Lions in the Dunes at Goose Spit

The sand dunes at Goose Spit are a small and remarkable place to visit in the Comox Valley. It is easy to miss this unique dune ecosystem located about mid-way from the last parking area at the gates of HMCS Quadra and the end of the spit. Yellow Sand-verbena (Abronia latifolia) can be found in the dunes at Goose Spit. The dunes …

Westport Light State Park Beach

After a long bash of a drive from Port Angeles to Tokeland with stops at Sol Duc Falls and Rialto Beach, I was ready for a couple of days in one place. I had one night reserved at the very cool Tokeland Hotel and decided that it was worth spending an extra night to really explore the beaches to the …

Gold Star in Bloom

A trio of Gold Stars (Crocidium multicaule) at Point Holmes, Comox, BC. One of the first wildflowers to bloom here in the Comox Valley is the gold star (Crocidium multicaule). Usually you can expect to see it in early March and this year it was right on schedule, brightening up the coastal gravel flats at Point Holmes and Kin Beach. …

West Mabou Beach Dunes

West Mabou Beach, on the west side of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, has a gorgeous sandy beach and striking dunes. A real highlight on our east coast trip, the stunning beach, great swimming and some good birding,made West Mabou Beach Provincial Park an excellent nature viewing destination. Not to be overlooked, however, was the fascinating botany of coastal dune ecosystems. …

Dunes at Wickaninnish Beach

One of my favourite places in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are the dunes at Wickaninnish Beach. It is unusual to see many (if any) people in the dunes so it is easy to imagine the wildness of the place, despite the signs and tracks of people who have gone before you. From a botanical perspective it is a very …

Gorgeous Gold Star in Bloom

Spring is definitely here on Vancouver Island. Forget about the crocuses and snow drops and all of those other flower bed plants, the true signs that winter is moving on are the return of the Pacific Herring and the small yellow bloom of Gold Star (Crocidium multicaule). While it is hard not to notice the herring spawn, the diminutive Gold …

Sand Patterns

Long curves of rippled sand mark the beach where Sandhill Creek empties into the Pacific Ocean. I’ve been busy working on a project related to the sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach and haven’t had as much time to devote to my blog as I’d like. However, in the process of sorting through vast numbers of dune related images I stumbled …

Learning about Ligules

I’m out on the west coast of Vancouver Island this weekend finding out more about Parks Canada’s dune restoration program in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) creates a wall at the edge of the dunes that prevents sand movement. Sand dunes up and down the west coast of North America are being choked with introduced grasses, …

Dune Tansy Revisited

Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense) can be found along the edge of the beach at Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. While out at Schooner Cove last week I decided to check out the small sand dunes for a number of dune plants. It was here at the top of the beach that I found two species …

Schooner Cove Searockets

European Searocket (Cakile maritima) can be found at the dunes at Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Last week I hiked out to do some intertidal exploration at the wonderful rocks at Schooner Cove, a truly inspiring part of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and at a low tide, spectacular for marine life. However, the other aspect of …