Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Creeks & Waterfalls Weekend

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The BC Day August long weekend is winding down & it was a hot one! At Buttle Lake, both the campgrounds filled up by Friday night. Most campers were swimming & boating in order to be near the cool waters of the lake. Nevertheless, several visitors from Germany, Victoria & Campbell River attended the SWI guided nature walks to the creeks & waterfalls around Buttle Lake.

Shepherd Creek

Shepherd Creek


The first walk was along the Shepherd Creek Trail near the Ralph River Campground.

Shepherd Creek Swamp

Shepherd Creek Swamp


A swampy area accented with hardhack has views of the mountains beyond.

Butterfly on Yew Tree

Butterfly on Yew Tree


This pine white butterfly was feeding at a branch of a yew tree.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe


We found a great example of dwarf mistletoe on a western hemlock.

Wild Ginger Trail

Wild Ginger Trail


The Wild Ginger Trail nearby features large patches of the heart-shaped leaves of wild ginger among the thimbleberry & bunchberry along the path.

Giant Redcedar

Western Redcedar


Western redcedar are among the large trees of the old growth forest.

Karst Creek Trail

Karst Creek Trail


In the afternoon, we explored the Karst Creek Trail, the shady forest alternating with some open areas with signs of past fire.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker


A Hairy Woodpecker right alongside the trail worked his way up a large Douglas-fir.

Pipsissewa

Pipsissewa


Large patches of pipsissewa or Princes-pine were notable everywhere.

Limestone Wall

Limestone Wall


The sculpted limestone of the Karst formations include striking rock shapes.

Spleenwort

Maidenhair Spleenwort


We found this unusual maidenhair spleenwort on the limestone rock as we approached the waterfall.

Karst Creek Waterfall

Karst Creek Waterfall


The waterfall spills into a pool & then disappears underground, characteristic of Karst topography.

Hermit Thrush & Nest

Hermit Thrush & Nest


We were thrilled to see a Hermit Thrush feeding several young in a nest right beside the waterfall.

Lupin Falls

Lupin Falls


The next day the first nature walk was to Lupin Falls , a multi-tiered cascade about 40m high .

Candystick

Candystick


Parasitic plants such as candystick are a feature of this trail .

Indian-pipe

Indian-pipe


We found a cluster of Indian-pipe, a bit past its prime.

Pink Wintergreen

Pink Wintergreen


Among the abundant pipsissewa was another of the wintergreen family, pink wintergreen.

Lady Falls

Lady Falls


The final waterfall walk was to Lady Falls, where Cervus Creek drops about 30m from a narrow slot canyon into a deeper, wider canyon below.

Harebell & Fringed Grass-of-Parnassus

Harebell & Fringed Grass-of-Parnassus


In the spray zone, clusters of fringed grass-of-Parnassus flourished with purple harebells.

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