Bear Creek Nature Park

Bear Creek Nature Park is one of the Comox Valley’s less well known regional parks. It’s relatively new (added to the Comox Valley Regional District’s system of parks in 2011) and it is a bit off the beaten track on MacAulay Road in Black Creek. The 161 acre park includes a working fish hatchery run by the Oyster River Enhancement …

Cloudberry Bog Surprise

My father and my uncle always talked about the “bakeapples” they used to pick in Newfoundland. Bakeapples, or cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) also grow on the west coast of British Columbia, but they’re a little hard to come by and we’ve never found them in very large numbers. Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) grows in low elevation bogs. The berries are edible and …

Thinking about Wildlife Photography

If you haven’t been down to Boundary Bay yet this year, you might want to take a stroll on the dike between 64th Street and 72nd Street. It’s a decent walk and will give you plenty of time to think about wildlife photography and the ethical decisions that one makes as a bird photographer. You’ll see good behaviour and bad …

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 …

Hendrie Valley

When traveling with kids it’s often hard to find nature destinations that appeal to all members of the family. Luckily for us, out two young children A. and C. love exploring nature sanctuaries and trails as much as we do. They might not have quite the same stamina or interest in plants but birds, mammals, and frogs definitely capture their …

The Not So Red Common Red Paintbrush

One of the plants that seems to be common in the Courtenay River estuary is the common red paintbrush (Castilleja miniata). What interested me about the plants that were growing along the edges of the slough and wetter areas was the variety of colour represented. Colours ranged from deep red through to a pale yellow. The classic Common Red Paintbrush …

Nanaimo’s Rare Bog Birds-foot Trefoil

Speechless—that’s how I felt after spending a full day photographing flowers in Harewood Plains in Nanaimo. Not only is the flower display in the meadows absolutely stunning, it is also one of only five locations on Vancouver Island where you can find bog birds-foot trefoil (Lotus pinnatus). A detail of the flowers of Bog Birds-foot Trefoil (Lotus pinnatus) showing the …

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 …

Exploring Enos Lake

After a hot couple of hours on Notch Hill we drove a short distance back along Fairwinds Road to the trail head for Enos Lake. There’s a network of trails around a series of ponds and ultimately Enos Lake itself which makes for easy walking. Enos Lake is home to the endangered Enos Lake Stickleback. We found the trails to …