Monday, July 29, 2019


Yes, I got to go riding Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday this week.  We were in the same valley but three different areas approached from two different directions.  On two of the trips I got to do a fair bit of hiking as well so that was a real bonus.  By hiking up to the higher elevations we were exposed to different climatic zones so different wild flowers and we also got beyond the logging clear cuts and into more pristine scenery and habitat.  You have to realize though that without the logging roads, there would be no easy access to the high country.

Don't forget to click on the first image then click through at the bottom so you see all at full size

Woodland Penstemon


Hellebore out in a logging slash

A little alpine pond

Same pond

Same pond

Aster that is past it

Cotton Grass


Hemlock tree reflection

Another alpine pond

Coral Mushroom

Columbia Lewisia

Stonecrop, these were on top of a low mountain

Yet another alpine pond

Twisted Sisters

And another alpine pond

On our way down on the ATVs looking out to the east coast of Vancouver Island down Cook Creek Valley.  The above photos were taken last Wednesday when I was out riding with brother in law John R and friend Ernie.

On Saturday night, Aileen and I took the RZR and our supper and headed up to this beautiful viewpoint.  Anticipating a peaceful view and meal, we were disconcerted to find a noisy group of seven side by sides already there.  The beer and profanity were flowing, sounding like we were at a pub.  They were a friendly group so it was hard to get angry and one of the girls insisted we needed our photo taken.  We did find a sort of quiet corner where we ate admiring the view but we didn't stay long.

Our supper view.   Deep Bay on Vancouver Island then Denman Island and Chrome Island lighthouse with Hornby Island in the back.

A peek a boo shot of Chrome Island on our way down the logging road

Yesterday, my brother Charlie and I went exploring an ATV trail and after a rugged couple of KMs, we took off walking the hiking trail.  We gained 1050 feet in about a mile and got up to a nice viewpoint.  This male grouse was showing off for the girls.

Moss Campion, an alpine flower

Looking over Denman and Hornby Islands from a thousand feet higher than where Aileen and I were Saturday.

One section of the trail.  It was cut out by quad riders because even though my RZR is 50 inches wide, I kept getting hooked on trees with the roll cage.  If I was to go back, I would not take the RZR up this section.

Last night, Aileen and I went back to Little Qualicum Park with my Canon 5D Mk2 full frame camera with the 100-400 lens to see if we could spot the immature owl again.  The big camera will shoot fairly decent photos at 6400 ISO which I used last night in addition to shooting the fastest I could at f-5.6 and this was taken at just 1/125 second hand held.

This is a young Barred Owl who kept moving around and calling for a parent to bring food

One of the times it flew

Red-breasted Sapsucker

I think this was a parent that had some food it was gobbling down

It would appear to be a fairly large Crayfish that he was dining on.  I saw the owl swoop down on the river bank, where I guess he grabbed it, then right back up to the perch.  After eating, he flew across the river to where we could hear the young one demanding supper.

Friday, July 26, 2019


We’re still at Charlie and Sheila’s hanging out.  Aileen has been doing lots of weeding while I have made a start on getting the woodshed filled.  We’ve had some good walks in the evenings.  When we went to Little Qualicum Falls Park a couple nights ago, we were able to get close to a young Barred Owl who was wailing for food.  Photography wasn’t great with the low light in the trees.  The highlight was when the owl flew over my head only about 5 or 6 feet above me.  That would have been impressive to capture on video but, of course, it happened too fast to react.  We went back again last night and took my big camera with the big lens. 
I went ATV riding on Wednesday but those photos will have to wait for the next blog post as I have too many for this post.  Which brings up another of my week’s activities, editing.  Lots of my free time is spent editing and organizing my photos to keep them from getting totally out of hand. 
Aileen, Sheila and I made zucchini relish this past week.  Tuesday night we grated the zucchini and salted it down then on Wednesday, Aileen and Sheila processed it.  It is so nice to enjoy the rest of the year.

Little Qualicum River

Little Qualicum River

Little Qualicum River, Upper Falls

Little Qualicum River, Upper Falls

Little Qualicum River

Little Qualicum River

Little Qualicum River, American Dipper

Spotted horse going by on the road, shot from the motor home window.  He had a spotted dog with him but couldn't get it in the photo

Englishman River

Englishman River, Woodland Penstemon clinging to the river bank, shot from a bridge

Little Qualicum River, Immature Barred Owl

All of the above photos were taken with my Canon SX60 21-1365 mm lens while the ones below were taken with my Canon 5D Mk2 and 100-400 lens

Little Qualicum River, Immature Barred Owl

Little Qualicum River, Immature Barred Owl

Little Qualicum River, Immature Barred Owl  1/15 second hand held, ISO 6400, 400 mm

Little Qualicum River, Squirrel, hand held ISO 6400 1/100 second

Little Qualicum River, Squirrel

Little Qualicum River, evening reflection