Tofino Botanical Gardens

Last weekend while visiting Tofino for the 2011 Tofino Shorebird Festival we stayed at the fantastic Botanical House located within the Tofino Botanical Gardens. If you’re looking for an unique place to base your nature related explorations of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet this is definitely worth considering, especially if you need accommodation …

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 …

Common Puffball

Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) While mushrooming before the current cold snap we came across some Common Puffballs (Lycoperdon perlatum) along the roadside in Miracle Beach Provincial Park. Like the name suggests, this puffball is one of the typical puffballs commonly seen and is widely distributed in North America. Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) There are several types of puffballs but those …

Gray Jay

Gray Jay | Perisoreus canadensis One of the more common and frequently seen birds in the sub-alpine is the whiskey jack or gray jay (Perisoreus canadensis). In Paradise Meadows these social birds gather at places where hikers stop for lunch and commence aggressively begging for food. Unfortunately, many people give in to the begging either to “help” the bird out …

Fall Colours in Paradise Meadows

White-flowered Rhododendron | Rhododendron albiflorum With the cooler weather in the sub-alpine meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park many of the shrubs are starting to turn to their fall colours. White-flowered rhododendron (Rhododendron albiflorum) and many of the blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) are getting better every day. Today was a gray, wet day and that seemed to make the colour pop a …

Sunflower Yellow

Sunflower Petals 1 The first year that we moved to our little house in Courtenay we decided that we wanted to do something different with our back lane. Both Jocie and I love sunflowers so we thought that it would be really cool to plant some on the other side of our back fence beside the road. Since our backyard …

More Garden Insects

Bumble Bee on Echinacea Given that I had little success photographing bumble bees on my last visit to our garden I was determined to try again. One of the advantages of using a digital SLR instead of film that you can capture an unlimited number of images without having to worry about cost – this is beneficial when trying to …

Paradise Meadows

Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park has a number of hiking loops that are excellent for both photography and botanizing. We headed out to Lake Helen Mackenzie today on a family hike and I attempted to squeeze in some photography along the way. Thankfully, Alden our 2 year old, is a slow walker and likes to check things out as …