Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Horton Bay Road Hike

Each weekend we like to do a major hike... and this weekend Shirley suggested we break the ritual of doing the same loop road around Mayne Island... "Why not do a different loop?  Let's go down Horton Bay Road and back over Henderson Hill and thru the new park to the back side of Glenwood Farm on Punch's Alley."

As we went past Glenwood Farm this herd of beautiful critters was fairly close to the road.

I called, "Cow boss, cow boss," to them... the same call my dad used to get his cows to come when he dragged out another bale of hay for them. It was like magic!

The whole herd quickly came towards me as I stood near the fence clicking my phone camera. It was so exciting I took almost 50 shots of this beautiful herd.

These critters were huge! Can you see the bull in the middle above?

He came over to me and wanted to know why I was talking to his girls?

I told him that I only wanted to get acquainted.  I would be on my way shortly and would cause no trouble.

I caught this great shot of a mother showing some affection to her calf.

There were quite a large number of calves... and they tended to hang together. They were not too sure they wanted to get too close to me.

Maybe one day I will do a blog post on this historic farm. Just a year or so ago Punch died. He had sold the farm many years before with the right to live there until he died. The new owners have brought new life into the old homestead... it has been fun to watch the changes.

As we headed down Horton Bay Road, I took this picture of the "Glenwood Farm" with newly baled hay.

We have been down this road many times before, but did not remember seeing this tractor mailbox!

It was after lunch time, so we were looking for a pleasant place to have a snack.  You know how much I love to have a picnic! This beach was a perfect place. Some geese were on shore, and as soon as we got too close they swam away.

One of the locals who we knew came along. We visited a little and then he got into his canoe...

and paddled over to his solar powered boat, "Aunt Jennie."

When we had eaten every last scrap of our food we took a few more shots of Horton Bay. These Canadian Geese seem to have claimed this secluded bay as theirs.

We saw this grand native carved entrance on Horton Bay Road, just before we turned on to Beachwood Drive and headed up to the Henderson Hill subdivision. Nice work!

There is a loop trail that is kind of a shortcut back for us... and this path blessed us with many great plants and flowers that begged to be photographed. This looks to me like the fruit of a Red Elderberry.

This is the same plant with it's white flowers in bloom.

I looked this rose up... it is a Nootka Rose.  It's not the same as the Alberta Rose, but in the same family.

It is near the end of the season for these "digital" flowers. I have never before shot this flower with such a lush background of ferns. The common name is Foxglove... but the Latin name is Digitalis Purpurea. Since we are in the digital age, doesn't it make sense that these should be called "digital" flowers? They have lots of digits.

As the plant reaches the end of it's blooming stage, the flowers at the top of the stem are the last die.

The path goes thru this lush fern patch. As you can see they are almost as high as Shirley. We both remembered when we came on this path last time it was very muddy thru here... but it was perfectly dry for us. Do you know... is this a Sword Fern?

Several times on our hike Shirley would stop to send off another Instagram photo. Notice the stairs on this trail. There were some noticeable improvements to this trail since we first hiked thru here.

I think this might be Ocean Spray. This little shortcut off the paved roads was the highlight of our hike.

Soon the trail reached Punch's Alley... and we had a view of the same farm with the baled hay and red critters from the other side.  We now knew we were getting closer to home.  Both of us were dragging our tail feathers.

When I got to the car at the bottom of Heck Hill my FitBit told me I had walked 16 km today.

"A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world." -Paul Dudley White

This past week one of the most exciting things we did was move a rock the has been in the way. I had tried to move it before, but it seemed too big for my little Johnny.

Like an iceberg, only about 10 percent was visible the ground... so with a pick I dug around the base until I freed it from the tight hold of the earth. You can see the size of the hole once I dragged it out.

From here I could only drag it on the level or down hill. It was too big to place where we really wanted to take it... in the triangle at the intersection of our circle driveway, so we set it beside the driveway at the bottom of the shortcut path down from the sunken garden.

Shirley even took some neat video of this event... and lots more good photos... so watch for it in her next blog post.


  1. Pa, nice cattle pics. You don't feel even a little bad about falsely advertising food with your "cow boss"? ha!

    1. Not really. They could see I didn't have any food for them. They were very friendly critters... and when I called to them they came over to check me out. It was really cool!