White Cockle

White Cockle | Silene latifolia ssp. alba Walking the riverside walk along the Puntledge River in Courtenay is a great place to see all sorts of invasive, introduced plants. Lately I’ve taken to strolling our two young children around the Airpark Loop and always keep my eyes open for interesting plants and birds (the Airpark Lagoon is excellent for migrating …

Thatching Ants

Thatching Ants (Formica spp.) As the days get shorter and the temperature starts to drop activity at the thatching ant (Formica spp.) mound in my mother-in-law’s yard begins to change. Early in the cool morning there is little happening on the surface. A few ants move slowly around the entrance holes, arranging fir needles and other bits of woody and …

There Be Dragons

Variable Darner | Aeshna interrupta I had the opportunity to lead a Young Naturalists Club walk this morning out at Woodhus Slough just north of the Oyster River. We were looking for dragonflies and on this sunny morning were fortunate to find a few. It’s late in the year for dragonflies and many of the ones that we caught (and …

International Rock Flipping Day

Garlic Glass-snail | Oxychilus alliarius (left) and Vallonia sp. (right) Today is International Rock Flipping Day and in celebration I went out into our garden and turned over a few bricks to see what I could find. Despite living in a fairly urban environment our garden has attracted a number of interesting insects, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods, gastropods, arachnids, and birds. …