Mistletoe Mystery

Hemlock Dwarf Mistletoe (Arceuthobium tsugense) growing on Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). I’ve been looking for Dwarf Mistletoe (Arceuthobium sp.) at Miracle Beach Provincial Park for years now – I know that it is there, growing on the Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla). My wife Jocie has found it several times and has brought it back to the house for me to …

A Pseudo Mushroom?

Back in early November we took a family hike around the Karst Creek Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park. At the end of the trail we found a number of dried up, old “mushrooms.” At least that’s what we thought they were initially. However, a little detective work solved the mystery quite quickly. Before I tell you what we actually found …

Fragile Oaks

It’s that time of year when leaves are falling to the ground and trees are doing their best to set their progeny up for the spring. I was poking around some Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) looking for invertebrates and discovered several acorns in the leaf litter. Garry Oak | Quercus garryana Garry oak are the only native oak trees west …

Black Spots on Bigleaf Maple Leaves

Bigleaf Maple | Acer macrophyllum It’s that time of year when the Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) leaves are changing colour and falling to the ground. I’ve always noticed the small, circular imperfections on maple leaves at this time of year and have wondered what they were. On the weekend I took a walk in Miracle Beach Provincial Park with my …

Madera Canyon – Arizona Skywatch #3

Santa Rita Mountains One of the primary reasons to visit Arizona during spring break (aside from getting a break from the winter weather up here in BC) is the excellent opportunities for bird watching and botanizing as well as superb sky watching. Last March I joined two fellow naturalists and spent a week traveling around southeastern Arizona. One of our …

Seeds on the Wind

It was a very windy day on the east coast of Vancouver Island today and tree seeds were on the move. We took a family walk in Miracle Beach Provincial Park this morning and at one point it seemed like it was snowing seeds! At first we thought that the seeds were all bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) due to their …