East Sooke Park

June, 2015

“I believe the world is incomprehensibly beautiful — an endless prospect of magic and wonder.”
— Ansel Adams

On Sunday we set off to explore East Sooke Park which is a 3512 acre waterfront park on the south-western tip of Vancouver Island. With 30 miles of trails, it will take us a couple of trips to see it all.

The park has three entrances and we choose to begin at Aylard Farm. On this beautiful June day the fields from the old farm are filled with daisies and gentle pathways lead us down to the ocean. We take a trail that follows along cliffs above Becher Bay and look down over the marina, our hearts catching for a moment as we watch a sailor on his deck preparing to untie his lines. What a day to be out on the water!

The Marina through the trees

The Marina through the trees

Becher Bay

Becher Bay

There are so many coves and beaches along the way

There are so many coves and beaches along the way

We scramble up a steep outcropping to Beechey Head, a rocky point that overlooks the Strait of Juan de Fuca backdropped by the Olympic Mountains in Washington – which are unusually ‘un’ snowcapped today. Arbutus trees full of Old Man’s Beard, cling impossibly to the sides of the rock we are standing on as we watch hopeful fishermen bob in their boats. Snorkelers in wetsuits swim around a rocky point, an eagle calls from above.

The day is a west coast dream. We explore maybe a tenth of this amazing park, but its incomprehensible beauty will call us back again. And again.

 The magnificent yet fiercely rugged Arbutus is starting to shed it’s ‘skin.’

The magnificent yet fiercely rugged Arbutus is starting to shed it’s ‘skin.’

Sunlight through an Arbutus. As an evergreen/deciduous, the Arbutus is never without its leaves. It loves hanging off of rocky bluffs and crags overlooking the ocean.

Sunlight through an Arbutus -as an evergreen/deciduous, the Arbutus is never without its leaves.

The pink blush of Broadleaf Stonecrop in natures rock garden.

The pink blush of Broadleaf Stonecrop in natures rock garden.

I LOVE these colours

The colour!

It looks so delicate and yet it's growing out of a rock on a windswept shoreline

It looks so delicate and yet it grows out of a rock on a windswept shoreline

The views are stunning!

The views are stunning!

Looking out across Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Mountains

Looking out across Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Mountains

Old Man’s Beard hanging off an Arbutus. Like many lichens it’s very sensitive to air pollution so it’s always a good sign to see lots of it around.

Old Man’s Beard hanging off an Arbutus – lichens are very sensitive to air pollution so it’s always a good sign to see lots of it around.

The Arbutus loves to hang off of cliffs over the ocean

The Arbutus loves to hang off of cliffs over the ocean

A doorway in the rocks

A doorway in the rocks

Walking down to a beach

Walking down to a beach

The wild rose reminds me of Alberta

The wild rose reminds me of Alberta

A picnic for two on the beach

A picnic for two on the beach

An exposed root system along the path

An exposed root system along the path

The little pinky white ‘bells’ of Salal flowers with new bright green berries.

The little pinky white ‘bells’ of Salal flowers with new bright green berries.

"Don't you think daisies are the friendliest flower?"

“Don’t you think daisies are the friendliest flower?” – Shopgirl

Tall grasses

Tall grasses

New blackberries

New blackberries – a promise of sweet things to come

Categories: Walk Abouts

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