Do something wild in the new year

Bleeding hydnellum mushrooms grow along Three Pond Loop trail in Strathcona Provincial Park. - Photo: Karalyn Hubbard
Bleeding hydnellum mushrooms grow along Three Pond Loop trail in Strathcona Provincial Park.
— image credit: Photo: Karalyn Hubbard

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 (


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.


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