John Harvey Photo

A Weekend Around NanaimoGo to Slide Show

Andrea's Parents are in town


Rathtrevor Beach
Fence at Rathtrevor

After a short ferry ride over from Vancouver and lunch at a Dutch deli we drove up to Rathtrevor Beach, just south of Parksville.  The park is about the beach, but there are a few fields around that would be perfect for a picnic or sports.  Between the parking lot and the beach there is a large grassy area  that the park is trying to recover.  They have put up wood rail fencing to keep people out and the ground seems to be recovering.

Black Brant Sign

This park is locally famous for the Brant Festival held in April (the weekend before we arrived.  We didn't see any Brant's when we were there but it's been a pretty strange spring weather wise.

The beach is very flat - the high tide and low tide area's are perhaps 600 meters apart.  Right at the top of the high tide area (storm serge area) stuff has collected.  The huge stump must have been blown up in a storm.   Some area's have built up huge rafts of kelp.

Tree StumpBeach Side Kelp

3 Above Mirror

We walked out towards the beach watching the ground life.  Every patch of ground is unique.  Andrea noticed all these trails and then (to her delight discovered the snails.)

We found three different types of snails.  First are the long snails most often found in the sand.  (I have a few books and I couldn't find any of these snails).  The carve these small trenches and sometimes congregate in small groups.  The other type of snail (more often found in the rocks) is a bright orange shelled snail.

Snails in HandSingle Snail CrawlingSnails on Trails

Orange SnailsOrange Snails (Closeup)


Rocks and Sand Dollar

Andrea really like the snails - I liked the sand dollars.  More often than not, you see just the shells.  This one was bleached on the rocks.

Beach Wood and Flowers

Walking back, we passed this patch of wild flowers and drift wood.  I really like this picture.

Qualicum Beach

One beach right to the next.  Qualicum is a sandy beach and is much shorter.  We walked (measured later with the car) 1.8KM - walking until sunset.  I really liked the sand.  It changes with the lighting, it changes with the water, it changes with where it is on the beach.
Sand on BeachSand on Beach

Sand on BeachSand on Beach

The sand also makes a great background for ocean life.   As I said before, I really liked the sand dollars.  Both of these dollars are deceased.  I particularly like the crashed space ship type sand dollar - it's the merger of two very different organic shapes.

Sand Dollar Crashed into SandKelp on Stone

Sand Dollar with Kelp on TopCrab Shell on Sand


Rocks on Beach

When I looked at these rocks, I thought they would be a great for a black and white shot.  Nice stuff to play with (I need a lens wider than 28mm) but the contrast just wasn't there.  I'd love to know how these rocks got there - they are the biggest things on the beach.  To make it full circle - here are some small rocks on their way to becoming sand.
Stones on the Beach

Englishman River


The next morning we went on our two falls and a forest tour.  We started with the Englishman River Falls - it's between Nanaimo and Parksville about 10km off the main roads.  The park itself has some nice plants growing by the path.

Skunk CabbageTrillium

From the main parking lot, it's a short walk to the top set of falls.  There is a long suspension bridge that gives you a close panoramic view of the falls.  The water starts on a fairly wide plain and falls down a crack that might be a weakness in the rock.

Top Falls at Englishman RiverTop Falls at Englishman River

After the falls there is a short walk down to the next set of falls.

Blocks in the Forest

The bottom set of falls are farther away, but still very nice.  I'm sure that pool would be lovely (but cold) for swimming in.

Bottom Falls at Englishman RiverBottom Falls at Englishman River

We walked back to the car and grabbed lunch at Coombs.  After a great international lunch (and a little shopping) we drove to Cathedral Grove.

Cathedral Grove


Our next stop was Cathedral Grove (part of MacMillan Provincial Park).  Cathedral Grove is a patch of old growth rain forest that straddles the highway up to Port Alberni.  The forest is very lush - every surface is covered in moss and most of the floor is strewn with logs.

Mossy TreeFallen LogsTrees Fallen

The forest was stuck by tragedy in 1997 when the "New Year’s Day" wind storm knocked down many of the giant trees.  In many places you can see fallen or off vertical trees.  Some of the largest trees are the ones on the ground.

Tree SplitRotting TreeStumps

One of the cool details of the grove is all the moss.  There are many different varieties that live on pretty much every surface.

