Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gowlland Tod Park (part II)

In round one I started the trail at McKenzie Bight and headed south. This time I headed north from the Caleb Pike Access for a 8 km (round trip) tromp to Jocelyn Peak, where I'd left off last time.

First impression - the south end is a little nicer than the north. Then again the margin is small and the weather was considerably better on my second hike, so that's a pretty subjective opinion.

Again wildflowers everywhere, looking spectacular. Up top is sea blush (Plectirtis congesta) a pretty, pink plant I called clover until a friend corrected me (thanks Dawn!).

At right we have either the few-flowered or the tall mountain shootingstar (Dodecatheon pulchellum or jeffreyi).  One of those creations I can hardly believe exists in real life, not just in a cartoonist's imagination. I used to feel the same way about marine creatures like sea stars and urchins. Turns out they are real, too.

And speaking of marine creatures, the best part of this hike was catching a grey whale foraging deep in the Saanich Inlet, down in Finlayson Arm. Could easily have missed it, but it just happened I was out on a bluff looking at a sail boat making its way up the fjord.

Grey whales are not uncommon in this part of the Pacific. They make a long staggered journey from calving grounds in Mexico up here to feed in our plentiful northern summers.

Having worked on a whale-watching boat in this area, however, I can say that seeing a grey whale scooping sediment from the bottom of Finlayson Arm is a highly unusual occurrance.

The photos aren't great — merely evidence.

In my defense, this is how high above the water I was. 


Anonymous said...

Oh Heather, just enjoy reading your words so much, and feel part of the action when I look at your photos. I cannot believe how rocking your telephoto lens is - pics are gorgeous. Glad to see you out and about. Happy Monday, tomorrow, to you. x

Rachel said...

What gorgeous photos, Heather! And how lucky to see a grey whale way inside the inlet!

Heather Reid said...

Hello ladies,

Thanks for taking the time to stop by.

@ Char
I hate to say it, but I miss you on FB. Thank heavens for your blog. Whenever I think to call it seems like it wouldn't be the best time.

@ Rachel
How nice of you to say. I felt very lucky that day and very lucky about where I live most days.