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Another May Long Weekend


This is year seven of the May Long Weekend Tradition and we are still going Strong.  By the numbers -  Salt Spring Island (2001 - 7 people),  Sunshine coast (2002 - 7 people), Pender Island (2003 - 9 people),  Mudge Island (2004 - 9 people), Port Renfrew (2005 - 10 people),  Galiano (2006 - 10 people) and this year we are 11 people.  We had some challenges finding a place to accommodate us (that was new) so we were quite happy to find the place on Gabriola - and Island I've never been to before.

A first - this year we had fewer cars seats than people.  Four people arrived by plane so we did a bit of shuttling, but everything worked out just fine.

Saturday Market

Monkey Flowers Outside Of Market
I'm a big fan of Markets.  An ideal May Long Weekend trip for me has a visit to a local market.  The Gabriola Market is second only to Salt Spring Island's market and I think edged out Pender Island's Market - I was quite surprised by how busy it was.  The locals told me that the first market of the year (which is always the May long weekend) is generally the busiest.    I was quite impressed by the local groceries and the art work.

Radishes On Wooden Box

A few minutes after we arrived, Helen and Andrea were hitting me up for money.  Andrea wound up with a hands full of snacks including locally made licorice and Helen purchased veggies for our meal later that evening.  They weren't the only people who wound up with a little shopping.

Artisan Bread In BasketsBalls Of WoolSun Falling On Rhubarb And Bok ChoyVeggies At Market

Coincident to the Market opening, the Alpaca farm on the Island (just down the road) also opened and had an open house.  We stopped in with the a few and discovered that alpaca's really are a nicer version of sheep.  Their small size and huge glassy eyes sure make them close to pet - probably why I haven't heard of alpaca meat for sale.

White AlpacaHelen With Dark Alpaca
 
Tide Pools
Orange And Green Anemone
Our vacation rental was across the street from a rocky beach.  Rocky beach often means tide pools.  The currents in this area run fast so the inter tidal areas are often rich.  The inter tidal areas here were dominated by Purple Sea stars and kelp - a few pools had Anemones and at the lowest tide areas you could find the odd leather star or sunflower star.


Buried Green AnemoneGreen And Tan AnemoneTwo Tan Anemone
Leather Star In CurrentSunflower Star Falling Off RockStars In A Rectangle

Stars With Ferries Behind
It's quite easy to get lost poking your nose in tide pools.  While this beach isn't the prettiest beach ever, the wide scale view as actually quite nice.   The ferry arrives close by every hour or so at night you get a bit of a light show when the ferry comes in.


Pink Waves With Sailboat
On Sunday night, we got a bit of a surprise.  It had been pretty overcast that day so I wasn't expecting much of sunset.  Stephen actually noticed the colour first and after he mentioned it, pretty much all of us went out for the short walk to the bay to take in the view.

Bright Sunset

 
Checking Beaches At Ferry Terminal



Descanso Bay
The closest proper park to our house was Descanso bay.  One afternoon a few of us went for a bit of a walk around and I was quite surprised to find I didn't have a camera!  I had left it on the kitchen table, and was without camera when I found some nice orchids poking through the undergrowth.

  Bay With CamasTwo CamasStone Crop And Rock

I was so impressed with the plants, after I drove everyone back, I drove out again (this time with my camera) and took photos of the flowers I missed.

Western Coral Root FlowersWestern Coral Root StalkLadyslipper Flower

I'm quite glad I came back.

Hard Time at the House
Any trip has it's fair share of time at the house.  This year we brought lots of board games (assuming the weather was going to turn poor) so we played a number of larger group games like Jeremy's new copy of Puerto Rico and Carcassonne.  Sadly, while we brought Diplomacy, it didn't get opened up.

Sitting Around ChattingPlaying Puerto Rico

Hand Made Pasta
We generally share this cooking duties and this year saw more than it's fair share of spectacular cooking.  Sean and Catherine pulled out the stops with their hand made pasta, but Helen also did an amazing job on a multi dish asian dinner. 


Squid RingsSeafood DinnerMark Cooking Smokies

You could have spent the entire weekend in the house and had a great time, but thankfully the weather cooperated and we got a number of chances to get outside.

Petroglyphs

Studying Petroglyph
Andrea is an archeology buff and when she heard there were Petroglyphs on the Island she was quite keen to come out and see them.  We got a car full of people and drove out to the church and only then realized it was Sunday morning and the church was in full service.  As quietly as we could, we parked, and then went on a hike into the back field to find the petroglyphs.  We were quickly rewarded.


The petroglyphs are quite cryptic and despite our best storytelling, we couldn't really come up with satisfactory stories to explain what we were looking at.  Some of the Petroglyphs were quite faint and for once I was happy there was a bit of rain to help highlight the edges of the carving.

Rock Carving 1Rock Carving 3Rock Carving 2

What I wasn't expecting was the lovely grass fields with wild flowers.  Most of the fields were covered in buttercup and sea blush and made a lovely carpet.  There was a single fallen but still growing Garry Oak growing in the middle.

Helen In Field Of FlowersButtercup In Field

I've seen Shooting Stars in Van Dusen Gardens before, but this was the first time I've seen them naturally occurring in the wild.  I've looked them up - I'm pretty sure they are native, not some loose garden variety.

Common CamasFew-Flowered ShootingstarFull Shooting StarMossy Stone In Field

On our drive back, we passed by brickyard beach and I noticed a small group of Great Blue Herons feeding in the shallows.

Herons Fishing In Front Of Mill
This area is quite close to Mudge Island where I've seen groups of Great Blue Herons before.  I'm guessing the productive waters in this area feed quite a bit wildlife.  I found the combination of saw mill and elegant birds quite jarring, but that's BC for you.


