It feels like the end of summer in the Nature Park. Technically fall is still one month away but it feels like it is just around the corner and the community that is the bog has put summer behind it.
Some of the birds that migrated north to nest here have finished that task and are winging their way south. The hummingbirds led the way about 3 weeks ago and we won’t see them again until March 2010. We’ve had glimpses of little greeny-yellow birds in the treetops that suggest warblers are heading south again too. The big southward migration has begun.
Did you know that some birds migrate in other directions though? As fall progresses, watch for birds that have nested on the mountains to start their vertical migration down to protected valley bottoms where they’ll spend the winter. Along the coast you’ll soon notice the arrival of birds that have migrated westward out of the mountains and interior valleys to winter by the sea where there is open salt water throughout the winter.
Some birds that nest in the far north come here for the winter. Watch for the arrival of big pale northern robins any day now. And some hardy birds don’t migrate at all. Clever little chickadees know how to survive here year round.
The plants in the park visibly reflect the season too – leaves look tired and dull and may even be starting to drop. Take a look at any shrub or tree right now and you will see that the buds for next years growing season are ready and waiting for spring.
Herbaceous plants have been busy producing seeds and this is a wonderful time of year to contemplate how plants disperse them. A seed that lands too close to its parent is unlikely to thrive so plants have developed a host of dispersal mechanisms. The wildlife garden, around the Nature House, is full of plants that exhibit seeds that can hitchhike on animals, burst away from their seed pods, fly on a variety of kites, wings and parachutes, or entice an animal to eat them (with a tasty berry or fruit) so that they can be transported and deposited elsewhere as the animal moves.
At the moment , there are tall stands of native fireweed in the garden. The beautiful plumes of purple flowers that so pleased the bees with their nectar have been replaced with spires of seed pods. As each narrow pod opens, rows of little white umbrellas unzip from one another. The slightest breeze releases an enchanting blizzard of seeds. Maybe there really are fairies in a garden.
Posted by Kristine Bauder
Nature Park Coordinator
August 14, 2021 Park Trails are Re-opened!
Good news for park visitors! The Fire Department has advised us that the recent rainfall and cooler weather have reduced the risk of fires in Richmond so the trails are once again open to the public. We thank you for your patience during the closure. Please remember that though the trails are open the smoking ban remains in effect – smoking is not permitted anywhere in the park.
Posted by Kristine Bauder
Nature Park Coordinator
August 6, 2021 Blueberry and Blueberry Pie Sale a Great Success!
Summer is racing by – it’s August already and July is just a memory.
August is a wonderful month in the bog. It’s full summer and every plant that produces a berry is in full production. Two species of blueberries are native to the bog: Bog Blueberry and Velvet-stemmed Blueberry. These low-growing shrubs that produce small berries are often overshadowed by the much larger blueberry shrubs that have moved into the bog from nearby blueberry farms.
Blueberries are one of Richmond’s most notable agricultural products. The berries grow well in the bog soils and produce abundantly. August is Blueberry Month in BC and thanks to the support of the BC Blueberry Council the Richmond Nature Park Society has a Blueberry Sale on the August long weekend each year.
In addition to selling blueberries we also sell blueberry pie. This is the best blueberry pie in town, in fact, and is donated by ABC Country Restaurant in Richmond. Dozens and dozens of pies and we still ran out. If you missed getting your pie at the Nature Park you still have time to get one at the restaurant.
Did I mention the pony rides? We had real pony rides that took children for a real trail ride through the Nature Park. 5 different sized ponies for every size child who wanted a ride. The pony wranglers took excellent care of the ponies and the children and even cleaned up the “you-know-what” that the ponies left behind.
This year’s event, held on Sunday, August 2, was a wonderful success. The funds raised are essential to the educational programs in the Nature Park so we’d like to say thank you to our sponsors: the BC Blueberry Council, Gaskin Farm, Fisher Farm, ABC Country Restaurant and Do-Little Farm. The berries were amazing – absolutely fresh, ginormous, and divinely sweet and juicy. The pies were so good many people bought a slice then came back to ask for the whole pie. Thanks also to the Board members of the Richmond Nature Park Society who gave up a day in the middle of the holiday weekend to make this event possible.
The next event at the Nature Park is this Sunday, August 9. You’re invited to come and learn about honeybees and our dependence on them. These quiet little workers pollinate nearly half of all the food we eat. Without them, there’d be no blueberries. No fruit and few vegetables either. We hope you’ll come and find out what you can do to help our bees help us.
August 1, 2021 Trails in Nature Park are Closed Until Further Notice
Yesterday, June 29, we recorded our highest summer temperature for the Richmond Nature Park. At 5:00pm the temperature was 35.5C. The forest fire rating is EXTREME and the long range forecast calls for continued hot, dry weather.
As of this morning, the trails in the Richmond Nature Park are closed. No public access will be permitted until further notice.
As noted in the previous entry, fire is a significant threat to the bog when it gets this hot and dry. We understand that this closure may be an inconvenience but we ask for your cooperation in observing the closure. Conditions will be monitored daily and the trails will re-open when the risk of fire drops to a moderate rating.
Posted on July 30 by Kristine Bauder, Nature Park Coordinator
You had a busy summer, I see! Very interesting to read about the parklife. You did hard work...!
Through the volonteering in the Richmond Nature Park my eyes are opened wide in my country too....
Please say hallo to all we know. Yours