Ruckle Farm Buildings at Ruckle Provincial Park

Panorama of Ruckle Farm and the Daniel Henry Ruckle house in Ruckle Provincial Park on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada.

panorama of the ruckle active farm and buildings in ruckle provincial park on salt spring island

Ruckle Farmland and Daniel Henry Ruckle House in Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   Last weekend I made my first photography trip to British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring is the most populated of the Gulf Islands, and I’ll have the chance to explore it more often as some of my friends have moved there. Despite some rain I managed to get enough breaks in the weather to photograph these scenes at Ruckle Provincial Park. Salt Spring is new to me, and so photographing an entirely new place can be a bit more of a challenge as you don’t know where things are or what might be right around the corner (which is also a bit more exciting). I was mostly doing some exploration and scouting on this trip, but the stop at Ruckle Provincial Park was probably the highlight – and I came away with a few photographs too. The panorama above shows some of the still active farmland within the park as well as the farmhouse built by Daniel Henry Ruckle (Henry Ruckle’s son) starting in 1907. The Ruckle Farm has been in continuous use as farmland since Henry Ruckle began farming it in 1872. Ruckle Provincial Park itself was purchased from the Ruckle family in 1973 and established as a park in 1974. For a lot more information about Ruckle Park you can read the following file which I used as one of my sources for the dates and building names in this post: Ruckle Provincial Park Master Plan.

ruckle farm house daniel henry ruckle house ruckle provincial park on salt spring island

Daniel Henry Ruckle Farmhouse at Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   Henry Ruckle first started to clear this land for farming in the early 1870’s – and much of it remains the way it was then (though a bit weathered). The first noteworthy building you pass near the entrance to the park is the Alfred Ruckle House built in 1906. Much of this part of the park is lined with no parking signs, so I stopped further down the road near the park headquarters building (a house built by William Norman Ruckle in the 1930’s) – parking by the farm stand. Walking back up the road I made these two photographs of the Alfred Ruckle house. While standing on the side of the road photographing I tried to wave down a passing minivan which had a rather flat rear tire, but he just stared at me as he went by. More about that guy later.

alfred ruckles farmhouse in Ruckle provincial park on salt spring island

Alfred Ruckle House at Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   Alfred Ruckle house was built in the Queen Anne style which is certainly a little more stylish than the other wood frame homes (that I’ve seen so far) on Ruckle Farm. I’d like to have been closer to it for photography but it is not in the public area. The one farmhouse I did not photograph and that was the original home built by Henry Ruckle in the 1870’s which is still standing. I would have, and you can get close to it, but I simply didn’t know it was there at the time – despite being only a few hundred feet away. Next time I am on Salt Spring Island I intend to fix that oversight! The second photo of the Queen Anne house here also shows some of the split rail fencing that is common throughout the farm and on Salt Spring Island.

alfred ruckles queen ann style house farmhouse in Ruckle provincial park on salt spring island

Alfred Ruckle’s Farmhouse at Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   This building *below) is known as “The Forge”. It is the oldest building at the Ruckle farm and was constructed in 1878. This location is only about 200 feet from Henry Ruckle’s original farmhouse, but for some reason I never looked in that direction and never saw it. While I was photographing the Forge (amidst some chickens scratching around in the grass) a man walked through on one of the trails with his dog. The dog, to it’s credit wasn’t at all excited about chickens and didn’t react much when he saw them so this wasn’t an issue. A park employee immediately came out of the nearby building and told him that he wasn’t allowed dogs in the area. I think this guy must have passed 20 signs in the park saying the same thing. I take it they have had a lot of problems with people’s dogs scaring and chasing the farm animals.

the forge the oldest farm building at ruckle provincial park farm on salt spring island

The Forge at Ruckle Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   After photographing the farm area I drove the short distance to Beaver Point and went for a short walk to a few viewpoints. Rain drove me back to my car but I noticed the minivan I mentioned earlier that had a flat. I put a note about it in a sandwich bag and walked over to the van but I heard a whirring noise as I got there. The owner was using a small pump to fill up his tire. I said he could probably get that repaired in Ganges but he said it was okay, he’d been doing this frequently since he left Quebec! I wouldn’t have the patience to pull over and pump up a tire all the way across Canada! That along with the dog thing makes me wonder about this guy’s decision making skills, if they exist at all!

For all of my photos of Ruckle Provincial Park please visit my Ruckle Provincial Park Gallery.

2017 Nature Calendar Now Available!

cover for 2017 nature calendar - hatzic lake rainbow

2017 Calendar Cover – Rainbow over Hatzic Lake and Hatzic Island

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   My 2017 Nature Calendars are now available! I have put together some of my favourite recent photographs into a 11″x17″ (28cm x 43cm) calendar. Included are 12 photographs of landscape and nature scenes from British Columbia and Washington State. Most of these photographs were made in 2016, though a few are from earlier years but previously unpublished in my calendars.

30% OFF! Use the code 10THDAY20 (case sensitive) for 30% OFF at checkout through Dec 16, 2016.

You can view a full preview and purchase this calendar through the button below:

Harbourfront Walkway in Nanaimo

The Harbourfront Walkway, boat docks and Nanaimo Water Harbour Airport in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

nanaimo harbourfront walkway in nanaimo british columbia

The Harbourfront Walkway and Fishing Boats in Nanaimo Harbour (Purchase)

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   I was lucky to spend a week photographing Nanaimo, British Columbia and other parts of Vancouver Island in 2013. I made this photograph on one of several evenings where I walked along the Harbourfront Walkway past many small shops and marinas. I previously shared a different view of Nanaimo Harbour but I think I prefer the wider field of view in the above photograph as it shows more of the fishing and other boats in the marina.

You can view more of my photographs of the Nanaimo area in my Vancouver Island Gallery.

Nanaimo Harbour on Vancouver Island

   Two de Havilland Harbour Air seaplanes (DHC-3 Turbine Single Otters) at the Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport in Nanaimo, British Columbia

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Two Single Otters at the Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport (Purchase)

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   Last year I spent an evening at Maffeo Sutton Park in the city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. I had spent a few previous sunsets at Jack point across Nanaimo Harbour from the downtown area, and was now looking for some more urban photography locations. I was lucky to get some good light (and weather) that evening, and had a decent sunset in the sky for many of my photographs. The first photo (above) shows two of the Harbour Air seaplanes floating at their dock at the Nanaimo Harbour Water Airport with some of the boardwalk and marinas in the background.

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The BC Ferry Quinsam entering Nanaimo Harbour (Purchase)

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   This is the BC Ferry ‘Quinsam’ entering Nanaimo Harbour from its Gabriola Island to Nanaimo run. Though a bit larger it reminds me of the Albion Ferry that used to run across the Fraser River between Fort Langley and Maple Ridge until a few years ago. Biggs Park/Jack Point is in the background (right).

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Sunset behind a sailboat in Nanaimo Harbour (Purchase)

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   Initially I was unable to read the name on the side of this sailboat at the time, but from the numbers on its sail I could determine its name: the Cu na Mara. Here it is sailing past some of the boats anchored at Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park during sunset.

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Panorama of Nanaimo Harbour (Purchase)

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   My other goal was to make some “blue hour” photographs of the boardwalk and buildings of downtown Nanaimo. This perspective can be found from the Swy-A-Lana Fishing Pier. You can view other photographs of my trip to Nanaimo and other Vancouver Island locations in the Vancouver Island Photos gallery.

Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park

Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the riverbed of the Cameron River at Macmillan Provincial Park in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada

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Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) along the Cameron River (Purchase)

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    The Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) in this photograph (left) is a good example of an ecological “edge effect”. In ecology the edge effect refers to the phenomenon that species (and diversity) you would normally see within an area change along the boundary with a different area. This can be the edge of a trail or road, a clear cut, grassland/forest transitions and in this case, the edge of the Cameron River in Macmillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island. In this particular type of forest, you’ll get Bigleaf Maples, Vine Maples, Red Alder (successional species) and a number of other tree species growing on a newly formed or existing edge. Just inside the edge the majority of the trees are conifers such as Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir. This was one of the better specimens of mature Bigleaf Maple in Macmillan Provincial Park that I found. The tree on the right hand side of the image is a Red Alder (Alnus rubra) and is also a frequent edge resident.

You can see more of my photos of this area in my Vancouver Island Gallery.

Jack Point Sunset in Nanaimo

A sunset over the Coast Mountain Range and Nanaimo Harbour from Biggs Park/Jack Point/Duke Point in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

sunset at jack point in biggs park nanaimo

Sunset at Jack Point in Nanaimo, BC (Purchase Print)

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    A sunset photograph from my trip to Vancouver Island last spring. This was made on my first trip to Jack Point/Biggs Park near Nanaimo, BC. An “interesting” place to walk out of in the dark, but well worth the results I had on both evenings in the area.

Spring Wildflowers at Pipers Lagoon in Nanaimo

A grove of Garry Oaks (Quercus garryana) and Woolly sunflower (Eriophyllum lanatum) growing along the shore of Pipers Lagoon Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada.

pipers lagoon near nanaimo bc garry oaks and wildflowers

Pipers Lagoon near Nanaimo, BC

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   Pipers Lagoon Park is a great park to visit if you are near Nanaimo, British Collumbia. While not very large, this park packs a lot of interesting plants, trees, and wildlife into a small area. When I was there in June of 2013 I saw a wide variety of marine birds, large numbers of shore crabs, wildflowers, and even some Garry Oak groves. You can see some Garry Oaks on the left hand side of the photograph above, and some Woolly sunflower plants growing in the foreground. Not an easy location to photograph wildflowers though, being right on the water there is always a bit of wind.

You can view more photographs from Vancouver Island in my Vancouver Island Gallery.

Skutz Falls on the Cowichan River

Skutz Falls along the Cowichan River at Cowichan River Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada

skutz falls along the cowichan river in cowichan river provincial park

The Cowichan River’s Skutz Falls in Cowichan River Provincial Park (Purchase)

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   A panorama photograph of Skutz Falls I made last spring during a visit to Cowichan River Provincial Park. Judging from other photographs I have seen it would appear this day had rather high water levels in the Cowichan River. I suspect a return trip some fall when there is nice autumn colours will be in order. I bet the water levels will be about right at that time of year.

You can view more photographs from Vancouver Island in my Vancouver Island Gallery.