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Burke Mountain Naturalists WEBSITE also Facebook + TWITTER and an Events calendar

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Bird Count

Tri-City News article:   Counting birds instead of bird kills in the Tri-Cities

Audubon Christmas Bird Count in our Area.    Everyone welcome :)
Saturday, January 3,  2015

Followed in the coming year by the:
BMN  MONTHLY MEETING: Highlights of the 2014 Christmas Bird Count

Tuesday, January 13 2015 at 7:30 PM

More in depth information about the annual bird count from the Audubon folks

Some information links 

Birding in British Columbia

Species, Age and Sex Identification of Ducks Using Wing Plumage

Ducks at a Distance  A Waterfowl Identification Guide ( Still relevant, now online )

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology

And a little closer to home,   E-Fauna  BC   birds   From the folks at E-Fauna

Saturday, December 6, 2014

BMN AGM December 9

Tuesday December 9 is our big social of the year - our AGM and Silent Auction. starts at 7 p.m.

I would like to remind everyone there is a SHARE food bank box in the foyer of the church.   Your donation would be gratefully appreciated.

If you are bringing an item for the auction, would you please let me know the value, minimum bid and item description prior to the meeting so that I can prepare a bidding form.  Also, if you are paying your membership it would be very much appreciated if you paid by cheque - saves confusion on my part!

   Slideshow and Silent Auction to benefit Mossom Creek Hatchery

It will be an evening of views, food and the fun of a silent auction at the annual general meeting on Tuesday.   Browse and bid on items and gift certificates donated by local businesses, plus items and services donated by BMN members.

The services offered this year include a canoe trip on Port Moody Inlet, a lesson in Japanese cooking in your own kitchen, computer lessons, lessons in photography for two at Colony Farm Park, handyman services, and more. There will also be a bake table with delectable items for sale, and volunteers from the Riverview Horticultural Centre Society will sell fresh holly and other seasonal decorations.

Funds raised will be donated to help the rebuilding of the Mossom Creek Hatchery and Education Centre. This hatchery began as a project of Centennial School’s salmon enhancement club in 1976, and went on to become a productive hatchery and school teaching facility. It was destroyed by fire in December 2013.

The  meeting will include a brief AGM, seasonal refreshments and live music, after which president Ian McArthur will present a slideshow featuring highlights of the past year’s hikes, invasive plant removal parties, nest box cleaning, public nature walks and other BMN activities. BMN enters its 26th year in the community this year!

This meeting also provides an opportunity to sign up for the annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count held this year on Saturday, January 3rd.  Every year for the past 21 years, the Naturalists have collected data on the numbers and species of wintering birds in the Tri-Cities area as part of the larger Audubon North American census which is the world’s longest running wildlife census, now in its 115th year, and involves over 60,000 birders.  Participation is free, and anyone interested in joining a team of birders can contact BMN at    or call     Victoria at 604-937-5379.

For new members - Tuesday’s meeting will be held in the hall of Como Lake United Church which is located on the corner of Marmont Street and King Albert Avenue in Coquitlam.  Doors open at 7:00 pm and silent auction bidding will end at 9:00 pm.  For further information, please contact 604-936-4108 or 604-461-3864, or see

Hope to see you there.

Force of nature meet about Kinder morgan

         In the last few weeks the Kinder Morgan pipeline has been in the headlines a lot and its been all bad news for those narrow interests that want to see tankers filled with tar sands crude off our shores. The recent events on Burnaby Mountain have increased awareness and opposition to these pipeline projects and have opened the door to a broader conversation about these issues.

          We need to take advantage of this moment and get out in our communities and have as many conversations as possible with our neighbours while the risks of this pipeline is still front of mind. That is why Force of Nature is holding an Activist Meeting next Wednesday and I want you to join us.

Wednesday December 17th starting at 6:30pm
Port Moody Recreation Center 300 Ioco Rd.
Multipurpose Room 2

At Force of Nature, we believe that our elected leaders should stand up for the communities that they represent. When it comes to communities like ours, that are under threat from the Kinder Morgan pipeline, we need more than ever to be sure that we are electing champions that will fight for us.

We believe that the best way to make sure this happens is by creating engaged, resilient communities and that the we can only achieve this by getting out in neighbourhoods like yours and having face to face conversations with our friends and neighbours.

That is where you come in, we need your help to build the kind of community that can stand up to Kinder Morgan and take back our countries politics.

Please join us at the Activist Meeting and find out how you can be part of this growing movement to keep this dirtiest of fossil fuels out of our communities.

If you have any questions please feel free to call me directly at 604 379 6735.

