2022 CVN Tree of the Year announced!

By Karen Cummins. Updated 2022-07-15 to add link to Kerri Scott’s podcast.

2022 Tree of the Year

Tree #13, a Garry oak located at 3015 Glacier View Rd. in Courtenay, amassed the most votes in the 2022 Tree of the Year event. The nominator was property owner Ruth Barry. It is a beautiful tree that has been lovingly protected and appreciated for a very long time.

The nominator of the winning tree receives a gift bag or basket consisting (mostly) of consumable treats. They also have the privilege of having an original tree painting in their home for the coming year. This year, Ruth will soon be moving to England so she has requested that the loan of the painting go to the nominator of the second place tree. Tree #5 Douglas fir at Kin Beach nominated by Bev Wolsey was second, so Bev will be the custodian of the painting until next year’s contest.

To hear more of the story of this tree, listen to Kerri Scott’s podcast.

Following close behind, in order, were:

  • #5 Douglas fir at Kin Beach
  • #2 Dawn redwood on Pritchard St. in Comox
  • #20 Douglas fir on the bluffs near Connemara in Comox
  • #9 Garry oak on Grieve Rd.
  • In a three-way tie for 6th place were #10 Apple in Courtenay, #32 Lazo Garry oaks, and #27 Garry oak on Ryan Rd.

We have had a lot of positive feedback about the number and diversity of the trees that were nominated this year as well as the pleasure of reading their stories followed by touring to see and appreciate the trees where they live. These are the goals of the event and it is both the people who nominate the trees and the people who tour and vote for their favourite that make it happen.

What we also heard was that it was very difficult to vote in favour of just one tree. All the trees are “winners”! The descriptions of the nominated trees and the tour maps will stay on the CVN website so that the stories can be shared and the trees toured throughout the year.

Our Tree of the Year Committee would be happy to hear any feedback CVN members wish to share to keep improving this event in the future.

For more information:

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Intertidal life at Willow Point Reef

Trip report provided by Kathleen W. with photos by Barbara N.

On May 18, despite a dismal weather forecast, 13 Shoreline Group members joined our enthusiastic trip leader Sandra Milligan for a productive low tide outing at Willow Point Reef, south of Campbell River. Sandra is a Biology instructor at North Island College, and a well-known participant in environmental activities in Campbell River. She previously led us on an outing to this location in 2019, and we were keen to revisit the area. This was the first in-person activity of our group in over two years.

We saw no nudibranchs this time, and fewer numbers of sea urchins, sea stars and anemones compared to our previous outing there, but several species of algae, bivalves, and gastropods were abundant. Here are photos of a few of the species seen [click a photo to enlarge it]:

Here is a species list (as a PDF file to download) compiled from observations provided to me by several of the participants.

Many thanks to Sandra, and our knowledgeable facilitators Ian G., Robin H. and John N. for their help with identifications, and to Kelly K. and Judy C. for help with the COVID protocol.

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More fabulous plants!

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on May 25.

Here are a few examples of our amazing local flora, courtesy of John B., with some habitat notes [click a photo to enlarge it]:

  1. Small-flowered woodland star (Lithophragma parviflorum): meadows, bluffs
  1. Pink twink (Microsteris gracilis): gravelly/sandy
  1. Yellow sand verbena (Abronia latifolia): dunes, sandy upper beach
  1. Pale spring-beauty (Claytonia exigua): dunes, sandy upper beach
  1. Changing forget-me-not (Myosotis discolor): introduced, but has pretty 2-toned flowers
  1. Deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea): sparse at Oyster Bay and Campbell River estuary; red-listed (imperiled) in BC
  1. Paintbrush (Castilleja sp., maybe C. miniata or one of them-there paintbrushes): lots of different habitats, often on bluffs
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Identifying insect pollinators: a visual guide

Yellow-faced bumble bee (Bombus vosnesenskii). Photo by Kevin Cole from Pacific Coast, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Many CVN members want their gardens to attract pollinators, and carefully select native plants for this purpose. But how much do we know about the pollinators themselves?

As a joint project, the Environmental Youth Alliance and an organization named Border Free Bees prepared a booklet in 2017 to educate the public about insect pollinators:

Common Pollinators of British Columbia: A Visual Identification Guide

This booklet is a useful introductory guide in PDF form that you can download for free and use to learn about the different groups of insect pollinators: honey bees, bumble bees, other bees, hover flies, butterflies, and wasps.

It begins with some general information, including a diagram of basic insect anatomy. Then the section for each of the six groups of insects covered also has a diagram, followed by clear labelled photos of a few examples from the group.

This is not a field guide, but it’s a fun way to enhance your knowledge of the insect pollinators that visit the flowers in gardens and in the wild. For those who want to identify the insects more specifically, this guide can lead beginners to the correct section of their detailed field guides.

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