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salt springs

I leave Chris’ house in Nanaimo and ride to Crofton and straight onto a ferry about to embark for Salt Springs. Going to Salt Springs takes me off Vancouver Island and away from the main highway and, better still, Jane and Eric have a cabin on the island. I have their address tucked away somewhere but I am not sure if they are on the island or still up north on their bike trip off the Cassiar Highway around Telegraph Creek.

Riding to Ganges, the main town on the island, I collect blackberries and fill my pannier with apples.

Apples are dropping from the trees everywhere on Salt Springs.

Apples are dropping from the trees everywhere on Salt Springs.

Jane has sketched a little map in my black book and I match the landmarks she has featured with a more detailed map from the information office in Ganges. Their cabin, it turns out, is on the far side of the island.

I am struggling up the last of the incredibly steep hills, wondering what I am going to do if Jane and Eric are not home, when I hear a voice behind me: “I don’t believe it!” Jane jogs, seemingly effortlessly, up the hill. I am exceeding glad of the excuse to get off the bike and push.

We walk together up the rest of the hill and turn off the road to a path leading to a tiny cabin sheltered amongst trees. Jane and Eric have only just returned from their own bike trip a few days ago. We share bicycle stories and photos and catch up on news – they are good friends of Sheila. Eric makes popcorn and cooks dinner and I then sleep on the sofa.

In the morning, I go for a walk with Jane. She is an excellent guide, pointing out items of interest, on every scale: mountains, islands, knots in trees, tree bark, mossy banks, clumps of grass, birds – nothing escapes notice. Vultures fly overhead and we lie on our backs on a bed of thick green moss pretending to be dead. The birds are not fooled.

Jane leading the way.

Jane leading the way.

Oak tree at the top of the hill.

Oak tree at the top of the hill, looking out over the Gulf Islands.

Douglas fir cones.

Douglas fir cones.

A spider's web.

A spider's web.

Moss, like an animal's pelt.

Moss, like an animal's pelt.

A tree that seems related to a eucalypt, to me.

A tree that seems related to a eucalypt, to me.

Red bark.

Red bark.

A protrubence.

A protuberance.

Turkey vulture overhead.

Turkey vulture overhead.

In the afternoon, we go for a swim in a small lake near the house and pick buckets of blackberries. The berries are amazingly prolific this year.

Prolific berries.

Prolific berries.

A damselfly, so motionless we thought it might be dead until it suddenly took flight.

A damselfly by the lake. It was so motionless we thought it might be dead until it suddenly took flight.

Jane picking blackberries.

Jane, picking blackberries.

It rains all night. I enjoy the sound of the raindrops on the roof from my warm bed on the couch and I am not inspired to leave, as planned, in the morning when the torrent has not yet ceased. I decide to devote the day to writing an article instead. While I write Jane makes jam with the frozen blackberries left over from last year. In the afternoon we visit the local cheese maker and sample all their wares – soft goat cheese and a range of lucious olives.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Lucie Bartosova | October 8, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful pictures again, Anna! I love the tree detail (red bark). You got so far by now! Keeping my fingers crossed for you, and hope the weather got better, as you are heading South.

  2. Cass | October 11, 2009 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I really like your eye for detail in nature.

  3. Cass | October 11, 2009 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    oops, sent prematurely.

    and your observations and ruminations, I was going to say.

    yes, it is a touch chilly here…

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  1. Colorful Conifer Cones - Plant Propaganda | January 26, 2013 at 4:40 am | Permalink

    […] credits: Douglas fir by Anna of A Thousand Turns. Abies koreana by Margaret Roach of A Way To Garden. Abies koreana ‘Silberlocke’ by […]

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