We have been basking in warm, moist air here on the West Coast, while the rest of the country is freezing in Arctic outflows. This “Pineapple Express” has brought a lot of rain over the past week, but that is now letting up. Yesterday was calm and foggy, and a bit eerie in its warmth. I was in Victoria, so I went walkabout to see what I could see.
Monday night the fog rolled in, smelling of the sea.
On Mt. Tolmie Tuesday morning, the air was still and moist, and collembollans could be found up on the vegetation.
Rock Flipping Day is every day for me, and has been since i was a kid. I found this beautiful spider that looks very much like a Pimoa.
Oddly, I also found 3 colonies of Aphaenogaster occidentalis, under rocks where 2 weeks ago none were evident. The warmth must have penetrated the soil, and the colonies moved themselves and their brood upwards.
These are some of my favourite myrmicines, and appear to be quite common in Garry Oak meadow habitats.
Jackson was along for this outing, and spent some time chewing rocks…You should see his teeth after 9 years of this awful habit!
I even managed to find a beautiful Phidippus!
On the ferry coming back to Vancouver, the waters were calm.
As it was high tide, the seals were hauled up on the rocky shores of Galiano Island.
Here, the ferry comes up on a log with cormorants and gulls.
Which scatter, somewhat comically.
Winter lighting in this part of the world means sunset-like conditions at 2:30!
Which make for beautiful backgrounds.
Nicely documented, including the excursion to Mt. Baker, Sean.
These are great. Always love fog (SFU was fantastic for that, and unlike others I really liked the architecture there as it fit the fog environment nicely).
Yup, ever since I discovered, as a kid, that flipping rocks presented all sorts of neat things, I’ve been doing it. My boys love it now too.
I am an incurable rock and log flipper! Oddly, I found that in the tropics it was not as productive. Maybe a scorpion or small spider every 6 logs or so. My guess is that with all the crazy crannies in strangler figs and the like, smaller, easily moved forest floor debris is not as attractive.