The author's painting captures a riot of colour from spring flowers alongside Highway 19 between Port McNeill and Campbell River.

Spring blooms with colour on the Island Highway

The new freeway from Campbell River down island holds its own scenic views.

The freeway from Campbell River down island is, I’m sure we all agree, a much faster way to go than the original way, especially when you’re trying to catch a ferry. I do miss the old, scenic route with its many quaint, definitely “Vancouver Island-ish” views. Forced to give oneself some extra time to make the trip, one often turned it into a bit of an excursion with lunch stops, etc.

Thus the new highroad became somewhat of a paradox. The ride became faster and easier but the price we’ve paid, it seems, is that we’ve given up our “best in the world” Vancouver Island views along the famed eastern seashore. There is one spot on the new road, however, that turns my head for a second, third and fourth glance, especially in springtime. Often I’m glad it’s a split, four-lane thoroughfare because I’m all over the road, captivated by the panorama before me. The view is at its best when travelling down-island and makes its debut very soon after leaving the Courtenay/Cumberland turnoff. At this time the road is indeed a “High” way and soon vistas of the distant shore below begin to emerge.

Every spring the flowers along our highways make me leap for my brighter colours as the Scottish Broom turns our landscape into a blaze of  gold and yellow. As if this isn’t enough, the purple/blue lupines gather around the yellows, just so they will really come alive. Mother Nature, using her complementary palette, demands your attention, screaming out at you from the roadside until she is satisfied that she has flooded your visual senses.

I’ve painted the Lupines/Broom arrangement before, usually between Port McNeill and Port Hardy, and probably will paint this dynamite combination again. The scene from the highway shown here has beckoned for me to paint it ever since the freeway’s introduction. The springtime flowers begged to be added!

Gordon Henschel owns an art gallery in Nimpkish Heights. www.henschel.ca

Just Posted

Gas prices on Vancouver Island to drop six cents

But a ‘volatile’ market could lead to increases in the coming weeks

Mt. Waddington’s Salvation Army releases eye-opening statistics report for 2017

Shelter overnight stays saw a 431 per cent increase since 2014.

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Port Hardy Fire Rescue’s third quarterly report of 2018

PHFR had 13 practice nights and 11 other training events this quarter.

Throw a snowball to help kids at BC Children’s Hospital

Effort will raise money for sick kids over the holidays

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

B.C. on track to see same overdose death toll as last year: Coroner

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Canada Post strike having ‘critical’ impact on retailers, eBay tells PM

Canada Post says it is now facing an unprecedented backlog of shipments, largely as a result of strikes

NASA wants Canadian boots on the moon as first step in deep space exploration

The U.S. is seeking broad international support for the next-generation space station to send into orbit a in 2021

B.C. Lions GM Ed Hervey has plan for busy off-season

The Lions’ season ended Sunday with a crushing 48-8 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East Division semifinal

Fundraising firefighters complete quest for B.C. Paralympian

The four Penticton residents raising money for Victoria Paralympian complete journey

PHOTOS: Hockey history in B.C. as Team India comes to play

Squad played its very first game in Canada on Tuesday against Surrey Falcons

B.C. man wanted in connection to domestic assault in Edmonton

Sterling Miles Booker has ‘ROCK’ and ‘ROLL’ tattooed on his hands

Most Read