Five Very Green Things

Five Very Green Things

One of the very best things about this time of year is the stunning variety of greens everywhere you turn. Trees and shrubs are growing their new leaves, and all manner of plants are literally springing up out of the soil. Today I want to share a few of the new green things I came … Continue reading

Spring Feast For the Eyes: Chocolate Lilies

Spring Feast For the Eyes: Chocolate Lilies

The Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria affinis for the botanically-minded) is one of the coolest and yet commonly overlooked spring-flowering plants on the Island. They may not be as showy as Camas or Shooting Stars, but I think their bell-like shape and subtle shading is absolutely gorgeous. Fair warning, they don’t have the nicest scent (think skunk … Continue reading

Coastal Life at Patricia Bay

Coastal Life at Patricia Bay

One of my favourite places on the peninsula to hang out for an hour or two is Patricia Bay (Pat Bay to us local folk). For a small cove area with a roadway running right alongside it, there’s an astonishing array of wildlife and activity to be found at the water’s edge. Combine this with … Continue reading

Spring Means Farms and Farm Babies

Spring Means Farms and Farm Babies

To my mind, one of the best parts of the spring season is going around and visiting local farms, checking out the fields full of new frolicking babies and their mums! This past week I’ve taken the time to get out and lean over a few farm fences, in both North Saanich and Central Saanich, … Continue reading

Encountering the Sandhill Crane

Encountering the Sandhill Crane

As promised, I wanted to do a little feature on the Sandhill Cranes we met on our trip to George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. My friends – both of whom had been to the sanctuary before, and thus knew what awaited us – didn’t tell me about the cranes. Instead, they left the presence … Continue reading

Hidden Gem: Shoal Harbour Bird Sanctuary

Hidden Gem: Shoal Harbour Bird Sanctuary

Today I want to point you in the direction of a super accessible local park that you may not have heard too much about. Shoal Harbour Bird Sanctuary is right in downtown Sidney, and while definitely an urban park rather than a wilderness one, it boasts some pretty fantastic ocean vistas. My favourite way to … Continue reading

A Tale of Mice and ‘Fir’ Trees

A Tale of Mice and ‘Fir’ Trees

Getting to Know Douglas-fir A veritable icon of West Coast life, Douglas-fir trees are ubiquitous throughout the coastal region. Beaten only by the Coast Redwoods for the title of World’s Tallest Trees, these ancient giants can grow to over 85 metres (278 feet) tall. That’s more than 25 stories high! The reason for the oddly … Continue reading

Ask Away! 10 Key Vancouver Island Forums

Ask Away! 10 Key Vancouver Island Forums

If you’ve got a particular outdoor activity in mind, sometimes the best thing to do before heading out is ask advice or snag some tips from the local experts. Here are a few suggestions for Vancouver Island discussion forums covering various outdoor adventures and activities. If you’re wondering about trail conditions in a particular area, … Continue reading

Discover Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Discover Reifel Bird Sanctuary

On our trip to Vancouver last weekend to see the visiting Snowy Owls at Boundary Bay, we also took the opportunity to check out George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. They are both just a short drive from the ferry terminal, so combining the two made an easy day trip from Vancouver Island. The 300 … Continue reading