Aldergrove Regional Park

Nature, Photographs

This park has something for everyone! The main hiking trail – Pepin Brook Loop – is a 3km route that winds through the park. When you reach the eastern edge you can choose to continue along the Pepin Brook Loop, or veer left up a path towards Lefeuvre road. If you choose the latter you will connect up with the Rock-N-Horse Trail, a popular spot for horseback riding.

 

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Natural formation

Challenges, Nature, Photographs

This week’s photo challenge – to highlight the structure of something often overlooked. I think that fungi probably fit into this category.

I came upon this particular specimen on a recent walk. I think that its structure is quite beautiful – with its symmetric “wings” in shades of green and brown. Like a butterfly that is ready to take flight.

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Next time you take a walk, don’t forget to look down. You never know what fascinating features might be hiding in plain sight.

Photo Challenge – Structure

 

Surrey Lake Park – An Urban Surprise

Photographs

This wonderful wetland park, in the middle of Surrey, has a lot to offer the urban explorer who appreciates green space. The centerpiece of this park is, of course, the lake for which it is named. 0X8A0436.JPG

Dogs are also frequent visitors to the park (though owners are asked to keep them out of the water due to the sensitive marine habitat).

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Surrounding the lake is a well-groomed trail. The strategically placed benches welcome visitors to sit and stay awhile. Be warned though! At the north end of the park it pays to stay alert for stray golf balls from the neighbouring golf course. Fore!

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As you make your way past the lake, you come to a decision point. Should you go left or should you go right? Well, you can’t go wrong with your choice as this is the entrance to a 1.5km loop. About 1/3 of the loop takes you through an open grassland area. You’re advised to look skyward during this part of the trail as you are likely to see more of the birds who call the park home.

There are also many interesting things to see closer to the ground. The flowers found along the edge of the path appear to be unintentional; perhaps transplanted by the bees who work here.

0X8A04910X8A0487The other part of the trail leads through a forested space which is a welcome relief on a hot, sunny day.

Lighthouse Park – West Vancouver

Nature, Photographs

During the recent BC Day holiday, we decided to check out Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. Apparently we weren’t the only ones with this brilliant idea. Fortunately, we managed to find a parking spot at about the same time we were getting ready to switch to our  plan B (which was a good thing considering we didn’t actually have a plan B).

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After a quick read of the park’s information board, we decided we would head straight down the main trail towards the Point Atkinson Lighthouse. Although we expected the lighthouse to be the main attraction, the walk down the trail was nothing short of spectacular. Centuries old trees, and massive granite boulders, form natural boundaries along the path that gently winds downhill towards the Burrard Inlet.

The next surprise was the multi-coloured Arbutus trees. Such a contrast from the Douglas Firs, Western Redcedars and Western Hemlocks.

The trees eventually give way to a spectacular shoreline. The giant boulders provide a wonderful vantage point to enjoy a panoramic view of Vancouver. From here you can see all the way from Stanley Park to the University of British Columbia. The view on this day was hampered by a smokey haze from distant forest fires, though it was still pretty amazing!

We finally we made our way over to our original destination point – the Point Atkinson Lighthouse. This 100+ year-old structure, that stands 60 feet tall, is still in operation today.

Maplewood Flats – North Vancouver, BC

flowers, Nature, Photographs

The Maplewood Conservation Area is easy to miss if you aren’t expressly looking for it. This 96 hectare gem, managed by the Wild Bird Trust of BC, is tucked between the Dollarton Highway and the Burrard Inlet. 0X8A0123

It seemed to be relatively quiet on the day we visited “the mudflats” (as it is known to many of the locals). With the exception of a few bird watchers, we felt like we had the place all to ourselves. 0X8A0023To our right, as we headed toward the entrance to the trail area, we were greeted by an ironic public art installation – From Shangri-la to Shangri-la. Artist Kevin Lum’s creation pays homage to the squatter’s shacks that once dotted the local shoreline. The original shacks, many of which were homes to artists and writers, were burned to the ground in the early 1970s by the District of North Vancouver.

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From Shangri-la to Shangri-La ~ Artist Kevin Lum

It was just a short walk down the trail to the waterfront.

While the waterfront views were amazing, we also managed to find some interesting inland sights.