Spring Hiking Conditions at Paradise Meadows

This weekend Jocie and I decided to venture into the snow and look for early blooming plants at Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park. This section of the park is easily accessible once the snow pack melts and the boardwalk and trail is clear—it’s a great place to see some of the beautiful flowers that make the meadows special. Still …

Wildflower Meadows on Mount Arrowsmith

While the yellow glacier lilies are truly spectacular, the route up to the saddle between Mount Arrowsmith and Mount Cokely is gorgeous as well. I was absolutely stunned by the sheer number of wildflowers and overwhelmed by the colour and variety of plants. It made for very slow going and, since Sandy McRuer and I didn’t have the pressure of …

Glacier Lilies on Mount Arrowsmith

Mount Arrowsmith has long been on my list of Vancouver Island mountains to climb—not so much for the views from the top, but more for the extremely interesting plant communities that you hike through on the way up. The day didn’t begin with Mount Arrowsmith as the primary destination. Originally, Sandy McRuer (Rainbird Excursions) had Mount Moriarty in mind, but …

Heathers

On our walk around Paradise Meadows this week both species of heather commonly found in the sub-alpine were in full bloom. Fairly easy to identify, you can impress fellow hikers with your ability to separate the two plants. Pink mountain-heather has flowers that are … pink. White mountain-heather has flowers that are … white. There you have it. Once you’ve …

Paradise Meadows Perambulation

Jocie and I had a “kid-free day” today and made the most of it by heading up to Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park. The weather on Vancouver Island has been hot and clear for over a week and last winter’s snow is gone in the lower meadows, although patches remain in the shady section of the Lake Helen Mackenzie …

Roots of Gold

One of the easily missed flowers in the sub-alpine is the Three-leaved Goldthread (Coptis trifolia). I found several in bloom on a walk around Paradise Meadows earlier this month. Like the name suggests, it has three evergreen basal leaves. The small white flower and three basal leaves of Three-leaved Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) make it easy to identify. Compare the simple …

More Flowers in Paradise Meadows

While the Jeffrey’s Shootingstar display in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park, British Columbia is exceptional right now, so are many other flowers in the meadows. The late snow melt has compressed the wildflower bloom into a shorter time frame and as a result many early spring flowers are blooming at the same time as late summer flowers. Further into the …

Delightful Dodecatheons

Jeffrey’s Shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) is out in full force in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park. The timing of this bloom couldn’t be more perfect, coinciding with the Perseids meteor shower. In the meadows, the downward pointing flowers might just be more spectacular than the display in the night sky in mid-August. Take a walk around the wheelchair accessible boardwalk and …

Early Sub-alpine Flowers

In an effort to find some allergy relief we headed up to Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park to survey the trail conditions. We knew that with the record snowfall this winter most of the meadow trails would be still be under snow and from the looks of things it might be late July before the trails are accessible for …

Shootingstars

Jeffrey's Shootingstar | Dodecatheon jeffreyi I was fascinated by the colour of the leaves of Jeffrey’s shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) alongside a cold sub-alpine stream this week in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park. The leaves were a stark contrast to the dark water and grey day and a beautiful sign that winter is not far off. Jeffrey's Shootingstar | Dodecatheon jeffreyi …