Grace Point, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada by Barbara Levy

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After living here on Salt Spring for almost two decades, I’m still awed by the incredible diversity, in terms of unique landscapes and ever-changing weather patterns, we have on our 185 square km island with its “cool Mediterranean” microclimate. Salt Spring boasts rugged mountains, old growth forests, lush valleys, numerous lakes, creeks and waterfalls, and along its coast, beautiful white beaches, the colour of which comes from crushed shell known as ‘shell midden’. And in the centre of the island, in Ganges village, is a small, secluded beach hidden between large boulders on Grace Point, whose islet greets you as you approach the inner harbour. This is one of my favourite spots to visit at sunrise and where I love to sit on a warm, rocky perch to watch as the flocks of Canada geese glide by, crows and gulls soaring far above them as the deep jade and ink blue waters around Grace Islet take on shades of turquoise.

When I captured this “landscape-portrait” of Grace Islet my brother, Michael and I had just come down from visiting Bayne’s Peak, at the top of Mount Maxwell. On our way into Ganges we were amazed to see the sky morphing into something as spectacular as the Northern Lights with these gigantic cloud masses creating a surreal low ceiling of pouch-like protrusions (mammatus clouds) glowing over our village. We ran along the boardwalk to reach Grace Point to catch the light as the sun was setting and there, before us, were the oak-tree-sentinels with their coppery leaves framing such a tranquil scene on that extraordinary autumn evening.

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