Wriggly road

Wriggly road – my favourite stretch of the bike ride in the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Well, apart from the downhill bits 🙂

The bike ride up to the Seymour dam is, for the most part, pretty boring and not very photogenic. The exception is the last km or so through a grove of beautiful old-growth forest, and this section where the road makes these very cute little wiggles back and forth. I was hoping to catch some fellow cyclists to add some human interest, but the light level was too low to avoid motion blur. So this will have to do.

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Look what I found!

Look what I found! 🙂 My first glacier lily of the year, near the summit of Thurston Peak. One of about 50 flower types we saw yesterday – the summer bloom is well underway! A glorious day of hiking finished off with great pie at Chilliwack airport.

What more can I say, really? The patch of glacier lilies I knew that grew on Elk itself was long past flowering, though the chocolate lilies were pretty much at their peak. Our goal was to reach the summit of Thurston (on my 5th visit here), but at the back of my mind was the chance that we might see some of my favourite flowers where the snow was lingering. About 50 m short of the peak (such as it is…) I saw my first glacier lily of 2016. Yay! I let the others go on while I picked my way through the spring beauty to get my obligatory lily shots. Of course, when I joined them at the summit I saw even more 🙂 And, just like those on Zoa Peak that I saw last year, they were tiny! Some of the flowers were barely the size of my thumb.

And then to top it all off, we got pie at the airport. Oh, and the views from Elk were quite nice too! A pretty good day in my books 🙂

A hazy view

The Stawamus Chief as seen from the Tantalus Lookout, about 17 km away through a hazy valley. The colour version of this photo had next to no contrast or detail, but converting it to black and white allows for a clearer view.

I took this photo on our way back home after a day out in Whistler with my Mum and Dad. It was a clearer view than in the morning, but not by much. I really like the fact that Shannon Falls are visible, and it puts them in perspective next to the giant monolith of the Chief.

Strawberry fields

Fresh strawberries grown at the UBC farm and picked in this morning’s driving rain

Today was the annual Day of Giving where Telus employees and family help out with community projects across the country. This year we decided to help out at the UBC farm, and were looking forward to a nice morning of light farm labour. The weather had other ideas, though, and we had the heaviest rain we’ve had in months descend on us this morning. We got soaked as we worked our way along the rows of strawberry plants, picking the ripe fruit for sale at their farmer’s market. After an hour or so of picking in the pouring rain, the organizers decided that we’d done enough and we needed to go and get warm and dry. No one complained about that! We did at least get to taste what we were picking – as expected, the berries were absolutely delicious! Definitely in a strawberry mood now 🙂

Flying mirror

Flying in mirror formation

Flying in mirror formation #crows #throwbackthursday #TBT #OATS #OnceAroundTheSun

A post shared by Andy Gibb (@_andy_gibb_) on

I always liked this shot of two crows as they flew past our balcony. It bugs me that the photo isn’t as sharp as it could be, but it’s good enough 🙂 Re-reading my OATS blog entry for this photo I was reminded of the moments leading up to taking the photo, which again makes me glad that I wrote down those memories.

Wild!

Wild strawberries! I’ve seen the flowers so often but the berries only rarely so this little patch was a treat. It was tempting to try them but in the end I thought the squirrels needed them more than me.

Wild strawberries grow all over the place in southwest BC, from sea-level up to the sub-alpine. I see the leaves and the flowers but only very rarely have I seen the actual fruit. The first time was on a hike in Wells Gray provincial park, and then again near Lake O’Hara. Apart from that strawberry sightings have been pretty much non-existent.

This little patch was on one of the western paths in Stanley Park in the section that suffered so badly in the storm of 2006. About a dozen strawberry plants were in simultaneous flower and fruit, and it was so very tempting to pick them. Then I remembered two things: 1) the fruit was at ankle level, which means dog level and everything that implies; and 2) that I can buy strawberries at almost any time of year (especially right at this moment) and I really didn’t need anything to eat at that point, whereas the animals that call Stanley Park home only have this little window of opportunity to feast on strawberries. So I left them alone. It just felt like the right thing to do.

Pinnipeds!

Pinnipeds! A rock full of sea lions (both Steller and California) for throwback Thursday

Five years ago on the Victoria Day long weekend, we spent a few nights near Lund on the Sunshine Coast. We treated ourselves to a day trip out to Mitlenatch Island where we got to see countless sea lions, seals, dolphins, and wildflowers (on the island, naturally). The fine folks at Terracentric Adventures shared their vast local knowledge and history, and fed us a tasty lunch on the beach. A great day out – highly recommended if you’re in the area!