MossMossesWrinkly Tree

We stopped at the largest tree (the one in the background) for some snaps.  The tree is 76meters high, 9 meters in circumference, 9 feet in diameter.

Parents in ForestUs on Big Tree

We had the waterfall, then the forest, now it was time for the waterfalls again.  We drove back towards Qualicum and stopped in at Qualicum falls.

Little Qualicum Falls

River Through Rocks

We walked Little Qualicum Falls backwards - we started at the bottom and then walked up to the top.   The river does have as much volume as Englishman, but it's carved deeper canyons.  Like Englishman River, swimming would probably be deadly, but there are some beautiful pools.

Scaleless Falls

The top of the waterfalls start in a big pool and then pound through a tight gorge.  Without anything to give you a sense of scale, it's difficult to distinguish between a small stream and the moderate river, but hearing the crash of the river gives you a sense of the power involved.

Walking back down, you can in some places decended into the canyon.  It was getting closer to the end of the day and the light was definitely challenging.
Falls into GorgeLittle Qualicum Gorge

After a pleasant walk we returned to Nanaimo for Dinner.  Before dinner we went for a short stroll.

Downtown Nanaimo


After our two falls and a forest tour we had a little walk around downtown Nanaimo.  There is a nice (and quite) harbour with lots of fishing boats and pleasure boats.  Nanaimo seems to be trying to reinvigorate it's core.

Harbour BoatsHarbour BoatsOverhead View of Harbour

Bastion in Nanaimo

The bastion (it's small) is a neet piece of history to go along with the harbour.  It was built to protect the Hudsons bay employees and their families from attacks.

Nanaimo Rhododendron Garden

The next morning we got ready for our trip down to Victoria and to meet my parents.  We didn't get out of Nanaimo before we stopped again - this time at the Rhododendron garden in Bowen Park in Nanaimo.  The park isn't huge and April is a bit early for Rhodo's, but it is quite nice for a short stroll.

Yellow Rhodo'sWhite Rhodo's

Pink FlowerPink Flower

After a small car problem (torn muffler) we got on the road down to Victoria.

Goldstream

Goldstream is yet another provincial park.  We went for a short walk to the nature house which highlights many of the local bird species.  This valley is lush.

LiliesLeaves of False Lily of the ValleyCedar Stump

Butchart Gardens

It's April and prime tulip and dafodil season.  The quality of the plants are all of highest quality.  Most flowers are free of blemishes and of uniform size.

DafodilsRed TulipsCream TulipOrange Tulips

Two aspects of the gardens make the Buchart Gardens stand out.  First is the rare plants - flowers I've never seen before.  I've never seen these double tulips and double dafodils before and I was certainly impressed.

Double DafodilsDouble DafodilsDouble Tulips

The second high point of Butchart gardens is the presentation.  Many plants are presented together to bring out the colors and highlight species.

Group of Red Tulips Red Tulips, Purple BackgroundMulti Colors of Sweet Williams

The gardens can be appeciated on so many levels.  The gardens used to be a rock quary so there are pits and walls that have become fountains and beds.  The flowers themselves are well arranged, and at the smallest level, the flowers are in pristine condition.

Pink HyacinthWhite HyacinthWhite Hyacinth

The Japanese Gardens


I've always had trouble photographing the Japanese Gardens.  It's hard to get a single focal point and the garden is often very busy.  I didn't see a garden like this when I visited Japan, but I think the garden is built using Japanese themes.  These are a few photos I do like.

Red BridgeBrain BushSnake Tree

Mossy FallsFalls Close Up

The Butchart gardens have flowers year round.

White Corn FlowersRed Corn Flower

Purple AubrietaPink Flowers

And then we drove to the ferry and drove back to Vancouver.  Thanks for the weekend!


 


