Beetles in the Dunes

Harsh environments like shorelines and dunes are good places to look for beetles. While on a hike at Radar Hill Beach in late May, I noticed an isolated log in the dunes above the beach. In a hot environment like sand dunes, wood and plants provide shade for small insects. I wasn’t really expecting anything, but thought that it would …

Hiking the Campbell River Lookout Trail

Looking back towards the Beaufort Range from a lower view point As an alternative to the very popular Ripple Rock trail consider the Campbell River Lookout trail. While the Ripple Rock trail might have a full parking lot, the lookout trail can be less busy. The views are just as good and perhaps better than Ripple Rock because the elevation …

Late Spring Flowers at Harewood Plains

Harewood Plains is a fabulous and sensitive wildflower ecosystem in Nanaimo, British Columbia. The late spring flower bloom occurs in early May and rolls into June. Water seeps down a gentle, mostly east facing slope that is covered by a shallow layer of soil over non-permeable rock. As a result, conditions are ideal for wildflowers and the open meadows are …

Grenade Fragments in the Dunes at Wickaninnish Beach

Earlier this year my kids and I discovered some grenade fragments in the dunes at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. At first glance, it looked like the rusted remains of a large metal object. Closer examination revealed it was multiple fragments of similar in size and shape. More distinct pieces of metal held clues to identifying what …

Vancouver Groundcone

Vancouver groundcone (Boschniakia hookeri) is an unusual saprophyte that grows in coastal British Columbia. It is found in association with salal (Gaultheria shallon) and kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) which it is parasitic on. Like the common name suggests, this parasitic herb looks like a weird cone growing out of the ground. Vancouver groundcone comes in a range of colours from pale …

Euxoa wilsoni in the Sand Dunes at Wickaninnish Beach

Cutworm moth, dart moth—Euxoa wilsoni doesn’t really have a common name. It took a little detective work to narrow down the options, eliminate possibilities, and come to a tentative identification of this beautiful moth I found in the sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Moths are a challenge to observe and identify. They don’t stay …

Pink Sand-verbena at Wickaninnish Dunes

Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) in the dunes at Wickaninnish Beach, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are home to a number of beautiful and hardy plants. Some of these wildflowers are spectacular and showy, covering the dunes with a colourful display. However, others are less dramatic and require more …

Beautifully Desolate Comber’s Beach

At Comber’s Beach sand flows around driftwood at the mouth of Sandhill Creek in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. There is something beautifully desolate about Comber’s Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The wind constantly moves the sand to form ripples and low dunes. Large pieces of driftwood block sand movement and hollows form in the lee of the …

Rising Tide at Point Holmes

Point Holmes #1 A large boulder is slowly surrounded by the rising tide. Point Holmes in Comox, British Columbia is a fabulous place for landscape photography. The dynamic nature of the rising or falling tide can create very different compositions at the same location. Therefore, the challenge is to quickly adapt to changing water levels and find interesting combinations of …

Re-visting Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve

It has been a while since I’ve visited the Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve but this spring I had a chance to return to catch and photograph the early April bloom. It was truly spectacular and well worth the short hike. Wildflowers on the steep mossy slopes above Comox Lake. Approaching the steep slopes of the bluffs of the ecological …