Looking at Lichens

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks Old Man’s Beard and Bear’s Hair can be found on sub-alpine trees in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park. Most of us are familiar with the grey wispy lichens that garland tree trunks and branches. If you’ve been cross-country skiing at Mount Washington you’ve probably seen this stringy stuff that locals call “old man’s beard” or …

Hemlock is a Beautiful Tree

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks I drive through Miracle Beach Provincial Park quite regularly, en route to my mother’s house. I always enjoy going through the park, where the boughs of western hemlock fan out on each side of the road in broad, sweeping sprays. When dusted with snow the effect is even more enchanting, like entering a scene from …

A Shortage of Short-eared Owls on the Nanaimo Christmas Bird Count

I was up at around 6 am yesterday to make the drive down to meet a group of birders doing the 2010 Nanaimo Christmas Bird Count. As I scraped the frost of the windows of the car I was hopeful – the sky was clear and it actually felt fairly mild. Weather on Vancouver Island is know to be changeable  …

Dining with Great Blue

To my surprise Great Blue landed right in front of me and started hunting. Sometimes when you are looking for birds they just don’t cooperate. They become invisible and disappear. Your only choices are to curse and go home, or to exercise a little patience and sit and wait. A few weeks ago I was faced with that decision. I was on the beach at the …

Birds of Vancouver Island

Birds of Vancouver Island – A Photographic Journey by Glenn Bartley These brief reflections represent but a few of my memories of the beautiful birds of Vancouver Island. Over the past four years I have spent as much time as possible out in nature finding and photographing birds. I feel fortunate to have been able to see such wonderful creatures, …

Changing Points of View

Lazo Marsh, Comox, British Columbia Early this summer my wife and I moved from our 14 year residence in the Royston area to North East Comox. The two homes are only a half an hour apart by road and we remain in the Comox Valley where we have lived for over 30 years. Long enough to have a good general knowledge …

Roots on the Rough Route to Radar Hill Beach

Rocky headlands at Radar Hill Beach create dramatic vistas. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is well known for its long sandy windswept beaches. Every year over 800,000 people visit this spectacular national park. If you truly want to experience the dramatic power of this landscape, the challenge is finding a place without many people. When visiting Pacific Rim I try …

Scenic South Beach

The gravel beach and rocky outcrops of South Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve make it a dramatic destination. I took advantage of the last couple of days of passable weather on the west coast of Vancouver Island to revisit one of my many favourite beaches in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. It’s only a short 800 meter walk …

Pacific Rhododendrons at Rhododendron Lake

Early blooms of Pacific Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) stand out against green leaves. For those interested in botany and unusual plants it is often necessary to get off the beaten path and explore areas that are sometimes a little less accessible. Rhododendron Lake, just south of Parksville on Vancouver Island, British Columbia is one such destination. At the end of a …

Madrona Point Nudibranchs

A pair of Monterey Sea Lemons (Doris montereyensis) meet in a bed of cup corals on the wall at Madrona Point. On windy days like today when the Mud Bone is grounded, (our converted river boat doesn’t take too well to swells) we pick a shore dive like Madrona Point in Parksville for quick access to a host of sea …