Posts Tagged ‘bowen park’

Invasive Species: Yellow Flag Iris

   Not all pretty photos show pretty things: an invasive Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) growing by the Millstone River at Bowen Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

yellow flag iris growing by millstone river at bowen park in nanaimo, british columbia

Yellow Flag Iris and the Millstone River (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   Many regions have invasive plant species that have been “released” purposely by people or have escaped from gardens. These invasives often spread into areas where they force out native species and otherwise change the ecology of the area. Many are familiar with the spread of English Ivy through Metro Vancouver forests and Scotch Broom (Cytisus scoparius) on Vancouver Island.

   The Yellow Flag Iris (Iris pseudacorus) is also an invasive species, and is native to Europe, western Asia, and northwest Africa. This photo shows a flowering Yellow Flag Iris on the banks of the Millstone River in Nanaimo, British Columbia. While this is one individual plant the species can spread and cover entire wetlands and completely displace native species. Due to continued popularity in garden centers Yellow Flag Iris has spread widely on Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, and even into the Okanagan and Kootenay regions of British Columbia.

   If you grow some of these in your backyard, it may be a good idea to destroy them to avoid further environmental damage.

Bowen Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia

Waterfall along the Millstone River at Bowen Park in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

waterfall on millstone river at bowen park in nanaimo, british columbia

Waterfall on the Millstone River (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   When researching an area I am in or a place I plan to visit, I’ve often just skipped the green squares and rectangles on the google map indicating a city park. Usually what I am going to find there is a playing field or some trees and a picnic table. A better place to eat lunch than the strip mall, but not the kind of photography subjects I am usually after. Bowen Park in Nanaimo is not one of these parks. Yes, it is in the city, but just like Whatcom Falls Park in Bellingham, Washington this park has some great waterfalls and subjects for photography despite being right in the middle of civilization.

millstone river waterfall at bowen park in nanaimo, british columbia

Waterfall along the Millstone River (Purchase)

-click to enlarge-

   During my trip to Nanaimo I was not able to get as much cloud cover as I wanted for these sorts of waterfall and river photos, so I did the majority of my photography in Bowen Park in the evenings. For the most part this allowed me to have even light across my compositions with only the odd brighter spot in the sky. This worked quite well due to the density of the surrounding forest. Evening was also a nice time to be in the park with cooler temperatures, though the mosquitoes felt the same way. There is an extensive trail system in Bowen Park, and you are able to walk along the Millstone River for much of its run through the park. Just remember to bring some bug repellant!