Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 30 - wildlife

Here you go J.
A black bear and her cub. We were driving down the highway ( two lane, twisty and very slow ) when I caught sight of the large bear in the corner of my eye as she walked slowly down a gravel side road.

When I mentioned it to Paul, he checked for traffic and backed up so he could have a look . When we got back we noticed the cub. The mother stopped, looked at us and headed them both into the bush. I was using my full telephoto and did not leave the car or try to drive closer.
A bit later we noticed several cars pulled over at the side of the road and people standing at the base of a hill. There was a bear part way up feeding on berries. Again we did not get out of the car. Black bears are fast, if it had decided to charge there is no way everyone would have made it back to their vehicles. They put out lots of warnings about the dangers but some people still think the great out of doors is a theme park with tame animals.

I am quite prepared to give wildlife all the room and respect it needs.

At one of our " oh look at the view, pull over" stops there was a woman staring very intently at something on the ground. Being a nosy person I headed over. She'd found a large brown/black slug.(bigger than my thumb) I'd never seen one before so of course had to take photos. Next day at Cathedral Grove I spotted lots of them. Some well squished. Yuck!

Fungus wasn't a surprise considering the damp and shade at Cathedral Grove. I had expected to see more. It was rather pretty.

Paul spotted this resin/sap on the top of a tree stump. Some days my close ups work well.

Island Map

We drove through Nanaimo to Parksville, 2 + hour drive, turned towards Port Alberni to get to our B&B in Coombs. Drove to Tofino and Ucluelet and back on day 2. We tried to have dinner in Port Alberni but it was closed, streets rolled up and deserted by 8pm. Luckily we found a pizza restaurant in a mall off the highway.
We drove back 15km towards Port A. the next morning to Cathedral Grove and had a nice stop in Nanaimo on the way back to Victoria.

If you look to the Pacific side short way up from Victoria, you should spot Port Renfrew where we visited Botanical Beach


Kathleen said...

Oh. My. Goodness. You mean you have never seen a slug? Or just that kind? They are the bane of every gardener, eating flowers and leaves of all kinds (boy do they love hostas and dahlias...and iris...and and and). The brown ones are the most common here. Don't ever sit on one...the slime will NOT come out of your clothes. I sat on one in Oklahoma once, so I speak from experience! In our rain forest we have banana slugs...long, yellowish green.

The tree fungus we call "conk"...or "artists conk". While it's illegal to take them from the trees in the rain forest, people do, and they carve the white underside, or scratch designs (the carving turns brown) in them.

Saw my first bear in the wild in the rainforest here in May. It was grazing peacefully in a meadow, surrounded by people taking photos...some in their cars, some not. One man had a tripod and everything, just shooting away. The bear couldnt have cared less. No cub with it tho. That might have made a difference.

jeanie said...

Wow - thanks Elizabeth.

That slug reminds me of something I can't quite put my finger on (and definitely wouldn't)!

beautiful photos.


K: I've never seen one that big. We get pale tiny ones in our garden. They like my hostas leaves too.

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