Tag Archives: wild flowers

Blooming – Photo Wednesday

Spring is about… More dailight, warmth, sunshine. Plants are responding. Nature is exhuberant. My fingernails resemble those of a nine-year old boy… short and dirty… from working in the garden.

Beauty. Indoors or outdoors. Quiet happiness.
Hibiscus blossom, close upFirst: indoors, a hibiscus celebrates sunshine.

Western Coralroot Orchid (Corallorhiza mertensiana)And outdoors, on one of my walks… I came across a lovely orchid: Western Coral-root (Corallorhiza mertensiana).

Death Camas Lily (Zigadenus venenosus)And on another excursion… I found the lovely, but deadly Death Camas Lily (Zigadenus venenosus). Best to admire this one from a distance, no touching, and certainly no ingesting…

East Point on Saturna – Photo Wednesday

This afternoon, I went to East Point for a walk.  Beautiful day, lovely surprises. First, the view, from the cliffside…
View from the cliffside of East Point, Saturna Island, BC, CanadaThen, a close up of gorse (Ulex europeanus), an invasive species brought over a long time ago, and making its way around the islands. Spiny, nasty plant with gorgeous bloom… There has to be a good side to everything, right?
East Point on Saturna Island, Gorse (Ulex europeanus), invasive speciesAnd finally, a jewel on the cliff… Indian paintbrush (Castillejia), native wildflower blooming in the sun on a cliff… It cheered me up no end.
Indian paintbrush, castillejia, wildflower, BC coast

Island View Park and Mitchell Farms, Saanich

On my trips to “town” (Victoria), I often take an hour or more to explore. This time, I went to Island View Beach Park, in the Saanich peninsula North of Victoria, on Vancouver Island.

Not only is this a beautiful shoreline park, but to get there, you travel through a productive rural area – where I often shop for vegetables in the summer and fall.  The picture below was taken in the fall, and shows fields of cabbage.
Fields of the Mitchell Farm, Saanich, BC. Photo  © Andrée Fredette

The land gently rises to a vantage point, then back down to the shore. Once you get to the park, there is a beautiful long view over the water… There are usually quite a few people walking their dogs at the water’s edge. That Friday morning, the light and clouds were especially beautiful.
Friday morning at Island View Beach Park. Photo  ©  Andrée Fredette

And then, I am always surprised by the treasures that show up unexpectedly through my lens. The textures of a ripened seed head of Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota) in the shrubbery leading to the beach….

Queen Anne's Lace Seed Head on the Beach. Photo  ©  Andrée Fredette
and decaying bull kelp (Nereocystis lutkeana) rolled up on the pebble beach by the wind…

Bull Kelp Remnants in Winter. Photo  ©  Andrée Fredette

Back from the Great Outdoors

I went on a hike on Vancouver Island, this weekend – uphill, mostly – with a friend who acts as my guide. Her generosity has allowed me to discover the back country, and I feel very privileged. That hike had an incredible payoff. At this time of year, Vancouver Island is a playground of green backdrops, punctuated with wildflowers. My wildflower photo collection is growing at a fast pace and I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out the names of the lovelies I captured…

During this trip, we saw three bears. One mama bear and her cub, a tiny little guy barely bigger than a small dog. They crossed the logging road in front of our vehicle and it was a treat to watch them.

Later, while walking next to a bog, we saw another bear. I should say my friend saw a bear “watching us”, according to her. I tried to look across the bog, to see if I could spot it, but I could not really make out the bear… and I was really focusing on some orchids…

Alpine aster with a spider waiting for the next hapless visitor…

Check out this close up of an alpine aster (aster alpigenus) in the middle of a bog.  I often take pictures because something – a bright colour, a contrast – attracts my eye. But I don’t really “see” everything in the picture until I blow it up on my computer screen at home. Actual pixel view. That’s the ticket!

When I take a look at the actual pixels, I am amazed at the little dramas that unfold before my eyes… Mysteries are revealed, secrets unfold… it’s almost magic. Here is this week’s  example. A spider – the Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) has set up shop in the flower, nicely camouflaged, and is waiting for dinner to arrive… Pity the innocent insect that visits this flower!

Spring Energy, and Hot Pinkies

Calypso bulbosa, a wild orchid
A little spring orchid from my “backyard”: Calypso bulbosa

Now that the sun is a little bit more reliable and dares to show up several days in a row – well, almost – I am coming out of my winter hibernation. I have also tried to spend more time walking every day, roving around, really looking my surroundings.

These days, the woods around here a covered in bright emerald mosses, the result of many many days of rain. They are also punctuated by little calypso orchirds like this one. It’s always a treat to come upon one or several of these little beauties while walking the dog. They remind me of the value of high contrast, to generate visual interest. Who knows, maybe I’ll apply that idea to something textile (she says to herself, with a smile).