mall

“We were approached by NIEFS, they’re going to be downsizing”

Port Hardy Reigns compete in Nanaimo at Island Championships

“We are very fortunate to have this opportunity for our youth in Port Hardy”

Derina Harvey Band – Heartfelt, Energetic, Celtic rock comes to Port Hardy

Front-woman Derina Harvey leads this Celtic-rock act, who offer an authentic east-coast experience.

OPINION: Urgent care room will cost lives

“Seniors, of any demographic, are the most vulnerable to the loss of emergency care.”

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

Most Read