Tow Hill Texture
Yesterday I presented one of the Haida stories about Tow Hill. I think it is probably typical of most cultures that unusual landforms have such stories associated with them – you could say that they attract such stories, or you could say that the stories tell of their creation. In either case they end up being importantly different places. Tow Hill is one of two or three rocky headlands along the whole coast line from Masset Inlet to Rose Spit, about 45 km of beaches with less than 1 km of bedrock. And it is very much the most prominent in all directions. This coast is characterised by long sand beaches, and Rose Spit is a constantly developing feature – as land levels rise, the spit moves every more northeast. What this means is that just a few thousand years ago Tow Hill was an island, and the incipient Rose Spit was to the east of Tow Hill. You can see stranded beach lines of the historical Rose Spit on this map (make sure you turn on the satellite photo by clicking in the box on the upper right corner of the map). Tow Hill is on the north side of the island, 17 km west of the tip of the spit, the first break in the even sweep of sand. What this all means is that Tow Hill is, and has always been, a standout feature on this landscape both from the land and the sea. A place of and for stories, a central geographical hub of myth and legend and history and an integral part of the culture and identity of the inhabitants of Haida Gwaii.
Today’s pictures dwell on the textures of the beach to the north-east of Tow Hill, the bedrock shelf that has the bird and whale turned to stone by Taaw as described yesterday, and a blow-hole that at the right tide and swell blasts a jet of water high above the rock – sadly, while we were there it only gurgled. Because of the rain and very low cloud photographic options were very much limited and thus all these shots are in black and white and concentrate on what was close to me as distance was obscured in mist.
Even so, the conditions were good for seeing faces in the rock.
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Canon 5Dii with soaking wet Nikkor-N (pre-AI) 24mm/2.8m lens, ISO320 – various exposures.