Can you hear my satisfied sigh from here? What an amazing day! We ferried out to San Juan Island last night, where we are staying at this charming B&B called States Inn & Ranch. It's a working ranch, but I haven't been out to commune with the sheepies & alpacas yet - probably going to do that tomorrow morning.
Today we went out to South Beach at American Camp, and wondered what happened to all the rabbits. Not a single one in sight. :( The foxes made their appearances, getting astonishingly close - one came within about 2 feet of me when I was standing outside of the car to take pictures. The friendliness of the foxes, as compared to their indifference last time we were here, confirms my suspicions that the rabbit population has been severely cut. I queried a park ranger who said they were still there, and maybe they were just hiding in the long grass. Well, last time we were here there was NO grass because the rabbits had eaten it all - there was just a barren field with almost as many rabbit holes as there were rabbits. Small estimate would be there were 200+ rabbits at the time. Maybe that was the problem - too many rabbits, they ate all the food and starved too death. Helped along by feasting foxes, eagles, & hawks, and ta-da! Rabbit no-man's land. :(
So then we actually went down to the beach. We trekked out to the rock out cropping we'd gone to last time, in my mind hoping we'd glimpse the same giant river otter float by and then come on land nearby. No river otter, but there were constantly seals. I told Eric that I couldn't figure out if it was the same group of seals hanging around, or if we were witnessing the great seal highway were they all traffic from South to North. No Orcas today, no good eagle sightings. :(
We spent 2 hours at the beach, with our fold-out chairs on the rock outcrop. It was perfect. Exactly what I had been hoping for.
Last time we came here, I kept hoping as we went from quiet nook to solitary beach that I would find some comfort, some happiness, some inspiration. I was in this depressive state where nothing was really bad, but nothing was happy no matter what I did. I left the islands with lots of images in my head, but no happiness in my heart. Well, the past few years, it is always those quiet moments from that trip that I think on wistfully when thinking of the islands. There is this wonderful calm & contented feeling in my heart when I think of those times.
I think there is something different in me now. I think it's the part of me that has decided to put down the camera, and enjoy the scenery for awhile. If what you're watching sticks around long enough, take a few shots after you've enjoyed it for a bit, instead of living the moment through your camera lens trying to get the perfect shot. I just sat and watched the ocean, taking note of the occasional seal head bobbing by, and listening to the waves. I closed my eyes and tried my best to clear my mind and just experience the sensations. It was perfect. The peace and tranquility and comfort that I had been seeking all those years ago seeped into me as easily as the sun roasted my face. It was bliss. Definitely.
After almost 2 hours, I finally got up and started examining tide pools and taking pictures. I took out the earrings I had made the other day to do a mini photoshoot. There was lots of sun by that point, and lots of interesting places to get photos. I hope they turned out well. Unfortunately I've discovered that although my pictures can look awesome in my new large-screen camera, that is no way to judge if they are blurry or not. Here's to hoping I've finally figured out how to use the Macro setting properly!!! I only wish I'd brought more jewelry to photograph.
We had a wonderful lunch and then later at great dinner at this little Italian restaurant called Pazzo Vivo. At least I think that's what the name was. I bought a needle felting kit from the wool & yarn shop. We checked out the awesome local-artist gallery where we bought some awesome pieces last time, and although the same artists had their stuff there, nothing new by them jumped out at us, so it was kind of disappointing. I asked about having my jewelry there, but that store specializes in art that's only made in the islands. Oh well. The woman behind the counter recommended this other shop that I had just been browsing. Unfortunately, I was browsing to check out their prices - they're the shop that I found last time that was charging about 5 times as much for what I would sell the same pieces for. Pieces that I could make easily or better. And that was still their trend, although there were more reasonably priced items there this time. Still, I remain disgruntled and offended by their damn boutique prices.
OK, time for bed. TTFN!