Kennedy River Cascade

Looking downstream from the rocks near the main falls on the Kennedy River. ISO 100, f/16, 1/30 sec – Nikon D600, 16mm It is a popular stopping point about half way between Port Alberni and Ucluelet/Tofino and a place to take a break before Highway 4 begins to wind its way down to Kennedy Lake. On the west side of …

Port Alberni CBC – December 30, 2012

The Christmas Bird Count season on Vancouver Island is pretty much wrapped up and it’s nearly time to put away the heavy duty rain gear and focus on better weather birding when one isn’t “required” to go out and count birds. This weekend I joined the crew out at Port Alberni for their annual Christmas Bird Count. Those of you …

Historic McLean Steam Mill

If you’re looking for a fun way to travel back in time you’ve only got a couple more weeks to take the old Alberni Pacific Steam Railway up to the McLean Steam Sawmill. It’s a great way to experience old time logging and get an idea of how the forests of Vancouver Island were logged and lumber milled just over …

Wildflower Meadows on Mount Arrowsmith

While the yellow glacier lilies are truly spectacular, the route up to the saddle between Mount Arrowsmith and Mount Cokely is gorgeous as well. I was absolutely stunned by the sheer number of wildflowers and overwhelmed by the colour and variety of plants. It made for very slow going and, since Sandy McRuer and I didn’t have the pressure of …

Glacier Lilies on Mount Arrowsmith

Mount Arrowsmith has long been on my list of Vancouver Island mountains to climb—not so much for the views from the top, but more for the extremely interesting plant communities that you hike through on the way up. The day didn’t begin with Mount Arrowsmith as the primary destination. Originally, Sandy McRuer (Rainbird Excursions) had Mount Moriarty in mind, but …

Surreal Somass Estuary

The forecast was pretty good and I decided to check out an area that I haven’t birded before: the Somass Estuary in Port Alberni, on Vancouver Island. Sandy McRuer of Rainbird Excursions wrote up a post describing the estuary and how to get there and I figured that it might be good for some winter birding. Sandy’s directions to get …

Waterfall Gets Stamp of Approval

We had originally planned a family trip to the spectacular Little Qualicum Falls in Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park but by the time we arrived (approximately 45 minutes from Courtenay) both of the kids were asleep in the back of the car and we were faced with a dilemma: wake the kids or drive further afield. For those of you …

Top Five Birding Spots in the Alberni Valley

Somass Estuary in the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I recently ran across a couple at Victoria Quay in Port Alberni. They had the tell-tale sign of a birder and a visitor – binoculars hanging from their necks and hanging around the signs by the Somass River. I approached them and they started asking about how to get …