Monday, April 07, 2008

Colour comes to Gunderson Slough

We've photographed Gunderson Slough in December and in May; browns and greys in winter, then every shade of green in spring. This year, we caught it at the mid-point; still cold and bleak, but with the first hints of the bounty to come.

We followed a trail along the shore, leading behind the ancient, ramshackle storage sheds and rotting wharfs otherwise accessible only by water. It is a mere thread of a pathway, precariously perched on a bank between the shore and the railway, crossing creeklets and small gullies on assorted single-plank "bridges", often mended with whatever materials were on hand.

Flowers underfoot: two layers of ragged carpet reinforce rotting boards over a muddy spot.

New plank over walkway to final shed on path.

It's just a way to get to the parking lot, a necessity not considered by the first residents, one hundred and more years ago. No-one worries about tidying it up; the government plans to pave the banks and fill in the slough in a year or so, anyhow. But Mother Nature herself is busy with her flower garden here.

Skunk cabbage.

Bleeding heart, just opening up.

Another bleeding heart. Because they're beautiful.

Horsetail; look at those elegant borders on the sections of the dried stalks!

I don't know what this is. Do you?

And the inevitable spring salmonberry blossoms.

On the way back, we stopped at the cattail marsh to wait for a train to go by. Along the fence, chickadees and house finches came and went. I caught this courting pair:

Look closely, or click on this to see it full size: see the offering in his beak? Nesting material!

The redwing blackbirds were busy in the cattails. We got dozens of shots of this male, all in impossible positions. The female did pose, briefly, where we had a clear view. A distant view, over by the boathouses, but clear.

Last year's seed pods. Unidentified tree.


  1. I think that red asparagus-looking shoot is Japanese knotweed. (Yikes.)

  2. Yikes is right. I should have dug it out when I saw it. I will next time.

    (Not that I would have been able to eradicate it, but at least it would give the horsetail a bit of a head start.)

    Fortunately, there was only one: I was looking for more.

  3. What are (or were) the buildings along the shoreline? I can't believe your bleeding heart is up already. Here in southern PA, mine is just breaking through the ground right now.

    Carolyn H.

  4. Carolyn;

    I am not sure of the original use of the sheds. This site was home to the first cannery established in BC, in 1870, and continuously used since then.

  5. Hello Susannah,

    I came across your page whilst searching for bird images on Google and absolutely love the photo of the finches on the fence. I was wondering if I could use it for a banner on my blog? I would credit you for your photography of course!

    Anyway, if not, these are wonderful photos! Well captured :)


  6. R;

    Sure, you can use the photo. I'd be honoured.

  7. Thank you! Keep up the great photography - looks like a beautiful corner of the world you live in.


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