Activity Photo

Autumn

Autumn brings a change of pace to the island. Mornings are cooler, but the days are often gloriously sunny and warm. Kids are back in school and from the Stonehouse you can watch the flotilla of water-taxis that serve as nautical school buses, bringing students from the other islands to attend high school in Ganges.

Parking spots are easier to find in town and overall the atmosphere is more relaxed, inviting you to wander leisurely through the shops and art galleries. Theatre, concerts and guest lectures abound, providing engagement and entertainment to locals and visitors alike.

The markets in the park continue through the end of October and some stalwarts even longer; the farmers' stands overflowing with the bounty of their harvests. Long before the Okanagan Valley was irrigated, Salt Spring was the main fruit-producing region for the province. The remnants of those old orchards can be found all over the island, and that legacy is celebrated in the annual Apple Festival.

Halloween brings out a host of creative and sometimes spooky looking characters all over the island, celebrating in groups around scattered bon-fires or in community with fireworks over Ganges Harbour. A blaze in the firepit at the centre of the Standing Stone Circle creates a scene of beautiful mystery and otherworldliness unique to Stonehouse B&B.

Touring the island is especially rewarding in autumn as the leaves of the maples, Garry oak, hawthorn, laburnum and dozens of other leafy trees put on their annual pageant of dazzling colours, while wild mushrooms emerge beside forest trails. Flocks of Canada Geese gather en-masse in preparation for their southern migration, their places to be taken by stately white swans that arrive from the far north to haunt the waters of Fulford Harbour and Burgoyne Bay over the next several months. Bald eagles too become more common as the season progresses, drawn to the feast offered by the annual salmon spawn up creeks and rivers around the region.

The grounds of the Stonehouse are particularly magnificent in the fall colours. Light itself takes on a unique quality this time of year as the sun tracks lower across the sky each day. Somehow it has a sharper, more intense hue creating dramatic contrasts of light and shade that are especially beautiful when cast onto the Standing Stone Circle.

After delighting in a day of autumn spectacles, the Stonehouse welcomes you into a relaxed and comfortable space to enjoy a game, listen to music, or retreat to a private place and delve into a favourite book. The geothermally heated outdoor hot tub also beckons; spectacular on a clear, star-dappled autumn night but equally grand in a drizzle, the babbling waters lull you with their song of the islands.