Bleeding hydnellum mushrooms grow along Three Pond Loop trail in Strathcona Provincial Park.

Do something wild in the new year

So many wild wonders lie within our forests, unknown and unappreciated

So many wild wonders lie within our forests, unknown and unappreciated, yet I’m constantly amazed at new discoveries bestowed free-of-charge by Mother Earth. Commemorating the New Year’s arrival, here’s a month-by-month calendar to encourage ‘wild’ activities in 2014.

 

1.  January: Find one unique houseplant, study its care, and nurture it throughout the year. You’ll breathe better and little ones will learn.

 

2.  February: Join the 2014 Great Backyard Birdcount (held Friday through Monday, February 14 – 17). Count in your own yard/neighbourhood (www.birdsource.org).

 

3.  March: Spring has sprung! Take the family onto the trails to treasure hunt for spring’s first wildflowers.

 

4.  April: Cameras in hand, immerse yourself in stunning West Coast indigenous plants and snap local lovelies like Flowering Red-currant and Fawn Lily.

 

5.  May: Try out a new nature trail (Campbell River/area boasts over 40 of them).

 

6.  June: Birdwatching season! Buy a pocket ID book; learn five new birds this summer. (Recommended: Birds of coastal British Columbia by Lone Pine).

 

7.  July: Summer’s first wild fruit is ripe! Take an ice-cream bucket into Beaverlodge Forest and fill with Salmonberries.

 

8.  August: Collect wild seeds/seedpods; remind children never to pluck wildflowers.

 

9.  September: Mushroom season, and autumn woods are filled with fun guys. Hunt for local chanterelles – a gourmet delight.

 

10.  October: Grab binoculars, head for the beach to greet a plethora of waterfowl over-wintering along our shores.

 

11.  November: Smear peanut butter on pinecones and hang out for winter birds.

 

12:  December: Mosses and ferns green up winter woodlands. Learn them, love them.

 

Email Christine at: wildernesswest@shaw.ca