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Sunday, October 17, 2010

An outing and long post

We went on an outing Friday to Salt Spring Island. We live on an island already but we have so many smaller islands between us and the mainland of British Columbia called the Gulf Islands. There are to many to count and most are uninhabited other than the wildlife that live there.

For anyone who doesn’t know about our ferry system, it’s considered the busiest in the world. It’s not just based here, there are terminals all along the coast and connect our island to the gulf islands and the mainland of BC.

ferries

Salt Spring is considered by us to be kind of last bastion of the hippie era. It’s a different kind of life style, very laid back and easy going. It’s a wonderful place to be and the Saturday market in the summer is a sight to see. We started off with breakfast at one of our favourites, the Tree House Cafe. It’s built up a lot since our last visit, but essentially it is built around a big tree in the courtyard.

treehousecafe

I always have to stop in at their quilt shop which is not just a quilt shop, but a wealth of inspiration. They have moved to a building that is so much more interesting. There are smaller rooms off the one and each one is dedicated to a specific theme. One is for silks, another for knitting, a paverpol area, mixed media and more. It’s just a great place to spend time and enjoy the surrounding.  Click here for Stitches.

We did a little shopping, came away with a couple of gifts for friends, then headed up the road to see what else was going on. We were told about this little place for lunch so we went walking to work up an appetite. The food was very good and we had live music by way of Jock who, back in the day, played his flute, clarinet and sax during the big band era with all the greats. Here’s a link to the restaurant and be sure to click on “Area History” when you get there and look through the pictures. I love those old pictures… Raven St. Market

There is a wharf nearby that we went for a walk along. Although this isn’t the best of pictures given what I was trying to photograph, I did manage this. There was a fresh spawning of Perch and from all sides of the wharf, thousands and thousands a little Perch. We looked down between some pylons and could see many sizes of Perch and most probably momma Perch. They were feeding on the barnacles that grow on the pylons and all the other little things that live in the water. And yes, I had my camera cord firmly wrapped around my fingers.

perchpylons

After lunch we headed over to Ruckle Park, near the ferry terminal. There is always beautiful scenery everywhere you look. I especially love our provincial parks, they hold such peaceful energy and mystery at the same time. I love this tree, it’s like something out of a spooking Halloween movie. Doesn’t it just feel like someone in a mask is going to pop out from behind it.

spookytree

I spotted mushrooms everywhere, all sizes,  due of course to the climate of the park but unless you know which one are edible, you never try them. This was the biggest one I spotted and it was about 10” across and they were sized down to the little ones about 1/2” across.

mushroom10

Then I found out who it is that does enjoy the food supplied by Mother Nature. We watched him for a while. Have you seen these guys before, they are called Bannana slugs. He was really enjoying his meal.

bannanaslug

Getting ready to leave the park and head to the ferry, I took this picture. It’s my desktop, picture perfect. Couldn’t you just sit and enjoy the view forever.

rucklepark

Here comes our taxi to take us home. It may appear that this is a big ferry, but in fact, it’s a very small one that is used to go back and forth to Salt Spring. The ones going to the smaller islands, use even smaller ferries.

ferriessmall

For perspective, the ships captain had to give the right of way to the larger ferry on the way home. It’s a very busy waterway between us, the gulf islands and the mainland and if you’re in a small boat when the ferries are going through, you better respect the regulations of the waterway and get out of the way because the ferries will not and cannot veer off their course. Many small boats have met head on with ferries and yes, fatalities have occurred.

ferriesbig

You can see the cars on our ferry and I’m not sure, but I’m guessing maybe 50 cars or so. On the big ferries, you don’t see the cars, trucks, buses, semi’s and more, they are down below and easily 200 plus vehicles and their passengers. It’s a wonderful ride across Georgia Strait if you ever make it here. If you’re really lucky as I was a couple of times. you might even get to watch a pod of Orca Whales travel alongside the ferry for a while.  A great day out, short but sweet…. So until next time, go out and enjoy what’s around you. It’s constantly changing.

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