The Cowichan Garry Oak preserve

I’ve been wanting to visit the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve since we moved here, but as an endangered ecosystem it’s not open to the general public. We’d wandered the (short) boardwalk that protrudes a few hundred meters into the preserve from Maple Bay Road, but it wasn’t the same as…

I see spring

Living in a landscape as dynamic as the West Coast, you can’t avoid the heady drama of the region’s seasonal cycles. On this the third day of spring, the neighbours have been burning brush fallen on their property during the many winter storms, and the scent of woodsmoke is thick in the air. The market…

When I went into the woods today…

…I sure got a big surprise. There were odd clumps of white fluffy stuff everywhere – and no, it wasn’t snow. Was it fur or hair? Was it mold? Some kind of fungus? An undiscovered lichen? Or just some cotton candy missing the red dye #5? Nope. They’re ice crystals. They seemed to be growing…