2020 CVN Tree of the Year winner announced!

Submitted by Fred N. on behalf of the Tree of the Year committee.

When I heard one of the Tree of the Year nominees was a yellow cedar in Royston I became intrigued. Yellow cedar (Xanthocyparis nootkatensis, formerly Chaemacyparis nootkatensis) on the coastline this far south was rare. They are common at Paradise Meadows but outside their range at Royston. A field visit revealed an 80-year-old tree, 30 metres tall and just a stone’s throw from the beach on Greig Avenue. Karen C. and I were touring many of the nominees, scoring them against the criteria of objective values and subjective values. The yellow cedar was special. [Click photo to enlarge.]

Tree of the Year: Yellow cedar at 3964 Greig Ave., Royston (Photo: Fred Newhouse, 2019)

This tree was nominated by CVN member Judy W. Her description best describes it:

The seedling was collected on Forbidden Plateau by Ted Greig and planted outside their gate, when their son Jim went overseas in WW 2. Ted and Mary Greig ran the Royston Nursery from 1929-1966. The yellow cedar is in the road right of way and Mary protected it for many years from the Dept. of Highways.

This yellow cedar scored highest on subjective value and had only one mark against it objectively based on the crown condition which is probably a result of root damage as the driveway and sidewalk constrict growth. 

For 2020 the CVN Tree of the Year is the Royston Yellow Cedar.

Congratulations Judy!

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Public invited to learn about the Canada Jay in Strathcona Park

[Click photo to enlarge]

Comox Valley Nature is pleased to host an online lecture by Dan Strickland. The lecture entitled 2020 Update on Paradise Meadows Canada Jay Research is on Sunday September 20, 2020, 7:00 – 9:00pm.

Given the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic, CVN has made arrangements to have a live, online webinar for Dan’s presentation. There is no charge, but pre-registration is required. For more details, and to access the registration feature, see this previous post.

Priority will be given to CVN members. Free available “seats” will be allocated to non-members.  If you cannot get in, the session will be recorded and will be made available free of charge to the public on the CVN website.

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Lakeside plants

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on September 11.

A quiet lakeshore is always a nice place to poke around looking at plants. Here are some plants from Blackwater Lake, which is north of Campbell River. This can be accessed from the Blackwater Main, which is a gravel road on the left shortly before Roberts Lake (where the now closed cafe used to be). It’s about an 8 km drive from the turnoff, and the lake is about a 100 metre walk from the pullout.

I was there in late August and there were a lot of baby toads crossing the road…not sure if that is still happening, but if toad migration is still going you might want to wait a week or two before planning your visit!

[Click a photo to enlarge it.]

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COVID-19 policy still in effect

The COVID-19 pandemic continues. We are facing a potential second wave in B.C. and around the world, and, with many CVN members in a higher-risk age group, the CVN Board reminds members that our policy response from April (see this post) remains in effect.

In particular, no group activities (meetings, field trips) that require physical gathering, including interest group activities but with the exception of work parties, are to be held, and none are planned until further notice. Work party activities such as those at the Airpark and at Little River Nature Park are continuing with a small number of volunteers following the guidelines of the public health authorities.

Another factor in keeping the policy in place is that CVN’s liability insurance, which we have by virtue of our membership in BC Nature, does not cover any harms related to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Having said all that, the CVN Board encourages you to go out individually or with members of your personal “bubble” to enjoy, observe, and record the natural world, provided that you are not required to self-isolate and are able to follow public health guidelines (primarily keeping distanced at least 2 metres from others). CVN recognizes such activities as important factors for our physical and mental health.

And we can all benefit if you share your observations virtually or discuss questions with others on any of the Internet-based platforms available. Here are some channels currently being used by members for such sharing (and for citizen science):

  • CVN members and the general public are sharing information and thoughts on our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/cvnature).
  • The birders are making active use of the eBird website and smartphone application, and Kelly coordinates email discussions within the group.
  • The Botany Group has made frequent use of email communication to share information and photos of interesting plants and fungi, and these have formed the majority of the posts on this website during this period.
  • Some specific projects have been created on the iNaturalist website:

Also, watch for the virtual resumption of monthly guest speakers this fall. Our September speaker on the Canada Jay, Dan Strickland, has been announced (see this post for details and webinar registration information), and speakers for October and November are being lined up.

So, continue studying and enjoying nature, but stay safe!

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