Gail Schofield – “indigenous plants inspire”

by Gail Schofield, 15 Sept 2020.

Here’s a 2 page newsletter about new developments at the Lang Creek Gardens.  In spite of Covid, we’ve found a way to move forward with projects and signage installation.

We remember meeting you at the gardens for a tour this time last year – it feels like a lifetime away!

We hope your members well and finding interesting ways to stay busy and safe….

 

 

Tom Koleszar – “the new Emma Direct Trail”

Tom Koleszar – “the new Emma Direct Trail”
by Tom Koleszar, 20 August 2020.

I recently explored the newly cleared trail up to Emma Lake called “Emma Direct”, and another club member had asked me to submit a report on it – so here it is!

The trail starts about 600m up Branch A800 at an elevation of 200m (the turn off is roughly 4km past the head of Goat Lake on the Goat Main).  From there you proceed 2.5km along the old A800 road, enjoying several waterfalls and views along the way. After the road ends, the trail continues another 3km up through regenerating forest and older subalpine forest until you reach Emma Lake 1150m higher than where you started, coming out right behind the cabin.  The trail itself is rough – as is typical of a new trail – and quite steep, but the end makes it all worthwhile.  There are a couple of spots where ropes are emplaced to assist with steep sections, and even a short tunnel through boulders!  Less than 1km before Emma Lake, there is a side branch to Scrub Lake – a worthwhile diversion to a picturesque little spot!

The views of mountains and lakes, along with the creeks and ponds and wildflower meadows, make this a truly wonderful and popular spot.  We passed groups of all ages from children on up both coming and going (the children didn’t have to carry packs, and seemed the happiest of all!).

Special thanks to the Knuckleheads Winter Recreation Association for all their hard work on the trail, and to PRPAWS for lending them some of the necessary equipment to do the work.

 

Andrew Bryant – “Heron and Neowise at Mowat Bay”

Andrew Bryant – “Heron and Neowise at Mowat Bay”
by Andrew Bryant, 13 Jul 2020.

Having seen some wonderful images of Comet NEOWISE from around the world, I thought I’d dust off my trusty Nikon and take a stab at it myself.  My immediate impressions were:

Wow: there sure were a lot of people at Mowat Bay at midnight on a Monday!  I think most people were inspired, as I was, by this being a one-in-6800 year event.

I suspect the entire Powell River “camera community” was there.  Along with others.  There were dogs, and flashlights, and a whole lot of conversations going on.  Complete with fast cars peeling out with impressive exhaust systems.  Man.  I’m so very glad to be old.

Because nobody else noticed the heron just sitting there.  Quietly.
Not twenty feet away.
While the heavens unfolded above.

Thank you, Mr/Mrs Heron.  Let’s see what we can do to return the favor.

Heather Harbord – “Willingdon Beach Trail”

Heather Harbord – “Willingdon Beach Trail”
by Heather Harbord, 7 Jul 2020.

In my anti-Covid battle, I try to boost my immune system by tramping along either the Sea Walk or the Willingdon Beach Trail twice a week.

Here are some of the plants I identified recently along the Willingdon Trail.  Towards the far end of the trail, where there are less people, there are lots of bird songs.  Swainson’s Thrushes are much in evidence.  There must be lots of nests in the undergrowth probably well hidden from the trail.  Occasionally there’s the loud hollow rat-tat-tat of a Pileated Woodpecker.

Heather Harbord – “McFall Creek Trail”

Heather Harbord – “McFall Creek Trail”
by Heather Harbord, 7 Jul 2020.

Walking in the woods behind  the Complex, I noticed several prime clumps of Indian-Pipes (Monotropa uniflora) which all that rain has brought out.  Sometimes called ghost flowers, these white clumps, 5-25cm high, lack chlorophyll and have to feed on the nearby conifer trees via the fungi which connect their roots to them.

To find them, start at the Triple Bypass Loop and walk north on the McFall Creek Loop.  Between the picnic tables and  the bridge, there are several easily seen clumps beside the trail.  Look at the pictures on our website before you go.  In a few days, the 2 cm long white flowers will turn upwards, withering to dark purple and black.  In this phase, they are more difficult to see.

Also, watch for the similar yellowy-pink Pinesap (Hypopitys monotropa), which you may also spot.

 

 

Tom Koleszar – “The new March Lake trail”

Tom Koleszar – “The new March Lake trail”
by Tom Koleszar, 18 May 2020.

In mid May we walked most of the new March Lake trail.

This is a new section of the Sunshine Coast Trail constructed last Fall to go around the north and west sides of March Lake, and part of it goes through an old growth forest. This forest is unusual in that it has a great deal of Yellow Cedar at a relatively low altitude (and believe me, this made for hard work on the build as it is a very hard and heavy wood!).

There is also lots of blueberry, and everything is covered with moss!  The trail also goes right by a giant Western White Pine.  Though the trail does not go right down to the lake, a side branch (an old quad route) does.  At the lake there is a bench to sit and enjoy the view, and the shore is surrounded by wetland shrubs – for us, the swamp laurel had almost finished flowering and the Labrador Tea was not quite out yet!

Finding the access to this section is not easy, but our plan is to take a field trip here when we are able.

 

 

Tom Koleszar – “Lost Lake”

Tom Koleszar – “Lost Lake”
by Tom Koleszar, 5 May 2020.

In early May we walked into Lost Lake to look at the bogs along the shore, and especially to see the flowering Bog Laurel (also known as Swamp Laurel).

We were not disappointed – their pink flowers were in full glory!  The shore of Lost Lake is easily accessible from the Sunshine Coast Trail, coming either from Inland Lake or Haywire Bay (see attached map).  If you approach from the Inland Lake side, you will pass a very large Western White Pine not too far from the Lake – see if you can spot it!

The bogs themselves can be a bit of a challenge to move around on and require some care, but are a fascinating place to see whether from the shore or the bogs themselves. There is even a brand new bench from which to enjoy the view (donated by Scott and Margo Glaspey and installed by the Sunshine Coast Trail Crew).