Crimson Wanderers

Crimson Wanderers Crimson Wanderer Classification: B/1 Fairly common in my neighbourhood near downtown Courtenay, Crimson Wanderers tend to graze in small herds or singly. They are skittish and frighten easily, often moving from one place to another frequently. Distinctively red in colour, this shy species can be enticed closer with offerings of plastic bags and other small items. Crimson Wanderer …

White Cockle

White Cockle | Silene latifolia ssp. alba Walking the riverside walk along the Puntledge River in Courtenay is a great place to see all sorts of invasive, introduced plants. Lately I’ve taken to strolling our two young children around the Airpark Loop and always keep my eyes open for interesting plants and birds (the Airpark Lagoon is excellent for migrating …

Vancouver Island Shopping Carts

With a nod to Hugh Griffith at Rock, Paper, Lizard and Julian Montague at the Stray Shopping Cart Project I’ve been inspired to begin collecting images and documenting species of shopping cart on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Julian Montague has developed a classification system for eastern shopping carts based on “defining the various states and situations in which stray shopping …

In the Pink

Pink Salmon | Oncorhynchus gorbuscha One of the sure signs of the season is the return of the fall salmon runs to the east side of Vancouver Island. Puntledge Park in Courtenay, BC is an excellent place to witness the phenomena of salmon returning to their birth stream to spawn If you have experienced a salmon spawn before you know …

International Rock Flipping Day

Garlic Glass-snail | Oxychilus alliarius (left) and Vallonia sp. (right) Today is International Rock Flipping Day and in celebration I went out into our garden and turned over a few bricks to see what I could find. Despite living in a fairly urban environment our garden has attracted a number of interesting insects, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods, gastropods, arachnids, and birds. …

American Dipper

American Dipper | Cinclus mexicanus I was out scouting locations for International Rock Flipping Day (September 20) and spotted an expert invertebrate hunter hard at work on the Puntledge River in Courtenay, British Columbia. There’s a lot going on in the Puntledge River right now and this American Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus) was working the river along with a whole host …

Introducing Invasives

An afternoon walk around the Courtenay Estuary revealed almost a dozen of BC’s “least wanted” invasive plant species – either garden escapees or plants that have been introduced to North America from Eurasia and have spread “naturally” throughout the continent. In bloom were Field Bindweed (Morning Glory)(Convolvulus arvensis), Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Common Tansy, Hound’s Tongue …