Walking In The Green ~ The Pacific Northwest ~ BC, Canada

A dirt path leading through Pacific Northwest woods, Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC

Into the Woods
It’s a pleasant walk around the grounds of Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC.

Kermit the Frog lamented on the difficulties of being green.

It’s not that easy bein’ green
Having to spend each day the color of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red or yellow or gold
Or something much more colorful like that

It’s not easy bein’ green
It seems you blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over ’cause you’re
Not standing out like flashy sparkles in the water
Or stars in the sky

It may not be easy being green, but I always feel better when I am surrounded by it.

During our too-brief stay in some smaller communities in Canada’s forested and green British Columbia last July, we took advantage of the wilds on our doorsteps, and walked out into the woods whenever we could.

While staying in Mission, a small city on the north bank of the Fraser River, about 60km inland from Vancouver, we visited the nearby Benedictine monastery of Westminster Abbey.

View of Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC from across wet green lawns; gray skies behind.

Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC

The order was established in 1939, and construction of the abbey, church, and seminary, all designed by Norwegian architect, Asbjørn Gåtheat, started at this site in 1953. The monks took up residence the next year.

During the school term, the Abbey is home to the only Anglophone high school seminary in Canada and a college degree program. While we were there, however, the church was padlocked tight, and the grounds were quiet. We saw one small group of visiting religious – perhaps escorted by one of the 30 resident monks.

Orange-Red Berries against green leaves, Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC

Orange-Red Berries

Large black slug on moss and leaf litter, Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC

A damp climate with plenty of dark, green places, means slugs can usually be found.

View up the Fraser River valley from Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC

The abbey grounds provide a commanding view up the Fraser River Valley.

Green landscape: small group of people, including nuns in habit, walking, Westminster Abbey, Mission, BC

A group of visitors inspect some of the grounds’ 70 hectares.

Detail: Pine Cones, Westminster Abbey, Mission, Bc

Pine Cones

From the Abby, it is not far to Rolley Lake Provincial Park, which – in the words of their own website – “provides a quick escape from urban life”.

Lakeside Loop, around Rolley Lake, provided us with with a delightful walk through more green…

Landscape: View over Rolley Lake

Rolley Lake

Two boys in the distance, view of the curving wooden boardwalk section of the Lakeside Loop, Rolley Lake, BC

A boardwalk section of the Lakeside Loop skirts over wetlands.

Inside a douglas fir forest, Rolley Lake Provincial Park

Once Were Woods…
Anything could be lurking – it’s like something out of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale!

Close up: moss on a tree trunk.

Mossy Woods
If you get lost, just remember that moss grows denser on the north side of trees.

Branches covered in short Spanish moss criss-crossing, Rolley Lake Provincial Park.

Spanish Moss

Trees leaning over a clear, rocky-bed creek, Rolley Lake Provincial Park

Woods and Clear Waters

Small tumbling waterfall over rocks and moss, Rolley Lake Provincial Park

Tumbling White Waters

Dry brown dead leaves, hanging against fresh green of new growth, Rolley Lake Provincial Park

Dead Leaves

Closeup of Moss, Rolley Lake Provincial Park

More Moss

Lanscape View: people kayaking and fishing on Rolley Lake, BC

Rolley Lake is a popular kayaking, swimming and fishing spot.

A few days later, we had the chance to wander some of the seven kilometres of trails that criss-cross Cliff Gilker Park in Roberts Creek, on BC’s Sechelt Peninsula. We walked well-maintained spongy trails through Douglas Fir and Red Cedar trees, climbed stairs, clambered over rocks and crossed charming bridges over Clack and Roberts Creeks.

View through trees of a small Waterfall, Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek, BC

Small Waterfall, Cliff Gilker Park

View of branches of Evergreen Trees, Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek, BC

Evergreen Trees

Spanish Moss on criss0-crossing tree branches, Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek, BC

Spanish Moss on Lowered Branches

The thick, deeply grooved Bark of a large Douglas fir tree, Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek, BC

Textures: The Bark of a Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) 

Small Red Berries against green leaves, Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek

Small Red Berries

Salmonberry - Rubus spectabilis - on a green shrub, Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek, BC

Salmonberry – Rubus spectabilis

Fallen trees wedged amongst other trees, Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek, BC

Even the Mighty Fall!

Cedar and fir: Beautifully straight, tall tree trunks - Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek, BC

Cedar and fir both have beautifully straight, tall tree trunks.

Forest scene: Fallen log and Water Falling,  Cliff Gilker Park, Roberts Creek

Fallen Log and Water Falling

Thanks to Joe Raposo‘s lyrics, Kermit comes to grips with being green:

But green’s the color of Spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean
Or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why
But why wonder, why wonder?
I am green and it’ll do fine
It’s beautiful!
Text: Happy RamblingAnd I think it’s what I want to be!

I’m glad – because I love it.

Photos: 25July 2012 and 28July2012

  • Signe Westerberg - May 3, 2013 - 3:50 am

    gorgeous as always…and moss in the southern hemisphere is thicker on the southern side and moss in itself is a sign of good clean air. 🙂 Moss apparently doesn’t grow in polluted environs 😛ReplyCancel

    • Ursula - May 9, 2013 - 6:37 pm

      True, Signe, ’tis good air in the beautiful PNW. btw: Where does moss grow on the equator? 😀ReplyCancel

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