Over in the Meadow

A couple of weeks ago when I hiked out to Moat Lake, the fall colours were just starting to get interesting. This coming long weekend the display should be well along, and the rich reds of the blueberry leaves, the golden yellow of the Jeffrey’s shootingstar leaves, and the brilliant white-flowering rhododendrons should be spectacular. Paradise Meadows #1 The golden …

Moody Murray Meadows

One of my favourite places along the Kwai Lake loop in Strathcona Provincial Park is Murray Meadows. I love how the trail rises up (or descends down, depending on whether or not you’re going clockwise or counter-clockwise around the loop) from the open, wet sedge meadows and climbs up to Croteau Lake. That particular slope of meadow framed by tall sub-alpine …

March to Moat Lake

I don’t know what was more difficult: the long hike out and back to Moat Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park, or sorting through the photographs this week. The hike was a physically draining 25+ km and by hour 8 I was literally dragging my feet from Croteau Lake down through Battleship and Paradise Meadows. The light was less than ideal …

Traveling Back in Time on the Trent River

Most people visit the Trent River looking for fossils, and with good reason. The Trent River cuts deep through the marine shale of the 80 million year old Haslam Formation and the layers of sedimentary rock make for good fossil hunting. I was more interested in visiting the Trent to search for photographic opportunities created by the work of water …

Morton Lake Provincial Park

On these hot summer days, Morton Lake Provincial Park just north of Campbell River on Vancouver Island is an ideal swimming destination. It’s a bit of an adventure getting there, but the 14 km drive on logging roads is well worth it. The sandy beach and shallow water make Morton Lake Provincial Park an excellent swimming destination. We made  family …

Wildflowers on the Canyon View Trail

This is the time of year on Vancouver Island to get down to local riverside trails and check out the spring wildflower bloom. One of my favourite places to walk is the the Canyon View Trail in Campbell River. We usually start this moderate 6 km loop trail at the John Hart Generation Station and then walk downstream along the …

An Estuary Walk

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks I am looking at Google Earth, following the coast south of Courtenay and I find myself staring at a river, the Trent, as it snakes down to the ocean, opening into a fan-like delta that forms a prominent bump on the coastline. Even from this bird’s eye view, I’m stuck by the estuary’s beauty—a geographic …

Let Sleeping Lions Lie

If you have a chance, pull over at the Government Wharf in Fanny Bay and enjoy the show. The floats just off the dock are a regular haul out for California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and are usually far enough away that the sea lions can sleep in peace while on lookers can watch without disturbing them. Occasionally they’ll jockey …

A Few Dead Chums

You can smell when winter arrives in Courtenay, British Columbia, particularly if you’re driving through an area of town known as the “Puntledge Bowl.” Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) lie draped over the rocks in a side channel slowly decomposing and adding nutrients back into the river and surrounding land. At this time of year, the Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) are …

Refresh the Spirit at Tsolum Spirit Regional Park

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks This week I put on my gumboots and headed into the heart of Merville, British Columbia to explore Tsolum Spirit Regional Park. It’s a nice place to take a leisurely stroll (the trail isn’t too long, so no need to rush) and enjoy the fall colours as well as a viewpoint overlooking the river. The …