More harbingers of spring

Ah, the sounds of chainsaws in the 707, clearing the fire roads.


From that bike ride

black and white image of bike in meadow

I stopped and took quite a few pictures on that bike ride. This one is black and white because I accidentally swivelled a knob. But I liked it anyway; it quite catches the feel of the morning, which was both foggy and frosty.

top of old stump
A little frost on an old stump…

dew on branch

dew on branch

dew on branch
…and a lot of dew hanging from branches.

A discovery

One of the things I like about having a 700 acre park to explore is that you keep finding new trails even after some years of intensive exploration. Yesterday some of us found a new-to-us trail; I’m not sure how long it’s actually been there. I suspect it’s fairly recent or I’d have noticed it before. Anyway, Our Dog and I came back today to walk it in the other direction.

two trails

Not all trails are very noticeable. (Yes, the arrow indicates the trail we found.) I tend to follow what look like deer trails off the main trails, just to see if they turn into something more substantive; I’ve found quite a few trails this way.


Ah yes. The mountain bikers have been working on this one. I ride my bike on trails by preference, but not on those trails that require me to go up and down big piles of wood or over big rocks (or negotiate drop-offs—my bike’s suspension may be capable of it, but my personal suspension is past its best-by date).

light catching jelly fungus

And I found a photographic treasure today; jelly fungus catching a wee bit of light.

Black and white, February 15th, 2016

There’s a trail I hike fairly regularly that’s lined with alder; at this time of year the trunks and shadows make lovely patterns, and I decided to take some black and white images for a change.

path through winter alders

alder trunks in winter

alder trunks in winter

alder trunks in winter

old wood
And some bonus old wood.

Frosty needles

And a few other things.

closeup of fir needles with melting ice drops 1

The dew on the needles had frozen overnight and was just starting to melt, so if I bumped into a tree I got showered in tiny ice pellets.

closeup of fir needles with melting ice drops 2closeup of fir needles with melting ice drops 3

There were also pretty stumps…

stump with plants and lichen

And broken trees…

split tree trunk

This broken tree trunk was so interesting I took a black and white picture too.

split tree trunk in black and white

An altogether satisfactory morning walk.

After the rain

dog running on trail

It was a bit wet on the trails today—and certainly on the narrow ones you could expect very wet feet from all the overhanging grass. But someone didn’t mind a bit.

wild roses

And the roses looked wonderful.

wild rose against sky

And the arbutus trees looked sexy as always.

arbutus tree trunk with shadows

A hiking and cycling map of the 707

Pericat has put together a wonderful downloadable map of Gabriola’s 707 Park, with additional detail maps of sections of the park. They’re sized to work on iPhones or other handheld devices or you can print them (there are black and white versions for greyscale printers). The maps show which trails are suitable for cycling and which are not—or at least, which require higher levels of skill and a significant degree of attention—some of those trails are windy and only a foot wide!

Going slow

shady trail through woods with golden retriever
This is where we go for bike rides. Aren’t we lucky?

It’s hard to be a longhaired dog on a warm day. Especially when you’re nine and don’t have the energy you used to. Especially when you really, really WANT TO GO FOR A WALK and your people want to go for a bike ride.

So compromises get made. The bikes go, but they go very slowly.

dog drinking from cloth water bowl
There are frequent stops for short rest and water breaks and everyone has their own water dish.

We stop for a loooonnnnng rest at the lookout. That way the people can eat an energy bar and look at the flowers.

field of daisies
Daisies! Invasive, but awfully pretty.

While the humans are doing silly things like taking pictures (well, one human) the dog gets to relax in the shade. (And maybe be a bit goofy and eat a stick that was home to a bunch of ants.)


It works out for everyone.

happy golden retriever
See? I told you you’d be happier if you took me with you.

The 707

trail in the 707 community park

The 707 Community Park is so-named because it’s 707 acres in size. All those acres include some lovely places to walk at this time of year. Gives a whole new meaning to the word lush.

Is that a promise?

trail marker says "erratic trail"

The 707 Community Park on Gabriola has been installing trail markers. I had to giggle when I saw the new sign naming the trail I’d been on. Well, yes it is…

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