Thank you for your support

Katie Harrison
Force of Nature

NOTE: forwarded to me from a friend, I know nothing about the group.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Don Gillespie, wins award

Don Gillespie wins the Eugene Rogers award. Don continues to help maintain the trails to this day.
Also blogged at Twitter

Don can also be frequently found doing other community activities, such as his long committment to Finnies Garden, and the preservation of  Riverview Hospital site

Raising a torii gate at Finnies Garden. photo: Kiyoshi Takahashi

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rally against Kinder-Morgan at Colony Farm

A hot, sunny day at Colony farm for the event, which went well except for a few issues with the audio system, ( always seems the way ! )

Elaine Golds of the Burke Mountain Naturalists hosted the event, with Ben West, of ForestEthics ; Fin Donnelly, MP New Westminster-Coquitlam and Port Moody; the always passionate Joe Foy, of the Wilderness Committee; Sav Dhaliwal, Burnaby councillor, and Mayor, Richard Stewart, and Craig Hodge, councillor of Coquitlam, providing inspirational speeches.

     Followed with some themed singing by the Solidarity Notes labour choir

Other groups spotted were Pipe Up network and the Let BC Vote campaign, which wants the public to be able to vote individually on many public policy issues.

     Also the Youth against Pipelines in our parks, was there, also the The green Party of Canada  had a table set up, being so close to "silly season" and all the wannabe and incumbents were tripping over each other for their voice to be heard.

One interesting thing that I noticed was that the Canadian Pacific Railway police were at the entrance to Colony Farm, where the tracks are, and it is apparently the possible staging site for the future Kinder-Morgan fiasco in the future, and on my way home from the event the RCMP were also there with the CPR officer.
I guess there must have been some anarchists, radicals or the like nearby at least I could not smell any tear gas.

Some photographs at Flickr of the event

Thursday, September 11, 2014

25 YEARS !!!

      The Naturalists had a twenty-five year anniversary celebration meeting at the regular monthly meeting. it was well attended, with over 70 members and supporters in attendance. Made me think about how much land the group has been able to save through the years.
It would be somewhere near 400 square kilometers, Burke-Pinecone Provincial Park is 380 square kilometers in area, and this would make the lands preserved with the help of other groups to be larger than 45 countries
I Like that idea.     Stay tuned for a 50 year anniversary celebration

Below are a few pictures taken at the event:

Also at Flickr

Original at Flickr

 Original at Flickr 

This fellow has a mountain named after him   Don Gillespie  Mount Gillespie   Apparently they normally do not name land features after living people, but by a coincidence, other unrelated Gillespie's had also explored the area in the past.  Norma Gillespie, Don's wife on the left, both are tireless supporters of BMN.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BMN walk through Riverview

Last Sunday June 1, members of BMN, with our fearless leader Don G., led a group of nearly 40 through the Riverview grounds, visiting Finnies Garden, the old Orchard, and the Riverview Creek rearing ponds area.

A nice sunny day, and the arboretum was especially colourful, and we were lucky to see a small ephemeral pond that was providing a refuge to at least seven Western Toads.

 Update: Kiyoshi Takahashi shared his wonderful photos with us in this ALBUM

We all met at the HEY building  [ Larger picture ]

  Before we visited the Riverview Creek area we went up to "Doctor's Row" where a very good view can be seen of Colony Farm and Mary Hill, see a Panoramio photo of the view

Riverview Creek, rearing ponds area. [ Larger picture ]

Western toads in an ephemeral pond; How many can you SEE ?  [ Larger picture ]

One of the rearing ponds; settling in slowly but surely  [ Larger picture ]

 Walking out to the road  [ Larger picture ]

A fine day enjoyed by all; many thanks to Don Gillespie for leading us on the adventure.

Friday, May 30, 2014

BMN member, Gay Mitchell studio exhibit and sale

Long-time BMN member Gay Mitchell will be having a studio exhibit and sale at the
 King of Life Lutheran Church , 1198 Falcon Drive, Coquitlam, B.C.
on Saturday, June 7, from 10 am  until 7 pm 

There was also a short article in the local newspaper: Arts in brief: Mitchell sells art

Avid BMN hiker, Mark Johnston is Gay's husband who sometimes writes hiking reports for us all to enjoy.

A few pictures from the event, far from a complete selection is shown here.

Gaye Mitchell, seated with a happy customer

Another happy customer :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Indian Arm, AKA North Arm

Members of BMN and friends went on an adventure from Rocky Point to the Indian River estuary which is located at the northern part of  Indian Arm, (known more commonly at one time as the North Arm.)  with many stops and pauses along the way to enjoy the sights and sounds of the area. The trip was organized in aid of generating some monies to rebuild the Mossom Creek hatchery, after the disastrous fire last year.

I have created two albums of photographs one at Flickr and another at Panoramio.

