Activity Group News Posts are like blog or FaceBook posts and cover the entire history of the Glacier Probus Club, you can scroll down and all the way back to our beginnings in September 2013.
Some Birding Group members drove to Royston on Monday morning to take advantage of a break in weather by checking out the birdlife along the Seaside Trail off Hilton Road. We started off our exploration in a misty drizzle, but then the sun broke through the clouds and the rest of our time on the trail was quite pleasant. Lots of birds out on the water to keep binoculars and cameras in full play; all participants were quite pleased with the variety.
Among the birds noted were: Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Swan, Great-Blue Heron, Surf Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Horned Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Brandt's Cormorant, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Scaup, Common Goldeneye and, of course, gulls. Please give feedback if anyone feels a bird shown below is wrongly identified...that's how we learn!
Even though the group coordinator is out of town, a dedicated bunch of music lovers gathered at the Avalanche to hear the Ralph Barrat Group's tribute to Mose Allison. Thanks to Bill Jorgensen for the pictures. To see more of Bill's pictures from the evening click here.
A break in the recent rainy weather brought some of our members out on a hike over the extension to the Wildwood Forest trail this past Friday. The day was cool, but we were soon stripping off some of our outer-wear when a bit of sun made its appearance. Reaching the end of the formal One Spot Trail, we passed the "trail end" sign to continue along a rough trail which brought us down to the Tsolum River, a more fitting end to the One Spot. By the time we arrived back at the trailhead, we had covered around 9 km and were ready for a light lunch and coffee at Tim Hortons.
Bill Jorgensen has provided a link to his hike photos - enjoy your browse! Thanks, Bill.
It has been a good month for movies! The group enjoyed the movie "Frantz" presented as part of the CVAG/TIFF film series. To quote IMDB, "In 1919 Quedlinburg, Germany, a young woman named Anna is still mourning the death of her fiance, Frantz Hoffmeister, in the Great War while living with his equally devastated parents. One day, a mysterious Frenchman, Adrien Rivoire, comes to town both to pay his respects to Frantz's grave and to contact that soldier's parents. Although it is difficult for both sides with the bitterness of Germany's defeat, Adrian explains that he knew Frantz and gradually he wins Anna and the Hoffmeisters' hearts as he tries to connect with them. Unfortunately, Adrien and Anna discover the truth of his motives and things seem shattered for all." However, there's much more to this movie.
When we were at dinner, at Avenue, we all felt the movie was going in one direction, but it didn't. We enjoyed it very much, and found it haunting. The food was delicious at Avenue Bistro, as it always is!
Despite an inauspicious start under rather foggy conditions, this outing turned out well weather-wise, with the sun soon peeking through and pleasant hiking conditions prevailing. Very few of the participants had previously walked the Oyster River mountainbiking trail system, so enjoyed the experience. There was even a bit of excitement, with a bear being sighted in the distance - thank goodness ambling in the opposite direction. The lunch break was taken at riverside, with lovely views to perk up the soul.
Pub Club members met at Fluid's Bar and Grill on Tuesday, 7th November. This is the first time we have visited Fluid and nine people had a lively evening with good food and lots of chat. We welcomed Maury, a new member to Probus.
This First Tuesday Concert at the Mex Pub marked the end of our group's first year of activities. We out numbered the rest of the patrons in the pub so I think it's fair for us to take credit for a generous portion of the $656.25 raised for the Comox Valley Food Bank. The hosts Bruce and Judy Wing and the featured group Lunch Box Legends provided more than 2 hours of non stop entertainment. Their mostly original compositions ranged from thoughtful ballads to rousing toe tappers.
Thanks to Bill Jorgensen for capturing the moments. Please click here to see pictures from the evening on Bill's website.
Random Readers met today and we had many many good discussions, from how our reading has changed over the years to the issues of cultural appropriation, from the importance of having good Canadian nonfiction to the importance of having good fiction and nonfiction in general. Many books were discussed. Here is a brief list of some of the books that members had read.
