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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride


The rain calmed down a bit so we decided to the Heritage Forest in Qualicum Beach. The Forest is across the street from the 5th green (par 3) of the Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club that we love to play. And why not have another blog update today to make today a truly GARGANTUOUS one!

The 50 acre Heritage Forest in Qualicum Beach was saved by local residents from 1996-2004 when they raised $1,250,000 or 68% of the final purchase price of $1,835,000 with the town of Qualicum Beach contributing the balance, to save this old growth forest from being subdivided into 110 building lots. It is really amazing that a very small community worked so tirelessly to save this important forest. A Conservation Covenant was signed at a ceremony in 2008 to ensure that these lands are protected from development, and are to be used as a natural preserve for the appreciation and enjoyment of nature by the public, in perpetuity. The forest has remnant pockets of old growth 400-year-old Coastal Douglas Fir, along with Western Red Cedar, Hemlock, Grand Fir and Sitka Spruce. The forest is also a natural environment for many types of birds including the Barred Owl and Pileated Woodpecker and the salmon-bearing Beach Creek.

Some photos from our walk through this beautiful, tranquil forest today. Working with the new camera was interesting, but I’m learning!

Beach Creek which is home to salmon.

Quirky pumpkin left in the forest.

Humongous trees!

Coastal Douglas-Fir trees have thick bark which protects them from the low-intensity fires that occurred in the forest. This tree has been exposed to fire, as the bark is very black.

The many shades of green in the forest.

Gazing at the very huge trees.

A random lady walker came up to us and said she would take our photo. I think she did a good job using my camera.

Sitka spruce. These trees with their scaly bark are rare on the East side of Vancouver Island. There were 3 of these Sitka spruce in the Heritage Forest, which seem to thrive because of the rich, wet soil conditions.

Artsy shot of the rain on the trees, with the sun in the background.

Deep valley down to the forest floor.

I broke out the waterproof hiking boots today. Safer and I really appreciate the waterproof capability!

This tree has been damaged by the Pileated Woodpeckers, but the damaged trees are left standing, as they serve as nesting sites for Barred Owls, woodpeckers and other bird species, while bats nest under loose bark.

We really enjoyed the walk through Heritage Forest. We both felt the forest was “magical” or “hallowed” ground. Richard at one point said he felt like he was in church. I know what he meant. We were so glad the locals fought so hard to protect this heritage forest in the middle of the town. It was also great to get out of Newman, after two days of being captive, due to heavy rains. While it wasn’t a long or challenging walk, it was still nice to stretch our legs and experience the humongous trees!

We even saw glimpses of a sunset in Qualicum Beach on our way home to Fanny Bay.

And when we arrived home, the waters had receded at the back and front of Newman.

Beautiful blue hour on Fanny Bay January 2, 2021. What a difference from this morning!

Tide is up in grey Fanny Bay, morning of January 2, 2021.

Ok...enough for today! Two blogs in one day!!

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