Slug's Eye View

I took Clara and Alden for a strolling adventure in Seal Bay Regional Park today – a complete circuit around the main swamp starting and ending at the Hardy Road parking area. Most of the trail was pretty good except for the bit between the swamp and the main trail between Hardy Road and Bates Road. The swamp is filling …

Purple Dead-nettle

Purple Dead-nettle (Lamium purpureum) forms carpets over the ground. Last summer I wrote about some of the invasive species of plants that I was noticing on my walks around the Courtenay Airpark Lagoon. This is an area that has been heavily altered by human use (at one time it was a sewage lagoon) and that is reflected in the number …

Searching for Littlenecks

Mudflats and Purple Martin nest boxes at Comox Bay, British Columbia. I was a little better prepared for mudflat exploration at the end of the second day of the workshop at the Filberg Lodge in Comox, British Columbia. After my experience on Saturday, I wore my rubber boots and was ready to spend an hour or so out in the …

Celebrate the “Holly” – days

English Holly (Ilex aquifolium) – berries and evergreen leaves make for a striking holiday display. As we creep ever closer to Christmas it’s appropriate to think a little about the plants that are part of seasonal celebrations. One of those is English Holly (Ilex aquifolium), a striking shrub with glossy, spiked evergreen leaves and beautiful red berries. A non-native, ornamental …

Varnish Clams

Walking on the beach at Goose Spit in Comox this weekend got me thinking about clams. I always enjoy sorting through seaweed in the strand line and taking a closer look at shells that have washed up on the shore before returning them back to the beach where I found them. On this walk I found several “old-friends,” including the …

Tansy Ragwort

Tansy Ragwort | Senecio jacobaea Early in September I wrote about two tansies that are found in British Columbia. Last weekend while at East Sooke Regional Park looking for turkey vultures I found a species of Senecio growing in an old farm field. Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), like the common tansy, is an introduced plant from Eurasia. It does well …

White Cockle

White Cockle | Silene latifolia ssp. alba Walking the riverside walk along the Puntledge River in Courtenay is a great place to see all sorts of invasive, introduced plants. Lately I’ve taken to strolling our two young children around the Airpark Loop and always keep my eyes open for interesting plants and birds (the Airpark Lagoon is excellent for migrating …

A Tale of Two Tansies

Common Tansy | Tanacetum vulgare Up at Paradise Meadows today I had the (unfortunate?) opportunity to photograph some common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) growing along the roadside. Common tansy is an invasive perennial that grows in disturbed places, road edges and stream banks. WeedsBC reports that the common tansy is problematic especially in areas like interior BC so it was disconcerting …

Awesome Asters

Aster sp. This wonderful seed-head was one of many in a field full of tall weedy dandelion like asters in front of the old Hamilton Mac Laing house in Comox. Unfortunately my 2 year-old son only allowed me to take a couple of photographs before it was time to move on!

Zen In the Garden

We’re lucky enough to have a backyard garden despite living close to the center of Courtenay. Not only is our garden a source of food for us, many insects (and other animals) visit as well. I spent some time watching bumble bees and honey bees gathering pollen and nectar but was really fascinated by the work of wasps and hornets …