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With its temperate oceanic climate, Salt Spring Island usually has cool, wet winters, but every few years, we are gifted with a snowfall which transforms the island into a winter wonderland. And in December a few years ago, the island was blanketed with snow for almost three weeks and so, as soon as we could get out onto the main road, my photographer brother, Michael and I headed for the one of our favourite waterfalls in the south end of the island, just off Mountain Road, where we put chains on our tires so we could enjoy the beauty of our surroundings — snow-dusted conifers which look like giant Christmas trees and native fern-filigree. Our first visit was more like a reconnaissance mission to see what kind of gear we would need. We then returned two days later with tripods, various lenses and proper footwear for climbing as we hoped to negotiate the treacherous trail to the top of the falls where fine branches formed an exquisite veil of ice draped over the rushing water.
When we arrived mid-morning the scene before us was lit beautifully and at the foot of the falls, I was entranced by the moss-covered rocks encrusted in ice surrounding smalls pools. Finally, however, I decided it was time to make my ascent and so, the image I have chosen is one which was taken on my way up. I have more close-ups, but I like this wide angle shot because it tells the viewer more of a story about how this hidden gem changes so dramatically when the temperature drops. And though the trees are bare, there is still that feeling of the lush rainforest and the refreshingly cold water. And strangely enough, when I look at this photo, I think of a tropical paradise bejewelled with crystals here on our beloved island in the Pacific Northwest!
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor