Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rocky little island

Rock is a central fact of life on Saltspring Island. Plant a tree, and the hole for it has to be chipped out of rock. Excavate a basement, and dynamite is soon on the agenda. There's a reason blasters are a whole business niche on Saltspring. (One of my favourite companies on the island belonged to a well-known character called Dave the Blaster. His motto: "We don't stand behind our work; we stand behind a tree.")

Rock may be frustrating for gardeners and add to construction costs, but it's also useful. Support walls, decorative walls, steps, amphitheatres, seats, even works of art -- once I started looking, I was intrigued by the all the ways islanders have found to make use of their most abundant raw material. Here are  photos of some of the rockworks I noticed recently:

This decorative stone wall on Quarry Drive was built out of rocks taken from the building site it fronts. There are plenty of rocks left on the property!

Slabs of rock form a seat near a forest trail.

Outside Artspring, which hosts theatre and art shows in Saltspring, a natural hillside amphitheatre was formed out of rocks and grass.

This sculpture made of rock stands outside the Point Gallery in southern Saltspring.

A huge development planned for Saltspring's Channel Ridge only got this far before it stalled. Rocks blasted out of the mountain were shaped into rock support walls, then left while vegetation grew up around them..

A rock as tall as an entrance gate marks this property.

Stone steps lead from the house to an entrance gate at our place on Saltspring.

Flowers and rocks. No practical use, perhaps, but aren't they pretty together?

1 comment:

  1. amphitheatre on Saltspring...who knew? The amount of rock is quite fascinating. I'm not sure Gabriola had this much rock. Lots of sandstone and I imagine Saltspring has lots of that as well although the beach close to your place is rocky I think. The sandstone in front our place was wonderful....warm to lie on in the day and then when the tide came in the water was warmed up by the sandstone slabs which kept the warmth. Many lovely warm swims. My parents just loved it.