And Dave Mountenay has shared some of his photographs at the Friends of DeBoville Slough website

Also Paul Steeves has shared his photo album of the adventure

And Jolene Bonhomme has shared her album with us.

Along the way there are pictographs to be seen, the best known of which are near Best Point, a few poor quality images HERE

But there are many other pictograph sites painted onto the cliffs of the fiord; a short summary below.

DiRr 2. About 750 meters north of Brighton Beach on the western shore of the arm.

DiRr 6. On the western shore of the arm, about 275 meters north of site DiRr 7.

DiRr 7. On the western shore of the arm south of Croker Island and about 275 meters south of DiRr 6.

DiRr 8. On the eastern shore of the arm on cliffs to the east of the Vancouver City Powerhouse site.

DiRr 9. On the western shore of the arm about 100 meters north of Brighton Beach, site DiRr 2.
DiRr 10. On the eastern shore of the arm, almost directly across from Alder Creek, between the powerhouse and Twin Islands.

DiRr 11. At North Sunshine on the western shore of the Arm.

DiRr 12. On the western shore of the Arm, just north of Deep Cove Marina, and a little beyond the Grey Rocks powerline.

DiRr 13. On the western shore of the arm opposite Farrer Cove and approximately at Grey Rocks.

DiRr 14. Approximately 125 feet south of Site DiRr 2 on the western shore of the arm.

The list above from taken from:  Rock art of the Northwest Coast (PDF)
               Author:  Doris Marion Lundy, M.A. dissertion thesis, 1974  SFU.

There are also numerous pictographs along Pitt Lake, the most well known can be viewed in my Pitt Lake blog
The Pitt Lake pictographs have fared better to the weather, and most of the designs appear to be more recent then the art along indian Arm.

Some of the wildlife and ecology seen during the trip.
BMN member Hillary Maguire has shared her birdlist at EBIRD
 And Megan Willie's bird list, also at EBIRD

( Makes me wonder if the birds were counting us, and posting the data on EHUMAN. Certainly appears to be lots of lifeforms utilizing Indian Arm.  )

And collectively throughout the day the list below created:

Common loon (6)
Pelagic cormorant
Double crested cormorant 3
Pigeon guillemot
Canada goose
Harlequin duck
Common merganser 16
Glaucous winged gull
Ring billed gull
Caspian tern (mud flats)
Great blue heron
Bald eagle 3
Osprey 2
Band tailed pigeon
Rock pigeon
Northern flicker
Flycatcher, sp.
Barn swallow
Tree swallow
Purple martin
Northwestern crow
Common raven
Black capped chickadee
Pacific wren
American dipper ( Silver Falls )
Swainson's thrush
Warbling vireo
Wilson's warbler
Yellow warbler
Red winged blackbird
White crowned sparrow
Spotted towhee
Dark eyed junco
Black-headed grosbeak
Rufous Hummingbird

Northwestern garter snake ( Granite Falls )
Harbour seal
Black tailed deer
Douglas squirrel
Pine marten ( Silver Falls )

Moon jelly ( Silver Falls )
Lion's mane jelly  ( Silver Falls )
Pile perch ( Granite Falls )
Shiner perch ( Granite Falls )
Dungeness crab
Purple stars
Leather stars
Mottled stars

Some plants of interest:
Red columbine ( Twin Island and Granite Falls )
Wild strawberries
Parsley fern ( Twin Island )
Tiger Lily ( Twin Island )


I thought that it may be interesting to some to see some of the more historic photographs of the fiord. The area has been enjoyed by people since the earliest times of occupation. (Most of these photos have been reduced to 20% or less from the original size, click on the links to enjoy the images in their original sizes.)

Burrard Inlet 1893.  MAP50

View of Deep Cove, the Quarry and Racoon Island, North Arm. ca. 1912.
Note: the quarry is the Deep Cove Quarry  092GSE035
Photo: James Luke Quiney.  A09342

Rennie's mine on the North Arm. 190?
(Note: numerous test pits dot the landscape along the fiord )    A33386

View of river bank and the mouth of the Indian River,
photo: W.J. Moore, Aug. 15, 1927.  A63531

View of river bank and the mouth of the Indian River.
photo: W.J. Moore. Aug 15, 1927.  A63532

View of the mouth of the Indian River showing wooden piles and a rowboat.
photo: W.J. Moore 15 Aug, 1927. A63534

Indian River from the Pallisades. 1928.
photo: James Crookall. A76311

Indian River. 1928.
photo: James Crookall.   A76337

Wigwam Inn

A short but far complete history of the Indian River Park is available HERE as a PDF.
Note: you will frequently notice that Wigwam Creek as it is known today is frequently referred to as Indian River which it is not.

