Saturday, September 17, 2016

Baikie Island in the sunshine

On a rainy afternoon last January, I discovered Baikie Island, a half-reclaimed piece of formerly industrial land, still littered with rusting metal, assorted construction material, greasy wood. A releafing project was underway, and a couple of paths were gravelled. The birds were settling in. I promised to come back when the sun was shining.

I was almost too late. The fall rains have set in, and they've not been gentle; it's no time for walking in the rain with a camera.

But we had two sunny days this week; I hurried down to Baikie Island right away.

Yellow and brown grasshopper, (Melanoplus bivittatus) waiting for me at the entrance.

People have been hard at work this summer. The old construction material has been hauled away, even to the rusting steel embedded in the mud at the island's tip. There are new signs, and the blackberry canes trying to close the paths have been cut back. Trails, as yet unofficial, but well marked and cleared, lead to lookout points along the river bank. There are a few benches facing the water.

Now, at the turn of the seasons, a few flowers are still blooming; as long as there are sunny days and insects to pollinate them, it's worth the effort.

Some sort of pea flower, growing at the edge of the water. About 6 inches high.

A mint, possibly field mint, Mentha arvensis. At the edge of a soggy grassland.

And one wild rose, the last on the shrub.

But it's fall; time to get the seeds finished and ready to go.

Common California aster, Aster chilensis. Violet ray flowers with yellow disk flowers. At river's edge.

Most of them have gone to seed. I like the way the dying petals curl up into tight rings. Here, they're brown; in the photo above, they're purple.

Fat, red rose hips.

Snowberry. Most of these will stay on the shrub over the winter.

More snowberries. Aka waxberry. Other berries feel solid, or at least full; these are soft and dry to the touch, as if they were mostly air.

"One Stl'atl'imx story indentifies the berries as 'the saskatoon berries of the people in the Land of the Dead.'" (Plants of Coastal BC)

The old mill pond, with Canada geese. (Two groups.)

The first trail completed leads straight down from the bridge to the tip of Blaikie Island. A second trail leads from the parking lot, around the pond, and up the banks of the river as far as the highway to the north.

I can't resist a trail going somewhere new.

Here, the trees close in, creating welcome shade after a long walk on a sunny day.

Big maple leaf, caught on its way down.

Coming in closer. The light shows the needles behind the leaf.

Big maple "airplanes", almost ready to fly.

Fuzzy little shelf fungi on a dying tree.

Long pine needles. Western white pine? Needles, I think, in clumps of 5, about 4 inches long.

Map from the parking lot kiosk. I walked from the tip to the NCC Channel. Ill have to go back, next sunny day.

1 comment:

  1. I love places like this. Great winter bird watching


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