I've finally got to processing and posting my photos from our winter holiday to Palm Springs, California. Highlights included the Indian Canyon and the Thousands Palms Oasis Preserve. Although much of the landscape was inhabited by desert shrubs, the smallest pockets of water host a completely different plant community. Willows and California fan palms were the dominant plants growing near water, with grasses and sedges emerging from smaller shrubs. Other visits included Joshua Tree National Park, where Yuccas, including the famous Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), pinyon pine, scrub oak, and cacti find a way to inhabit this harsh climate. Contrary to their common name, Joshua Trees are not trees but in the agave family, Asparagaceae. It was fascinating to observe the plant diversity within several plant communities that have evolved in incredible ways to inhabit the desert's harsh climate. I also saw two new birds, the Pinyon jay and Black-throated Sparrow. Happy new year!
Photos from a lovely morning at Sandy Point, Washington. As I was photographing flowers on the beach, a large flock of Dunlin, a wintering shorebird on the coast, came flying in and landed within 15 feet from me on the beach. Black turnstones were also a highlight!
Fall is here! The beautiful wintering birds of the west coast are starting to return. Can't wait until the Snow Geese arrive in the tens of thousands!
A handful of photos from a beautiful trip to the Olympic Peninsula. A great first road trip in our Nissan Leaf! (electric vehicle)
Over the past few weeks, I have had many adventures in nature. A great bike trip on the Galloping Goose Regional Trail from Victoria to Sooke, British Columbia, exposed me to all sorts of plants. Endangered Garry Oak ecosystems hosted a variety of stunning native plants. Within the mixed coniferous/deciduous forest, there was Orange Honeysuckle, Red Columbine, Broad-leaved Stonecrop, Columbia Lily, and many more interesting plants in bloom. Black-tailed Deer, Hares, and California Quail also made occasional appearances!
Next week, a family trip took us to the Sunshine Coast. Sargeant Bay Provincial Park was home to all sorts of wildlife on land and below water. Snorkelling along the shore, I found crabs, sponges, perch, sculpin, and sea stars. Exposed in the mudflats were Bay Ghost Shrimp, quite a fun find. All in all, it's been a pretty fun start to summer in beautiful British Columbia!
Pacific Spirit Regional Park is a plant lover's paradise at the moment. Salmonberries and Bog Blueberries can be found in great numbers at Camosun Bog and in the rainforest. Sword and Deer Ferns are carpeting the forest floor while young trees continue to grow off dead logs. Pacific Spirit is a beautiful park worth visiting!
Northern bound spring migration is in full swing. Songbirds such as: warblers, flycatchers, tanagers, and vireos are all stopping in the Lower Mainland, an important stop on the Pacific Flyway, to refuel. Although bird sanctuaries are great spots to see birds, keep an eye out in your neighbourhood or local park. Wilson's Warblers are all over Vancouver. My neighbourhoods mature cherry trees are teeming with life. I've seen Wilson's and Yellow Rumped Warblers consistently as well as two stunning Western Tanagers. Not too far away were two Hammond's Flycatcher. Not only are these birds impressive in their looks, but also in their migration. Migrating to South and Central America for the winter, these birds return all the way back to the Northwest and further to breed.
Iona Beach Regional Park was beautiful this morning with a variety of birds and plants revealing the apparent arrival of spring in the Lower Mainland!
I'm using my power as a photographer to highlight nature's beauty and the reasons worth protecting our incredible planet