View of Wigwam Inn from dock. 1913.  A08336

Wigwam Inn gardens. 1912   A09308

Falls, North Arm. ca.1910-1929.
Attributed to Franklin Walter Hewton. A22658

Spectator's on the judge's boat at a regatta near Indian River. ca. 1910.
photo:  W.J. Cairns.  A34083

View of spectators at Indian River. 1910?.
photo:  W.J. Cairns.  A34086

Spray of Pearls Falls, Indian River  193-?   A63327

Spray Falls at Indian River. 1928.
photo:  James Crookall. A76289

Spray Falls, Indian River. 1928.
photo: James Crookall. A76315

Spray Falls, Indian River.1928
photo: James Crookall.  A76351

The Spray of Pearls Falls, even has a legend about it created to bring in the tourists, a quick read…
The legend of the falls of the spray of pearls  (PDF). 1916   Author: Jane Parkin
The legend is about two Scottish immigrants, Norman and Pearl McNabb.

View of the mouth of the Indian River from the grounds of the Wigwam Inn.
photo:  W.J. Moore. Aug. 16, 1927.  A63529

View of the mouth of the Indian River from the grounds of the Wigwam Inn.
photo W.J. Moore, Aug. 16, 1927. A63530

View of the mouth of the Indian River from the grounds of the Wigwam Inn.
photo: W.J. Moore, 15 Aug. 1927. A63533

Wigwam Inn, Indian River, Burrard Inlet . 1923
photo: Hubert William Lovell.  CVA258-47

At the end of Burrard Inlet, Indian River, Wigwam Inn. 1923. Note: This is located just north of the Wigwam Inn, it is showing part of the trail that connected the Inn with the eastern side of the Indian River.
photo:  Hubert William Lovell.  CVA258-48

Granite Falls, on Grand Creek

This is the largest waterfall in Indian Arm, the immediate area near it was heavily exploited for the local granitic rocks, which were used as building stone, and later as rip-rap primarily in the Lower Mainland area. After the mining was over, a recreational lodge opened up on the site, which did not last very long. (If you want to know more about the quarry, just PM me, I have a fair amount of facts and figures about the mine. ). The Grand Creek watershed has been heavily logged, and the resultant damage is very evident in the hills above, numerous slides abound from the road building efforts involved in getting to the wood. A nice quick read of some of the history of the area near Granite Falls is available HERE as a PDF. Today in 2014 the area is part of Indian Arm Provincial Park.

. Granite Falls, Indian Arm. 1890?.
Photo: Charles S. Bailey.  A04085

Group of men, women and children assembled at Granite Falls, Indian Arm. 1890?

Three men standing by Granite Falls, Indian Arm. 1888?

Granite Falls, Indian Arm. 1919.

Boating scenery near Vancouver. 191?.
  Shows a boat up the North Arm of Burrard Inlet, near Granite Falls.
Note: Granite Falls is barely visible to the right of the bow of the boat in the distance.  A18087

North Arm, Granite Falls, 1887.
From the collection of  Dr. A.M. Robertson   A26755

Granite Falls, North Arm 1887  A26756

View of Granite Falls near Indian River. August 1891.  Shows yacht "Yvonne", Miss Rose Townley, Grange Holt, J.P. Roberts, W.E. Gravely and others.
photo: W.M. Tegart.  A26878

The steam yacht "Yvonne" at Granite Falls near Indian River.  Aug. 1891 shows Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Gravely, Grange Holt, J.P. Roberts, and others. Croker island in the background.
photo: W.M. Tegart.  A26879

View of Coast Quarries Limited and Granite Falls in the North Arm of Burrard Inlet, ca.1925

View of Granite Falls at the north end of Indian Arm. 1914-1915.
Photo attributed to Franklin Walter Hewton.  A33035

People sitting at the base of Granite Falls at the north end of Indian Arm. 1914-1915.
Photo attributed to Franklin Walter Hewton.   A33036
The Granite Falls quarry, Indian River Quarries  092GSE036 was the longest running quarry in the Indian Arm area. Here is a listing of some of the other quarries:

Deep Cove Quarry  092GSE035
Brighten Quarry, Burrard Inlet 092GSE033
Indian Arm Granite quarry 092GSE003 this quarry is near Elsay Creek
Croker Island quarry 092GSE034 located on Croker Island which is now a park.

And the,  Racoon Island, Dot Fraction 092GSE013 which is a minor gold showing on Racoon Island

1: 20 000 maps are available to download as PDF’s for free from the Province.

Upper Indian River:  092G056      
Indian River and estuary: 092G046 
Barnet to Buntzen:  092G036
Port Moody: 092G026

And finally the mayor of Belcarra, Ralph Drew has been very prolific in gathering and sharing some of the history of the area, have a look HERE for many hours of reading pleasure.