Gorgeous Ground Beetles

One of the joys about having a backyard garden is the opportunity to discover something new. It might be a strange looking slug, an odd looking sow bug, or in this case, a gorgeous beetle. The European Ground Beetle (Carabus nemoralis), a gorgeous introduced ground beetle that can be found in many North American gardens. This week I was prepping …

Meet the Meadow Slug

If you’ve got a garden or a flowerbed it’s always fun to leave some boards lying around on the ground. Come back in a week or so and you’ll discover some of the organisms that live in your garden but perhaps have never seen before under this makeshift shelter. A warning to the squeamish – you may not like what …

What’s that Woodlouse?

My 3 year-old son and I spent some quality time in the garden looking under pieces of wood and brick left on the ground from last fall. We discovered all sorts of “bugs” (Alden’s word for them) and watched them scurry from the newly exposed surface for the safety and moisture of the dark underside of the wood and other …

Book Review – Insects of the Pacific Northwest

Insects of the Pacific Northwest Peter and Judy Haggard Timber Press Inc. Paperback 296 pages 2006 Insects of the Pacific Northwest – Peter and Judy Haggard I’ve been fighting a bit of the flu lately which means that I’ve had some time to catch up on my reading and thinking about spring days searching for insects. One of the inspiring …

Amongst the Lily Seeds

A side view of the pod showing the seeds inside. Managed to get out to the garden with the kids today and did a little bit of fall clean-up. Today I focused on trimming the lily seed heads and collecting the seeds. From what I’ve read on-line, growing lilies from seed is a bit of a hit and miss project …

In the Small, Small, Pond

Mosquito larva hanging out in the water column. We’ve had a couple of days of rain and several centimetres of water has been sitting in a small Rubbermaid tote that we use when gardening. I happened to look into it earlier this week when getting ready to put the yard waste out for Courtenay’s recycling program to pick up and …

Yellow Bears on the Move

Yellow Bear (Spilosoma virginica) caterpillars are active in the fall. It’s that time of year again. A sure sign of fall is the appearance of woolly bear caterpillars. I was taking a walk around the Courtenay Airpark Lagoon and came across a Yellow Bear crossing the path. The Yellow Bear is the caterpillar of the Virginian Tiger Moth (Spilosoma virginica). …

Lunch with Tiger Beetle

I spent most of the morning at Florencia Bay today on a fruitless search for two endangered Pink Sand-verbena (Abronia umbellata) plants┬áthat had been reported last week. Despite being unsuccessful I enjoyed poking around looking at plants and examining the flotsam and jetsam that was being brought in with the tide. The beach at Florencia Bay is over 5 km …

Dune Tansy Revisited

Dune Tansy (Tanacetum bipinnatum ssp. huronense) can be found along the edge of the beach at Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. While out at Schooner Cove last week I decided to check out the small sand dunes for a number of dune plants. It was here at the top of the beach that I found two species …

Sand Dunes at Wickaninnish Beach

One of the places that my wife Jocie and I love to return to again and again are the sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach. For the botanist, these dunes are the home to many very interesting plants that are adapted to the shifting sand of the dune ecosystem. Sand dunes at Wickaninnish Beach from a vantage point high in the …