  Heron Landing Between Two

 
Sandwell Provincial Park
Jin wanted to stretch her legs so we picked a park and went for a walk.  Sandwell is on the North coast and has a view of Entrance Island Lighthouse.  It's also a huge sandy beach.

Jin And Helen On BeachEntrance Island LighthouseTouching Clams
 
  Jin Jumping Over StreamSnail Climbing Over Straw
 
Gabriola Sands / Malaspina Galleries
Monday turned out to be our best day weather wise and we took advantage with a little walk.  First we went to Gabriola Sands Provincial Park (called Twin Beaches by some locals).  It's got a nice sandy beach and a grassy field for a walk.

 
Andrea Walking On BeachSean And Catherine On BeachStephen On Beach


Second, we drive to the Malaspina Galleries - a rock formation on the western side of the Island.  It's a quick walk to the shore and some fantastic rock work near the shore.  There is some concern that these structures may collapse, but we threw caution to the wind.

Stephen Walking Down GalleryHoney Comb RockStanding Under Gallery


Thanks everyone for coming out - I had a fantastic weekend and I hope everyone else did too!

Walking Out To PointWalking On GrassGroup Shot On Rock
 
 


Leather Star In Current
Species: Dermasterias imbricata (Leather Star)
Tags: sea star, tide pool
Balls Of Wool
Tags: gulf island, market
Stephen On Beach
Person: Stephen
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Stars With Ferries Behind
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Altitude: 10m (32 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, sea star
Rock Carving 3
Tags: art, native art, rock
Mossy Stone In Field
Tags: flowers, rock
Standing Under Gallery
Tags: beach, gulf island, rock
Ladyslipper Flower
Species: Calypso bulbosa (Fairy-Slipper Orchid)
Tags: flower
Sun Falling On Rhubarb And Bok Choy
Tags: gulf island, market, produce
Jin And Helen On Beach
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Monkey Flowers Outside Of Market
Species: Mimulus guttatus (common monkey-flower, yellow monkey-flower)
Altitude: 69m (226 feet)
Location: Go To...
Walking On Grass
Person: Andrea, Jesse, Jin, Stephen
Stephen Walking Down Gallery
Tags: gulf island, rock
Sean And Catherine On Beach
Person: Catherine, Sean
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Artisan Bread In Baskets
Tags: gulf island, market
Buried Green Anemone
Species: Anthopleura artemisia (Buried Green Anemone)
Tags: tide pool
Seafood Dinner
Tags: food porn
Western Coral Root Flowers
Species: Corallorrhiza maculata (Spotted Coralroot, Summer Coralroot)
Tags: flower, shallow depth of field
Herons Fishing In Front Of Mill
Tags: beach, bird
Bay With Camas
Species: Camassia quamash (common camas)
Location: Go To...
Tags: flower, trail
Common Camas
Species: Camassia quamash (common camas)
Tags: flower
Honey Comb Rock
Tags: gulf island, rock
Sitting Around Chatting
Bright Sunset
Tags: coast, sunset
Hand Made Pasta
Tags: food porn
Helen In Field Of Flowers
Altitude: 58m (190 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: field, flowers
Orange And Green Anemone
Tags: tide pool
Western Coral Root Stalk
Species: Corallorrhiza maculata (Spotted Coralroot, Summer Coralroot)
Tags: flower
White Alpaca
Tags: farm animal
Entrance Island Lighthouse
Tags: lighthouse
Group Shot On Rock
Person: Andrea, Catherine, Helen, Jesse, Jin, John, Mark, Sean, Stephen, Kat
Two Tan Anemone
Species: Anthopleura artemisia (Buried Green Anemone)
Tags: tide pool
Heron Landing Between Two
Species: Ardea herodias (Great Blue Heron)
Tags: beach, bird, panorama
Rock Carving 1
Tags: art, native art, rock
Radishes On Wooden Box
Tags: high contrast, market, produce
Helen With Dark Alpaca
Person: Helen
Jin Jumping Over Stream
Person: Jin
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach
Studying Petroglyph
Altitude: 61m (200 feet)
Location: Go To...
Playing Puerto Rico
Person: Jeremy, Mark, Sean, Stephen
Tags: game
Walking Out To Point
Snail Climbing Over Straw
Species: Monadenia fidelis (Pacific sideband)
Tags: gulf island, snail
Touching Clams
Person: Helen, Jin
Full Shooting Star
Species: Dodecatheon pulchellum (dark-throat shootingstar, Few-Flowered Shootingstar)
Tags: flower
Squid Rings
Tags: food porn
Stone Crop And Rock
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach
Veggies At Market
Tags: gulf island, market, produce
Two Camas
Species: Camassia quamash (common camas), Zigadenus venenosus (death camas (Zygadenus venenosus))
Tags: beach, flowers
Andrea Walking On Beach
Person: Andrea
Location: Go To...
Green And Tan Anemone
Species: Anthopleura artemisia (Buried Green Anemone)
Tags: tide pool
Pink Waves With Sailboat
Tags: coast, sailboat, sunset
Stars In A Rectangle
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, sea star
Few-Flowered Shootingstar
Species: Dodecatheon pulchellum (dark-throat shootingstar, Few-Flowered Shootingstar)
Tags: flower
Rock Carving 2
Tags: art, native art, rock
Checking Beaches At Ferry Terminal
Sunflower Star Falling Off Rock
Species: Pycnopodia helianthoides (Sunflower Star)
Tags: beach, sea star
Mark Cooking Smokies
Person: Mark
Tags: cooking, lunch
Buttercup In Field
Tags: flowers
Tags: beach(9), gulf island(8), flower(7), rock(7), market(5), tide pool(5)
People: Jin(4), Stephen(4), Mark(3), Sean(3), Andrea(3), Helen(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Gabriola

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 01:21:45 Edit
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