Eelgrass Abstracts

A windy afternoon at Point Holmes, but nice to get some fresh air and look for nature abstracts in the strand line. Today there was plenty of eelgrass (Zostera marina) washed up on the sand and cobble but most of it was tangled and damaged from being tossed ashore in the waves. The blades of eelgrass were interesting and with …

Hazelnut Harvest

We’ve always liked growing our own food and have four very productive raised beds in the backyard garden. These have been a great source of fresh produce throughout the summer and the kids love to help with the harvesting. The gardens are also a bit of a biodiversity oasis in our little patch of suburbia and we get all sorts …

Cascara!

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks Here on the West Coast, we tend to boast about big trees, forever going on about massive firs and cedars. Sometimes, we are so mesmerized by these giants that we fail to notice many of the small but attractive trees that are also a fine feature of our forests. Showy dogwoods, delicate Douglas-maples, and elegant …

Roots of Gold

One of the easily missed flowers in the sub-alpine is the Three-leaved Goldthread (Coptis trifolia). I found several in bloom on a walk around Paradise Meadows earlier this month. Like the name suggests, it has three evergreen basal leaves. The small white flower and three basal leaves of Three-leaved Goldthread (Coptis trifolia) make it easy to identify. Compare the simple …

More Flowers in Paradise Meadows

While the Jeffrey’s Shootingstar display in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park, British Columbia is exceptional right now, so are many other flowers in the meadows. The late snow melt has compressed the wildflower bloom into a shorter time frame and as a result many early spring flowers are blooming at the same time as late summer flowers. Further into the …

Delightful Dodecatheons

Jeffrey’s Shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) is out in full force in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park. The timing of this bloom couldn’t be more perfect, coinciding with the Perseids meteor shower. In the meadows, the downward pointing flowers might just be more spectacular than the display in the night sky in mid-August. Take a walk around the wheelchair accessible boardwalk and …

Wild Berries, Wildly Delicious!

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks On my daily morning stroll with the kids, something bright red and shiny caught my eye in the green shrubbery lining the trail. It was a perfect salmonberry, and I took a moment to savour its sweet, seedy ripeness. Now that summer is here there is a wealth of edible wild berries to enjoy. A …

Nymph Falls Nature Walk

This last weekend we took a family nature walk to Nymph Falls just outside of Courtenay. This park is a local destination for runners, mountain bikers and swimmers but is interesting from a botanical perspective as well. Nymph Falls, near Courtenay, British Columbia is a great destination for a family walk and some summer botanizing. We had heard that both …

Golden-eyed Grass

Driving past the Griffin Pub on Kilmorley Road in Comox, British Columbia, you probably wouldn’t think to stop and take a look in the ditch. Odds are you’d be thinking about reaching more well known destinations like Air Force Beach or Kin Beach. Both of the latter are excellent for botanizing – Kin Beach is superb for Gold Star in …

Early Sub-alpine Flowers

In an effort to find some allergy relief we headed up to Paradise Meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park to survey the trail conditions. We knew that with the record snowfall this winter most of the meadow trails would be still be under snow and from the looks of things it might be late July before the trails are accessible for …