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.
The first walk was along the Shepherd Creek Trail near the Ralph River Campground.
A swampy area accented with hardhack has views of the mountains beyond.
This pine white butterfly was feeding at a branch of a yew tree.
We found a great example of dwarf mistletoe on a western hemlock.
The Wild Ginger Trail nearby features large patches of the heart-shaped leaves of wild ginger among the thimbleberry & bunchberry along the path.
Western redcedar are among the large trees of the old growth forest.
In the afternoon, we explored the Karst Creek Trail, the shady forest alternating with some open areas with signs of past fire.
A Hairy Woodpecker right alongside the trail worked his way up a large Douglas-fir.
Large patches of pipsissewa or Princes-pine were notable everywhere.
The sculpted limestone of the Karst formations include striking rock shapes.
We found this unusual maidenhair spleenwort on the limestone rock as we approached the waterfall.
The waterfall spills into a pool & then disappears underground, characteristic of Karst topography.
We were thrilled to see a Hermit Thrush feeding several young in a nest right beside the waterfall.
The next day the first nature walk was to Lupin Falls , a multi-tiered cascade about 40m high .
Parasitic plants such as candystick are a feature of this trail .
We found a cluster of Indian-pipe, a bit past its prime.
Among the abundant pipsissewa was another of the wintergreen family, pink wintergreen.
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.
In the spray zone, clusters of fringed grass-of-Parnassus flourished with purple harebells.