Giant Gardenslug

This Giant Gardenslug (Limax maximus) was moving so quickly it was a challenge to get a decent photograph. Slugs are notoriously hard to photograph – the challenge is to have enough depth of field (area of the image in focus) that both the near eye spot and the body are sharp and crisp. Since slugs are often prefer to avoid …

A Prickly Subject

I admit that I was initially stumped by the aster I found growing in the Courtenay Airpark. I took some photographs of the plant and was particularly struck by the distinctive row of spines down the midrib of the leaf and figured that this would be an easy one to identify – with a leaf like that I assumed that …

Grass Workshop at the Courtenay Airpark

A couple of Fridays ago I had the opportunity to join an impromptu grass workshop led by Dr. Brian Wikeem at the Courtenay Airpark. The Comox Valley Naturalists Society has an ongoing restoration/invasive plant removal project at Airpark and Dr. Wikeem had volunteered to help us try to identify some of the 75+ species of grass growing there. I should …

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 …

Pass the Mustard

The terminal flower cluster of Field Mustard (Brassica campestris). While I love finding interesting, rare, and unusual plants sometimes it’s fun to take a closer look at some of the common weeds that grow in urban areas. The walkway around the Courtenay Airpark is an excellent place to be introduced to the hunt for introduced species. I’ve found a cosmopolitan …

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 …

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 …