Attending WCH volunteer orientation at UBC & Cyanide-producing Millipedes

Went to UBC early in the morning to attend the WCH volunteer orientation.  I haven't been to UBC in a while, and surprise surprise, there is still construction going on at the campus.  Since I started going to UBC in 2004, I don't think there has been a year where UBC is completely free of construction machines.  This is probably the main reason why I dislike UBC so much. 

Anyways, the bus arrived earlier than expected so I walked to the rose garden to see some sights. 

Fireweed with water droplets.

The rose garden.  The sky was very hazy today, making it difficult to see the north shore mountains.

Beautiful lilies.

As I was getting to leave, a Northern Flicker flew to this tree.  First time seeing a NOFL this year, I believe.

The orientation involved some welcoming speeches, discussing different responsibilities, touring around the classrooms, learning how to set up AV equipments, having lunch, and stuffing registration kits.  Once it ended, I walked down the Wreck Beach trail hoping to do some birding.

At the top of the trail was this millipede.  It is a Cyanide-producing Millipedes (Harpaphe haydeniana).  According to this blog post, H. haydeniana only has a few predators and acts as an important "macroshredder" by feeding on the leaf litter and (efficiently) recycling the nutrients back into the soil for new growth.

Very distinct colours.

It has fewer legs than I normally associate millipedes with.

Looking down the trail.

Robert Geranium (Geranium robertianum)
Robert Geranium or Herb-robert (Geranium robertianum).  According to the guide (the older version) that I have, the name herb-robert is so ancient that no one is sure of the origin of the name, and the book suggested six different possibilities, one being named after Robin Hood.

It was high tide when I got there around 2pm and I couldn't see any birds on the water, so I just sat in the shades and read for a bit (while listening to the crashing waves).

Looking forward to this conference.

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