And to highlight a local author, yes, from the Comox Valley!
Margaret recommends ... Light Years - by Caroline Woodward.
This book is not only a memoir but also the story of a modern
lighthouse keeper on the remote islands in B.C. A fascinating read.
If you love reading, join us for our next Random Readers, Wed., Dec 13,
Bring anything interesting you have read recently. We love good discussions.
We were supposed to walk from the Comox dam downstream toward Nymph Falls, but decided that there was likely too much snow there to make walking a pleasure, so we settled for Seal Bay. Gil led the way as only he can, as certainly the writer, and I suspect others in our group, would soon become lost in the maze of trails in the Park.
The beavers are active at Melda's Marsh, and have felled one tree, and damaged a few others that have now been surrounded with wire mesh-difficult not to admire the beaver's efforts but............
Coffee at the Country Market finished off the morning.
Thanks to Dawn for the pics.
Wow - what a weather change in just a few days! Fall colours in all their glory one day; snow the next. The hiking group's projected hike up to the lower slopes of Mt Washington had to be amended to a meander through Seal Bay Park as a result. This was no big hardship, due to the beauty of fresh snow covering the landscape - we all enjoyed every moment on the trail and managed to get in over 2 1/2 hours of hiking before arriving back at the trailhead.
Another lovely sunny Fall outing, this time to Campbell River's Ripple Rock Viewpoint. The enthusiastic group was full of joie de vivre as they tackled the ups and downs of the route out to the overlook. The signs of autumn were all around: mushrooms and fallen leaves and colour everywhere. The timing of this hike was bang on, with the snow arriving so soon afterwards...
Click on BILL'S PHOTOS for some great photos of the outing. Thanks for sharing, Bill.
Almost the end of October, but what a lovely day we had for checking out nature at the Courtenay Airpark! The Birding Group were well-represented on the outing and all enjoyed searching out the birds whether in the water, along the shore or in the trees. A pleasant surprise was noted when a distant shot towards the estuary mouth area showed the presence of swans, when cropped and blown-up. They are arriving! A very short video clip has been included here, showing an encounter between a gull and Mallard, which ended happily for the latter.
We walked at Nymph Falls on this last day of October in perfect weather and able to admire the final colours of Fall as we went through the woods. All 15 walkers then enjoyed coffee at the Country Market, as with a group that size Tim's are unable to accommodate us.
Now for some interesting comparisons:
In October last year we had 356 mm of rain-this year 90 mm, and last October only 3 days without rain, this year 15 days! Long may it last!
Thanks to Dawn for the pics.
Yesterday the 26th was a sterling day for a hike though the woods between Nymph Falls and Comox Lake and the hiking group was well represented on the outing. Oohs and aahs were heard along the way as new autumn scenes presented themselves and we all enjoyed the beauty of the area. The photographers got a bit carried away with their cameras, slowing down progress somewhat...we can sure recommend the area to the photography group for prime photo-shooting in the sunshine!
Head to BILL JORGENSEN PHOTOS to enjoy more glimpses of the outing. Thanks for the link, Bill.
The Movie Group went to the White Spot for an uproarious dinner and followed it up with a non-CVAG movie. The movie "Victoria and Abdul" told the story of Queen Victoria and her close and relationship with an Indian servant. This is based on true events which were considered so scandalous that any correspondence between the two was destroyed after the Queen's death. They were unusually close for a monarch and a common man of different ethnicity from the Queen. It was apparently her idea; his gentle manner being very appealing. He didn't know much about the protocols and was natural and familiar with her, some say more so than her own children, which she appreciated, particularly since the death of her confident John Brown. The movie was excellent and the story fascinating. Most of us went home and researched the history. Remarkable! dit.
Click here to A smaller number of Movie Group members attended this movie. It's part of a series that is part comedy, part drama, and part travelogue. Edie Lindman is our reporter on this one: Steve and Rob wander from restaurant to restaurant, sampling local fare and delivering some hilarious lines and celebrity imitations. A loose story-line of personal reflections and crises unfolds, but it is the twist at the end that underscores the necessity of having good decision-making skills in life.
