Lunch with Tiger Beetle

I spent most of the morning at Florencia Bay today on a fruitless search for two endangered Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) plants that had been reported last week. Despite being unsuccessful I enjoyed poking around looking at plants and examining the flotsam and jetsam that was being brought in with the tide. The beach at Florencia Bay is over 5 km …

Pacific Sideband Snails

Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis) crossing a trail at Oyster River Nature Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis) snails crossing the trails that I’ve been walking at Miracle Beach Provincial Park and at Oyster River Nature Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. This large native British Columbian snail is comparable …

Cattails

One of the things that impressed me at Buttertubs Marsh last week was the endless stretches of Cattail (Typha latifolia). At this time of year, the leaves of this plant are a pale brown – new green leaves will emerge in the spring. The flowers, which we generally see as a brown “hot-dog” shape on the end of a stalk …

Antlers in the Woods

Two cool fungi that I’ve found in the woods this winter resemble small antlers poking out of the ground or wood. They are distinctive and easy to find if one looks actively for them. Carbon Antlers (or Candlesnuff Fungus) Carbon Antlers (Xylaria hypoxylon) showing distinctive white forks that suggest antlers. Carbon Antlers (Xylaria hypoxylon) is a small distinctive black fungus …

Common Puffball

Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) While mushrooming before the current cold snap we came across some Common Puffballs (Lycoperdon perlatum) along the roadside in Miracle Beach Provincial Park. Like the name suggests, this puffball is one of the typical puffballs commonly seen and is widely distributed in North America. Common Puffball (Lycoperdon perlatum) There are several types of puffballs but those …

Mystified by Mosses

Earlier this week I discovered a community of mosses living on an old cement curb. I revisited them with the lofty idea of taking a sample or three back to the house and identifying them. After all, how hard could it be to identify a moss? Unknown Moss #1 Armed with the RBCM handbook Some Common Mosses of British Columbia …

Lungwort

Lungwort | Lobaria pulmonaria November storms provide an opportunity to look at lichens that are usually a little higher up and out of reach. This week, while walking at Miracle Beach Provincial Park during a lull between squalls we found some beautiful Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria) on a branch of Big-leaf Maple that had blown down in the high winds. Lungwort …

Crinoid Country

Imagine being able to travel back in time million years. What would you see? Crinoid stalk – side profile with jackknife for scale (Marble Meadows). Our visit to Karst Creek in early November enabled us to do just that, at least in a figurative sense. The limestone, or karst, landscape of the Karst Creek Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park is …

More Mysterious Mushrooms

Coral Fungus | Ramaria sp. – found growing alongside road in mixed Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir. After walking the Karst Creek Trail on Sunday we headed down to the Ralph River campsite in Strathcona Provincial Park to look for more mushrooms. The weather continued to be variable and we knew that we had a small window of opportunity to …