Tag Archives: nature

A Rain Forest

Vancouver Island is home to very old, very sodden rain forests.

Many of the Douglas firs in this forest are 800 years old. They were little trees in 1219, when St Francis of Assisi was founding the Franciscans and Genghis Khan was a teenager.

It rains a lot here. A lot! As a result, the trees are covered in velvety moss fronds.

In areas where the sun gets through more easily, the moss is less prevalent.

These trees have seen a lot and are still standing and growing. It is our job to make sure that they can continue their life journey.

Greetings from the giant firs of Vancouver Island.

Rocky Mountain View

On our last drive from the Okanagan to the Northwest Territories, M and I

stopped at the Overlander Hotel, just outside Jasper National Park.

It was a wonderful respite after eight hours of driving through the mountains. There was great food with a wonderful room in the original lodge that was built more than 100 years ago.

The view from the dining room is stunning, with the mountains gazing serenely from their redoubt.

Greetings from the beautiful Overlander Hotel.

Northern Garter Snakes

Caution: Just so you know, this post contains photos of snakes. 😳

The red-sided garter snakes of Wood Buffalo National Park are the northern-most snakes in the world.

In April, they begin to emerge from their hibernaculum to mate and migrate across the neighbouring Salt River for the summer.

These little snakes blend incredibly well into their environment.

This area of Wood Buffalo Park is riddled with small caves that go deep underground. The snakes huddle together and sleep through the winter, maintaining a temperature well above zero.

When it’s warm enough outside, they emerge. Over the next few days of April and into May, the males will coil into “snake balls” to mate with any available female.

Can you see the red markings on his underside?

These snakes will then migrate, spend the summer eating, and travel back to the park to give birth before returning to their hibernaculum.

These harmless little guys will stand their ground and hiss at you as did the one pictured above when I got too close. I backed off and gave him his space.

Snakes have gotten a lot of bad press, but in my opinion, it’s the humans you need to watch out for, not them. You can always trust a snake to do what snakes do.

For more information, please see the link below.

https://norj.ca/2014/05/red-sided-garter-snakes-make-annual-mating-appearance/

Greetings from the migrating garter snakes of Wood Buffalo National Park. 🙂

Okanagan Spring

Apparently, spring has been early, and I’ve been enjoying every minute of it, even when the temperature went up to 30C for a couple of days. It’s more seasonal now, but those warm days ensured that blooms are everywhere, that the hills are verdant, and that lushness prevails. The wine is growing! 🙂

It's green!
It’s green! (And blue!)
More green!
More green! (And blue!) The snow on those far hills has been gone for a couple of weeks now.
And yellow. These beautiful daisy-like wild- flowers are everywhere.
And yellow. These beautiful daisy-like wildflowers are everywhere.
IMG_20160410_133008
This very popular trail is on the site of an old railroad track. It’s a favourite walk of M’s and mine.
A final view ... for now.
A final view … for now.

🙂

How is your spring going?