On February 18, three UVic students and one lucky Kiwi joined TLC in monitoring the Barer and Kinghorn covenants, located at the CRD’s Mt. Work Regional Park. As monitoring usually occurs in the summer during our regional drought, TLC wanted to know how the wetter season might impact the land. So off they went into the wet, wet woods!
The intrepid explorers donned their waterproof gear and made note of all the seasonal ponds and streams they came across, which were quite a few! Knowing the area from the summer monitoring trips, the crew visited specific locations where they thought the increased water might have an impact. One site is a marsh adjacent to the trail that is easily walked upon in the summer but now stands at least 4-8 inches underwater, with several happy frogs enjoying a swim. Another site that was thought to be a seasonal pond actually became a seasonal stream, running downhill and joining up with another larger stream. A few large man-made holes alongside the trail near the Kinghorn cabin were completely full of water, some as deep as 6ft! These ponds looked quite inviting but unfortunately there was still snow on the ground so the crew opted to keep their clothes on and not swim like the frogs.
After a chilly lunch inside the Kinghorn day-use cabin, they took the loop trail and picked their way over the considerable blowdown due to the recent uncharacteristic snowstorms that Greater Victoria had endured. Evidently the forest was not happy with the weight of the snow and disposed of branches as well as full grown trees! Even the ferns looked a little sad as they had been flattened by the snow before it had melted. Thankfully, we know in ecology that a little disturbance like this is actually very healthy for a forest as it opens up the canopy, allowing sunshine to reach the forest floor and give life to new shoots.
So the next time a big “windstorm” blows through your life, remember that it just might be making room for new things to grow in you.
Interested in getting involved with TLC’s Covenant Program? Contact Torrey Archer, TLC’s Covenant Manager, via firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-479-8053 to learn about upcoming opportunities to explore and restore our covenants or donate online to support the program.