A day at Stillwater Bluffs

A day at Stillwater Bluffs
by Michael Stewart, 19 Nov 2017. 

Jason Addy, local resident, adventurer and naturalist, took us on  a wonderful walking tour of Stillwater Bluffs – an area he knows very well – because it’s his backyard!

Jason explained the logging company history of the area – amongst other things, he’s a member of the group seeking promotion, protection and preservation of this unique ecosystem.  We walked through some  previously logged areas and reached the old  growth area  that has not been logged.  We  eventually up at the east end, near the water.

Along the way we saw eagles, ravens and woodpeckers.  Jason pointed out several plants that are indicators of this “red-listed” (threatened) “Douglas Fir – Lodgepole Pine/Reindeer Lichen” ecosystem.  These included the rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia), several species of lichen including the reindeer lichens (Cladina rangerifera and C. portentosa), various mosses, and winter stems of some wildflowers found nowhere else in our region.  This area is a botanist’s delight!

Closer to the  bluffs, we saw a  Sea Lion napping near the surf that woke up when Walter Kubany took a picture of it.  Barbara  Sherriff  and Jason had several  geological discussions  including the Xenoliths in some of the rock.  Jason  showed us where the rock climbing area is and where  bouldering takes place.

It  was a wonderful 2 hour hike in a  very amazing area and we were extremely lucky that it was the day before an terrible wind and rain storm.