An impromptu Nature Nanaimo outing to Paradise Meadows

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On Friday August 30, 6 of us went to Paradise Meadows at Mount Washington. The weather was great for hiking, but low clouds obscured the views of the mountain peaks. We saw many interesting things, although it was a bit late for flowering plants. On the way to to Helen Mackenzie Lake, we were entertained by my favourite bird species, the Canada Jay. Doug had some bird seed and the Canada Jays were quick to take advantage. A couple of their close relative, the Steller’s Jays were not so brave, and looked on from the safety of nearby trees.

Apart from the jays we noticed Chestnut-Backed Chickadees and some Red-Breasted Nuthatches in a few places, but otherwise it was very quiet. Once we got to the lake, we had a well-deserved lunch and rest in a sheltered spot. From the lake it was thankfully mostly a downhill trek back to the parking lot, which we reached around 3:30 pm. Below are some photos of some of the curiosities we saw along the trail; a velvet fungus of some sort; some flowers by a small stream; odd horizontal lines on yellow cedar, which appeared to be the tree reacting to sapsucker damage; a Platantherasp. Orchid still in bloom, and a pretty hover fly, possibly Eupeodes volucris.

In the end, a great day, including a bit over 8 km of hiking. I am sure everyone slept well after that outing. We will definitely return next year, but perhaps in late July or early August.