Monday, March 19, 2012

Tofino Trundler

I was out on the west coast of Vancouver Island this weekend and stumbled upon a rare species of cart endemic to the coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet.

A rare Tofino Trundler. Note how this shy cart uses
its cryptic colouration to blend in with its surroundings.

The Tofino Trundler is a very mellow cart and is non aggressive. Shy in nature, it spends most of its time rolling around the docks hoping to pick up any sort of scraps left behind by locals and tourists. Fairly unimposing and small in size, it is recognized by the patina of rust that is a result of constant exposure to the maritime air. Red highlights are noticeable in the right light conditions.

Count yourself lucky if you happen to stumble upon this delightful little trundler. Numbers have never been very high at this northern extent of its range and its solitary nature makes it difficult to find.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spawned Out Crimson Wanderer

This is the time of year to be on the lookout for Crimson Wanderers as they make their way up the small creeks on Vancouver Island to spawn. It's a challenging time for female Wanderers: after the eggs are laid they spend their energy protecting the eggs, the males are off elsewhere gathered in small herds.

Sometimes the females don't survive the two weeks that it takes for the eggs to hatch into small aquatic nymphs. Such is the case with this female Crimson Wanderer that my wife Jocie discovered at the mouth of the Trent River south of Courtenay, British Columbia.

A Crimson Wanderer found on the Trent River estuary.
What appears to be a sad and tragic end to the life of this beautiful cart (and possibly its young) can also be seen as part of the circle of life. While this Wanderer wanders no more, its decaying body will continue to provide vital nutrients to other feral and wild carts.