Awe Inspring Avatar Grove

The main attraction at Avatar Grove, an ancient gnarly western redcedar. Avatar Grove is an awe inspiring grove of old growth western redcedar and huge Douglas-fir trees. It’s hard to describe the feeling in this quiet forest near Port Renfrew. The trees are immense, towering over a forest floor covered with a chaotic jumble of fallen moss-covered wood, deer fern, …

Rossiter Lake Ramble

I’ve been meaning to hike down to Rossiter and Divers Lake for some time but they’re a bit off the beaten track and access is essentially in and back. Both of these gorgeous lakes were added to Strathcona Provincial Park back in 2003. Rossiter Lake Access to Rossiter Lake (the first lake in the chain) is via logging roads. I …

Bravery Needed at Bonnell Creek

Two of the three main drops at Bonnell Creek Falls. Some waterfalls are challenging to get to—Ammonite Falls and the Trent River Falls are two good examples. Both of these require a rope assisted descent down a fairly steep slope. I’m not fond of heights and have visited both of these locations several times without problem. Bonnell Creek Falls are just a …

Return to Rosewall Creek

I like the hike up Rosewall Creek—it’s fairly easy going and the walk doesn’t take much more than 45 minutes to get to the first view point of the main falls. At this time of year, the water levels are high and accessing good view points for photography is challenging. Rosewall Creek flows through lush west coast forest. Today I …

Radar Hill Beach

Remote Radar Hill Beach is a challenging destination in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It’s definitely off the beaten track in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and takes a little effort to get to but the Radar Hill Beaches are spectacular. The trail down to the beach is not maintained by Parks Canada and the going is fairly rough—there are …

A Helleva lot of Velella

One of the early arriving Velella velella last week on Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It’s like some ill-conceived, poorly planned invasion on the shores of the west coast of Vancouver Island. In the last week, small blue jellyfish-like creatures have been landing on the beaches of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve in the millions—large swaths of …

Cassin’s Casualties

I usually find interesting things washed up at the high tide line along Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve—fresh bull kelp is common, as are various types of shellfish and moulted dungeous crab shells. Sometimes the odd sand lance silvers in the sand, and once I found a dead seal. Birds are much more rare. A couple of …

Serene Schooner Cove Sunset

Looking west at the setting sun at Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Yellow Sand-verbena (Abronia latifolia) in the foreground amongst the drift logs. Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is one of my favourite places on the west coast of Vancouver Island to visit. It takes a little longer to get to (about 30 to …

Sand-verbena Moth Surprise

It has been too long since I’ve checked out the plants in the spectacular dunes at Goose Spit. A number of specialized plants grow in these dunes—yellow sand verbena (Abronia latifolia) and black knotweed (Polygonum paronychia) are prolific. With a little effort, other interesting plants can be found as well. A large patch of Black Knotweed (Polygonum paronychia) just above …

Point Holmes Moonrise

The first night I went down to Point Holmes, the moonrise was relatively close to sunset so there was still some very interesting colour in the sky. The beach at Point Holmes is fabulous to photograph and particularly good on a falling tide since the dropping water reveals a set of very interesting boulders. Over the last month I’ve been down …