Spectacular Snow Geese

Airpark Lagoon, Courtenay, BC I took Clara and Alden out to the Airpark Lagoon yesterday afternoon before dinner – it’s a stroller friendly walk that circles around the Airpark Lagoon and offers fantastic views of the Courtenay estuary. While many use the loop to exercise or to socialize, local naturalists know that it is an excellent place to birdwatch. Many …

Some Small Snails

A Very Small Snail on a Very Long Journey Back in September I discovered some very small snails underneath a paving stone in our garden when flipping rocks for International Rock Flipping Day. This past week I’ve found a couple more small snails that I’ve photographed but have been unable to identify. The snail pictured above and below was in …

Fragile Oaks

It’s that time of year when leaves are falling to the ground and trees are doing their best to set their progeny up for the spring. I was poking around some Garry Oak (Quercus garryana) looking for invertebrates and discovered several acorns in the leaf litter. Garry Oak | Quercus garryana Garry oak are the only native oak trees west …

Flight of the Woolly Aphids

Woolly Aphid, possibly the Woolly Apple Aphid | Eriosoma lanigerum Over the last couple of evenings I’ve noticed a massive flight of woolly aphids both in Courtenay and today up at my mother-in-law’s house in Black Creek. I’ve managed to get a few decent images of these white furred aphids (though they are quite small). I initially thought that they …

Why Did the Yellow Bear Cross the Road?

Yellow Bear It’s the time of year when things are on the move and if you’re looking at the ground or the sky you’re sure to see something interesting. Some types of caterpillars in the tiger moth family (Arctiidae) like the woolly bears and yellow bears are active in the fall as they move from food plants to a suitable …

Ephemeral

Mayfly Nymphs While walking along the Tsolum River this week I took the time to turn a few stones in a fast flowing riffle. Under one of the rocks was a pair of mayfly nymphs (Order Ephemeroptera from Ephemeros – short lived and Pteron – wings). While the nymph part of the life cycle can be anywhere from three weeks …

Wonderful Weavers

Spider Went out to the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds today and walked the trails along Dove Creek. At one point the trail leaves the side of the creek and starts to circle back toward the exhibition grounds. The path emerges from the woods and follows the edge of a field. This morning the fence line was decorated with countless webs, …

Thistle Teach You

Some fantastic thistles in bloom this morning while walking the Millard Creek trail in Courtenay, BC. All three are introduced species from Eurasia and grow in disturbed areas like roadside edges, paths and fields. The flowers are quite beautiful in their own right and I’m thinking that planting a “thistle patch” in our flower beds might be a interesting idea! …