This February, my family and I took a day trip to explore the wild beauty of the southwest coast of Vancouver Island along the well-known Pacific Marine Circle Route where many tourists have enjoyed rugged landscapes, panoramic views, pastoral scenes, rivers, canyons, ancient old-growth forests and tranquil lakes.
We were all grateful that we had chosen to travel off-season on a typical wet west coast winter day as there was hardly any traffic on the quiet road (even the loggers seemed to be taking a break in the inclement weather). And we could take our time photographing the stunning scenes, as well as the special landmarks we encountered along our way, my favourite of which was the famous Fairy Lake Bonsai Tree — a tiny hemlock fir tree growing on a partially submerged log floating like a dream in the waters of the aptly named Fairy Lake. This rare, naturally occurring bonsai (estimated to be about 40-50 years old) has survived by drawing nutrients from its nurse log — the remnant of a Douglas fir, fallen many years ago.
Many of the photos I’ve seen of this remarkable bonsai are striking images which focus on the tree itself. However, I wanted to take advantage of the light rain forming that intricate, dotted pattern on the lake and the arrow-like mist to create an image that takes you into the enchanted world I witnessed, redolent of Japanese gardens. I also wanted my image to be a kind of ode to that precious bonsai tenaciously clinging to life, serene as that lone duck drawing a fine line across the glassy surface.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor