Blackburn Lake NR, Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada by Barbara Levy

Picture Story

Salt Spring, nestled in the Salish Sea between Vancouver Island and the mainland, is an island of hidden gems for landscape photographers and for poets like me, who appreciate the delicate vignettes to be found here in British Columbia with its rugged mountains, lush rainforests and thunderous waterfalls. And after living here 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 — which is especially lovely in winter when it gets cold enough for the rain to turn to snow — on the rare occasion.

When I captured this image, I had just returned to Salt Spring after having been in sunny Vancouver in late November and overnight, winter’s hoar-frost hands had laid a fragile sheet of calm over the island with a fine dusting of snow. And so, in the morning, I was looking forward to visiting one of my favourite wetland areas — Blackburn Lake Nature Reserve, located in the centre of the island and which is a haven for over 100 species of birds, whose songs I love to hear. When I arrived at the entrance, however, all was still and so quiet and the once dew-bejewelled golden grass was now sparkling with crystals of ice and from a distance, the fields looked like they were wearing a soft, fur coat of frost. It was absolutely magical as there wasn’t another soul in sight and I was captivated by the fairytale-like quality of this scene by the shimmering pond which, for me, was truly a winter vision.

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