Maple Ridge Cottages is located in a park-like setting on the western shores of St. Mary Lake, on Salt Spring Island. The lake is the water source for a large part of Ganges and the north end of the island. We are lucky to be situated with acres of land preserved for the maintenance of the lake right behind us. It is a unique ecological area that is home for many bird species such as the pileated woodpecker, kingfisher, blue herons, red winged blackbirds, eagles and owls to name just a few. There are painted turtles in the lake along with smallmouth bass, cutthroat and rainbow trout and perch. There are beaver dams and swan nests. Deer and raccoons come to the edge to drink from the lake and otters have frolicked on the docks in the earlier hours of the day. Spring is an explosion of wildflowers one month after another. March and April bring the trilliums and fawn May shows off foxglove, lupines and wild grasses and lake reeds. In June, the lake is rimmed with wild yellow irises reproducing a Van Gogh painting. The berries start ripening in July starting with salal, thimbleberries and huckleberries and then blackberries in August. Huge stately cedar and Douglas fir trees hug the shores. In the fall, you can actually hear the gigantic maple tree leaves fall to the ground covering it in a myriad of subtle earth tones. The winter fog that sometimes settles on the lake creates images and scenes worth just watching. It is a mystical area that can be appreciated only with time. Artists, musicians and writers have been inspired here. An early morning canoe paddle will be a memory that will linger a lifetime.