Spring in the Forest of Elk Falls

March 19, 2016  •  1 Comment

I went for a walk in the forest around the campground of Elk Falls Park. There are more people camping out; some in motor homes while others in tents only. The morning was quite frigid with temperatures around the zero mark so spring may be here but it doesn't feel like it although the afternoon temperature rises enough to be comfortable.

Only the camping spots along the river are open while the rest of the campground is closed so it makes a nice pleasant walk without the crowds. I headed off into the bush and encountered a lot of nice moss covered trees and tangled branches of low growing bush. I really enjoy exploring around in the bush where a lot of people don't get to see. There is so much moss growing everywhere and dead trees knocked down by the wind that it looks like a jungle. If it wasn't for the traffic noise, it would be difficult to tell where I was since the area looks quite pristine and old. There appears to be faint animal trails here and there.

There were still the skeletal remains of decaying leaves of last year as well as new shoots of ferns growing up from the moss covered ground. A lot of bushes are starting to green up with small buds and soon the leaves will hide the messy branches. I came out on the trail which leads to the beaver pond.

I saw a squirrel running about in the forest so I stopped and waited to see if it would keep still. Just by luck I had on my 180 mm macro lens and it stopped to chew on a cone so I started filming it. The lens is quite heavy to hand hold as I filmed the squirrel so there is quite a bit of camera movement. That's also the reason why I couldn't hold the lens for a long time and film therefore I ended up with two sets of videos.

The squirrel is the native red squirrel but it is under threat from the grey squirrel which was introduced on Vancouver Island in 1966. The grey squirrel will compete with and eventually displace the red species. The grey squirrel is considered a pest and will damage trees, people's lawns and homes. While the mainland of BC is home to the squirrel and chipmunk, there are no chipmunks on the Island. The red squirrel is often heard chattering high in the trees whenever I walk by. It's apparently a territorial alarm which they sound when something intrudes on their boundaries.

There are a lot of skunk cabbages growing in the wet areas near the swamp. They appear to be quite hardy since the water is polluted by natural oil seeping out from the ground. I can see the oil on the surface of the water. I wonder if there is a big reserve under the ground.


I really enjoyed reading and learning about Elk Falls, the videos and the beautiful photographs!
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