The Next Hike

Check here every week for details on the next Trekker hike!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 31st December.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we hiked up from the Pocahontas Bay bypass logging road through the forest to the edge of a large clear cut quite high up on the side of the mountain.  However, it rained continuously and we never had much of a view except of the forest along the winding logging road.  It was a pleasant enough kind of hike, and no one complained too much about the showers of water that fell on us each time a gust of wind shook the tree branches above our heads while we ate lunch. 

It was too wet for photos that day so I've used instead one I took a week earlier during the annual Christmas bird count.  There is an old barge loading dock in Van Anda that makes a perfect area for our resident cormorants to rest between fishing trips in the nearby waters.

     A group of Double Crested Cormorant on an old barge loading dock at the now closed Lafarge Cement quarry in Van Anda.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 24th December.  
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

The hike last week was to the Favada Point area.  I had to miss it, but I know the quite new trail is one of the best in the area and I'm sure John Wood enjoyed showing the hikers his route to the high viewpoint and the open bluffs high above Big Beach.   

The photo this week was taken on a recent hike by Tom Scott who definitely has a good eye for an unusual view of a common enough subject.  His title for the shot is "Mother Nature's Christmas Decorations".  I find it curious that the bright colour and odd shape of the unopened buds makes them look like those coloured man-made ornaments so popular for Christmas tree decoration.

"Mother Nature's Christmas Decorations" Tom Scott photo.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Next Hike from Van Anda

The next hike will be on Saturday, 17th December.
We meet at the Royal Canadian Legion in Van Anda at 10:00am.

The plan for the hike is to drive over to James Mack's place where the sealions are again back in great numbers and they should offer some good photo opportunities. Usually there are a mix of both our species, the smaller and usually darker California's and the very much larger and often quite light tan coloured Steller's. 

Last week we drove up towards Thompson Road and parked at the top of the steepest hill.  From there the hike took us higher and we eventually found ourselves getting into a high elevation fog. We could have remained just below the fog and continued along Thompson Road, but I was keen to show some of our newer hikers the secluded Mystery Lake and that  meant going somewhat higher, and into the fog. When we reached the shores of the lake it was not unexpected to find it frozen and shrouded in mist. We chose for lunch the steep wooded bank between the lake shore and the old logging road.  About ten minutes later, and much to my surprise and delight the fog lifted just enough and suddenly we could see right across the lake to the far shore. 

Lunch beside a lightly frozen Mystery Lake after the fog had lifted.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 10th December.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Here is a very late notice of the Potluck Dinner on Sunday.

 The holiday season is fast approaching and so is the TICS-sponsored potluck dinner. The information is much the same as before:
·         December 11th this year
·         Doors at 5:30ish, dinner to start about 6 (hopefully)
·         TICS will supply turkey, ham, gravy and stuffing. Everyone else is asked to bring a side dish or a dessert (we do this as a true potluck – I don't need to know what is being brought)
·         We will be applying for a licence so everyone can bring wine or beer, but it must be store-bought…no homemade spirits, please.
·         There is no cost involved, but we ask people to bring a donation to the food bank.

Please forward to me by Friday if you wish to attend the Holiday Volunteer Potluck Dec 11th and have not already been counted under another group.

- Timothy Atwood
Coordinator, Texada Stickleback Group

Last week the weather was not all that great, but it remained more or less dry with low cloud and quite poor visibility.  We did a circular hike starting from the roadside gravel pit near Second Lake, then along the gasline going south and over the ridges to Thompson Road.  Turning north and then east we reached the lunch spot on a small bluff at the edge of the forest.  From there the trail twists and turns, rising and falling and eventually, after taking a quick look at Third Lake, taking us back to the gasline and our starting point.

Lunch on a small bluff above Thompson Road.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 3rd December.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week we faced quite poor weather conditions for hiking. There had been a fair amount of rain for a few days and it seemed likely there would be a lot of water coming down over the Stromberg Falls, but this turned out to not be the case.  The falls were more gentle than I expected with none of the roar and spray we sometimes see.  Never mind, they were a nice treat for the hikers who had not visted the falls before.  After that we drove quite some way up the road to a suitable place to park and hiked on from there.  It was windy, cool and drizzly as we climbed higher and we had almost reached the Hydro Reactor Station by lunch time.  A few patches of snow here and there gave the rocky landscape a wintery look and we sheltered from the gusty wind in the lee of a small cliff.

My photo this week is a very close shot of a very rare plant that is related to ferns, but not a true fern.  Called Adder's Tongue Fern or Ophioglossum pusillum to the botanists, it's found here and there over quite a large area from Bell Farm south to Twin Peaks  with quite a few colonies around Bobs Lake and Angel Lake.  In this particular photo I was able to capture the brief time when the spores are released from the vertical reproductive part of this diminutive plant.  The horizontal brown bars are the ripe spores.  This is a red listed plant in BC meaning that it has a high high degree of legal protection. 

   A very close shot of an Adder's Tongue Fern showing the rows of ripe brown spores.