A Walk on the Wild Side

Image: Single Delight (Moneses uniflora), a Wintergreen.

We had another great low tide today, allowing us to hike the beach around the tip of Collingwood Point, and walk on the “wild side” of the narrows.

The mountain behind our home is called Collingwood Mountain, and the point that forms part of the Port Neville Inlet narrows is called Collingwood Point. Although not officially marked on any chart, we have taken to calling ourselves Collingwood Bay, since we are the first bay inside of Collingwood Point.

Collingwood Point is a rocky knob that forms a barrier between the beaches of Collingwood Bay and other beaches further along the inlet towards the sea. At a very low tide, it is possible to walk along the beach at the foot of Collingwood Point, but most of the time, this is not possible. Today, we made it around the point and were able to stretch our legs on miles of beaches.

The weather was brigt and sunny, and the shoreline was colorful with flowers – beach pea, vetch, yarrow, and wild rose. The intertidal zone was wide and covered with meadows of eelgrass, lying wetly green and waiting for the tide to return. We were very happy to see a few sea stars around – mostly leather stars, and a few blood stars, ochre stars, and mottled stars. As a result of the sea star wasting disease which began in 2014, we hadn’t seen any sea stars in our area since we arrived. Hopefully, these sea star sigtings means that recovery is underway.

For a while, we walked on a mossy carpet under hemlock, spruce, and cedar in the forest along the shore. Here too were some suprises – rare viewings of wintergreens [Single Delight (Moneses uniflora)] and orchids [Western Coralroot Orchid (Corallorhiza maculata)].


Image: Western Coralroot Orchid (Corallorhiza maculata).

On our way home, we discovered that we could sramble over the rocky back of Collingwood Point to get to our bay. This was a great discovery, as now we know that we can get to the “wild side” any time we want, not just at extreme low tides.

maple leaves

Image: Maple leaves in the woods.