UBC Botanical Garden & Greenheart Canopy Walkway

The past few days has been quite rewarding - volunteering at two different sessions, listening to different researches, and not stressing over the presentations like most of the presenters.  I saw presentations discussing from lizard diversity in Chile to genetically identifying shark species all over the world to the threats to Japanese Giant Salamanders.  Today was the last day of the conference (to be followed by the huge bird conference - NAOC), and I was assigned to help out with the registration table.  A few days ago, I saw a special discount for going to the UBC Botanical Garden plus walking the Greenheart Canopy Walkway for only $11.  I bought the ticket right away and thought this afternoon would be a good time to use it.

A Barn Swallow nest right outside the gift store at the botanical garden.  The parent(s) were flying in and out feeding the young chicks.

Bumblebee drinking nectar
Bumblebee sticking its tongue out.

The bees were very attracted to this plant - Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus).  This is what the sign says about this plant: "It is valuable for jaundice and for livers damaged by poisons.  In the 1st century AD, Dioscorides recommended applying mashed roots to the armpit to sweeten offensive odours."

These are Sweet Alyssum flowers.  It is a "companion plant" because its honey-like smell attract bees and other pollinators to your garden (to help pollinate surrounding flowering plants).

Fruit trees - modified to grow into U-B-C.

A soapberry plant found at the native BC garden.

A red Cardinal Meadowhawk (Sympetrum illota).

Below is a series of photos taken from the walkway.  Overall, going on the walkway is an interesting experience, it feels like being a kid again on a giant jungle-gym inside a forest.  It is not as stable as I thought, since the walkway was constructed by piecing short narrow metal board together.  After a while, your entire body becomes as wobbly as the walkway itself, I think.  Nonetheless, I would recommend this anybody visiting the garden, but it would be more attractive if the walkway fee is included with the entry fee.

Starting from the ground up.

The view among the trees.

Looking down.

The walkway does not use nails or anything that might damage the tree physically.  But I am pretty sure there are aspects of the tree that are weakened by wrapping so many metal cables around it.  Maybe some arborists or bio-physicist will have better ideas.

Sign describing the tallest part of the walkway (22-m above ground) and the construction of the walkway.

Greenheart Canopy Walkway

Greenheart Canopy Walkway
Family waling across.

Lines and Patterns
Looking down at the extended platform.

Looking down on the forest floor.

Greenheart Canopy Walkway
Looking back at the extended platform.

Wildlife tree once used by Pileated Woodpeckers, apparently.  Unfortunately, one bummer point about this walkway is the lack of wildlife seen on it.  I was really hoping to see some wildlife traveling at the canopy level.

Safely back on solid forest floor.

Water Strider making impressions on the water surface and casting interesting shadows in the water.

After the walkway, there was still a couple of hours before closing.  I decided to walk around the garden one more time to get my money's worth.

Walking back to the fruit tree garden.  Never knew kiwis grew on tree like this.

Walking around the garden for many hours, I finally found one Pacific Treefrog hiding in a lily flower.

Dorsal of a Pacific Treefrog (Hyla regilla).

Pacific Treefrog (Hyla regilla)

Pacific Treefrog (Hyla regilla)

Pacific Treefrog (Hyla regilla)
Cute frog.

I think I got the hang of photographing dragonflies in flight at that moment.  I can't promise I will be able to replicate this technique again.  I think i just got really lucky and the dragonflies were cooperating.  This is a Darner (Aeshna sp. - Family Aeshnidae). 

Unknown Darner in flight (Aeshna sp. - Family Aeshnidae)

Unknown Darner in flight (Aeshna sp. - Family Aeshnidae)

Unknown Darner in flight (Aeshna sp. - Family Aeshnidae)
Side-view of the flight.

Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Another dragonfly, the Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata).  It was not flying back and forth as frequently as the Darner, so I only got these perching shots.

Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata)

Four-spotted Skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata)
Nice details on its body.

Lorquin's Admiral (Limenitis lorquini)
Saw a Swallowtail and a few of this Lorquin's Admiral (Limenitis lorquini) in the garden today, in addition to the common Whites.  Not sure if this is the first time that I have seen a Lorquin's or not, it is possible that I mistaken them for White Admirals at the first glance.  But now I know to look for the orange edges of the forewing.

Waxwing - the only bird that I got a good look at today.

Taking a break tomorrow, I believe, and maybe even go watch Dark Knight Rises.

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