The Not So Red Common Red Paintbrush

One of the plants that seems to be common in the Courtenay River estuary is the common red paintbrush (Castilleja miniata). What interested me about the plants that were growing along the edges of the slough and wetter areas was the variety of colour represented. Colours ranged from deep red through to a pale yellow. The classic Common Red Paintbrush …

The Secret Side of the Courtenay River Estuary

When I do the regular Aipark Lagoon loop with the kids, I’ve often wondered about the far side of the Courtenay River which can be seen from this popular and well used walkway. The opposite bank has a wild and abandoned look, which is anchored by the empty Field Sawmill site. There’s no obvious access point, so there doesn’t seem …

A Winter Song

I did a little afternoon birding with the kids down at the Courtenay Estuary. There’s a nice easy paved walkway that runs from the parking area on Mansfield Drive in two directions – one way takes you around the Airpark Lagoon proper and the other follows the edge of the estuary towards Millard Creek. I usually do the lagoon loop …

Introducing Invasives

An afternoon walk around the Courtenay Estuary revealed almost a dozen of BC’s “least wanted” invasive plant species – either garden escapees or plants that have been introduced to North America from Eurasia and have spread “naturally” throughout the continent. In bloom were Field Bindweed (Morning Glory)(Convolvulus arvensis), Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Common Tansy, Hound’s Tongue …