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  • Jennifer Dowd

The Art of Nature Bathing at Skutz Falls - June 8, 2024

I spent a delightful day at Skutz Falls, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of nature. Accompanied by my faithful canine companion Baylee, we set out to explore the picturesque surroundings, camera in hand, ready to capture the beauty that awaited us.

Our first stop was the fish ladders, a testament to the ingenuity of nature and man working together. Designed to help salmon navigate the river, these ladders are a marvel of both engineering and resilience. My goal at this first stop was to try to capturing the movement of water.

Next, we moved on to the old trestle bridge, an architectural relic that stands proudly over the Cowichan River. The bridge, with its rustic charm and weathered wood, provided a perfect backdrop for some stunning shots. As we walked along the trestle, I couldn’t help but marvel at the scenery and how incredible nature is.

After our photographic adventures, Baylee and I found a serene spot to enjoy a picnic. Surrounded by the sights and sounds of the forest, we indulged in the simple pleasure of nature bathing. The fresh air, the rustle of leaves, and the gentle flow of the river all worked together to heal the soul, offering a profound sense of peace and relaxation. Taking some time during my excursion to capture some candid photos of my fur baby, Baylee, was challenging to say the least. She had funny looks because she was so resistant to having her photo taken, making each shot a playful and memorable moment.

While the grand landscapes were captivating, I also turned my lens to the smaller wonders of Skutz Falls. The world of macro photography revealed a hidden universe of tiny insects and intricate plant life. Each shot brought out the detail and beauty often overlooked by the naked eye.

As we ventured deeper into the forested area, the rhythmic tapping of a woodpecker caught our attention. We followed the sound and were rewarded with the sight of a beautiful woodpecker busy at work on an old tree. Getting a clear shot was challenging due to the bird’s constant movement and the dense foliage, but persistence paid off. I managed to capture a few frames of this industrious creature, adding a special touch to the day’s photographic haul.

Though not every photo turned out as planned, the experience reminded me of the importance of being present. Sometimes, the joy of photography lies not in the perfect shot but in the process of exploring, discovering, and simply being in the moment. Spending the day with Baylee, surrounded by nature, and observing the world through my camera lens was a rewarding experience in itself.

This trip also gave me an opportunity to delve deeper into black and white photography. Stripping away the colors allowed me to focus on textures, contrasts, and the play of light and shadow. The result was a collection of photos that felt timeless and evocative.

Our day at Skutz Falls was more than just a photographic excursion; it was a reminder to appreciate the present, cherish the beauty of nature, and find joy in the simple moments. Whether it was the dynamic fish ladders, the rustic charm of the trestle, or the unexpected appearance of a woodpecker, each moment was a gift.

As I sift through the photos back home, I’m grateful for the memories and the lessons learned. Photography, after all, is not just about the final image but about the journey, the experiences, and the stories we gather along the way. And for that, Skutz Falls provided a perfect backdrop.

"The true art of photography lies not in the final image, but in the joy of the journey and the memories made along the way."

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