April is Spring and Spring is all about flowers and trees! The first week of April is also tree week. For the first week, the Stanley Park held 4 free walks and I only did one of them – The Giant Tree Walk.
However, first .. a quick lunch at Moonpennies Cafe near the 19 Stanley Park bus stop . (Address 102 W Pender St, Vancouver, BC)
We met up at the Stanley Park Ecological Center just at the edge of the Lost Lagoon and walked around their small office. There were many samples on display such as wings, claws, bones as well as a whole beaver.
Outside was the Lost Lagoon and in the middle of the water was a floating log with three turtles sun tanning on this beautiful day.
The walk began with some 30 people or so and we went half way around the Lost Lagoon before entering the Tatlow Trail. Along the way, there was a very large swan, probably one of the largest I have ever seen. I think animals here have less predators because everything from seagulls to skunks are all bigger than normal.
Just a little bit a way, is another swan, peacefully laying on stack of twigs … or maybe a nest?
No sooner did we arrive at Tatlow Trail that the atmosphere changed, gone were their ducks and was blue skies, as they were replaced by towering trees and branches.
We finally came to the largest Douglas Fir in Stanley Park, and our guide’s favorite tree. I didn’t take proper notes and weren’t able to retrieve the information from my brain but from what I remember there are spiders living in these holes, and hence the many white cobwebs. They are blind and basically pulls everything into their hole once they get a good grasp of the object.
The next place we visited was the Seven Sisters, where 6 Douglas Firs and 1 cedar tree grew up closely together reaching similar height. In the vast forest where everything is green and tall, together they stood out and became an attraction point for many decades.
These days you see a few rotten stumps… The government had deemed it to be dying and was unsafe, and their solution was to cut it down, save for one. According to the guide, the trees are all technically dying, because water and nutrients are passed from the outer bark to the top of the tree. With nothing going through the core, it becomes hollow and dies.
The trees inside the park is truly amazing … they have lived so long and provided people a way to get away from the city. They might have even inspired artists and writers, since art imitates life anyways.
The guide told us that Hemlocks have really shallow roots and during windy times, they get blown sideways. We found a tree right on the path that was completely blown sideways.
However, now we get a close up of what it looks like under the tree.
We continue to see tall amazing trees everywhere …
A cedar tree with three trunks- triplets! The guide said it is not possible to determine how these trees came to separate into three, there could be many reasons, even as odd as a bird dropping a seed right into a crack of the tree. The wonder of nature…
Another wonder of nature – a bald spot. No. Just kidding. A tree has fallen and another tree just grew right on top of it. It creates a hole near the roots of the tree and when rotted, can provide cave like shelters for animals.
Off the trail and into the woods …
The largest maple tree in the world is in Stanley Park! It was once in Oregon but when it blew over in 2011, this took the title. It is a little hard to find, going into the smaller path.
The largest Red Alder tree in the world is here too, right next to Third Beach, quietly earning its place in the books with little notice from visitors.
After that, the tour ended, and I walked back into Stanley Park … I was told that it isn’t safe to hike alone, especially in Stanley Park because there has been incidents before. I totally agree with it because there are some places that are so quiet that you can disappear and people might not notice for long periods of time. At one point, I actually felt like something (like a person) was behind the bushes but there was nothing there.
I think Tatlow trail is o.k. for the most part since there are a lot of joggers coming and going, but definitely do not go on the trail when it is night.
Here are just some random photos I took at Stanley Park that perked my fancy.
A large tree stump supporting many smaller trees!
Tree with small tiny roots!
The bridge that has pedestrian and equestrian side. I actually thought equestrian side mean horses, but bikes 🙂
Some times, people draw nature and that becomes masterpiece. Therefore, nature must be a masterpiece.
Ivy is climbing up the cedar tree. Ivy was introduced here because it makes the side of the buildings and ground looks nice because it’s green and covers the ground so thoroughly. However, they are an evasive specie, living off the nutrients of the tree it is on, and can eventually kill it. Unfortunately, there isn’t any animals that eat them nor does it get to cold in the winter for them to die.
Beaver Lake. This lake is one km to walk around but it continues to shrink in size. It was a lake, now becoming and marsh and later a meadow. The speed was quicken by the introduction of lily’s to the lake in the 1937s (see the ivy above). (About Beaver Lake)
It is a wild squirrel! A girl was sitting on a bridge on the north side of the lake. She had nuts and attracted many squirrels. As I came walking, rather than running away, one actually approached me, thinking I too might have food.
Almost completely covered, who knows how long this tree has fallen,
Tall trees branching out like umbrellas.
At the end of the trail, I was back out into civilization with cars and nice parks.
That was my first trip inside Stanley Park!