Picture in your mind an ancient coastal temperate rainforest, undisturbed by man. Moss laden branches reach high into the canopy from the massive trunks that anchor them to terra firma. Home to considerable biodiversity and abundant wildlife, places like these are among the finest examples of nature at work. Everything is purposeful, from the smallest cone, to the chattering Douglas Squirrel, to the fallen giant decaying quietly amidst the ferns.
When the topic of Seymour Valley’s big trees comes up, as it often does in my world, one of the first places I recommend visiting is the Old Growth Trail. Set deep in the heart of the valley near the Seymour Dam, and surrounded by the North Shore Mountains, it has a magic you won’t find anywhere else!
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.
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.
Ever so slowly, our bikes rolled to a stop, as Doug gestured quietly, pointing toward the forest. There, happily grazing, was a robust young deer enjoying her morning solitude beside the Seymour Valley Trailway. While pulling out my camera to document the moment, I began to get the feeling this was going to be an illustrious day!
It was a sunny spring morning back in May of 2018, silent save for the sounds of birds and my bicycle, as I crossed the Hydraulic Creek Bridge in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve (LSCR). A ride up the Seymour Valley Trailway was nothing unusual for me, but this one was distinctively different. Continue reading A Return to the Eagles Nest Grove
It sits in silence, even unobtrusively, in a clearing in the Wickenden Creek valley. That in itself is quite a feat, because this ancient Western Red Cedar measures in at 4.85 metres in diameter, which is just a shade under sixteen feet wide! The Wickenden Creek Giant is one of the most impressive cedars I’ve seen on British Columbia’s mainland, and the fact that it still stands today is a miracle in itself! Continue reading The Wickenden Creek Giant
Qualicum Beach, to most, is a quiet seaside community on Vancouver Island’s east coast. Sitting in the shadow of Mt Arrowsmith beside Salish Sea, not far from Parksville, it’s best known as a summer resort and a great golf location. If you start to look around, however, there’s a lot more there than first meets the eye. Continue reading Exploring Qualicum Heritage Forest
If you live in Southwestern British Columbia, no doubt you’ll remember your first encounter with the Arbutus. It makes quite a captivating first impression, and with its multiple trunks, peeling red bark, and rhododendron like leaves, this is a tree that compels you to look skyward at its twisting limbs Continue reading The Rustic Charm of the Arbutus Tree