Thursday, 2 November 2017

Exploring the Ruth Masters Greenway park with the Comox Valley Naturalists

By Keith and Heather Nicol
We saw a colourful Amanita mushroom
    On Sunday, October  29th the Comox Naturalists were having a walk in the Ruth Masters Greenway and it was a spot on Courtenay that we had never visited so we thought this would be a perfect opportunity to check this place out. Ruth Masters Greenway is located off Powerhouse Road and covers 18 acres of forest habitat and one section butts up against the Puntledge River. So with all of our tubing trips down the Puntledge River this past summer we actually had driven past the entrance to the park on many occasions. The fall colours were amazing and this is one reason to explore this park before fall progresses much further. The leaders of the walk were Loys and Alison Maingon and they interpreted a variety of mushrooms and other aspects of the natural flora and fauna.
The fall colours were spectacular
Inky Cap mushrooms were found in a couple of places
 We saw several species of mushroom although Alison said there would be alot more if the fall weather had been wetter. ``It has been so dry that many mushroom species are just not out in abundance`` she told us. The Greenway extends into the a section of Bear James Park which runs along the Puntledge River and we saw many chum and coho salmon in one of the shallow side channels. Beside the fine autumn colours and the spawning salmon, other highlights included seeing a colourful Amanita mushroom (sometimes known as the Fly Amanita since it was used as an insecticide for flies) and several Inky Cap mushrooms. Evidently these can become poisonous if consumed with alcohol hence another name for them is `Tippler`s Bane`. For more information on the Comox Valley Nauralists see:  .  For more information on Ruth Masters Greenway view:   

Salmon could be seen in the side channels

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