Monthly Archives

July 2008

Big Trees Trail on Meares Island

Canada, Panoramas

We had a few hours in Tofino one afternoon. Our choice was to go kayaking or take a boat ride over to Meares Island to walk the Big Trees Trail. We choose the latter. Arriving on the narrow shoreline after a 10-minute skiff ride, our boat driver told us he’d be back to pick us up in an hour and a half and unceremoniously left. OK. We walked past the small sign for the Big Trees Trail and into a wall of trees. Although short and not at all challenging, the trail is fun. It is set deep among the old growth trees, heavily shaded, verdant and green. There are a few really big trees on this part of Meares Island, and we stopped next to one to make a panoramic photo. The image below is akin to what you would see if you were facing the big tree and then tipped your head way back, scanning all the way up the tree, then through the forest canopy to the sky, and then further back until you scanned down the tree behind you, eventually falling and hitting your skull on the ground. I believe that the two large trees are red cedar but don’t hold me to it. Click on it to see a larger version.

Panorama of the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island, temperate rainforest home to huge red cedar and spruce trees, Meares Island Big Trees Trail, Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Panorama of the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island, temperate rainforest home to huge red cedar and spruce trees.
Image ID: 21062
Location: Meares Island Big Trees Trail, Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Rainforest in Pacific Rim National Park

Canada

One wet foggy morning while in Tofino (come to think of it, most mornings seem to be wet and foggy in Tofino) we rolled a short way down the road into Pacific Rim National Park and took a nice hike, more of a walk really, on the Rainforest Trail. The trail is really pleasant, with an elevated wood boardwalk to keep visitors from having to trudge through the soggier parts. We were soon walking beneath towering hemlock, cedar and fir trees on which lichen and moss hung way down. Everything was wet wet wet, although it was not raining. Banana slugs zoomed around decked out in a rainbow of colors (ok, most are black). Ferns were growing everywhere, including up in the trees themselves. It was great, I can’t wait to go back.

Hikers admire the temperate rainforest along the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim NP, one of the best places along the Pacific Coast to experience an old-growth rain forest, complete with western hemlock, red cedar and amabilis fir trees. Moss gardens hang from tree crevices, forming a base for many ferns and conifer seedlings, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Hikers admire the temperate rainforest along the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim NP, one of the best places along the Pacific Coast to experience an old-growth rain forest, complete with western hemlock, red cedar and amabilis fir trees. Moss gardens hang from tree crevices, forming a base for many ferns and conifer seedlings.
Image ID: 21056
Location: Rainforest Trail, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Hiker admires the temperate rainforest along the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim NP, one of the best places along the Pacific Coast to experience an old-growth rain forest, complete with western hemlock, red cedar and amabilis fir trees. Moss gardens hang from tree crevices, forming a base for many ferns and conifer seedlings, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Hiker admires the temperate rainforest along the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim NP, one of the best places along the Pacific Coast to experience an old-growth rain forest, complete with western hemlock, red cedar and amabilis fir trees. Moss gardens hang from tree crevices, forming a base for many ferns and conifer seedlings.
Image ID: 21053
Location: Rainforest Trail, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver at Night

Canada, Vancouver

This is downtown Vancouver at night — the Yaletown district — viewed from Granville Island. After dinner my younger daughter and I took a stroll along the boardwalk in front of our hotel. The walk was now empty of tourists (all of whom had retired to the Granville Island brewery) and we had this view to ourselves.

Yaletown section of Vancouver at night, viewed from Granville Island

Yaletown section of Vancouver at night, viewed from Granville Island.
Image ID: 21167
Location: Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

More photos of Vancouver at night.

British Columbia Photos on Google Earth

Canada, GeoBlog

We returned from our British Columbia trip last weekend. We spent time in Whistler, Tofino, Victoria and Vancouver and managed to do a lot of biking, ziplining, hiking, flying, eating and beachcombing. During the past week I’ve reviewed all the photos we shot and edited down to a selection of about 200. You can view all of them on Google Earth, including the tracks recorded by our pocket GPS, if you have Google Earth installed on our computer) by clicking on the following link:

British Columbia, July 2008 Photos and Tracks

You will need to zoom in (say, to the Tofino region) before the individual images and tracks spread out enough to become distinct. I wrote some custom software to convert the GPS track files (*.gpx) into Google Earth code (*.kml), contact me if you would like a copy of the program (Windows only). If you just want to see the tracks, this link is better as it is not cluttered with the photos:

