The sun sets over the Dunes of Florence, Oregon, August. 1980. (Robin Rowland)
It was forty years ago, in August, 1980, that a friend and I drove from Vancouver, BC, where I was living at the time, to spend a weekend at Florence, Oregon, which inspired Frank Herbert to write the famous novel Dune.
That’s me at the beach in Florence, Oregon, in 1980.
Like many at the time, I was entranced by Dune as soon as I picked it off a drug store bookshelf probably in 1965. It was sometime later that I read someplace that it was Florence that first inspired Frank Herbert to write about ecology when he originally visited back in 1953 when he was trying to write an article about a US Forest Service project to use dune grass to keep the sand in check. After all that research, as Herbert said in the collection of his essays, Frank Herbert, the Maker of Dune (1987): “Before long I had far too much for an article and far too much for a short story.. But I had an enormous amount of data, with angles shooting off at angles to gather more.” The result, of course, was the blockbuster novel, then more novels, then spinoffs by his son, a movie concept that was never made, an awful movie that was made, a pretty good miniseries and a new movie that we hope to see this Christmas (if there are movies in theatres).
That trip has been a wonderful memory for years, so to mark the anniversary, I found some of the old slides, taken on Kodak Ectachrome, with my old Minolta SRT101 and scanned them. For a some where the colour did not survive four decades, I converted to black and white.
Sand dunes and grass at Florence, Oregon, August 1980. You can see a family building a sandcastle in the distance along the shore. (Robin Rowland)
That amazing sandcastle on the beach at Florence, Oregon, that could be out of a Dune movie or perhaps a fantasy novel. (Robin Rowland)
Sand dunes and grass at Florence, Oregon. (Robin Rowland)
Sand dunes are like waves in a large body of water; they are just slower. (Frank Herbert, “The Sparks Have Flown” in Frank Herbert The Maker of Dune).
Dunes and dune grass at Florence, Oregon, August 1980. (Robin Rowland)
Seagulls over the Pacific Ocean, the dunes and grass at Florence, Oregon, August, 1980. (Robin Rowland)
A wider view of the Oregon coast and ocean surf. (Robin Rowland)
Ocean surf on the nearby Oregon coast. (Robin Rowland)
Ocean surf. (Robin Rowland)
The 93% waning gibbous moon sets over the mountains of Kitimat early Sunday March 24, 2019 as the sun rises. (Robin Rowland)
A closer view of the waning moon over the mountains of Kitimat (Robin Rowland)
The rising sun begins to illuminate the mountain slopes as the moon sets. (Robin Rowland)
Smoke from the Rio Tinto plant over Kitimat harbour as the sun rises on a frosty Sunday morning March 24, 2019. (Robin Rowland)
Trumpeter swans, signets and canvasback ducks in the Kitimat River estuary, Dec.15, 2018. (Robin Rowland)
My portion of the Christmas Bird Count in the Kitimat River Estuary (courtesy Rio Tinto) was in an afternoon blizzard which cut visibility by up to about 80 per cent at times and was no help to the cameras, whether or on auto focus or manual.
A killdeer hunts for food on a patch of wetland grass as the tide rises (Robin Rowland)
A rare sighting of a Wilson’s snipe out in the open on the river estuary. (Robin Rowland)
A bald eagle overhead. (Robin Rowland)
Another shot of the killdeer. (Robin Rowland)
Another shot of the Wilson’s snipe. (Robin Rowland)
The Wilson’s snipe getting a last shot at a meal as the tide rises. (Robin Rowland)
The trumpeter swans, signets, canvasbacks and mallards. (Robin Rowland)
A great blue heron huddles against the snow storm. (Robin Rowland)
Another great blue heron. (Robin Rowland)
A loon in the choppy waves of Kitimat harbour. (Robin Rowland)
There were more crows than usual Sunday morning at the Kitamaat Village waterfront. Crows perching on old driftwood roots….
…or in the air along the shore line.
Suddenly all the crows took to the air….that murder of crows (or as one of the other birders said “it looks like two murders”).
It was soon clear that they were mobbing a juvenile bald eagle.
The eagle escaped the crows. And we saw it about 20 minutes later, a little further away over the mouth of Whatl Creek at MK Bay, flying over some gulls skimming the water.
Fly past. A bald eagle passes some mallard ducks in flight over Kitimat harbour. (Robin Rowland)
A flock of mallards fly over Kitimat harbour. (Robin Rowland)
A “murder of crows” fly toward Kitamaat Village from the Kitimat harbour. (Robin Rowland)
A crow comes in for landing on the shores of Kitamaat Village. (Robin Rowland)
The beach at Kitamaat Village as the tide begins to recede with the sun shining on the fog in Kitmat harbour. (Robin Rowland)
A pair of bald eagles find perches on a old snag on the Kitamaat Village waterfront. (Robin Rowland)
A sparrow hides in the long grass and wildflowers in the Kitamaat Village seawall (Robin Rowland)
A humpback whale that apparently survived a ship strike feeds in Bishop Bay, BC, Monday August 28, 2017. The whale is missing part of its back close to the dorsal fin. (Robin Rowland)
I went down “the Channel” (the collective name for the waters of Douglas Channel and the surrounding passages, channels and canals) with friends on Monday, August 28.
We were first heading down Ursula Channel toward Monkey Beach where I was going to shoot some portraits of my friends, Before we got to Monkey Beach we saw humpbacks breaching far, far down Ursula Channel.
After we finished shooting the portraits, we went into nearby Bishop Bay for supper. We never made it to the famed Bishop Bay hotsprings. There was a pod of perhaps seven humpbacks hugging the shore, feeding. So we had supper on board and spent a couple of hours watching and photographing the humbacks.
Four humpbacks feed along the shore of Bishop Bay. (Robin Rowland)
As well the whale missing a chunk from its back, at least two others showed scarring from probable past ship or boat encounters.
Two humpback’s one missing part of its back, feed in Bishop Bay. (Robin Rowland)
A humpback with a scarred back and dorsal fin in Bishop Bay (Robin Rowland)
Another view of the scarred humpback. (Robin Rowland)
The scarred humpback dives showing its fluke (Robin Rowland)
Another humpback showing its scars. (Robin Rowland)
A whale blows in Bishop Bay. (Robin Rowland)
A humpback fluke with what looks like chewed edges. (Robin Rowland)
Another view of the humpback with the strange flukes (Robin Rowland)
Another humpback fluke. Fluke are a different as fingerprints which is how scientists identify them. (Robin Rowland)
A third fluke (Robin Rowland)
And perhaps a fourth (Robin Rowland)
And finally a jellyfish that floated past our boat. (Robin Rowland)
The root side of a driftwood stump creates a wonderful pattern, January 1, 2017, at Minette Bay Lodge. (Robin Rowland)
While this stump, emerging from the icy waters of Minette Bay, sort of looks like a sea monster. January 1, 2017 (Robin Rowland)