A Blue-eyed Visitor

It’s been a busy month so it was great to have a bit of downtime this afternoon in the backyard garden enjoying the sun and a cold beer to celebrate the end of the teaching year. Both of the kids were out in the yard and I was nominally on child minding duty when I spotted a dragonfly basking on …

Apple Blossom Time

We’ve had a small apple tree in our backyard in “downtown” Courtenay for a couple of years now but it has yet to produce blooms. It’s actually a refugee from my mother-in-law’s place in the country where its growth was effectively kept in check by deer browsing. Looks like the little tree is finally feeling comfortable and now its decided …

Black Barred Camel-cart

A typically rural/suburban cart, the field habitat of the Black Barred Camel-Cart is slowly being encroached upon by big box stores and residential development. Black Barred Camel-cart Classification: B/1 or possibly A/9 Earlier this week I spotted a cart in an all too common situation. Clearly disturbed by the noise of the near constant traffic of Comox Road this Black …

Orange-crowned Warbler

A flash of yellow/olive-green in a thicket of Salmonberry caught my eye on a recent walk at the Courtenay Airpark Lagoon. We had completed the main loop and were walking back along the Courtenay River towards the 17th Street Bridge. This section of the river walkway is productive bird habitat with a mix of Red Alder, Big-leaf Maple and a …

Fish Wrangling

I have to admit that I don’t usually go out of my way to photograph Great Blue Herons. When I’m out walking with my camera and telephoto lens I’m often approached by people with asking me if I’m photographing either Bald Eagles or Great Blue Herons (or in their words -“cranes”) when I’m focusing on something a little more interesting …

A Galling Discovery

We’ve had some good weather lately and I’ve been walking the country roads around my place of work. Earlier in the year I noticed a large section of Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)  alongside the road with a large number of galls on the stems. I know that galls are usually a plant’s response to the eggs (and subsequently, larva) that are …

Gorgeous Ground Beetles

One of the joys about having a backyard garden is the opportunity to discover something new. It might be a strange looking slug, an odd looking sow bug, or in this case, a gorgeous beetle. The European Ground Beetle (Carabus nemoralis), a gorgeous introduced ground beetle that can be found in many North American gardens. This week I was prepping …

Shy Blue Tipper

Shy Blue Tipper showing its characteristic defensive position. Shy Blue Tipper Classification: B/1 or possibly A/9 The defensive behaviour of this cart makes it easy to identify. When approached by a perceived threat it immediately places the nose of its basket to the ground and raises its rear wheels to the sky. Shy Blue Tipper with wheels raised in defense. …

Bushtit Bonanza

I’m not sure why they visit so infrequently (but regularly) but it seems that every so often a flock of Bushtits (Psaltriparus minimus) comes through, visits our suet feeder, and are gone for another week. It’s almost as if they have a regular route and our feeder is on it. Bushtits (Psaltriparus minimus) – here and then gone. I do …

Meet the Meadow Slug

If you’ve got a garden or a flowerbed it’s always fun to leave some boards lying around on the ground. Come back in a week or so and you’ll discover some of the organisms that live in your garden but perhaps have never seen before under this makeshift shelter. A warning to the squeamish – you may not like what …