Thursday, August 30, 2012

Bowen Beauty & Adventures

Bowen Beauty by Ayala Moriel
Bowen Beauty, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.

After visiting Artisan Square and Wren Boutique, miss T and I headed to the lagoon to snack on some overripe cherries; and than tried to make our way to Kilarnay Lake. We got lost on our way and wandered in the forest for much longer than the route was supposed to take - made a big detour and instead of the lake found ourselves in a beautiful meadow with a horse riding arena. The air was filled with a thick scent of coumarin. Rich, enveloping nutty goodness from unidentified wild grasses. Pure pleasure, which stopped us in our tracks for a nice resting time while writing in our little pocket journals... Laying on the grass, of course.

From than, we walked on towards the lake (still hoping) and instead encountered a beautiful grove of pale birch trees immersed in murky pond water, dotted with skank cabages and the like.
From then on, the lake was all too far away, at least if we were to eat any dinner that day and make it back home before the last ferry boat to Horseshoe Bay.

So we marched back towards Snugg Cove; and spotted a trio of unafraid deer roaming by the highway. What a lovely bunch! They let me get pretty close to them, and didn't quite run away. Are they becoming domesticated?!

As we were approaching the main street of "downtown Bowen" an inexplicably beautiful, rich, strange yet familiar smell wafted in the air. It was just by the atelier of a metal and wood worker Stacy Beamer. At first I was sure it must have something to do with all the wood and the fire... But a quick glance at the garden surrounding the atelier revealed it was the hemlock and cedar chips and needles lining the beds (why, of mint of course!). And there were also those gorgeous red-painted dead rhododendrons, which got only one living branch that sprouted a few leaves. They look like earthly corals!

I lingered for so long that even the artist at work noticed me among all the sparks and metal and noise around him; and came out to chat with me. It was the very same scent that greets you in Stanley Park in late summer and early fall: resinous, chypre scent of amber and sappy sweetness and hints of moss and dry cedar. The most gorgeous naturally-occurring perfume you can find on the Pacific Northwest. Now that I finally confirmed the source, I'm determined to bottle this up - there is nothing quite like it. I was fondling handfuls of this fragrant garden-lining and taking deep sniffs for about 10 times, taking breaks only because I wanted to minimize the olfactory fatigue, and get the full-strength of this beauty.

We had just enough time to stop at the Italian restaurant for potato, rosemary & sage pizza and delicious pear salad and Kir Royale (a dangerous mistake which resulted in a lost umbrella, and nearly cost me my an unwanted return trip to Bowen Island). We got back home way too late and with a renewed British Columbian excitement about getting out of the city a little more often...

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At September 03, 2012 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say I truly enjoyed reading your post. The way you described everything made me feel as if I was getting a wiff of nature!I must say, if you do bottle this scenery up, I would be the first in line to try it! By the way,do you always have such highten sence of smell?

At September 08, 2012 10:08 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Thank you so much! I'm so happy you enjoyed "traveling" with me to Bowen Island.
I am so aware of scent constantly, that it's almost as if I live through my nose... Other senses are important too, but I'm particularly tuned into the olfactory sensations that comes my way. And I always find that taking photos of the fragrant finds is inspiring and helps to strengthen my memory too!


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