Puddling in Paradise

Zephyr Anglewing | Polygonia zephyrus Zephyr anglewings (Polygonia zephyrus) have been fairly regular in the parking lot at Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park this week. Anglewings belong to Nymphalinae which is a subfamily of the family Nymphalidae. The genus name Polygonia (Greek – many-angled) refers to the shape of the wings of this butterfly. The distinctive angles and indentations produce …

Bramble Ramble

Five-leaved Bramble (Rubus pedatus) On a guided photography hike today I found myself (the leader) at the back of the pack, probably because I was walking slowly and admiring the fall colours and keeping an eye out for the small and interesting. Five-leaved bramble (Rubus pedatus) is one such plant. A member of the Rubus, or raspberry clan, this small …

Strathcona Images

Mt. George V from Ruth Masters Lake An image request from the Friends of Stathcona Park got me going through some of my archival images of multi-day hikes that my wife and I had done in the last couple of years and I thought that I’d share a few of the landscape images in this blog as well. Some of …

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 …

Mt. Elma

Mt. Elma, Forbidden Plateau, Strathcona Provincial Park Not a pleasant day to be hiking in Forbidden Plateau, cold and wet for most of the day with a bit of a window in the weather around noon. This image of Mt. Elma was made from my lunch stop at Lake Helen Mackenzie where I enjoyed a well needed thermos of coffee.

A Tale of Two Tansies

Common Tansy | Tanacetum vulgare Up at Paradise Meadows today I had the (unfortunate?) opportunity to photograph some common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) growing along the roadside. Common tansy is an invasive perennial that grows in disturbed places, road edges and stream banks. WeedsBC reports that the common tansy is problematic especially in areas like interior BC so it was disconcerting …

Cow Parsnip Seeds

Cow Parsnip | Heracleum maximum While out on a family walk at Rosewall Creek Provincial Park south of Fanny Bay on Vancouver Island we discovered a small patch of Cow Parsnip (Heracleum maximum). Some caution is advised with this plant due to the furanocoumarins in the outer skin that can cause skin irritation when handled by people who are sensitive …

Lake Beautiful

Lake Beautiful, Strathcona Provincial Park Located in Strathcona Provincial Park, Lake Beautiful is an aptly named hiking destination. It takes a bit of effort to get to the lake but it is well worth the long hike and on a hot day the swimming is fantastic. From the trail head at Paradise Meadows the total hiking distance is approximately 18km …