We were half starved by the time we arrived at Strathcona Park Lodge, on Upper Campbell Lake. Next food source, Gold River, 47 kilometres away on a slow, curvy highway. Lunch is served from 12 to 1 in the lodge; we arrived at 1:05. There was a brief moment of panic, then a girl came out, clearing away dishes, and told us to go ahead; the buffet was still laid out. Good food, friendly people, wonderful view over the lake.
Afterwards, we dawdled on the deck, watching birds and bugs. I looked at the red osier dogwood, reaching up from the ground below.
|First, the flowers. White, slightly greenish in the shade, with pale yellow centres and stamens. And what are those brown things?|
|Red Soldier Beetles, Rhagonycha fulva|
They must really have loved that pollen: mostly when I see soldier beetles, they're busy mating. (In the UK, an alternate name is the Hogweed Bonking Beetle.)
Adults feed on aphids, and also eat pollen and nectar. Larvae prey on ground-dwelling invertebrates, such as slugs and snails, and live at the base of long grasses. The adults, which are active between the months of June and August, spend much of their short lives mating and can often be seen in pairs. (Wikipedia)
|Food first, love later, when the food's this good!|
|On the same shrub, the fruits were ripening. No beetles here.|
|Ripe red osier dogwood fruit. Not exactly edible.|
The fruit is bitter, and is mostly seed. My guide book says it's inedible, but then goes on to mention that the interior aboriginal peoples ate them. Here on the coast, they made tea from the bark.
And in the winter, the moose and the deer will relish them.