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Friday, November 11, 2011

AN AUTUMN WEEKEND ON MAYNE ISLAND, B.C.


At least once a year our writer's group spends a weekend on beautiful Mayne Island, one of the Gulf Islands in Georgia Straight between the mainland and Vancouver Island. We've been going there now for nearly 20 years, almost every year. This past weekend was a special time for us as we gathered to honour the memory of one of our dear friends who passed away this summer. We wanted to do all the things she enjoyed and one of them was walking in the woods and along the shores of the island.


There are a many places to visit on Mayne Island.  One of them is Campbell Point.  The morning was overcast and the sea looked gray and stormy but soon the sun came out .... and stayed...for the rest of the weekend.


A favorite excursion is to the Japanese Gardens  It was built in memory of the Japanese farmers who used to live and work on the island until they were interned at the outbreak of WWII.  The garden features ponds, bridges, a waterfall, torii gates and an authentic recreation of a Japanese charcoal kiln.
We love to go to the Garden to browse and write haiku.  It's a place to meditate and enjoy nature.  The gardens are maintained by volunteers and there's a little box where you can leave donations for the upkeep of the gardens.

One of the pretty fountains


Cross the bridge to the little islet surrounded by the pond.  There were still some flowers blooming and even bees buzzing around them.

Farther around on the path beside the pond a lone heron stands guard. (This is just a stone heron but it looks so real!)

And there were bright red crab apples growing in the trees.  (a bit to sour to eat!)

This was a lovely time to visit the island with all the brilliant autumn colours.




On another day we drove to the Georgina Point Lighthouse at Oyster Bay.
This is a historic lighthouse built in 1885, overlooking the Strait of Georgia.
 
It's always fun to explore around this area.  You can watch the ferries sail by on their way from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay.


There are many other places of interest on Mayne Island with hiking trails to Mt. Parke or along the many scenic beaches.  If you want to kayak or canoe there are rentals available, as well as bikes for cyclists.  If it's shopping and art that interests you, there are crafts shops and boutiques as well as artist studios.  Check out the Mayne Island visitor's website to find out more about the island including the many island accommodations and activities.   www.mayneislandchamber.ca
We always stay at the Blue Vista Resort www.bluevistaresort.com
And be sure to check out the Springwater Lodge for great meals.  Sit on the deck in nice weather and enjoy the scenery of Miner's Bay.  This is the oldest lodge on the coast, built to accommodate men on their way to seek their fortunes in the mines at the turn of the century.


Evening over the Straits



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