Waterfall Gets Stamp of Approval

We had originally planned a family trip to the spectacular Little Qualicum Falls in Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park but by the time we arrived (approximately 45 minutes from Courtenay) both of the kids were asleep in the back of the car and we were faced with a dilemma: wake the kids or drive further afield. For those of you …

California Dreamin’

I headed down to Fanny Bay this week to check out the arrival of California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus). The government wharf is an excellent place to view these magnificent marine mammals up close since they often haul out on the pontoons that act like breakwaters for the boats tied up at the dock. A pair of male California Sea …

Marvelous Mudflat Snails

A couple of weekends ago we enjoyed a sunny trip down island to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. This BC Park is a fantastic place for kids and in the winter time the number of people using the trails and beaches are few(er) – note that on a sunny day there are still plenty of people out enjoying the park. The …

A Shortage of Short-eared Owls on the Nanaimo Christmas Bird Count

I was up at around 6 am yesterday to make the drive down to meet a group of birders doing the 2010 Nanaimo Christmas Bird Count. As I scraped the frost of the windows of the car I was hopeful – the sky was clear and it actually felt fairly mild. Weather on Vancouver Island is know to be changeable  …

Christmas Birding

The Christmas raspberry-red of the Purple Finch (Carpodacus purpureus) makes it a perfect bird for the season. If you’ve never done a Christmas Bird Count (CBC) you still have time to experience the “fun” of a full day of birding in the middle of winter. On Vancouver Island in British Columbia this usually means a cold wet day spent in …

Hello Hermit!

Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) is a good bird to look for during this year’s Christmas Bird Counts. One of the uncommon birds that often makes the Christmas Bird Counts here on Vancouver Island is the Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus) – I usually get at least one in my count area. Other members of the thrush family like American Robin, and …

Changing Points of View

Lazo Marsh, Comox, British Columbia Early this summer my wife and I moved from our 14 year residence in the Royston area to North East Comox. The two homes are only a half an hour apart by road and we remain in the Comox Valley where we have lived for over 30 years. Long enough to have a good general knowledge …

Mount Washington Mine Remediation Site Off-limits

Early spring water sampling at the old Mount Washington copper mine site. The Mount Washington Mine Remediation program has begun again for the season. Signs have been placed at all road and trail accesses to the site reminding everyone that this is an Active Mine Work Area and is off limits to visitors. For their safety, all road and trail users …

August Walks in Paradise

Summer flowers and insects in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park. Summer is in full bloom at Paradise Meadows, and the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre has a full schedule of guided nature walks and hikes to enhance your appreciation of the natural splendor of Strathcona Park – BC’s first provincial park. The Wilderness Centre building located at the Paradise Meadows trailhead, …

Summer Hikes Begin at Paradise Meadows

The new Strathcona Wilderness Institute centre at Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park. Summer will officially begin in July in Paradise Meadows, when the new Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre opens for the summer season. The beautiful new building located at the Paradise Meadows trailhead, adjacent to the Raven Lodge, will be open weekends from July 3 to Sept. 12, 2010. …