Coast Boykinia on the the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim National Park

While walking the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve the tendency is to look upward—the trees are so large and dramatic and that is what immediately captures one’s attention. However, it’s also a good idea to look down once and a while and see what’s blooming. The understory is amazing in the temperate rainforest of the west coast …

Beach Hopper Party at Wickaninnish Beach!

Sand fleas, beach hoppers, beach fleas – these are a few of the names given to the (usually) small little jumping things leaping about on the sand in a frantic attempt to escape your descending bare feet. At first encounter they can be a bit hard to love, maybe due to the unpredictable trajectory of their jumps and the possibility …

Dunes at Wickaninnish Beach

One of my favourite places in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are the dunes at Wickaninnish Beach. It is unusual to see many (if any) people in the dunes so it is easy to imagine the wildness of the place, despite the signs and tracks of people who have gone before you. From a botanical perspective it is a very …

Capture the Coast

I have worked off and on at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve as a Heritage Interpreter and loved being able to combine my passion for photography with my work. In 2010 I developed a program called West Coast Walkabout that was the perfect way to introduce park visitors to the landscape and ecology of the west coast of Vancouver Island. …

Monkeys and Mist Maidens

Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a great place to discover plants, birds, intertidal life and geology. Last Saturday I joined Josie Osborne of the Raincoast Education Society and a group of birders looking for rocky shorebirds during the Tofino Shorebird Festival. Our destination was a large rock islet in Schooner Cove, a fabulous location for birds …

Schooner Cove Shorebirds

We’ve just gotten back from a fabulous weekend in Tofino where we attended several Shorebird Festival events hosted by Raincoast Education Society. The festival is over but if you haven’t had a chance to experience the incredible phenomena of spring shorebird migration you still have lots of time to make a trip to the west coast and see it for …

Sand Patterns

Long curves of rippled sand mark the beach where Sandhill Creek empties into the Pacific Ocean. I’ve been busy working on a project related to the sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach and haven’t had as much time to devote to my blog as I’d like. However, in the process of sorting through vast numbers of dune related images I stumbled …

Foul Weather Phalarope

Jocie and I lived for a year on Haida Gwaii, British Columbia and spent some time birding with Peter Hamel. It was amazing to watch Peter in action and often areas where we had birded earlier in the week would produce something unusual when we were out with Peter. While there is a significant amount of skill involved in being …

Learning about Ligules

I’m out on the west coast of Vancouver Island this weekend finding out more about Parks Canada’s dune restoration program in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. European Beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria) creates a wall at the edge of the dunes that prevents sand movement. Sand dunes up and down the west coast of North America are being choked with introduced grasses, …

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. …