Knowledge Gained

Canada #18 Grouse Mountain

Part Five

We made the most of our day on Grouse Mountain by taking part in every activity. As well as Breakfast with the Bears, we went to an Owl Interpretative Session, a Birds in Motion demonstration and a guided eco-walk.

Each time we discovered something new and, at the end of the day, we left with more than we came with. This is what we learned:

In the still of the night, a barn owl can hear the heartbeat of a frightened mouse as it tries to avoid detection.

A bald eagle reaches speeds of up to 160 km per hour when diving to snatch up its prey.

A turkey vulture uses its keen sense of smell to detect carrion more than a kilometre away.

Tiger swallowtails love to feast on the pretty purple flowers of the mustard plant.

Native azaleas and rhododendrons are much smaller and more delicate than their hybrid cousins.

Salamanders can live for up to 55 years in the still waters of Blue Grouse Lake.

Phil, our eco-walk guide, explained how the coastal First Nations peoples lived as one with nature. They brewed the bark and needles of the amabilis fir trees to make medicinal drinks.

Made from cedar, the traditional híwus Feasthouse on the shores of Blue Grouse Lake was a meeting place for family celebrations, gatherings and story telling through dance and music.

All of these new facts are fascinating, but what was the most important thing I learned?

I came away from Grouse Mountain knowing I never want to come face to face with a bear!


34 thoughts on “Knowledge Gained

  1. True that – about bears! For me the wow was reading your first fact – about owls hearing the frightened heartbeat of a mouse – isn’t that truly amazing. Animals are so much better designed than people really. Siddy can detect the scent of people he knows when we are more than thirty metres away and they are around a corner – it astonishes me every time it happens. Any way – back to your post – that most definitely sounds like a worthwhile guided tour to take!

    • I was wondering how that owl was feeling if he could hear all our heartbeats. He must have had a headache! The walk we did with Phil was great. He was so knowledgeable and passionate about the mountain environment.

  2. Love these fun facts although I feel sorry for that frightened mouse! Great photo of the turkey vulture with wings outspread. I feel wistful for that sun these chilly days!

  3. Goodness there are some amazing facts there Carol. The more we study nature, the more we realize we don’t know and the more awesome nature appears.
    I wouldn’t stand around a bear long enough to see how my size matched up to his!

  4. Living with nature and adapting to it must have its challenges, Carol. Something we’re not so good at in the modern world. Owls always fascinate me. Such beautiful creatures. 🙂 🙂 Wishing you much joy in exploring in 2019.

  5. Wonderful post, which is full of information and stunning photos. Eagles speed is fantastic. When driving on a motor way, it could bypass my car. 🙂 In Finland we have brown bears.

    Happy New Year.

  6. Pingback: Flying Over Canada | The Eternal Traveller

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