SEASONS ON THE ESTUARY

Seasons on the west coast are not as clearly defined as elsewhere in Canada. Here in the southern part of the province, they come and go - sometimes gently, sometimes spectacularly.

 

Spring on the Fraser is probably the most dramatic season of the year. It is the time of freshet, when melting mountain snows swell the river and its waters turn from dark green to silty brown. The river increases in power and turbulence... moving ice, logs and other debris downstream. Spring is our season of diligence, when larger logs and deadheads must be wrangled, dogged and secured until they can be safely towed away. 

 

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Early Summer
Marsh Islands
Swanny River
River Call
War on Weeds
Afternoon Delight
Summer Welcome
Low Tide = Steep Ramp
Fire & Water

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From spring's turbulence and tender green to summer's rampant proliferation - the seasons change again. Residents take to gardens, decks, patios and dyke trails - often gathering at dock's end to share a sunset and each other's company.  

 

Summer days are, for the most part, warm and sunny, with a pleasant breeze off the water - the entire season passing with little rain. But for the rare August heat wave, nights are cool and comfortable. Temperatures on the water can run 10 degrees cooler than those in the valley or BC's interior. Freshet spent, the river begins to go green again. For some, the water's allure can't be ignored and depending on time and accessibility, the call is answered - by kayak, runabout, fishing boat and pleasure craft. 

​Fall temperatures drop down at night, while shortened days generally hold the warmth of the sun. Fallen leaves and finished crops send the sweet smell of decay into the air. Migrating birds pass noisily overhead. A hint of wood smoke from nearby farmhouses adds fragrance to the nights. Our proximity to the Pacific can bring early fall winds and sharpened rains. Autumn is a mixed bag of a season - sometimes restful, sometimes fierce, always interesting. We batten down.

Low Tide Tidbits
Early Fall
Unusual Sight
A Walk in the Woods
Point Roberts, WA
Golden

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High Tide Winter View
Ducking Work
Double-Take
Early Winter Vista
Mist & Snow Caps
Blanket of White
Mountain Backdrop
Snow on North Dock

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Winters on BC's south coast are considered mild by Canadian standards. This is our rainy season. Here at the river's mouth, winds can arrive suddenly, blasting in off the ocean. Homes strain at their tethers and if we haven't flown south with the birds, we ride out each system. If it's high-high tide and the winds come from the southeast, we experience the inevitable storm surge, as the ocean's pent up energy pushes against shore, bringing swells and higher-than-normal water levels. We rise too.

 

At times winter delivers snow, dropping a heavy blanket on homes and docks and parking lots... a magical transformation of softness and silence. To keep docks safe and houses from listing under a heavier snow load, cleanup is early and fast. Snow is pushed from horizontal surfaces into the river. Steeply-pitched rooftops take care of the rest. As temperatures rise, the snow slides off and hits the water with thunderous effect. Before long... we wake to find another spring.

 Marina Wes-Del Float Home Village - 3473 River Road West, Delta, British Columbia, Canada    southdockstudios@me.com

Early Fall

Neighbouring float homes and boats bathe in the warmth of a setting sun