Spring is suddenly upon us. Luise reported that there were goldstars (crocidium multicaule) blooming on Hornby on Sunday 17th; check out Point Holmes, usually one of the earliest spots here on the mainland. The coltsfoot (Petasites palmatus) that produced its bud by the third week of January, finally opened March 9th. On the CVN walk along the Campbell River Estuary out to Baikie island we saw fawn lilies (Erythronium sp. ) pushing up through the silt and dead leaves along the river, and the Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) was starting to flower. No doubt the latter is blooming along the Airpark path too; if anyone has seen fawn lilies along the river banks in Courtenay let us know. ( Photos of all except the goldstar are attached.)
Next outing: April 1st, Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve. 11 am at the Trailhead.
To get to the trailhead, drive out Laketrail Road, till you meet Comox Main; turn left on Comox Main and follow past the entrance to Courtenay and District Fish & Game, over the bridge at the dam and on about a kilometer to a parking area on the left-hand side of the road. You can check Google maps Comox Lake Bluffs Ecological Reserve : https://goo.gl/maps/ykbkCxHjDBA2 (not sure if the link will work – webmail is not user friendly!) Attached is the BC Parks map of the Reserve and a list of Bryophyts compiled last year by Randal and Terry Taylor.
The plan is to focus on bryophytes, with Randal in the lead , since it will be early (maybe) for many of the spring flowers. ( We will save that for a later date. ) Note that if there is a large crowd of us, we will spend our time on the trail through the forest and up the old road. Because of the sensitivity of the actual bluffs area Mandy would like to restrict the numbers of boots treading on the fragile plants on the rock faces. Parks is apparently working on establishing a designated walkway or the like with cordons.
Bring your lunch and suitable footwear for an uneven trail, rocky in places.
Enjoy the sun, Alison