Lots of Wildlife on Our Country Walks
by Peggy Collins
(Sunshine Coast, B.C., Canada)
I love going for walks with our two dogs out in the country. We live on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada and we're lucky enough to be surrounded by the ocean, mountains, and forests. We have abundant wildlife here too...lucky for me, because I'm a nature photographer!
I always take our dogs for a morning walk (some might call it a hike) up along the power lines, where the forest has been cleared. There's a network of old logging roads and trails all along the coast that are perfect for walking. Just recently some volunteers have been developing the Suncoast Trail...they've put in some bridges over creeks and cleared bush so that there are a multitude of small trails. I can't tell you what a joy it is to have so many different paths to choose from!
We have an ever-increasing population of Roosevelt elk here, especially in Pender Harbour where I live. So we often come across elk herds. Usually there are about 15 or so elk to a herd. Mostly we see females and young elk unless it's autumn...that's when the bucks come out for mating season. You have to be a little careful about getting too close to elk bucks during mating season because they can be aggressive, although I've never had an incident.
Another thing I run into a lot is black bears. It can be a little unnerving to be walking along a path surrounded by high bushes and round a corner, only to see a bear standing on the path eating berries. A couple of years ago I saw at least one bear a day, and often more than one, for a couple of months while the various berries were ripe. There are a lot of salmonberries where we walk and bears love those...they don't have as many thorns as blackberries, which are also prevalent.
Another thing I see a lot of is coyotes. I keep my dogs on leashes now because they'll chase off a coyote if they see one. And now I hear we have wolves in the area, although I've never seen one. A few people I know have seen them though, and here I am walking around with a big camera just dying to get a photograph of one but it hasn't happened yet.
Anyway, I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't get out for my country walks. We moved from the city 10 years ago and I tell you, I'm never going back. And I don't think the dogs would like it either!
My Dogs in the First Snow of the Year