We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am
Last week we were lucky we had no rain again while we were hiking, but there was thick fog on the higher ground and clouds everywhere. We drove up into the fog on Bell Road then headed north and down to the White Pine test area where we parked just before the Russ Creek bridge. The forest along the old logging roads is quite impressive in this area and there were hikers that recall that in recent years they have collected some fine mushrooms from the forest floor. This year the long dry spell in the summer has meant that fungi of all kinds are almost nowhere to be seen, at least not yet, but the heavy rain this week may get things moving along underground and produce the above ground fruiting bodies we love to gather. Our lunch spot was on Taylor Bluff where we could just make out part of the mainland coast line where it was not covered in fog.
My photo this week is of another edible product of the forest on Texada, the berries of Evergreen Huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum. This year they seem to be especially juicy and sweet and should be good to pick and eat for quite a few weeks. I find it curious that not many birds eat these berries, but where the fruit is growing on branches close to the ground the racoons do consume quite a lot of them. Grouse no doubt pick off ones growing low enough for them to reach, but deer seem to avoid them.
A cluster of the fruit of the Evergreen Huckleberry, a tasty treat at this time of the year.