Booth Bay, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada by Barbara Levy

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Picture Story

Each Spring, I usually look forward to heading down to the bay near my home here on Salt Spring Island to marvel at the spectacular aerial displays put on by the 30 - 40 Bald Eagles, who come to fish along our shores for about two months every year. And after having just returned to the island from the city in early May two years ago, it was in anticipation of photographing these majestic raptors that I was drawn down to the beach during low tide in the late afternoon.

However, after reaching the bottom of the steps (which I tried to descend as quickly as possible with my gear as I was so excited), I did not hear the familiar piping notes of a convocation of eagles. Instead, I was met with an eerie silence and an otherworldly scene spread out before me — almost apocalyptic with its soupy, tangerine waters creating ripples around the exposed, barnacle-covered rocks (I later learned that this was not a red tide, but a nontoxic algal bloom). I was a bit shocked, but also fascinated and as a photographer, who loves to experiment and create poetic images, this was very fertile ground!

I had brought along my zoom lens, but thought that my 300 mm prime lens would be a much better choice for capturing compelling close up landscapes like the one you see in my photo. I was in heaven moving gradually along the shore (like the “orange-Kool-Aid” wavelets) in the warm sun, composing these ethereal scenes which would later be used for poetic lines, so thankful to be living on such an incredible island which gifts all of us with something unique each day!

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