Tofino, British Columbia, Canada. Right on the extreme West Coast of Vancouver Island and it is all atmospheric rainforest, beaches, mist and fog, seascapes and wildlife.
After just a couple of days in some fantastic accommodation on Middle Beach I’m slowly relaxing into “Tofino Time”, the laid back, chill out, slow down kind of pace that this place insists you adopt.
Over the next period and posts we will be hoping for whales, bears, bald eagles, brilliant food and long walks along beaches that stretch for miles.
A large percentage of Canada’s bald eagle population lives in the coastal region of British Columbia, with inland populations found in boreal forests across the country, with populations also in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. The bald eagle requires large trees for nesting, making these areas a perfect breeding ground.
The name bald eagle derives from the word “piebald,” meaning patchiness of two colours, in relation to the eagle’s white head and tail, and it’s dark brown body. Another easily recognisable feature of the beloved symbol in North American culture is the unmistakable bright yellow feet and bill.
However the juvenile bald eagles have mostly dark heads and tails, and can often be mistaken for turkey vultures or golden eagles. It takes four to five years for them to reach full adult colouring.
British Columbia Temperate Rainforest
Close to 25% of the world’s temperate rainforest is in BC. Most of it is coastal (where you will find the protected Great Bear Rainforest), but British Columbia is also home to the Ancient Forest, a rare inland rainforest near Prince George.
What is the difference between temperate rain forest and tropical rain forest?
Tropical rainforests are much warmer and are found close to the equator. Where as, for example temperate rainforests are at latitudes between the two Tropics and Polar Circles. What they have in common is plenty of rain, which allows the lush rainforest canopies to thrive.
Compared to tropical rainforests, temperate rainforests tend to decompose gradually, resulting in a rich vegetation base (including a wide variety of mushrooms) but few tree varieties (most are coniferous), due to the climate and low light levels.
British Columbia wildlife found in temperate rainforests
A diverse collection of wildlife can be discovered in BC’s rainforest, including five different species of salmon, numerous bird varieties (including the bald eagle), the black-tailed deer, grey wolf, grizzly bear, and black bear. The elusive Kermode (Spirit) bear, found in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest, is a black bear with a rare recessive gene.
The Kermode bear
This species is occasionally called the “spirit bear” (Ursus americanus kermodei), is a subspecies of the American black bear and lives in the Central and North Coast regions of BC, Canada. It is the official regional mammal of British Columbia and the symbol of Terrace, British Columbia.
Whilst most Kermode bears are black, there’s an estimated 100 – 500 fully white individuals. The white variant is known as spirit bear, and is most commonly found on three islands in British Columbia.
For now though here’s my first impressions in photos. Wandering the local vicinity with so much on offer already to lead into the next days… I’ve come on all black and white all of a sudden too!
You do not have to glance around too hard to see the Tofino wildlife and together with incredible landscapes and atmosphere in the sky. Plenty more great adventures and sights to come I am more than sure of it.