Herring are Here!

It was such a gorgeous day on Sunday that I packed the kids in the car and headed down to Parksville. Both A and C love the playground on the waterfront, and it was a pretty easy sell to get them moving. Typically, we try to work a nature walk (or two) into any day trip and I figured that …

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 …

Boundary Bay Birding

Last weekend I went over to Vancouver with two other birders/photographers to “twitch” the red-flanked bluetail and brambling reported on British Columbia Bird Alert. Part of our plan was to spend the remainder of the day out looking for owls and other birds out at Boundary Bay. Large drift logs with root masses make for great places for lichen to …

Red-flanked Bluetail, Brambling, Lower Mainland Twitch

This weekend was the first chance that I was able to get over to the Lower Mainland to twitch the red-flanked bluetail (Tarsiger cyanurus) that was found by Colin McKenzie on January 13. Like the citrine wagtail, the red-flanked bluetail at Queens Park in New Westminster is a Canadian first. Since it seeing it involved a ferry crossing and navigating Vancouver …

Neck Point Nature Walk

We’re not a really a family that enjoys shopping, especially for non food items. I tend to hit my threshold very quickly and can’t remember the last time I spent longer than a hour in a mall looking at clothing. Typically we try to plan our urban consumer experience like a military exercise—clear objectives, get in, get what we need …

A Few More Chums

A Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) and fall colours on the banks of the Puntledge River. The weather has been rather wet and dark over the last couple of weeks making photography challenging. Fortunately, the rain has brought a rise in the water levels of rivers emptying into the Courtenay River estuary (both the Tsolum River and the Puntledge River join …

Long Walk to Landslide Lake

Having recently done the ≈ 25 km hike to Moat Lake a couple of weekends ago, I felt that I was ready for the long slow hike up the Elk River Trail to Landslide Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park. I’d done the 11 km (one way) hike to the lake years ago (when I was in better shape and working as …

Book Review – Secret Lakes of Southern Vancouver Island

Secret Lakes of Southern Vancouver Island Adam Ungstad UNGSTAD Information Architects Paperback 150 pages 2012 Secret Lakes of Southern Vancouver Island: Adam Ungstad Secret Lakes of Southern Vancouver Island is a nice little guide book to some of the well known and lesser known lakes in the Saanich Penisula and Sooke. If you’re planning a trip to Victoria, British Columbia, …

West Mabou Beach Birding

One of the highlights of our trip to Nova Scotia has been the ocean swimming. We swim regularly at Miracle Beach Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, but the water is nowhere as warm as the sandy beaches on the west side of Cape Breton Island. While the swimming has been spectacular at every beach we’ve visited so far, the beach …

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 …