Category Archives: Nature

Burnaby’s Byrne Creek Smelled Foul Today

As I did one of my many rambles around Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby today, I noticed as I reached the bottom of the stairs in the ravine that there was an odd smell, somewhat akin to a cross between kerosene and toilet-bowl cleaner.

The odor was most noticeable in the narrow portions of the ravine, and very strong at Griffiths Pond in the upper watershed near Edmonds Skytrain station, where a storm pipe empties into the pond.

I did not observe any dead fish, or ones in distress, but water visibility was near zero due to the rain.

I called it in to City staff, but noted that since I wasn’t seeing dead fish, it was not an emergency. But something not quite right went down the creek today.

Whidbey Island Camping

Whidbey Island in Washington State has become one of our favorite camping destinations. There are several state parks on the island, which, depending on time at the border, takes about two-and-half to three hours to reach from our home in Burnaby, BC.

Deception Pass State Park west beach
Yumi scanning the ocean at Deception Pass State Park west beach

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Seal pup on rocky outcropping near the west beach at Deception Pass State Park

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Sunset at Deception Pass State Park west beach

deception_pass_lock_20140914 Interesting patterns on parks pass lockbox

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Love the grainy detail on the handle on a beach BBQ box

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The wharf at Coupeville, a funky town mid-island

Deception Pass campground
Our campsite at Deception Pass State Park.

We’ve grown to love Whidbey Island ever since we “discovered it” several years ago. Lots of nature, wonderful state parks, lovely beaches, a variety of wildlife, yet all accompanied by easy access to groceries, shopping, etc.

And the state parks are quiet. We marvel at how even on busy weekends campers are near totally silent by 9:30 and definitely by the 10:00 pm quiet time.

Mason Bee Condo Destroyed in Burnaby Park

Someone destroyed a mason bee condo that my wife and I volunteer to take care of in Ron McLean Park in SE Burnaby, BC.

Mason bees are beneficial pollinators and are no threat to anyone.

This is so sad. I cannot comprehend such wanton destruction. There was even a sign that explained the program, and that mason bees are no threat to anyone.

I am including the “food” category in this blog, because without pollinators like mason bees, we would have little or no fruit and many vegetables.

Mason Bee condo destroyed in Burnaby

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Lovely Day on Duffy Lake Road Loop in BC

Gorgeous day today on the Duffy Lake Road loop. Burnaby > Whistler > Pemberton > Lillooet > Lytton > Hope > Burnaby.

I try to do this loop at least once every couple of years. You can do it fairly comfortably in a day, with several stops here and there along the way.

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Duffy Lake
Duffy Lake

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Seton Lake

cayoosh_creek_bugs_2_20140912 Cool beetle near Cayoosh Creek

Spruce Sawyer, I’m told. That looks right.

cayoosh_creek_bugs_20140912Lots of big aquatic bugs in Cayoosh Creek

Google Map of Duffy Lake road loop

Google Maps has the trip at 580km and about 8 driving hours

Streamkeeper Training in North Vancouver

I attended a one-day streamkeeper training course in North Vancouver hosted by the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation. We covered modules 2, 3, and 4 from the Streamkeepers Handbook.

I figured it was about time I had a refresher, since it must be around ten years ago that I originally took the training.

It was a lovely, sunny day, and a great group of people.

You can check out some photos I took in this Flickr album.

Streamkeeper training North Vancouver

Injured Gull Caught, Delivered to Wildlife Rescue

Good deed of the day accomplished. While we were checking out lighting stores in Richmond BC, Yumi spotted a seagull that appeared to have a broken wing. We observed it for a few minutes, and it was definitely dragging its right wing, and when approached, stayed on the ground.

I called the Wildlife Rescue Association in Burnaby, and described the situation. They said it would be great if we could get it into a box and bring it in.

I grabbed a pair of work gloves and an old towel from the trunk of the car, and kept an eye on it, making sure it didn’t stray onto busy Bridgeport Rd. while Yumi went in search of a box. Yumi was back in a few minutes and after a short chase and trapping pincer movement, it scooted into the box and we had it secured.

We drove directly to the WRA, getting there in about half an hour, and deposited the patient. We kept the box covered with the towel to keep it dark and relatively quiet, and the gull made the trip with little noise.

Hope it makes it.

We were so focused on the rescue that I forgot to take any photos!

UPDATE: Aug. 20. I’m sad to report that I contacted the WRA today to check on the gull, and it had to be euthanized. Apparently the humerus was beyond repair. Sad to hear, but at least it didn’t have a potentially long, suffering death.