This morning, Burnaby Lake Regional Park was bursting with life. Many of our native shrubs including Nootka rose and thimbleberry continue to flower. Some shrubs are already developing their fruits, such as: osoberry (Indian Plum*), salmonberry, and black twin berry. As you transition from deciduous forest into a mix coniferous forest, Pacific bleeding heart and false lily of the valleys appear from the forest floor. Wildlife highlights included adorable mallard ducklings that remained beside their mother's side and a late spring Snow Goose. These geese should be on their breeding grounds in Russia by now, so I'm not sure what this straggler was doing. Regardless, it was fun seeing such a beautiful bird from close up.
* I'd be interested to know what indigenous people think about the name Indian plum. I know that Indian paintbrush is now called common red paintbrush, so should we come up with a new common name for this plant or stick to Osoberry?
This morning, I ventured to Camosun Bog with the intention of seeing the bunchberry flowering in the bog. The bunchberry was there and so was a great diversity of plant life. Plants varied from perennial herbaceous flowers to flowering shrubs. Highlights, as seen below were: Labrador tea, starflowers, geums, salal, salmonberry, blackberry, bunchberry, and false lily of the valley. A treat to see!
The Garry oak ecosystem found on south east Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, Washington, and Oregon is home to great floral diversity. Its famous meadows of wildflowers are only present due to controlled burns and natural fires limiting the dominance of Garry oaks. Garry oaks are the only native oak west of Manitoba in Canada. In mid-April, Oregon fawn lily, camas, and shooting stars were in bloom. Seeing these beautiful plants in the wild was a thrill!
Photos from a beautiful morning walk around Rice Lake. Rice Lake is located within Lynn Headwaters Regional Park, North Vancouver. Highlights included beautiful light and shadows in the forest, great views of this wonderful lake, and red huckleberry in flower.
Lost Lagoon is bursting with life. With spring right around the corner, the wintering ducks of Stanley Park are still present and in full force on Lost Lagoon. Soon they will leave to breed elsewhere, but migratory birds will soon fill the spot they will have left in the park's bird life. Native shrubs such as Osoberry are in flower with salmonberry and red flowering currant expected to bloom in the next few weeks. The catkins on the red alder are in flower, displaying a beautiful rusty red colour. It's well worth getting out and exploring now that the weathering is warming up!
Just when it seemed spring was in the air in February, yes February here is Vancouver, we were hit with a few big snowfalls. I had to take advantage of the weather as even some of the simplest things such as a street corner kept me out in the snow for half an hour to get the shots I wanted! Also, the naturally beautiful Crocus had to be captured!
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!
I'm using my power as a photographer to highlight nature's beauty and the reasons worth protecting our incredible planet