Pink Sand-verbena at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

In August of 2010 Barry Campbell made the exciting discovery of two naturally growing Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata breviflora) at Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Having already visited the Pink Sand-verbena introduction project at the Wickaninnish Beach dunes I was interested in seeing this plant naturally occurring in the wild. It became a bit of a quest. …

Sea-watch

In my quest to find the volunteer Pink Sand-verbenas at Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve I spent a good deal of time walking along the  line of driftwood looking at plants growing amongst the beach logs as well those that were growing out on the upper level of the beach itself. Sea-watch (Angelica lucida) can be found in the …

Radish Riddle

On one of my many trips out to Florencia Bay to look for the Pink Sand-verbena that had been reported a couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon another unusual looking plant that initially had me stumped. It was a single plant, somewhat scraggly looking with white flowers and pinnately lobed leaves that were quite bristly. This lone straggly looking …

Stranded 4 – Bull Kelp

One of the kelps that often washes up on the beaches of Vancouver Island, British Columbia is bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana). The large, diploid sporophytic stage of this species’ life cycle is the one that we typically see. The form of the kelp is characterized by a holdfast gripping a rock or some other type of anchor, and a long stipe topped by …

Tracking a Grey Wolf

Of the three top predators in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve I have regularly seen Black Bears but have yet to have seen a Cougar (in the park) or a Grey Wolf.  Maybe this is a good thing…  Sometimes seeing the sign that one of these predators has passed through is enough. Early this week I was the first person …

Single Sanderling Lingering

It almost seems like the arrival of fall shorebird migrants is on pause or perhaps just waiting for the next big push. I haven’t seen too many shorebirds on the beaches at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve aside from a few Semi-palmated Plovers. There are, of course, plenty of California Gulls around and shorebirds can be found if one looks …

Countless California Gulls Hide Heermann's Gulls

A small section of the large flock of California Gulls (Larus californicus) at Wickaninnish Beach, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It’s hard to describe the number of California Gulls (Larus californicus) that have descended on the beaches in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island since last week as the numbers continue to build. Fall migrants are arriving from …

Lunch with Tiger Beetle

I spent most of the morning at Florencia Bay today on a fruitless search for two endangered Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) plants that had been reported last week. Despite being unsuccessful I enjoyed poking around looking at plants and examining the flotsam and jetsam that was being brought in with the tide. The beach at Florencia Bay is over 5 km …

Lumpy Crab at Florencia Bay

Earlier this week I spent two hours at Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The beach here is sometimes overlooked by tide pool explorers heading to better known locations like the rocks at Wickaninnish Beach, Green Point or Schooner Cove. The boulders at Florencia Bay, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are excellent for intertidal exploration. I love poking …