Nature & Environment

Little Qualicum Falls - Upper Falls
Little Qualicum Falls – Upper Falls

When I was a child growing up in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, I developed a strong affinity for the ecosystems that support plants and animals (and us), thanks to my parents. I went on nature walks hosted by (what is now) the Cowichan Valley Naturalists’ Society. My interest in nature and the environment continues today with day hikes into the local nature areas to be found all around the Greater Victoria region.

The Capital Regional District runs a superb regional park system in this area. The parks present a wide variety of flora, fauna, and micro-climates to those who walk, hike and observe within the parks. I have systematically experienced each park in the region, and have taken my camera along to record the variety to be found in each. I also record my sightings of birds as I travel the world. Birds & animals

My photo galleries of Victoria area parks and parks on Vancouver Island.

A Park Profile: French Beach between Sooke & Jordan River on the west coast of Vancouver Island

French Beach is a typical west coast pebble beach located on SW Vancouver Island. The topography of the beach is modified often by the significant tides, currents and winds in the area. A coastal rain forest borders the beach, and hosts a large number of diverse large trees and some wildlife, including a resident Bald Eagle population. The western end of the beach turns into sandstone potholes with a good number of tidal pools to experience at low tide.

This short video attempts to capture the mood of this beautiful area from first light in the morning through to sunset and also after dark through a time lapse video of the stars in motion visible through the tree canopy.

[Rant Mode ON] My love of nature grew naturally out of my childhood experiences, and I became one of the junior members of SPEC (the Society for the Prevention of Environmental Collapse) – a local environmental group formed in the 1960’s by a New Zealander named Kurt Horn. We used to go down to the Crofton pulp mill’s pumping station, located on the Cowichan River, and estimate the numbers of salmon fry being sucked into their powerful pumps. Then we would go down to the mill’s settling ponds, and count the dead fry.

We used to call up the mill manager at 3 o’clock in the morning, and remind him of just how much pollution his mill was dumping into Crofton Bay. The mill dumped pollution at night, in order to fool the government inspectors.

The present-day environmental movement bears no resemblance to the early beginnings of those groups. Today, they are highly organized, professionally run foundations, employing slick media relations managers and professional fund raisers. They have lost their way. [Rant Mode OFF]

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