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Thursday, July 4, 2024

With a forecast of 25C in the afternoon, we set out on a bike ride in the morning to beat the heat. It was my first ride with Cindy this year and we took the more level E+N Trail as opposed to the hillier Lochside Trail. In fairness, Lochside is level too, but getting to the trail from downtown involves two nasty climbs. Nasty enough that I won't attempt them until I have another ride or two under my belt.

E+N stands for the Esquimalt - Nanaimo railroad and most of the trail runs parallel to the old rail line. So we got to see lots of railside foliage, old warehouse foliage and a few back gardens, with sneaky views of the Gorge, Esquimalt harbour and the mountains beyond. Lots and lots of wild sweet peas, gumweed and daisies, but mainly the back ways are for the invasive plants; scotch broom and blackberry brambles. Neither the broom nor the brambles were in bloom yet, so they offered a green backdrop to the smaller wildflowers.

I need to download a songbird app, because everything sounds like sparrows to me. I'm sure that I am missing out on many different species that I can't tell apart.

The only other creatures of note were dozens and dozens of small lizards scurrying around on the hot pavement. I'm told that the island lizards are all descended from one place: a defunct reptile zoo near Nanaimo. When the zoo closed, the owner released all the smaller creatures into the wild and now they are as invasive as the scotch broom. I'm frustrated by the idiocy of humans whether this story is true or not.