Snow In The Big Trees

Snowy Sooke River falls
It is not often that you get to snowshoe at lower elevations on Vancouver Island's south coast. But every once in a while we get a good dump that stays around for a day or two before warmer weather melts it away. I headed up to the end of Sooke River Rd., and Sooke Potholes Regional Park today to take advantage of the recent heavy snowfall. It was a rare winter wonderland.

Tons of snow hung on everything in the forest. It changes the look of everything with some things highlighted, and others muted. Along with the weak winter light, the covering of snow turns the landscape into a black and white Japanese drawing. Sounds are muffled, all is quiet.

Winter scene bordering Sooke River


Everything strained under the weight of the heavy white stuff. Small trees bent over in graceful white arches. Larger trees that were wobbly before the snow have toppled to the ground. The occasional branch gave way and came crashing down, breaking the silence. With the old branches come loads of lichen for wildlife to dine on.

Snow falling on cedars
The snowshoeing was excellent on snow depths ranging from a few centimeters under the trees, and up to 30 + centimeters in open areas. The accumulation was enough for easy off-trail hiking. My winter forest bath was a magical, invigorating moment among my favourite big trees close to home.

It is going to warm up to +8 Celsius by the weekend, so get out and enjoy the snow while it lasts. You will be rewarded with a rare glimpse of the big trees in their stunning winter attire.

Watch for falling branches.


  1. Oh this is beautiful!! Everything looks so lush and i LOVE those flowers in the first photo.


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