by Lisa Dumoulin
With spring approaching, a great way to get outside and enjoy the blossoming of our beautiful local ecosystems is to tour the area by bike. Riding on southeast Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands (staying on designated trails, of course!), you are bound to pass remnant Garry Oak and associated ecosystems bursting into colour. Some things to look for on your outings are the blue blooms of Great and Common Camas, gnarly budding Garry Oaks, Fawn and Chocolate Lilies and the flashing green of Anna’s Hummingbirds.
Thirty years ago, you might also have spotted Western Bluebirds. Now, however, Western Bluebirds are considered extirpated from our area — rarely sighted and no longer breeding in their former territories due to habitat destruction and other factors.