Coast Boykinia on the the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim National Park

While walking the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve the tendency is to look upward—the trees are so large and dramatic and that is what immediately captures one’s attention. However, it’s also a good idea to look down once and a while and see what’s blooming. The understory is amazing in the temperate rainforest of the west coast …

Valley of the Devil’s Club

The huge leaves of Devil’s Club (Oplopanax horridus) are visible from the Millennium Trail in Elk Falls Provincial Park. Maple-like leaves the size of a giant’s plate, clusters of bright red berries, thick twisted spine covered stems. Stumbling through a patch of Devil’s club (Oplopanax horridus) can be a memorable experience. While the common name gives some indication of the nature …

Spring Hiking Conditions at Paradise Meadows

This weekend Jocie and I decided to venture into the snow and look for early blooming plants at Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park. This section of the park is easily accessible once the snow pack melts and the boardwalk and trail is clear—it’s a great place to see some of the beautiful flowers that make the meadows special. Still …

Cloudberry Bog Surprise

My father and my uncle always talked about the “bakeapples” they used to pick in Newfoundland. Bakeapples, or cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) also grow on the west coast of British Columbia, but they’re a little hard to come by and we’ve never found them in very large numbers. Cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus) grows in low elevation bogs. The berries are edible and …

Wildflowers at Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve

In my previous post about the Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve I hinted that I had a few more wildflower photographs to share. The bluffs are definitely a fantastic destination for wildflower photography and there are many unique flowers that grow on the hot exposed bluffs. Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria affinis) The delicate nodding flowers of Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria affinis) grow along …

Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve

There is nothing at the parking area just beyond the dam at Comox Lake to suggest that a spectacular ecological reserve is a short 20 minute hike away. Beyond the burned rubbish and twisted metal and broken glass is a wide gravel trail that leads through an old cut block. The trail at this point has been “deactivated” in an attempt …

Gold Star in Bloom

A trio of Gold Stars (Crocidium multicaule) at Point Holmes, Comox, BC. One of the first wildflowers to bloom here in the Comox Valley is the gold star (Crocidium multicaule). Usually you can expect to see it in early March and this year it was right on schedule, brightening up the coastal gravel flats at Point Holmes and Kin Beach. …

West Mabou Beach Dunes

West Mabou Beach, on the west side of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, has a gorgeous sandy beach and striking dunes. A real highlight on our east coast trip, the stunning beach, great swimming and some good birding,made West Mabou Beach Provincial Park an excellent nature viewing destination. Not to be overlooked, however, was the fascinating botany of coastal dune ecosystems. …

Morton Lake Provincial Park

On these hot summer days, Morton Lake Provincial Park just north of Campbell River on Vancouver Island is an ideal swimming destination. It’s a bit of an adventure getting there, but the 14 km drive on logging roads is well worth it. The sandy beach and shallow water make Morton Lake Provincial Park an excellent swimming destination. We made  family …

Wildflower Meadows on Mount Arrowsmith

While the yellow glacier lilies are truly spectacular, the route up to the saddle between Mount Arrowsmith and Mount Cokely is gorgeous as well. I was absolutely stunned by the sheer number of wildflowers and overwhelmed by the colour and variety of plants. It made for very slow going and, since Sandy McRuer and I didn’t have the pressure of …