If you’re an aspiring tree hunter, or if you’re just looking for something to explore, there are times that new discoveries have a way of staring you in the face. What I mean by that is that on your quest for other objectives, whether well known or obscure, you might just encounter something interesting along the way. That was the case yesterday, when I decided to investigate a sizeable Douglas Fir that I had noticed a couple of years ago.Continue reading The Surprising Kinkade Creek Fir
Nearly nine kilometres along the Seymour Valley Trailway, in North Vancouver’s Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (LSCR), stands a distinctively towering Douglas Fir. It receives thousands and thousands of visitors every year, standing as it does, alongside a popular recreational trail.
When talk turns to the logging of ancient forests, unfortunately, time has proven that the more things change, the more they remain the same. 28 years ago, a heated battle to preserve Clayoquot Sound began on Vancouver Island. It was called, most appropriately, The War in the Woods. In 1993, concerned citizens joined forces to form a series of blockades to protest the clear cutting of old growth forests in Clayoquot Sound. This was to culminate in a movement that saw over 900 people arrested, and is acknowledged today as the largest act of civil disobedience in the history of British Columbia. In that fateful year, an estimated 11,000 thousand individuals arrived to take part in those protests.
There was a time that the east coast of Vancouver Island was home to countless stands of ancient Douglas Fir trees that numbered among the finest British Columbia had to offer. While it’s well documented that most of them fell to the crosscut saws of the colonial era, there are, if you take the time to search, some remaining gems to be seen. One such tree is the one I call the Kitty Coleman Fir. Reputed to be the largest remaining tree in the Comox Valley by some accounts, it rests in a quiet clearing in its namesake park, just as it has for centuries.
The sun shone brightly, as the lightest touch of wind swayed the treetops of Buckley Bay. Crossing Baynes Sound, it dawned on me that this was one of those mornings borne of dreams. Continue reading Discovering Denman Island
It was the spring of 2004, and I was poring over an old Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC) map when four simple words caught my eye: Owl and Talon Creek. The name alone sounded intriguing enough, but there was also a grove of trees there called the Pipe Organ Firs. Recently, I’d had the chance to meet Ralf Kelman, perhaps British Columbia’s most established tree hunter, and he had told me about Continue reading The Heart of Owl and Talon Creek
It survived for nearly a thousand years. Think about that. Ten centuries. The Elaho Giant, one of the largest and oldest Douglas firs ever to live in British Columbia, lived at least nine and a half of those centuries in complete solitude Continue reading Remember the Elaho
Ten centuries ago, this world was a very different place. Already, Leif Erickson, son of Eric the Red, had just led his expedition to the east coast of North America. Soon after, battles raged throughout Europe Continue reading The World Champion Red Creek Fir
The Hollyburn Fir is an absolute revelation! It sits almost inconspicuously, if that’s possible, in a shaded forest clearing at 678m in elevation on West Vancouver’s Brewis Trail. Somehow, it has managed not only to avoid being logged, but also eluded discovery until April of 1985! Continue reading The Hollyburn Fir
Time now for the conclusion of this chronicle. The sundial moves forward yet another year, to May of 2009, and, you guessed it, we’re chilling again at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. It’s way too early to be drinking anything but coffee, but it’s another bluebird day, and this time we’re going to find that tree, right? The Simpsons imitations are flowing freely, and I’m doing my best Troy McClure Continue reading The Saga of the Red Creek Fir, Part 3 of 3