Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Eagles Perched here

Photo Courtesy: Len & Jackie O'Hara

If you drive around the Island, you'll often notice eagles perched high in the trees along the shoreline or perhaps circling above the ferry as you approach the Island. You may have been lucky enough to have seen an eagle nest, they are truly impressive with the large branches so high up in the trees. If you haven't seen an eagles nest and your near Gabriola, you could go for a drive down South road where you'll see a sign, just before Shaw Rd which has "eagles nest"with an arrow pointing across the road to the eagle nest in the tree. As part of the Islands Trust mandate is to preserve and protect eco-systems, you'll find that they address protecting the habitat for the eagles in our bylaws .

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Brickyard Beach From Industry to Nature

It's amazing to look at this landscape and imagine that there was industry here. The only hint of it left behind is the small portion of red brick that you may stumble upon on while walking along the shore line. It seems as though the earth has reclaimed this space and is once again churning the landscape back into nature. I love looking at this space and trying to imagine what it would have been like when there was a brick factory that produced millions of bricks a year, and to see the transformation over the last century from nature to industry and the path back to nature again. The Gabriola Historical and Museum Society has gathered a lot of photos and information on Brickyard's past.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paradise Found...

Well they say a picture is worth a thousand words... Guess who was late for work today, after driving by Degnen Bay to stumble across the Sunrise over Valdez Island??? Of course, I couldn't stop myself from pulling into the Gray Road boat launch to be mesmorized by this amazing January Sunrise. It's hard to beat island living!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Day on Gabriola

We enjoy a temperate climate on Gabriola, rarely does the thermometer dip below freezing on our rural Island. Occasionally we do get some snow, and I would say that most Islanders welcome the change in landscape that they know will soon disappear. You may wonder how we weather during the time, I'd say quite a few people take the opportunity to stay home if they can as many don't have winter tires. If residents do need to venture out of their driveways they often end up on a road that has already been cleared, we have a great crew that often works around the clock when there is a chance of snow.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Good Morning Gabriola!

This is a picture of the beautiful sunrise I woke up to this morning before heading to work. We're having an amazing winter on Gabriola this year, some gorgeous days of sunshine. It's so easy to get out for a walk, run or bike ride when the weather is this nice. Enjoy your day, mine sure started off right, I hope yours did too!
submitted by:Tina Lynch

Monday, January 9, 2012

Gabriola Public Art Initiative - Seeking Proposals

There is so much artistic talent on the West Coast of BC that you can find it by just walking down the street. A small day trip off island took us to Victoria where we found the beautiful sidewalk art done created in chalk. The Gabriola Arts Council is currently seeking proposals from its members for its Public Art Initiative, it looks like Gabriola will have even more art to look at in the near future.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Assessments are Now Online

While tax assessments will be in the mail in the next couple of weeks, the BC Assessment website with 2012 assessments are now available online.

The BC Assessment’s website provides a listing of property assessments and sales to help property owners understand their property's market value and provide comparable sales information. Go to www.bcassessment.ca and click on the e-valueBC link.

It's important to remember that assessments are the estimate of a property’s market value as of July 1, 2011 and physical condition as of October 31, 2011. This common valuation date ensures there is an equitable property assessment base for property taxation.

Real estate sales determine a property’s value which is reported annually by BC Assessment. Local governments and other taxing authorities are responsible for property taxation and, after determining their own budget needs this spring, will calculate property tax rates based on the assessment roll for their jurisdiction.

Changes in property assessments reflect movement in the local real estate market and can vary greatly from property to property. When estimating a property’s market value, BC Assessment’s professional appraisers analyze current sales in the area, as well as considering other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location. If you have questions regarding your assessment or want to appeal it, remember the deadlines and process for filing an appeal notice are non the back of your assessment notice.

BC Assessment’s assessment roll provides the foundation for local and provincial taxing authorities to raise more than $6.2 billion in property taxes each year. This revenue funds the many community services provided by local governments around the province, including the public school system.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Winter Gardening...

On Gabriola we have a temperate climate which affords us great opportunities when it comes to winter gardening. This year I took the opportunity to plant my first winter garden, and am enjoying the opportunity to harvest amazing vegetables. Fresh out of the garden yesterday was a bunch of beets, kale, brussel sprouts, celery & swiss chard. It's wonderful to be able to harvest from one's own back yard throughout the year, and unlike the challenges (weeds & water) that the summertime garden brings, the winter garden requires very little effort.

West Coast seeds has already delivered their 2012 calendar, and now that Spring is right around the corner, it's not to early to start planning for next years harvest & the new seed varities that are tempting to try....

Happy New Year!