Tag Archives: trees

Winter morning in the forest…

On my morning walk along Hoy Creek Trail, after checking on the salmon at Hoy Creek Hatchery this morning I was blessed to witness this sight.  I just love light coming through the trees. It’s magical…

This very old stump above is a favourite spot for photos any time of year and children can even climb within this stump.

I love the colourful contrast of white snow on this bright green moss.


The forest was alive with the sounds of chickadees, and I was pleased to capture this little black-capped chickadee hopping along a moss-covered tree branch chirping and nibbling.


Spending Time in Nature – My Daily Om

Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it.

I can truthfully say that nature has provided me comfort, more than anything these last few years. My work at the creek or walks in the forest, or hikes up the mountain provide much needed breaks in my maddening days of internet, typing, writing, and the busyness of my life as a mother of four, and now the caretaker of  a senior parent…

This message from DailyOm.com today was spot on, and so I wanted to share it here, along with a photo and video I took. The following is written by Madyson Taylor:

In this modern age, we spend so much time indoors, focused on the busyness of our lives and disconnected from the earth. But much of what we truly need can only be found under the naked sky, alongside tall trees, on open plains, or in the sound of running water. Spending time in nature allows us to commune with other living beings and to find comfort in the nurturing embrace of Mother Earth. You can’t help but experience a different sense of self while walking in a wood or traversing a mountainside. Being in nature connects us to the earth, grounding us as we walk, unhindered by concrete, upon her. Surrounded by other living beings, both bigger and smaller than we are, we remember that human beings are simply one form of life in this vast universe.

Fall trees at Town Center Park, Coquitlam, BC, Canada (Photo: Robbin Whachell)
Fall trees at Town Center Park, Coquitlam, BC, Canada (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it’s not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it. Even if you live in a city or find it difficult to travel to a forest or the countryside, there are a myriad ways to reconnect with nature. When you step out of your door each morning, pause for a minute and close your eyes long enough to let your senses absorb your surroundings. Listen and breathe deeply, until you hear the wind rustling through branches, smell rain on damp grass, and see the reflection of leaves brushing up against windowpanes. If you have time, crouch down and closely examine any nearby grass and soil. The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations we experience that are part of nature can remind us of all the gifts Mother Earth grants us each day.

“Spending time connecting with nature nourishes the soul, reminds you that you are never truly alone, and renews you by attuning you to the earth’s natural rhythms. Taking a walk under the stars or feeling the wind on your face may be all it takes for you to reconnect with nature. Remember, you are as much a part of nature as are the leaves on a tree or water bubbling in a brook.” – Daily Om

The changing seasons... Blackberry leaves turn yellow (Photo: Robbin Whachell)
The changing seasons… Blackberry leaves turn yellow (Photo: Robbin Whachell)

The BC Windstorm of August 2015


It came out of nowhere and only lasted a few hours, and then we saw the devastation…

On Saturday, August 29th I was recovering from a very late night with little sleep as I allowed my 21 year old son to have a party post-birthday since it landed in the middle of the week this year.

He was on the phone and I was noticing the eddies of leaves along our street, and heard the wind come up through the trees.  He went to head up the hill here in Coquitlam to stop in at his girlfriend’s. He’d only been gone a few minutes when he called me all upset. My mind raced to my worst fear that perhaps he’d totaled the car, but then he told me he’d been narrowly missed by huge falling trees on Pinewood Drive, just below our fire station which closed that street.

BC Hydro deemed it one of the worst natural disasters its seen in 10 years.  710,000 of its 1.4 million BC Hydro customers on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland lost power. It’s been deemed the single largest outage in the company’s history. Hundreds of street intersection lights were knocked out, causing huge traffic delays throughout the lower mainland.  Winds were up to 90km/ hour at its peak.

After my son had called me, I put on a jacket and headed out to see this windfall he mentioned for myself. I cut through a small portion of Hoy Trail on my way, and soon regretted that move. Sounds, which I first thought were lightning strikes, were actually trees cracking and my short 50 yard walk through the trail turned into a sprint for me as limbs snapped from branches and dropped around me.

These trees may look small but the two on the ground were taller than I and I had to climb over them to get home.

I later walked along the full loop of Hoy Trail behind Douglas College and in two spots the trail was impassible as beautiful very old trees had come down. I had to climb up over them to get home.

Our power remained out for over 48 hours (some suffered through 72), and it was crazy to find out the large area of the lower mainland of Vancouver that was affected, out to White Rock and Abbottsford.  Apparently the winds came up from the south, which was rare, and we’ve had such a dry, hot summer, and the trees were in full heavy leaves that it cause for more to be uprooted.

What I found most interesting, when I review my photos now, is that many of the trees actually snapped in half or higher up, and were not uprooted.

I took this photo 4 days after the storm... trees just snapped like match sticks.
I took this photo 4 days after the storm… trees just snapped like match sticks.

The power outage was a pain, but my family is used to the hurricanes of The Bahamas so this hardship was light in comparison. We had running water, our barbecue, and Coleman stove, and electricity was spotty throughout Coquitlam, so could run out to charge phones, etc.

Mother Nature remains a force to be reckoned with and makes us ‘humble’ humans at her call…

Coquitlam firefighters talk to residents of a condominium on Lasalle Place which had a huge tree fall onto and through the roof. The roped off area is the top of that tree, the trunk is at the back end of the condo.

See more of my photos in my Facebook album.

Summer Wanes…


A sign of things to come…

I love living in British Columbia, and I love living so close to nature.

I go for walks most days, often twice and living next to a forest, it’s easy to be in tune with the changing seasons.

Walking with my mother in the woods the other day we were discussing how you can walk down a trail one way and when you walk back it looks entirely different.  Not just the trail itself, but everything you see along the way. Add to that the lighting, dependent on the time of day, the weather and the seasons.

I am so much into nature these days  that I revel in every little change, excited like a young child.

I had to stop to capture this photo of three  leaves changing colour. The center leaf is almost entirely  red, and the ones on either side of it are wonderfully on their way, and only half red; looking almost as if someone painted them down one side only.

“As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow (red) and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can’t see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.”  – sciencemadesimple.com

Although spring is my favourite time of year, fall is definitely a close second. I am looking forward to autumn’s magnificence!


Robbin Whachell lives in Coquitlam, BC and is a volunteer for the local watershed society. In her spare time she likes to hike The Crunch and  explore her community by taking photos and sharing her thoughts on what she sees.