Thanks, Edie! .
This week Debbie Haynes introduced us to a new walk which involved parking at Arden Road, following Morrison Creek towards the Puntledge River, Puntledge Park and the adjacent neighbourhoods, some of which were taking Halloween very seriously (see below). Deb had arranged perfect weather, and fine Fall colours, so it was a very pleasant walk.
To celebrate the new walk we had our coffee at Mudsharks, and as the photo shows we were able to sit outside-not bad for the 24th October.
A single click on the photo will enlarge it.
Despite cloudy skies and a chilly breeze, an outing to check out the birdlife around the Coal Hill district of Union Bay went ahead. Eagle eyes were needed to detect birds on the choppy seas, but find them we did. Unfortunately, they were in the far distance, so photos were rather blurry and indistinct. Still, our bird list grew as we went along: Stellar Jay, Gulls, Chickadees, Cormorants, Grebes (at least two varieties), Mallards, Killdeer, Belted Kingfisher, Bald Eagles, Golden-crowned and Fox Sparrows and an Eurasian Collared-Dove. The group enjoyed the chance to check out a new venue for birding and look forward to viewing more species there in the future.
This week was a turn for the Salmon Point Pub to Pub walk. Our last visit here was a hot summer's day, and although the temperature was about 15 degrees cooler the sun was out, and with little wind, jackets were being removed long before the end of the walk.
The arrival of "Fitbits" and "Map My Walk" type of apps brought about discussion of distances walked, steps taken and calories burned, whilst we drank our coffee. Whatever the result, another morning enjoyed by all!
Friday the 13th was a rather inauspicious day to be doing an exploratory hike, but that is just what a number of our hikers set off on, bright and early on a sunny day. None of the participants had been around the lake (Cumberland's water reservoir) before, so the map was well-used by hike's end! It has been reported that there were only a few starts down wrong trails in the system, quickly rectified. Lunch at the lake was a welcome break and then the group started on the return to the trailhead. Total hike length was just over 11 km and it looks like this route is another keeper for the group.
Thank you, Bill, for the link to your photos (click on BILL JORGENSEN PHOTOS ).
What a glorious day last Sunday was, for weather! Up on the mountain, the start to our hike was a crisp one, with temperatures approaching zero, but the sun was out in a cloudless sky and the day soon warmed up, making us grateful for having layered our clothing. We had to be careful of our footing on the frosty boardwalks, which slowed us down enough to simply enjoy the day and the outing. And, oh, the beauty of a Fall day up on the mountain! The photos hardly do it justice, but give a tantalizing look at what it is like there just now.
Of interest to us was the work that is presently ongoing up at Croteau Lake - the Parks department is setting up a Group campground right by where we have our lunch-breaks. By the time they finish, there will be a Yurt for kitchen duties and dining, 12 wooden tent pads and a biffy. Groups will be able to reserve the site; at any time the area is not reserved, the area will be open to individual hikers for overnighting.
Click on BILL JORGENSEN PHOTOS for more of Bill's excellent work.
A very enthusiastic group of birders gathered at the Airpark for the first bird outing of the season last Monday. The hunt was on for the familiar and unfamiliar as we made our way around the airpark loop, with sightings being broadcast among all. We were especially delighted whenever another overwintering bird was spotted on water or shore, and made our best guesses as to the species. Making our way around the loop, we found ourselves at the Whistle Stop, taking advantage of its location to stop in for a coffee and chat. The group consensus was that we try for Mondays as our default outing day, the time being dependent upon the tide. Periodically, weather will intervene as we head into winter, so at times, the group will gather on another day of the week. This is not entirely a bad thing, as members who cannot make a Monday outing may be able to come out on another day of the week. We will try to plan an outing every two weeks or so and will aim at alternating a simple route with a more extensive one so that those who can't manage rough trails can still get out periodically.