Storey’s Beach is one of those lovely spots that reminds me of a beautiful wife or girlfriend taken totally for granted. She is always there for your company and enjoyment but you rarely benefit from all the nuances that she has to offer.
I have painted this beach more times than I can remember. Each time I do, it feels like the first and I kick myself for not having painted it more often. I know a lot of people that live on or near it and many of them seldom walk its remarkable sands, especially when the low September sun creates long shadows that mingle with the mists creeping along the shoreline.
I really didn’t think I took Storey’s for granted until the other day, after Ann and I picked up some visitors from Germany at the airport. It was the 2:30 arrival so we didn’t have a lot of time before we took them home to supper. Because the fog had been flirting with the airport and drifting in and out of Beaver Harbour, I didn’t think Storey’s Beach was a great place to show off North Island that afternoon, but Ann was the one that insisted I turn down the road leading to it. When we got to the beach and parked beside the boat ramp the response of our three visitors made me feel that if we had not come there I would have been shortchanging everyone.
Since I don’t live there and see the beach in all its moods, I was just as blown away as they were. The mist moving in and out and playing hide and seek in the huge spruces along the shore, then whisking itself off to hobnob with the distant islands only to return and shroud everything in obscurity once more, was recreation in itself. Figures along the strand that would ordinarily command no attention whatsoever appeared mysteriously out of nothing. German cameras clicked furiously with each new scene and went completely out of control when a couple of eagles appeared and nattered at each other among the branches along the shore. The sun broke through and spread golden rays through those same limbs and again the cameras went crazy. The magic of Storey’s Beach had created a lasting impression that would remain in the minds of these guests forever.
The painting shown here was done on another September day but does illustrate that Storey’s Beach does not need a hot sunny day to spread its charm. What an astonishing place to live, folks. Let’s not ever take it for granted!
Gordon Henschel owns an art gallery in Nimpkish Heights. www.henschel.ca.