The Next Hike

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

Friday, December 27, 2013

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 28th of December.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am.

Last week the weather was quite dull with very low cloud everywhere.  It made no sense hiking up so we decided to stay down near the water and drove south towards Davie Bay.  We explored some side trails along the shoreline and did find one that we could use to reach a small headland, but branches need clearing and so that will be for another day.  For lunch we sat on a low cliff just south of where Eagle Creek reaches the sea. This is a spot we have visited quite a few times now, and we have found there is no easy way to get down just here to the tiny beaches that are good spots to find a multitude of attractive pebbles.  The pocket beaches we also often visit are not far from here, but they are north of Eagle Creek and reached via different trails.   It was just a very small number of hikers, three people and two friendly dogs, but I expect most hikers are either off island for the holidays or busy at home making preparations for Christmas.

         On a bluff not far south of Eagle Creek. Just to the left of my picture the ground drops off very steeply down to the sea. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Next hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 21st December.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10.00am.

Last Saturday I was busy all day with the annual Christmas birdcount so could not be on the hike.  The destination was the beach at Mouat Point not far south of Gillies Bay.

My photo is one I took earlier this year when we visited the coastline on the northwest end of Texada. This is the only stretch of coastline where I sometimes find the beautiful remains of Sea Urchins.  When they're alive they are covered with sharp spines and have tube feet that come out through the tiny holes clearly visible in my photo.  The type in my picture are a close relative of the Sand Dollar which is so abundant in Gillies Bay.  The reason the shell is flat in one and spherical in the other is related to the habit they live in — the Sand Dollar needs to be thin so that it can burrow for safety into soft sandy beaches, while the other kind live on rocky shores and can shelter in between the rocks, and never need to burrow.
On 1st January there will be a Potluck Lunch at Shingle Beach Campground at 12:00 noon. Please bring chairs and a dish of your choice. Talk to Diana if you want more information.  Be green and carpool if you can.
   A Sea Urchin shell at Big Beach near Favada Rocks. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Next Hike

The next hike will be on Saturday, 14th December.
We meet at the Ballpark in Gillies Bay at 10:00am

Last week we had a very fine day for our hike — clear blue sky, cool and calm.  We headed up onto the high ground and were pleased to find very little snow on the ground even at the start of the Hydro East road.  Parking not far along from the juction at Bell Farm we headed east swinging north towards Black Mountain then up the steep trail to the summit.  Eating lunch in open areas high up on the south side we looked in vain for any sign of Mt. Baker in Washington State.  While the view to the east, as you can see from my photo, was clear for a great distance, to the south there must have been some smog over the Lower Mainland. 

My photo shows the entrance to Jarvis Inlet with low Hardy Island in the centre and the snow topped Coast Mountains in the far distance.  Just a steep hillside on the right is the only part of Nelson Island visible in this view.

View of Jervis Inlet from Black Mountain.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Next Hike

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

Last week we hiked from the Oasis west through the forest on the trail that heads down the east side of Paxton Lake to the Airport. From there we headed down to Cox Lagoon and along the beach stopping from lunch not far from Sandbanks.  We looked in vain for Harbour Porpoise that are in this for most of the summer months and sometimes in the winter too. It was not the best day for spotting this very small marine mammal because the sea was rather choppy and it their tiny dorsal fins just get lost in the contant movement of the sea surface.

My photo this month has nothing to do with hiking, but it's a bird photo first for me so I wanted to share it with you.  Last winter and again this winter Gillies Bay has had some Annas Hummingbird that have decided to stay here as long as they can depend on a few feeders that are regularly replenished with extra concentrated sugar water.  I tried to get a good photo of one last year, but without any luck, but this week I managed to get several nice pictures of one that has been hanging around in my yard for much of the day. I don't often see it, but I do hear it's noisy wings and high pitched voice. It always astonishes me that such a tiny bird can survive this kind of weather — not much above 0 C during the day and dropping to below freezing throughout the long nights.

It looks as if Friday and Saturday are going to be especially cold so if you decide to come on the hike do be well prepared.

An Annas hummingbird at my feeder a few days ago — a sunny afternoon in early December