Crowberry

Crowberry | Empetrum nigrum At this time of year the berries in the sub-alpine are prolific. Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) is one that is often overlooked or assumed by many non-botanists to be a blueberry. It is a low-creeping plant with needle-like leaves that somewhat resembles heather and produces berries that are a dark blackish/blue in colour. A quick consultation of …

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 …

Awesome Asters

Aster sp. This wonderful seed-head was one of many in a field full of tall weedy dandelion like asters in front of the old Hamilton Mac Laing house in Comox. Unfortunately my 2 year-old son only allowed me to take a couple of photographs before it was time to move on!

Back in the Garden

With two young children it’s often difficult to get out to a new location to photograph. As a result, I usually have to revisit a location that I’ve photographed before – the challenge then becomes how to create new images with the same subjects. Taking the time to look at details, repositioning the camera and playing with depth of field …

Summer on the Wane in the Sub-alpine

Menzies’ Burnet | Sanquisorba menziesii Subalpine Daisy | Erigeron peregrinus The last two days up at Paradise Meadows (located in Strathcona Provincial Park, BC) have definitely had a hint of the fall in the air. While this makes for good hiking weather (cool but not cold) it’s also a sign that the late summer bloom is nearly done and that …