Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Hot Hot Heat

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Perhaps the hottest day yet up at Paradise Meadows….a good day for swimming! which I am sure many were doing in the rivers & on the beaches of the Comox Valley. Many hikers swim in the lakes around the Fobidden Plateau area, but swimming is discouraged near the campsites, and definitely not allowed at Kwai Lake, which is a small lake that is a drinking water source for the campsite there. Do not allow your pet to swim in the lakes as this could also contaminate drinking water sources. It is advisable to treat or boil all water before consumption anyway, and use the grey water pits at the campsites.

Croteau Lake & Mt. Albert Edward

Those on the guided hike to Croteau Lake today managed to fit in a couple of swimming opportunities. Thanks to Robin & Jennifer for guiding & for the photos!

Purplish copper butterfly on great burnet

Purplish copper butterfly (underside)

No bears sighted today – but other wildlife recently reported include butterflies including purplish copper & white admiral, western toad, tadpoles, possible bullfrog?, snake, and lots of locusts clicking around the meadows. When flying, these short-horned grasshoppers have patches of yellow. At first I thought they were cicadas, but when they land you can see the typical grasshopper hind legs. Various biting & stinging insects are also being reported , at various nuisance levels.
Locust sp. (short-horned grasshopper)

A blue grouse with chicks was recently seen near Piggott Creek which flows out of Lake Helen Mackenzie. The blue grouse in our area have been renamed as sooty grouse , splitting from the interior BC population which is now called dusky grouse.

Hikers that have been going up to Mt. Albert Edward & other alpine areas have regularly seen Vancouver Island white-tailed ptarmigan & chicks. Because Strathcona Park is home to this subspecies, it is considered an Important Bird Area of national significance.

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