By Brian J. Cantwell
Cantwell's ReefApr 08, 2023
Wildflowers and wider horizons as April whispers of change
Fairy slippers, aka calypso orchids, are blooming on Center Island, while manmade miracles have transformed my old stomping grounds, the Columbia River waterfront near Portland, Oregon.
Practicing catch-and-release with my cabin’s chimney. (Sheesh)
The Return of the Creature In My Chimney -- with a happier ending.
Febrrrr-uary ends frostily
As the San Juan Islands' quietest season winds down with a month of weird and wintry weather, island hermits look toward spring.
Spotting the Towhee
On a lonely walk with my cat, a skittering in the bushes raises the hair on our necks.
The social whirl of a San Juan Islands winter
Visiting friends on a neighboring isle is a big event in these cold and wind-blown months.
Sometimes you have to work for a merry Christmas. Let me tell you.
Snow, ice and gales can't stop a loving dad from meeting up for a special Christmas with his daughter.
A thankful time before the storms
After a cozy Thanksgiving with welcome visitors, I've been hunkering down for winter in the wind-blown San Juan Islands.
After a bit of blue heaven, now comes the season of the webfoot
After months of dry skies and a recent sunny weekend on the Pacific Coast, I'm back in the writing hut with November rains thumping the rooftop. It feels like home.
Fat berries, soft breezes herald a new San Juan season
On a warm and silent September morn, a rustle of breeze in the tallest fir whispers a message of autumn.
Boatyard daze: Pondering the future with a salty old friend
Repainting our beloved sailboat leads daughter Lillian and me to ponder whether this will be our last haulout. (Sort of like a cowboy's last roundup.)
It’s gettin’ too goldurn modern on this little speck o’ dirt
One wants to be a good citizen, but it's hard not to grumble when the pressure mounts to post county-issued house numbers in front of our cabins.
It takes a little magic to accomplish chores with no stores
Rebuilding my island cabin's 25-year-old wooden deck is a labor of love, a little lunacy, and lots of boat trips to the lumberyard.
Good things multiply on the way to the Last Frontier
North to Alaska! Our first tech challenge, our first whale sighting, our first meet-up with Mounties, oh my! The voyage begins.
Back on the rock: Paella with pals, and a bittersweet memorial
Heading northward, with the geese
After a year of dreaming and plotting, it's time to depart on a long-planned sea voyage to Alaska. Ride along in coming weeks.
Like the cousins who come in May, and stay and stay, the goldfinches have arrived on Center Island.
Spain has its annual running of the bulls. In the San Juans, we practice the welcoming of the goldfinches.
Squish! Squish! Squish! The wildflowers are loving it.
Persistent April showers (and February, and March...) have brought a bumper crop of May flowers to the San Juan Islands.
Big island or small, diverse skills make life in paradise possible
This episode is also available as a blog post with photos: http://brianjcantwell.com/2022/05/04/big-island-or-small-diverse-skills-make-life-in-paradise-possible/
'Trawler 101,' and busy with a birthday
The excitement mounts as I join friends on a shakedown cruise before our 10-week boat trip up the Inside Passage to Alaska.
The power of a San Juan Islands spring
The season's burgeoning blooms, along with a few withered victims of winters past, are a reminder of the circle of life on my island.
This episode is also available as a post with original photos on my Cantwell's Reef blog.