Self-heal

One of the advantages of my workplace is that my schedule is fairly flexible and if there is a break in the wet west coast winter weather I can take a short walkabout and look for interesting plants, insects and birds. Since my office is out in the country I’ve got lots of farm fence line and rural roads to …

The Nature of Texada Island

Dick Island, a pleasant hiking destination on Texada Island, British Columbia. With a warm, sunny weekend weather forecast, my mother and I decided to go camping on Texada Island. Boarding the ferry from Comox at Little River, we crossed Georgia Strait to Powell River, then re-entered the terminal for the shorter passage to Texada. The largest of the Gulf Islands, …

Victoria Natural History Society – September Field Trips

Joining a local natural history club is an excellent way to learn more about nature and meet like-minded people. The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) has a number of interesting walks and presentations for both members and non-members throughout the year. Field trips are ranked according to difficulty: Level 1 – easy walking, mostly level paths Level 2 – paths …

The Beauty of Arbutus

Groves of twisted Arbutus (Arbutus menziesii) can be found at Helliwell Provincial Park on Hornby Island, British Columbia. A painting called “The Sunbathers” (by Daphne Stevens) hanging on my kitchen wall depicts a group of smooth, orange-barked arbutus trees basking in the sun on a hot, rocky hillside from BC’s southern Gulf Islands. There is something mesmerizing about this tree, …

Victoria Natural History Society – August Field Trips

Joining a local natural history club is an excellent way to learn more about nature and meet like-minded people. The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) has a number of interesting walks and presentations for both members and non-members throughout the year. Field trips are ranked according to difficulty: Level 1 – easy walking, mostly level paths Level 2 – paths …

The Dunes at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

A variety of unique and interesting plants can be found in the Wickaninnish Beach dunes. This is the time of year to visit the dunes of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. While most visitors walk the endless sandy beaches that the park is famous for, fewer take the time to visit the unique and fragile …

Scenic South Beach

The gravel beach and rocky outcrops of South Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve make it a dramatic destination. I took advantage of the last couple of days of passable weather on the west coast of Vancouver Island to revisit one of my many favourite beaches in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It’s only a short 800 meter walk …

Pacific Rhododendrons at Rhododendron Lake

Early blooms of Pacific Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) stand out against green leaves. For those interested in botany and unusual plants it is often necessary to get off the beaten path and explore areas that are sometimes a little less accessible. Rhododendron Lake, just south of Parksville on Vancouver Island, British Columbia is one such destination. At the end of a …

Dunes at Goose Spit

Dramatic skies at Goose Spit, Comox, British Columbia. Often the reason a destination is popular has little to do with the superb natural features of an area. Such is the case with Goose Spit Park in Comox, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Usually portrayed as “the” place to enjoy the sunset and an evening beach fire, Goose Spit has much …

Coastal Naturalists on BC Ferries this Summer

The Coastal Naturalist program begins on Friday, June 25th on BC Ferries sailings between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Photo by Sara Borck – © Parks Canada Have you ever wondered why Orcas are called ‘Killer Whales’ or what an eelgrass meadow is? Did you know that during the BC Ferries sailing between Victoria and Vancouver, you are actually in the …