Rosewell Creek Provincial Park
A short hike in a driving rain along the rushing Rosewell Creek turned into a peaceful walk in the woods.
More Wildlife Around Parksville
Through the window, down the street, out to sea, wildlife is around every corner.
Day by the Sea, the Strait of Georgia
French Creek, a protected working harbour with moorage for its commercial fishing fleet, a charter fleet, and pleasure yachts was a delightful destination for a bicycle ride. In spite of a fairly dense harbour of commercial fishing ships, a lot of interesting ducks shared the harbour and adjacent waters. Two were new for me: Red-breasted Loon, European Widgeon (check out its blue bill in a guidebook or eNature.com), and several were repeats: Double-Crested Cormorants, Buffleheads, Oystercatchers, White-Winged Scoters, Red-breasted Mergansers. Unfortunately many were too far away to yield a good picture; guess I need a new lens?!?
Later, we walked the beach, or intertidal zone (that area between the high tide line and low tide line), at Rathtrevor Provincial Park. As we walked to the beach past several Doug firs, Chestnut-backed Chickadees flitted through the branches and snacked on the seeds in the cones. Low tide left the beach littered with some interesting specimens: a red starfish, a crab, many varieties of seaweed and shells (oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, et al). We had a chance to approach the birds, including a Great Blue Heron and an increasing number of Black Brants, for whom a month-long festival will start in early March. Thousands of Brants will begin showing up as they stop to rest during their migration from Mexico to the Arctic Coasts of Alaska, Yukon Territories, and Russia. They are attracted by the many shellfish and the Herring run, which apparently turns the sea white and attracts hundreds of fishermen and thousands of birds. It should be an interesting time.
Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island
Cathedral Grove in an old growth forest in the center of Vancouver Island. Giant Douglas Firs, one at least 800 years old, a sapling about the time of the Magna Carta, and huge Western Red Cedars reach for the sunlight. Some are over two hundred feet tall and twenty feet in diameter. It's a spectacular forest!
Ship's Point in Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island
Fanny Bay is known for its prolific, high quality oyster and Manila clam harvesting. A significant portion of Canada's shellfish production comes from this area in the Strait of Georgia near central Vancouver Island. Next time you see oysters on the menu, check to see if they're from Fanny Bay. We're told they're sold around the world. Courtnay and Comox are a little farther north. There the island's logging industry is centered. In the midst of all this activity, Ship's Point is one pretty sight.