Bastion in Nanaimo
Location: Go To...
Tags: fort
Harbour Boats
Tags: boat, marina
Single Snail Crawling
Species: Batillaria attramentaria (Japanese false cerith, Mudflat Snail)
Tags: beach, trail
Leaves of False Lily of the Valley
Species: Maianthemum dilatatum (false lily of the vally)
Tags: plant
Rocks on Beach
Tags: beach, rock
Beach Side Kelp
Tags: beach
White Rhodo's
Tags: flower, garden
Us on Big Tree
Location: Go To...
Pink Flower
Tags: flower, garden
Dafodils
Tags: flower
Snake Tree
Tags: Butchart Gardens, garden, tree
Blocks in the Forest
Tags: derelict, moss
Crab Shell on Sand
Tags: beach, shell
White Corn Flowers
Tags: flower
Black Brant Sign
Tags: bird, sign
Cedar Stump
Location: Go To...
Tags: stump
Snails on Trails
Species: Batillaria attramentaria (Japanese false cerith, Mudflat Snail)
Tags: snail
Sand on Beach
Tags: beach, sand
Orange Snails (Closeup)
Species: Ocenebra interfossa (Sculptured Rocksnail)
Tags: beach, snail
Cream Tulip
Tags: flower, garden
Mosses
Tags: moss
Parents in Forest
Stumps
Tags: cave, stump, tree
Overhead View of Harbour
Tags: boat, marina
Snails in Hand
Species: Batillaria attramentaria (Japanese false cerith, Mudflat Snail)
Tags: snail
Red Tulips, Purple Background
Tags: flowers, garden
Beach Wood and Flowers
Tags: beach, flower
Red Corn Flower
Tags: flower, shallow depth of field
Skunk Cabbage
Species: Lysichiton americanus (Skunk Cabbage, Swamp Lantern)
Tags: flower
Orange Snails
Species: Ocenebra interfossa (Sculptured Rocksnail)
Tags: beach, snail
Orange Tulips
Tags: flower
Double Tulips
Tags: flower, garden
Tree Stump
Tags: stump
Sand Dollar Crashed into Sand
Species: Dendraster excentricus (eccentric sand dollar)
Tags: shell
Sand on Beach
Tags: beach
Red Bridge
Tags: bridge, Butchart Gardens, garden
Stones on the Beach
Tags: rock
3 Above Mirror
Group of Red Tulips
Tags: flowers, garden
Red Tulips
Tags: flower, garden
Pink Hyacinth
Tags: Butchart Gardens, flower, garden
Sand on Beach
Tags: beach, sand
Purple Aubrieta
Tags: flower
White Hyacinth
Tags: flower
Moss
Tags: moss
Fence at Rathtrevor
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, fence
Mossy Tree
Tags: moss, tree
Sand on Beach
Tags: beach
Fallen Logs
Tags: fern, forest
Bottom Falls at Englishman River
Tags: waterfall
Top Falls at Englishman River
Location: Go To...
Tags: waterfall
Mossy Falls
Tags: Butchart Gardens, garden, moss, waterfall
Wrinkly Tree
Tags: moss, tree
Tree Split
Tags: tree
Trillium
Species: Trillium ovatum (Western Trillium, Pacific Trillium)
Tags: flower
Bottom Falls at Englishman River
Tags: river, waterfall
Kelp on Stone
Species: Fucus gardneri (Rock Weed)
Tags: beach, rock
Top Falls at Englishman River
Tags: waterfall
Sand Dollar with Kelp on Top
Tags: beach, kelp, sand, shell
Multi Colors of Sweet Williams
Tags: flowers, garden
River Through Rocks
Tags: stream
Lilies
Species: Erythronium oregonum (White Fawnlily)
Tags: flower
White Hyacinth
Tags: flower, garden
Pink Flower
Tags: flower
Double Dafodils
Tags: flower, garden
Harbour Boats
Tags: boat, marina
Falls into Gorge
Location: Go To...
Tags: waterfall
Brain Bush
Tags: Butchart Gardens, garden
Pink Flowers
Tags: flower, garden
Rocks and Sand Dollar
Tags: beach, rock, shell
Yellow Rhodo's
Tags: flower, garden
Trees Fallen
Tags: forest
Double Dafodils
Tags: flower, garden
Little Qualicum Gorge
Tags: waterfall
Rotting Tree
Tags: tree
Scaleless Falls
Tags: waterfall
Falls Close Up
Tags: Butchart Gardens, garden, waterfall
Tags: flower(22), garden(19), beach(15), waterfall(9), moss(6), tree(6)
From: John Harvey Photo > A Weekend Around Nanaimo

thanks for taking the time to display your pictures. I really enjoyed seeing them
wayne
Saturday, January 10th, 2009 at 07:48:43

beautiful pictures, just wondering where the Japanese gardens where?
Kate
Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 19:54:12

The Japanese Gardens are a part of the Butchart Gardens, just a little North of Victoria (Saanich Peninsula).
John Harvey
Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 22:05:43

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