Wildflowers in Wickaninnish Beach Dunes

The Wickaninnish beach dunes are a fascinating place to view wildflowers that are unique to dune ecosystems. Parks Canada staff and volunteers at Pacific Rim National Park Reserve have worked in the dunes to remove introduced grass species. As a result, sand movement has improved and native plants are thriving in this dynamic and harsh environment. At this time of …

Seashore Lupine at Radar Hill Beach

Seashore lupine (Lupinus littoralis) Seashore lupine (Lupinus littoralis) grows in sandy beaches and dunes along the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. One place where it is found is Radar Hill Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. More than ten years ago, I noticed this lovely lupine when I first hiked down to the beaches. It was good to …

Grenade Fragments in the Dunes at Wickaninnish Beach

Earlier this year my kids and I discovered some grenade fragments in the dunes at Wickaninnish Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. At first glance, it looked like the rusted remains of a large metal object. Closer examination revealed it was multiple fragments of similar in size and shape. More distinct pieces of metal held clues to identifying what …

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 …

Lions in the Dunes at Goose Spit

The sand dunes at Goose Spit are a small and remarkable place to visit in the Comox Valley. It is easy to miss this unique dune ecosystem located about mid-way from the last parking area at the gates of HMCS Quadra and the end of the spit. Yellow Sand-verbena (Abronia latifolia) can be found in the dunes at Goose Spit. The dunes …

Westport Light State Park Beach

After a long bash of a drive from Port Angeles to Tokeland with stops at Sol Duc Falls and Rialto Beach, I was ready for a couple of days in one place. I had one night reserved at the very cool Tokeland Hotel and decided that it was worth spending an extra night to really explore the beaches to the …

Gold Star in Bloom

A trio of Gold Stars (Crocidium multicaule) at Point Holmes, Comox, BC. One of the first wildflowers to bloom here in the Comox Valley is the gold star (Crocidium multicaule). Usually you can expect to see it in early March and this year it was right on schedule, brightening up the coastal gravel flats at Point Holmes and Kin Beach. …

West Mabou Beach Dunes

West Mabou Beach, on the west side of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, has a gorgeous sandy beach and striking dunes. A real highlight on our east coast trip, the stunning beach, great swimming and some good birding,made West Mabou Beach Provincial Park an excellent nature viewing destination. Not to be overlooked, however, was the fascinating botany of coastal dune ecosystems. …