Silver Rivercarts Return to Spawn

Salmon aren’t the only species returning to the Courtenay River to spawn. The Courtenay River is awash in life and death these days. Spawned out salmon litter the banks of the river. Gulls have gathered to feed on the carcasses and countless diving ducks are feasting on salmon eggs washed downstream. With death comes new life. Silver Rivercart Classification: B/12 …

Something’s Brewing at the Courtenay Airpark

While there is a great little cafe at the Courtenay Airpark, the coffee didn’t attract my attention on this cold wintery day. I bundled up the kids and loaded them into the double stroller and headed out to the walking trail that loops around the Courtenay Airpark Lagoon. As winter progresses, the lagoon (a former sewage pond) is an excellent …

Yet Another Eurasian Flower Spotted in the Comox Valley

At this time of the year it’s very difficult to find anything in bloom. Fortunately (and I say that tongue in cheek in this case) there are still a few introduced members of Asteraceae in bloom that can be counted on to add a bit of colour during an otherwise dreary West Coast fall day. Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe ssp. …

Roadside Coffee

I’m enjoying cycling to work since my 45 minute commute takes me through rolling countryside and past farmland. I’ve got time to enjoy the scenery and dodge the slugs that seem to gather on the damp roads in the early morning. I’ve also noticed that the edges of the roads are awash in the blue of Chicory (Cichorium intybus), a …

Musing about Merville Mushrooms

We’ve had some fairly wet weather over the last week and the mushrooms are loving it. Fall is a great time of year on the West Coast for the mushroom enthusiast and Jocie and I took the toddlers out to “look for mushrooms.” An excellent place to find a variety of mushrooms in the Comox Valley is out at Merville …

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). …

Changing Points of View

Lazo Marsh, Comox, British Columbia Early this summer my wife and I moved from our 14 year residence in the Royston area to North East Comox. The two homes are only a half an hour apart by road and we remain in the Comox Valley where we have lived for over 30 years.┬áLong enough to have a good general knowledge …

Mount Washington Mine Remediation Site Off-limits

Early spring water sampling at the old Mount Washington copper mine site. The Mount Washington Mine Remediation program has begun again for the season.┬áSigns have been placed at all road and trail accesses to the site reminding everyone that this is an Active Mine Work Area and is off limits to visitors. For their safety, all road and trail users …

Lovely Lupins

Lupin sp. – flower close-up. Just over a week ago during the Comox Valley Spring Bird Count I was leading a team of birders out onto Goose Spit in Comox, British Columbia with our Department of National Defense minder (CFB Comox). We didn’t see much variety in the way of birds, mostly Savannah Sparrows and Killdeer at this site, but …

Small Pink Flowers

The flowers of Herb-robert (Geranium robertianum) range in colour from pink to reddish-purple. I have to admit that lately I’ve been spending a great deal of time looking at small weedy flowers. My walks out to the Courtenay Airpark have proven it to be an excellent place to find all sorts of exotic plants from Eurasia. This week I’ve focused …