Saturday, March 20, 2010

On the Raptor Trail

After the dark, damp, steep hill of the Watershed Park, we were ready for something flatter and drier. We chose the north end of Boundary Bay Regional Park, walking down the dyke to the end of the Raptor Trail, and back on the trail across the dunes to our parking lot, a loop of about 5 or 6 kilometres.

In the summer, this area is uncomfortably hot and dusty; at this time of year, though, it's just right, away from the winds of the shore, open to the sunlight. The sand is still partly overgrown with green grasses and lichens. The trees are bare, making dramatic gestures against the sky, and exposing the raptors (hence the name of the trail) to our view. A sign near the parking lot says to watch for northern harriers and red-tailed hawks; we saw several ospreys, besides. And of course, the usual herons, eagles, and crows.

Sky, sand and sticks

Hawk against a white sky

Most of the birds were flying too high or too fast for our slow cameras. The insects are still in hiding; besides dogs, the only other signs of animal life were these leavings:

Rabbit pellets. All around. No wonder there are hawks here.

And one snail shell.

In a little clearing sheltered on both sides by banks of dry blackberry canes, reindeer lichen thrives.

Reindeer food. Maybe the rabbits eat it?

A closer view.

Tree branches support other green-white lichens:

I think this is staghorn lichen.

And I can't identify this ribbony lichen. It would make a great hair scrunchie, though.

Brown leaf lichen, with moss.

Some of the tiny plant life, tomorrow.


  1. I'm glad you got to see at least one raptor on Raptor Trail. I love the lichen shots - and you're right ... that one would make a perfect hair scrunchie!

  2. What lovely pictures! ~ks


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!