Port Renfrew is a region home to large sections of ancient old growth, as well as a heavy history of logging. Home to the southern terminus of the famous West Coast Trail, and the "World's Gnarliest Tree" of Avatar Grove, it is truly an insight into some of the most pristine natural wonders in British Columbia.
Beyond these ancient forest are the homes of two solitary Douglas Firs, separated from their old growth brethren: They are the symbols of this natural region's tenacity and resilience to even the most extreme conditions. Many of us have been introduced to "Lonely Doug;" yet he has an equally famous relative.
Near the shores of this still, serene lake is a miniature Douglas Fir, resting upon the stump of its predecessor: a relic of the logging days when chunks of driftwood would float throughout the waters of Vancouver Island. As a permanent resident to Fairy Lake, this Douglas Fir sustains its existence through the nutrients of the departed. It is a reminder of beings that never succumb to their environmental pressure, and instead prevail through adaptation. The tree is a symbol of the eternal cycle that is the foundation of the natural world.
When I hear the name "Fairy," I think of a hidden world, one within our own, yet now removed. I imagine these worlds to house the idea of nature now only told through folklore and legend, the stories of a life rooted deep in cultural memory, almost now forgotten, yet prevalent within the wilderness. They are worlds that have long since faded from the urban landscape and the modern lifestyle.
At this lake, it feels like this enchantment continues to fuel the waters with an archaic spell, and it empowers the tree itself. I feel the strong memory that resides in layers around this region's deep time: As I approached the shores of the lake, it felt as though I crossed the threshold from our familiar reality into a new realm--yet it felt like I was home, embraced by the strong symphony of life's spirit around me. I am reinstated with the essence of nature and her presence within all life.
Fairy Lake's still waters reflect this world of enchantment and mysticism, rather like a large mirror whose reflection is of this realm just beyond our tangible reach. As I look down, camera in hand,I see how the land itself is seen through nature's soul.
It is an eternal reflection of this land's spirit.
That is what I wish to capture through the lens. This spiritual essence is what charges the landscape, what strengthens its presence in a world where old growth should be treated with respect. The photo of these lands and waters are portraits that honour the landscape, and celebrates its historical and environmental significance.
Stay safe and well everyone.