Tag Archives: Vancouver Island

The Harris Creek Spruce

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 of the Red Squirrel, to the fallen giant decaying quietly amidst the ferns.

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The Return Of The War in the Woods: A Call to Action

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.

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A Remnant of Yesteryear: The Kitty Coleman Fir

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.

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Summer on Crest Mountain

“I’m on the 6:25. Yay.” I laughed, reading that rather wry text from Doug in mid August 2020.  Just a  month before, we’d been crashing through the brush of North Vancouver’s Wickenden Creek hunting for ancient trees, and on that day I’d been awake far too early for my liking. Now it was time for an Island adventure, and it was Doug joining the ranks of the sleep deprived!

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For the Love of Fairy Creek

High above Fairy Lake near Port Renfrew, British Columbia, in the heart of  the unceded territory of the Pacheedaht First Nation, people have united. They arrived on August 10, driven by the news that the upper Fairy Creek Valley was threatened by nearby logging. A network of rugged roads were in the process of being built by contractors Stone Pacific, on behalf of Teal Jones Cedar. The target was a centuries old stand of Yellow Cedar, Western Hemlock, Mountain Hemlock, and Silver Fir. While  the core of the Fairy Creek Valley is currently protected , this proposed cut block is situated dangerously close to what is also the last unlogged watershed on south Vancouver Island. (It’s also noteworthy that areas set aside as old growth or wildlife management areas like Fairy Creek have been logged in the past when the government has declared them open season). Here,  a staunch group of concerned citizens have blockaded the road and constructed a camp, which augurs the arrival of a showdown.

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Surf Scoters of the Salish Sea

Spring in the year 2020. For most of us, it’s likely to live in infamy for some time, after all, it isn’t every year that a pandemic takes place. My family is fortunate enough to live on Vancouver Island, where the Coronavirus has not taken a strong foothold yet, but one of the things that keeps me sane is the time I get to spend in nature. Now, more than ever, outside is the place to be! Continue reading Surf Scoters of the Salish Sea

Discovering Denman Island

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 a morning borne of dreams. Continue reading Discovering Denman Island

Exploring Qualicum Heritage Forest

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

The Rustic Charm of the Arbutus Tree

If you live in Southwestern British Columbia, no doubt you’ll remember your first encounter with the Arbutus. It makes 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