Thanks to a chance meeting with photographer and naturalist Ron Long in a laundromat on the Alaska Highway this summer, there is now a connection between Salt Spring and an extraordinary miniature world perched high on a mountain top in northern BC. Pink Mountain is a strange phenomenon, a table top mountain surrounded by peaks of the more regular pointy variety. A rough dirt road leads to the windswept plateau and, in late June, to an unequalled display of arctic and alpine wildflowers that simply does not occur anywhere else. Many of these plants are rare or at least are rarely seen and are never seen in the combination and numbers that are found on Pink Mountain.
Ron Long has been photographing and documenting Pink Mountain flora and fauna for several years and is also working to protect this tiny northern gem from oil and gas and wind power developments. On the day of our visit, we were treated to the exuberant dance of a lone caribou through the wildflowers, a pair of ptarmigan almost perfectly camouflaged, and a bevy of wind power technologists dismantling a test rig. A new gas well head, complete with large parking lot, is located incongruously at the far end of the plateau.
On Thursday November 18, islanders will have the opportunity to visit Pink Mountain and its amazing flora and fauna. Ron Long will be presenting the area's birds and animals and especially the plants and their fascinating adaptations to an extreme environment. Ron Long was a photographer at Simon Fraser University for thirty-six years. He has an interest in British Columbia wildflowers that goes back forty years. Now retired, Ron travels extensively around the world and closer to home. His illustrated talks about his experiences are well attended by a wide audience consisting of plant/nature lovers and those who enjoy good photography.
The event is part of the SSI Conservancy speaker series and is co-sponsored by the Trail and Nature Club. Lions Hall, Thursday Nov 18, 7:00 pm, admission by donation.