Whitehead Park 2018

Tod Creek, photo from bridge on Goward Road, 14th Jan 2018.


15 January, 2018 

From Audrey: I went to the park and cut some blackberries this morning and saw a sweet pair of wood ducks honeymooning near the bridge. The trails are in great shape thanks for keeping them up and the wetlands grasses on our little stream are flourishing and lovely right now.. we should include a few more if/when we do future plantings. Unfortunately the lamium is also lovely green and thriving!

22 January, 2018 

Sher, Michael and Mary spent 1 ½ hours. Michael spread mulch on top of the chips on the west side while Sher and I pulled black berries and shiny geranium from among the hardhack on the east side. We talked a bit about work to be done thinking about the site meeting with Saanich staff next Monday.

29 January, 2018 

Site visit from Rick Hatch and Jillian Tuson of Saanich to hear what we had to say about what we have done and what we would like to do. Audrey, Michael, Winona, Sher and Mary spent 1 ½ hours with them. They seemed pleased with what they saw, and I was greatly relieved to have suggestions for the little things that were occupying me. Later in the season they will weed eat a suggested path along the side of the creek on the west side. The idea is to suggest a path but not mark it out too carefully so that people can discover it but it will not affect the riparian area with any permanent work. They will also see about money for seeding the area we have prepared. On the east side they will bring more chips for trails and next week bring wire to make tree protectors against rabbits, cats and deer that are barking the trees. We also walked down to Lohr Road to find that the flail had mangled our plants and labels on the east side of the road. Time to get at weeding the whole area before growth really gets going.

5 February, 2018

Don Illingworth and Kevin from Saanich came bringing fencing wire, Michael worked with them fencing the trees that were being damaged by deer or rabbits or cats or whatever else feels the need to peel the bark. Audrey, Sher and I pulled blackberries which are still easy to get out. (4 volunteers for 2 hours).


Feb 10th: New [old] wheelbarrow for Whitehead Park. We were relieved of our last one…

12 February, 2018 

Audrey, Mary and Sher cut and pulled blackberries from among the old rose bushes near the bottom trail. It is quite satisfying because the blackberries show up well with their remaining leaves and reddish stems against the roses which are leafless and dark stemmed. The ground remains soft. (3 people for 1 ½ hours).

19 February, 2018 

Too cold and snowy to work.

26 February, 2018 

Mary on her own worked in the only sunny patch which is in the hardhack up near the top of the site. I had thought of tackling the lamium but it was in the shade and very frosty so I moved over to the sun and pulled the few blackberry canes that are still there. After ½ hour Brian Koval came over to help but we mostly talked. At 10:00 we went over to Lohr Road where we met Rick Brand and turned into Pen Streams people. Brian and Rick cut and planted Red osier Dogwood stakes along the beautifully restored reach while, what else? I pulled blackberries. Very satisfying. Worked until 12:15.

March: blooming, greening, seeding, singing

5 March, 2018

Audrey and Mary worked at Lohr Road getting the blackberries out of the roses. The rooted tips are doing very well so it was good to get some out while we could. A Saanich garbage collector came by and offered to take our leavings which he did. 2 people 1 hour.

12 March, 2018 

Audrey and Mary returned to Lohr Road and carried on last week’s work. All plants are starting to grow. It looks as if the flowers will do very well this year. We left the pile of blackberries for later pick up. 2 People, 1 hour.

19 March, 2018

More work at Lohr Road. Audrey and Sher worked on the blackberries and are almost done. Mary, trying to save her sore shoulder pulled out the dead overgrowth to allow the sun at the roots of the plants. So much is growing very well: Douglas Aster, Yarrow, Pearly Everlasting, to name a few. Mary tidied on the upstream side of the culvert where the flail savaged our shrubs. What is left is budding up very well and there many hedge nettles peeping through the soil. 3 people, 1 ½ hours.

April arrives on horseback

Goward Road at Whitehead Park, Prospect Lake Road behind the riders, on 2nd April 2018.




Perfect timing: old Ford passing horse & rider.


Whitehead Park workers, fauna, flora and Daniel’s tree.

Mary, Emily & Shar on the east side of the park.


Red-winged Blackbird.


Plum tree blooms.


Daniel Sawchin’s tree was first planted in Oct 2011.







To see the progression of Daniel’s tree, open this link:









Canadian geese, strolling the west side. 23rd April 2018


Black hawthorne tree [Crataegus douglasii], toppled over a bit, looks like from deer rubbing the lower trunk. Straightened & supported by a “Y” branch, and enclosed with wire fencing.

Support “Y” branch. 23rd April 2018.


Slough sedge [Carex obnupta], Skunk cabbage behind. 23rd April 2018.


Canada thistle [Cirsium arvense]: “distinguished from other thistles by the combo of green stems without spiny wings, small almost spineless heads and creeping rhizomes; originally from Eurasia”. In this photo, we see the rhizome:  an “underground, often elogated stem” with the subterranean stem sending out roots and new growth from its nodes (quotes from: Pojar & MacKinnon. 1994).


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