Second Growth Forest Near Comox Lake

A short trail to Comox Lake Bluffs Eco-reserve winds through dark second growth forest. It can be a quiet and eery place, even on a sunny day. However, late in the day the shoulder of the Beaufort Range blocks sunlight. The setting sun illuminates the upper parts of the trees, while the understory is dark and gloomy with little vegetation. …

Wildflowers at Harewood Plains

May and June are peak times to visit Harewood Plains to view wildflowers. In May, common camas (Camassia quamash), sea blush (Plectritis congesta), and yellow monkeyflower (Mimulus guttatus) fill the open meadows of the plains with a beautiful wash of blue, pink, and yellow. The bloom begins in late April and continues through the month of May and into June. …

Brigade Lake Trail Hike

This summer I decided to check out some of the less frequently hiked trails between Port Alberni and the west coast. In mid-August, the Brigade Lake Trail was my hike of choice. The idea of a moderate hike in the forest with a lake destination at the end was appealing, especially during the heat of the summer. The destination – …

Hike to Surreal Snag Lake

Snag Lake is a good alternative to some of the more popular hikes on Vancouver Island and a doable stop on the way out to the west coast if you’re trying for a late afternoon road opening. With an early start, it is possible to complete this hike in 5 or 6 hours. Parking is in a large gravel area …

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 …

Finding the Source of Nile Creek

One often hears off-hand mentions of interesting locations that other photographers have been to: the name of a small creek, a description of an out of the way waterfall, vague directions to the location. These places are usually a little off the beaten path, but still relatively accessible and well used by locals.  One of the first of many little drops …

Herring Spawn Head’s Up

It’s all in the timing and it’s easy to miss. Last spring I was lucky, and the kids and I witnessed the amazing spectacle that is this country’s largest annual Pacific herring spawn. In other years, I’ve been a day or two late or early. The aquamarine colour of the water is a sure sign that the spawn is on! This …

A Slow Morning Down at Little Qualicum River

The grey days of winter on Vancouver Island can be excellent for photographing rivers and waterfalls. With the cloud cover, the light is even and flat so you don’t get the high zones of contrast between the dark sides of the river bottoms and the sunlit trees on the ridge above. I’ve organized a “Slow Photographers SIG” within the Comox …

Triple Falls in Errington, British Columbia

Sometimes the best falls are the ones that are a little bit off the beaten path. They don’t have to be spectacular drops, but they should be a little harder to get to. The extra effort makes it worthwhile. This weekend I joined a group of Comox Valley Camera Club photographers on a day trip to the Triple Falls on …

Free Spirit Spheres

Guest Post by Rachel Dodds As the wind blows, you gently rock back and forth hearing the whistle of the wind and the rustle of the leaves. Sometimes bears and elk walk underneath – oblivious to you watching. There is something quite surreal to realize you are hanging from a tree! The sensation is like being on a boat but …