The Next Hike

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Next Hike is cancelled for this week only.

The Texada Trekkers hike is cancelled this Saturday only. 
Last Saturday was Sandcastle parade day so only a very small group came on the hike.  We followed a circular route from the Community Hall that took us up into the forest behind Gillies Bay and high onto a grassy bluff with a view over the community and bay below. After lunch we followed my old trail marked with rock piles and flagging that heads south over some more attractive bluffs and through small patches of brush until it joins the well used Cap Sheaf Trail at the south end of a long narrow swamp. Following this almost to the Ball Park we turned right at the bottom of the long hill and returned to the Community Hall on the old logging roads behind Gillies Bay.  
My photo this week is a striking insect which goes by the name of Eyed Elater Beetle or Alaus oculatus.  It's quite large, up to two inches long, and has a couple of fake eyes on it's body that have evolved as a defense against predators. I did not realise until later that it's actually a very large click beetle so if it gets turned on it's back it can spring into the air with a sharp click and get right-side up again instantly. It's larval form feeds in rotting wood on the grubs of some insects that are pests of useful timber trees. 

Eyed Elater Beetle.  This is a very large species of click beetle.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Next Hike - meet at the Community Hall.

It's Sandcastle Weekend coming up and our meeting place is the Community Hall in Gillies Bay to avoid the congestion at the Ballpark.
We meet at the usual time of 10:00am, Saturday 21st July.

Last week we had warm dry weather for our hike and drove along dusty Bell Road parking about a kilometre north of Bobs Lake. It was pleasant hiking along the logging roads around the lake and south towards Angel Lake before heading into the campground for lunch.  My photo shows some of the hikers chatting in the shade beside the lake before heading back to the vehicles.

  Hikers chatting in the cool shade after lunch at Bobs Lake camp site. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 7th July.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week the hike day was overcast and rainy all morning only becoming dry after our hike was over.  When the forecast is poor and the rain seems likely to last we try to stick to roads instead of hiking the narrow trails where getting soaked from head to toe is bound to be the uncomfortable outcome.  A suitable choice where the hiking is much more comfortable and the umbrella put to good use is the hike along the road to Shingle Beach where the Diversity bandstand provides a nice dry location for lunch.  
My photo this time is of a female Western Painted Turtle that was busy last week looking for a suitable spot to dig a nest hole not far from the shore of Priest Lake. It was early evening and I was photographing and recording the recent digging activity of our largest reptile.  This is now considered to be a species at risk and there is funding available for research and habitat protection on Texada and elsewhere in coastal BC.  At Priest Lake there seems to be a fairly healthy population and judging by the number of nest holes I counted this time they may actually be increasing in numbers a little bit.  
   A female Western Painted Turtle checking out the nesting area at Priest Lake. Texada Island.