Duane Sept – “Wildflowers and edible plants of BC”

Duane Sept – “Wildflowers and edible plants of BC”
by Andrew Bryant, 23 Nov 2017.

Duane came up from Sechelt to talk about wildflowers and other plants – some you can eat, and some you definitately should not!

He’s an accomplished photographer, naturalist and author of an impressive number of natural history guides.  These include titles such as Common Wildflowers of BC, Trees of the Northwest, and Tropical Butterflies of the World.

Organized by habitat type – from seashore Phyllospadix to mountaintop Phlox – Duane used his exceptional photographs to take us on a marvellous tour of botanical splendours.

Interspersed among the images were some fascinating tidbits of trivia.  Having walked through a patch or two of Devil’s Club (Oplopanax horridus) in my day, I had no idea that bears love the stuff.  Dear bears… you can keep it!

I was also unaware that one can make decent beer with stinging nettles (Urtica dioica).  Or that First Nations used rhizomes of the common yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea) to treat tuberculosis and sexually-transmitted diseases…

Amazing stuff!


Trail-busting with ORUG

Trail-busting with ORUG
by Barbara Sherriff and David Bedry, 
27 February 2016. 

No, it’s not the title of  bad movie.  Rather, because our members gain so much from having such a wonderful network of local trails, we thought it time to give something back.

So on a misty February morning, seven intrepid Malaspina Naturalists set out to clear the trail along the south side of Powell Lake from Powell River Bridge to Block Bay.

We cut back blackberry, salal and alder to allow free access along the path. Grating was also installed on a small slippery bridge as well as some shovel work for drainage.

After this experience, we’re personally much more appreciative of the many kilometres of hiking trails that are cleared by hard working volunteers coordinated by the ORUG (Outdoor Recreation Users Group).


Edible plants, mosses and ferns

Edible plants, mosses and ferns
by Barbara Sherriff, 21 March 2015.

Diana Rosburgh and Suzan Roos led nineteen of us on a gentle walk along the forest trails at the rear of the Recreational Complex.  They not only identified many plants, they also explained which ones were edible and which would make us very sick.  Among the plants that they described were trailing blackberry, which have separate male and female plants, explaining why some patches have no fruits.

The berries of salal, oregon grape, salmonberry, red huckleberry and evergreen black huckleberry are all great to eat or make into jam but not twin berry or red elderberry.  We found edible fiddle heads of the lady fern but were warned off those of bracken, spiny wood or sword fern.

Suzan made us tasty tea from Douglas fir fronds and right at the end of the walk we found edible winter chanterelle mushrooms also known as yellow foot.