August Walks in Paradise

Summer flowers and insects in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park. Summer is in full bloom at Paradise Meadows, and the Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre has a full schedule of guided nature walks and hikes to enhance your appreciation of the natural splendor of Strathcona Park – BC’s first provincial park. The Wilderness Centre building located at the Paradise Meadows trailhead, …

Victoria Natural History Society – August Field Trips

Joining a local natural history club is an excellent way to learn more about nature and meet like-minded people. The Victoria Natural History Society (VNHS) has a number of interesting walks and presentations for both members and non-members throughout the year. Field trips are ranked according to difficulty: Level 1 – easy walking, mostly level paths Level 2 – paths …

The Dunes at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

A variety of unique and interesting plants can be found in the Wickaninnish Beach dunes. This is the time of year to visit the dunes of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. While most visitors walk the endless sandy beaches that the park is famous for, fewer take the time to visit the unique and fragile …

Summer Hikes Begin at Paradise Meadows

The new Strathcona Wilderness Institute centre at Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park. Summer will officially begin in July in Paradise Meadows, when the new Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre opens for the summer season. The beautiful new building located at the Paradise Meadows trailhead, adjacent to the Raven Lodge, will be open weekends from July 3 to Sept. 12, 2010. …

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 …

Sandy Island Marine Provincial Park

Tree Island from Longbeak Point on Denman Island When is an island not an island? When you can walk to it – at low tide! You won’t find the name Tree Island on many maps – but ask someone from the Comox Valley, and they will refer you to Sandy Island – the Marine Provincial Park so close to the …

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 …

Dunes at Goose Spit

Dramatic skies at Goose Spit, Comox, British Columbia. Often the reason a destination is popular has little to do with the superb natural features of an area. Such is the case with Goose Spit Park in Comox, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Usually portrayed as “the” place to enjoy the sunset and an evening beach fire, Goose Spit has much …

A Place of Rainbows

Island of Rainbows The name Sointula, the Malcolm Island community of utopian origin off northern Vancouver Island, translates as ‘Place of Harmony’ – but it might equally be called ‘Place of Rainbows’. A frequency of rainbows of course means an abundance of rain, of which Malcolm Island receives over 150 cm annually – but the south facing shore of the …