As I’m also Park Steward for Thetis Lake Regional Park , which is immediately west of Francis/King, this morning I followed the Panhandle Trail, passed beneath the power line and crossed Highland Road, to join the McKenzie Trail, heading west.
The blaze along the power line has recently been mowed, if that’s the right word, to lessen the amount of very mature Scotch Broom that has invaded this corridor. They’ve obviously used a crude slasher. The resulting scene is a mess — the ground is covered with a mass of shredded vegetation, the torn stems pale agains the ground. The sad thing is that despite the destruction, the broom will come back stronger than ever.
As I crossed from park to park I noticed a change in background noise, from the quiet of Francis/King to the sounds of construction work in Langford — the thud of rock blasting, the rattle of jack hammers and the rumble of trucks. I guess the sound will slowly lessen as construction moves elsewhere in a year or two, but it is disturbing nevertheless. At least the Langford speedway is no longer there; it’s being tied into housing.
All was well along the McKenzie Trail, but I had to reroute a couple who had discovered, as I did, that the bridge linking it with the Seaborn trail had been displaced by recent floodwater. I met a man whose dog had run off into the forest. Not much I could do to help other than be hopeful. Fingers crossed it reappeared.
I took the narrow and winding alternative route to the Seaborn trail, back onto wide, hard-surfaced Trillium Trail. Crossed Highland Road again and then dived into the narrow trails that meet and follow the Craigflower Creek. The creek was in spate, much too lively and deep to even think about crossing it, so I looped back to the road again, and followed it back to the Panhandle Trail, and then the High Ridge Trail.
I found a tree that had fallen across the trail but had ended up jammed at an angle against a much smaller upright tree. I reported this as it might eventually come free of the small tree and land on the trail (or on a hiker!).