These are all things that I really like about living here. Another nice aspect is that the community is quite small -- about 5,000 -- and friendly. There are several residential neighbourhoods, but overall, it is a mixed use area that includes farms, a small commercial "town center," and some industries such as an oyster farm and a timber-sorting facility.
|The Oyster Farm in the Late Afternoon|
Only two and a half weeks ago, our backyard was still full of snow. Although Vancouver Island does not get much snow compared to the rest of Canada, we live up on the north side of a large hill. So we get a little more snow than many other Islanders (which is fine with me).
|A Snowy Yard|
We live with wild animals all around us. Some of the animals I have frequently seen or heard right in our neighbourhood include: deer, rabbits, owls, eagles, hawks, raccoons, seals, sea lions, and several kinds of ducks and geese. Of course, there also are ravens, seagulls, hummingbirds, and many other types of birds.
My son spotted a cougar at the entrance to the trails last winter. I have seen bear tracks and bear droppings, although I haven't seen an actual bear here yet. I have been told that pods of whales swim by from time to time. I believe there are foxes and coyotes here as well, as I have seen their droppings.
In addition to going on forest walks, I also love to walk on trails by the shore. On one of our recent walks, Rob and I were able to walk out to an island that is only accessible at low tide. It was exciting to explore a new place, although we didn't stay long as the tide was coming in and we did not want to be trapped there.
|A Sunny Afternoon|
If you look closely at the photo labelled "Low Tide," you can see that the beach was covered with clam shells.
Our geriatric dog, Kate, is always thrilled to join us on our walks. When she was younger, she ran circles around us. Now we have to stop and wait for her.
|Standing on the Edge|
|A Stand of Garry Oaks|
|Big Old Tree|
The forests here are filled with big trees. They are not ancient forests, however, but second or third growth trees. Everywhere there are huge stumps and other signs of past logging activity. Trees have been logged on Vancouver Island for about a century and a half.