A clear cut in the Eve River Valley provides the inspiration for the artist’s piece

A country garden in full bloom

A clear cut in the Eve River Valley provides the inspiration for the artist’s piece, Country Garden.

Just a little over a year ago, on my usual hunt for fireweed scenes, nostalgia hit me right between the eyes.

I remembered when clear-cuts were still very clear and on your way down island, turning a corner, you would sometimes see an entire valley bathed in various shades of pink and mauve. Remember that? The effect was almost surreal as you floated along in your car through what seemed like a garden of colour.

Wanting to relive some of this visual splendour, I optimistically packed my paints and headed toward where I had last seen clear-cuts of any size, the Eve River Valley. Although, after passing the Tsitika headwaters area and slowing down to keep a sharp eye out for any hint of a break in the forest, I almost missed the clear-cut when it did come along because it was off the highway.

A flash of colour alerted me but I had to turn around to find the logging road that led to the elusive prize. I was not to be disappointed. For the rest of the day I painted in an area where the fireweed blazed everywhere in the distance, wave upon wave, to finally lose itself against the shadows of the mountains that formed its backdrop. The result was the painting shown here which we finally published as a print.

A couple of weeks ago, remembering this very successful endeavour, I repeated the trip down the Island Highway hoping for a similar wonderful day in my “country garden”. The fireweed along the highway was in perfect bloom, the petals about halfway up the stalk. As I neared the old familiar logging road I literally trembled with anticipation.

I should know by now how fast the trees grow in this country! The Western people had done a good job of reforestation; too good. The little trees that last year had looked so good among the fireweed had grown enough to obliterate any sign of my beautiful bouquets. I had to be content with my year-old print and memories of sunny days and buzzing bees.

Always an opportunist, however, I set up my paints and did the mountains!

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

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Badinotti makes cash donations to North Island food banks

‘it’s fantastic that they are supporting community organizations like this’

‘A bottomless well of love for people and communities’

Parksville Qualicum Beach News editor JR Rardon dies at age 61

NDP pushing for 10 days of paid sick days for all working Canadians

NDP has made the issue a requirement for their support of the Liberal government

No plans to rebuild Hardy Bay Industrial Centre after fire, owner says

A massive fire burnt down the old building in April

Port Hardy Fire Rescue adapts to new realities amidst COVID-19

Don’t forget to follow Port Hardy Fire Rescue on Facebook.

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

Island city cancels plan for homeless camp; exploring alternative option

The plan heard strong objection from neighbouring residents and businesses

B.C. visitor centres get help with COVID-19 prevention measures

Destination B.C. gearing up for local, in-province tourism

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in long-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

Most Read