Euxoa wilsoni in the Sand Dunes at Wickaninnish Beach

Cutworm moth, dart moth—Euxoa wilsoni doesn’t really have a common name. It took a little detective work to narrow down the options, eliminate possibilities, and come to a tentative identification of this beautiful moth I found in the sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Moths are a challenge to observe and identify. They don’t stay …

Pink Sand-verbena at Wickaninnish Dunes

Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) in the dunes at Wickaninnish Beach, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are home to a number of beautiful and hardy plants. Some of these wildflowers are spectacular and showy, covering the dunes with a colourful display. However, others are less dramatic and require more …

Beautifully Desolate Comber’s Beach

At Comber’s Beach sand flows around driftwood at the mouth of Sandhill Creek in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. There is something beautifully desolate about Comber’s Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The wind constantly moves the sand to form ripples and low dunes. Large pieces of driftwood block sand movement and hollows form in the lee of the …

Lovekin Rock at Long Beach

Early in the sunset the sky over Lovekin Rock is a mix of pale blues and salmon. It gets better! There’s something about a wet beach at sunset that I just can’t get enough of. Over the course of the summer I check the tide tables and try to find days when the sunset coincides with a low or dropping tide. …

Mole Crab Mania!

I’ve been spending summers out on the west coast since 2006 and I’ve never seen anything like it. Earlier this July, a large number of juvenile Pacific mole crabs made an appearance at Wickaninnish Beach. And they’re still here! A handful of Pacific Mole Crabs (Emerita analoga) found at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Pacific mole crabs …

Stopping at the Kennedy River Canyon on the Way to Ucluelet

The long winding drive from Port Alberni to Ucluelet is demanding and I usually try to make at least one stop along the way to take a break and do some photography. The challenge is to find new locations along the Kennedy River where the river has carved channels through the rock and then smoothed the stone. Steep cliffs line …

Spring Wildflowers at Schooner Cove

Spring is an ideal time of year to search for wildflowers in British Columbia. The relatively remote Schooner Cove is an interesting place to visit in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and a good botanical destination. It’s not really a long walk, but it’s long enough that most people don’t make the effort to make their way around the point at the end of …

Payzant Falls on the Juan De Fuca Trail

A couple of weeks ago I did a day trip out to the west coast between Port Renfrew and Victoria. This stretch of coast is the home to the Juan De Fuca Trail, a 47 km long trail that follows the coastline. Hikers have the option to do the whole trail as a multi-day hike or to pick and choose …

Union Bay Coal Hills

Large chunks of black rock on the beach at Union Bay are remnants of the area’s historic use as a coal shipping terminal between 1888 and the 1960s. Pilings are other evidence of historic industrial activity at Union Bay. I’ve lived in the Comox Valley for some time now but have never walked out into the coal waste hills at …

Awe Inspring Avatar Grove

The main attraction at Avatar Grove, an ancient gnarly western redcedar. Avatar Grove is an awe inspiring grove of old growth western redcedar and huge Douglas-fir trees. It’s hard to describe the feeling in this quiet forest near Port Renfrew. The trees are immense, towering over a forest floor covered with a chaotic jumble of fallen moss-covered wood, deer fern, …