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 …

Wickaninnish Beach – BC Skywatch #11

Well folks, another SkyWatch Friday has rolled around. Located on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia the sandy beaches in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are known for their spectacular sunsets (when it isn’t foggy or raining!). Sunset at low tide is ideal since the wet sand adds sky reflection into the composition.  A few dramatic clouds don’t …

Of Sponges and Sea Pork at Schooner Cove

Of the two islands at Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, I typically focus on the first large one that is visible as you enter the cove. At low tide (usually lower than 2.0′) this area is spectacular for intertidal life, a display that I like to call “shock and awe,” albeit in a positive sense. A mix …

Sea Lemons and Eggs

Last week I took advantage of the lowish low tide (it was around a 2.3 foot tide) to make my way out to Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Schooner Cove on a good low tide is excellent for intertidal life. This past week’s low was borderline, low enough that it was possible …

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 …

Surfbird Surprise

A flock of Surfbirds (Aphriza virgata) on the rocks at Schooner Cove. I watched a flock of Surfbirds (Aphriza virgata), possibly fresh in from breeding grounds in Alaska’s rocky alpine areas, as they worked the intertidal zone in front of the large rocky island in the middle of Schooner Cove yesterday. I love visiting Schooner Cove and consider it one of …

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 …