Hike from Francis King to Thetis Park

King Doug
King Doug

Look up.  Look way up.  I’ll go get King Doug.

King Doug is a 450 – 500 year old Douglas Fir tree growing in Francis King Park. This tree is used in a number of tourist publications and now on Island Girl’s blog.  Today I hiked from Francis King Park to Thetis Lake Park.  It was lead by a park naturalist from CRD.  If you’re ever on the island, take in the nature programs hosted by CRD.  I think there’s no better way to learn about the island than from those who know the island.  I’ve been enjoying the many nature programs (and, they’re free) I’ve participated in and will enjoy the many more scheduled for this year.

It was a 10 am to 2 pm hike.  Lunch at Prior Lake. Hey, Prior Lake is a nude beach lake. Something to try come summer.  Hmm, a tourist attraction in our very own backyard park?!?  Anyways.


On the hike, we saw lots of lichen.  Lots!  Like a man’s long beard but green in color.  It grows in abundance in Thetis Lake Park.  Apparently, lichen grows like mad in clean air environments.  They thrive on the nutrients in clean air.  “No lichen in Bejing, though.”  Or, is it “No liking Bejing.”  OK.  Bad joke.

Of course, a lot of douglas fir and grand fir trees.  Hmm, not many spruce trees.  Hey, how do you tell the difference between a douglas fir tree and a spruce tree?  Don’t know.  How do you tell the difference?  Well, douglas fir trees have bottleneck branches (yup, you know the brush you would use to clean bottles) that are smooth.  A spruce tree branches are the same but their needles are rough.  So, the next time you shake hands with a douglas fir branch, the handshake will be very friendly.  I pointed out horsetail week.  I pointed it out because I didn’t know what it was.  Apparently, a weed that detergent is made out of!  Several maple leaf trees; their huge leaves are now decomposed (aka no green in it) and what’s left is just the skeleton of the leave. 🙂  Decaying trees have fungus growing in them – that’s a good thing.

And as for birds in the area, didn’t see the local Woodpecker Picidae however, saw the type of holes they make in trees.  Only sapsucker I know that makes square holes.

This is how you get a square peg in a round tree
This is how you get a square peg in a round tree

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