For the Birds – Rainy Day Walks at Maplewood Flats

Birding at the Maplewood Flats Conservation Area Photo: Rob Weiss

Affectionately known by locals as Maplewood Flats, the Maplewood Conservation Area in North Vancouver is an ideal destination for a rainy day walk.  Managed by the Wild Bird Trust of BC, this wonderful natural area along Burrard Inlet near the base of the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge, is home to over 230 species of birds and features 3km of easy walking trails to explore.

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For the Birds – Rainy Day Walks at Maplewood Flats

Dazzling Damsels – Richmond Nature Park

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Richmond Nature Park Photo: Rob Weiss

The intersection of Highway 99 and Westminster Highway in Richmond, seems an unlikely place to connect with nature! Jumbo Jets thunder overhead and the roar of traffic is difficult to ignore, yet as I wandered along the Richmond Nature Park trails I quickly found myself leaving the frantic pace of city life behind me.  I was immersed in nature and it felt fantastic!  Surprisingly, many long time residents are unaware that this fabulous 200-acre natural oasis exists on the edge of town.  Strolling along the trails, it didn’t take long to realize that I was exploring a peat bog.  Interested in learning about this unique habitat, I paid a visit to the Nature House.  Interactive displays, and games designed for the younger crowd, told the story of the raised peat bog habitat that historically covered a large portion of Lulu Island.  In fact, 10,000 years ago visitors to the Richmond Nature Park would have been swimming in the Strait of Georgia! Today, the landscape is evolving as Pine and Birch trees begin to transform the bog into forest.

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Dazzling Damsels – Richmond Nature Park

Exit the Fast Lane – Stroll Through Colony Farm

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Millenium Bridge, Colony Farm Photo: Rob Weiss

Sometimes the best surprises lie right beneath your nose. Colony Farm Regional Park is one of those surprises. What comes to mind when you visualize the Port Mann Bridge, Cape Horn Exchange and Lougheed Highway? I suspect your blood pressure is rising and you are thinking of tolls and Monday morning rush hour traffic congestion. I challenge you to reimagine the area! Slow down, take time out of your hectic schedule and follow the signs to Colony Farm. Within minutes, you will find yourself in the middle of hedgerows, open fields and wetlands.

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Exit the Fast Lane – Stroll Through Colony Farm

Connecting to Nature – Stanley Park Nature House

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View from Stanley Park Nature House Photo: Rob Weiss

Have you had an opportunity to watch the Stanley Park Heron Cam?  I must confess I have been captivated by this “birds-eye-view” of North America’s largest Pacific Great Blue Heron colony.  Interest piqued by the webcam, I decided I wanted to learn more.  Who better to explain the courtship and nesting behaviour of these prehistoric looking birds than the knowledgeable interpreters volunteering at the Stanley Park Nature House?

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Connecting to Nature – Stanley Park Nature House

Vancouver’s Best Eagle Viewing

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Photo: Rob Weiss

The eagle has landed! Majestic, powerful, striking, imposing, brave, noble. In aboriginal northwest coast culture, the Eagle has been a source of inspiration for both traditional and contemporary artists since the beginning of time. This amazing creature symbolizes grace and power. The eagle captures my imagination and there is no better place to get up close and personal with these fantastic birds than Mud Bay Park. During a walk, jog or ride along the dyke trail it is not uncommon to see dozens of eagles. Now is the perfect time to go to watch these symbolic birds busy at work building and repairing their nests.

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Vancouver’s Best Eagle Viewing

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