British Columbia, July 2008 Tracks Only
Tofino flight and whale watch tracks (no photos)

For the photos only, try this:

British Columbia, July 2008 Photos Only

Hikers admire the temperate rainforest along the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim NP, one of the best places along the Pacific Coast to experience an old-growth rain forest, complete with western hemlock, red cedar and amabilis fir trees. Moss gardens hang from tree crevices, forming a base for many ferns and conifer seedlings, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Hikers admire the temperate rainforest along the Rainforest Trail in Pacific Rim NP, one of the best places along the Pacific Coast to experience an old-growth rain forest, complete with western hemlock, red cedar and amabilis fir trees. Moss gardens hang from tree crevices, forming a base for many ferns and conifer seedlings.
Image ID: 21056
Location: Rainforest Trail, Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Photo of a Fossilized Fish

Photo of the Day

This is another fossilized fish from the Green River geological formation, Kemmerer, Wyoming. A member of the Phareodus genus, this specimen was preserved in the fine sediment of an ancient lake. It is thought to be about 40 to 50 million years old, from the Eocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era.

Fossil fish, collected at the Green River Formation, Kemmerer, Wyoming, dated to the Eocene Era, Phareodus

Fossil fish, collected at the Green River Formation, Kemmerer, Wyoming, dated to the Eocene Era.
Image ID: 20869
Species: Phareodus

Fossil Fish

Photo of the Day

This fossil fish was collected at the Green River geological formation, Kemmerer, Wyoming. Well preserved deep in the sediment of an ancient lake, this fossil fish is estimated to be about 40 to 50 million years old, from the Eocene Epoch of the Cenozoic Era. From a private collection.

Fossil fish, collected in Green River Formation, Fossil Lake, Kemmerer, Wyoming, dated to the Eocene Era.  Order: Ellimmichyiformes: Family; Ellimmichthyidae; Diplomystus dentatus, Diplomystus dentatus

Fossil fish, collected in Green River Formation, Fossil Lake, Kemmerer, Wyoming, dated to the Eocene Era. Order: Ellimmichyiformes: Family; Ellimmichthyidae; Diplomystus dentatus.
Image ID: 20866
Species: Diplomystus dentatus

Fourth of July Surf

Surf

A beautiful Independence Day morning at Ponto: sunny, glassed with lots of little peaks rolling by. Too bad all the folks from out of town got there at 6am and blocked the Coast Highway with their mega-RVs, making it nearly impossible for the people who actually live around here to access the beach!

Breaking wave, morning surf, curl, tube, Ponto, Carlsbad, California

Breaking wave, morning surf, curl, tube.
Image ID: 20887
Location: Ponto, Carlsbad, California, USA

Breaking wave, morning surf, curl, tube, Ponto, Carlsbad, California

Breaking wave, morning surf, curl, tube.
Image ID: 20888
Location: Ponto, Carlsbad, California, USA

Health Food

California, Funny

We made our annual visit to the Del Mar Fair last night. I hate to admit it, but we ate some of the food. Have you seen the food at the Del Mar Fair? It’s enough to give a cardiologist a heart attack just looking at it. Grease and salt are blended with fat, topped with oil and sugar, then deep fried and served on a bed of lard. Yum.

Hot Dog on a Stick, corn dog, greasy fried fatty food, Del Mar Fair

Hot Dog on a Stick, corn dog, greasy fried fatty food.
Image ID: 20859
Location: Del Mar Fair, California, USA

Hot dog, great spicy polish, Del Mar Fair

Hot dog, great spicy polish.
Image ID: 20861
Location: Del Mar Fair, California, USA

Sausages on the grill, hot dogs, bratwurst, Del Mar Fair

Sausages on the grill, hot dogs, bratwurst.
Image ID: 20862
Location: Del Mar Fair, California, USA

However, there is one treat at the fair I cannot bring myself to sample: the grilled corn. The overwhelmingly noxious fumes rising from those grills are something else indeed. Have you ever singed the hair on your skin lighting a campfire? Remember the smell? Well, the grilled corn at the fair smells like someone tossed a 5-day-old dead cat on the flames. Regardless, judging by the number (and size) of people lined up to eat it, it sure must be delicious.

Grilled corn, corn cobs, Del Mar Fair

Grilled corn, corn cobs.
Image ID: 20878
Location: Del Mar Fair, California, USA

By the way, the official and proper name of the fair is the Del Mar Fair, and has been for years, and always will be. It is not the San Diego County Fair as some busybody politicians, civic “leaders” and business interests would have you believe.