The magic of Avatar Grove

Vancouver Island Travel Blog

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A few Trillium's along the way...
I was invited out to this place they call Avatar Grove...
Yes they really call it that.
It was originally called TFL (Tree Farm License) 46.  They changed the name to Avatar Grove, so that it would gain some recognition to try to stop the logging of this forest that has never been logged before.

I am told that this part of the forest that is nestled close to Port Renfrew (which is the main starting point for West Coast trail hiking)...has never been logged before.  The area I am told was hit by a hurricane in 1922 (I can't find anything to back this up on the computer) (So I will have to go to the Sooke Museum and see if I can dig anything up) the winds were so strong that it felled many trees on the west coast part of the Island.
  I did see much evidence of fallen trees, no evidence of logging, that have now become a very loamy place to walk...look for fairies.  The ground is very soft underneath, many rotting trees to climb over, and these big trees have become nursing trees, (They have given life to many new tress and plants) many great old red cedar trees are still standing a big and proud.  Many of these trees have disease and have grown a great bunch of burls up their trunks.  I would like just one burl so I could make on big huge table top:)
You can see the markings that many loggers and environmentalist's have marked...but there are no real trails here...just gotta walk through...and do your best. It's so beautiful in amongst so many great tall trees...if only I could hear some of their stories.
Group Pic :)


The day was perfect, no rain (bonus)...and wee peeks of sun..some cloud.  The air was so fresh...once you got into the forest you felt like you were in a different time, such grand old trees standing still...the oldest may be around 900 years old.  YeT not the oldest on the island (chee What is around 3000-5000 years old and still standing) (I will add a photo at the end).  But majestic all the same.  The Carmanah Valley is much mores dense...but I loved this spot still.  I could smell the ground beneath me, all the old soil in fresh wet air...with a bit of a warm breeze that hits you face...very earthy...and beautiful.  I could hear many birds twittering about...telling stories to their mates...I could hear the river, making it's way into the ocean.
Here's looking at you!!
  It was warm...no breeze once you got into the forest...and it was heaven to walk in.  You could see all the trees that had fallen 90 years ago...all the moss that has grown on the trees, hanging off the branches...tis a beautiful sight...and the Burls...oh my how awe inspiring....

Okay and bit of history...and update:

An exceptionally spectacular and accessible stand of newly discovered old growth red cedars and Douglas firs near Port Renfrew has recently been tagged for logging.  The unprotected forest on Crown Lands about 19 kilometers north of Port Renfrew, nicknamed the "Avatar Grove" after the movie for it's awe-inspiring beauty and alien shaped, enormous trees covered in burls, was discovered in December 2009 by island photographer TJ Watt.

In a return visit by Watt and environmentalist Ken Wu, both co-founders of the new Ancient Forest Alliance www.
Come with me
ancientforestalliance.org Avatar Grove was found to be marked for logging, with many of it's tree spray painted and bearing falling boundary tape.

"This area is just about the most accessible and finest stand of ancient trees left in a wilderness setting on the South Island", stated Ken Wu. "All other unprotected old growth stand near Victoria are either on steep, rugged terrain far beyond bumpy logging roads, or are small isolated stands surrounded by clear cuts and second growths.  This area is a wild region on vast crown lands, in a complex of perhaps 1500 hectares of old growth in the Gordon River Valley - only 5 minutes off the paved road, right beside the main logging road, and good terrain. 

Avatar Grove is being logged by a surrey based business.  The grove is home to dozens of some of the south islands largest red cedars and Douglas firs, some over 12 feet in diameter.
  Several of the trees have big giant bulbous burls ballooning out from their trunks, winding, snake like roots of the hemlock trees, giant draped mosses, hanging ferns...which is slated for logging any day now.

Old-growth forests are important for sustaining species at risk, tourism, clean water,.....so okay I may filter the water because really who has been in those rivers and, where did they start from, how high up in the mountains, how many bogs did that water go through...although I know there are lots of clean rivers...I just don't know which ones they are...so to avoid Beaver Fever...errrmmmm bring drinking water, or a good filter :):):)   The grove being close to Gordon river which is home to steelhead and salmon runs, much evidence of cougars and elk are apparent in the grove.
  (Hell I saw no cougars).... Good thing, I may have scared it to death....hehehehehehe

So come with me in the land of Vancouver island bit of magic...and enjoy the picture show...
Have a great walk as you enter a forest of fun and a wee bit of magic !!!!
For it may soon be gone........

I will up-date this sight...as time passes along....


sylviandavid says:
Your Trillium pictures are beautiful!
Posted on: May 23, 2013
hummingbird50 says:
Yep...but I will be keeping my eye on it...and keeping this blog up-to-date as much as I can
Posted on: Apr 23, 2010
Sunflower300 says:
It is such a shame that this may soon be gone. I hope the 'treehuggers' can save it. I guess you can be thankfull that you saw it in all its glory, and us that you took the photos. :)
Posted on: Apr 23, 2010
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A few Trilliums along the way...
A few Trillium's along the way...
Group Pic :)
Group Pic :)
Heres looking at you!!
Here's looking at you!!
Come with me
Come with me
Okay where shall we start?
Okay where shall we start?
Look up.....
Look up.....
In the land of the giants....
In the land of the giants....
I am sure there is a faerie behind…
I am sure there is a faerie behin…
Standing tall
Standing tall
look an elephant
look an elephant
oooo all those roots...dont trip
oooo all those roots...don't trip
I love moss
I love moss
Very peaceful
Very peaceful
majestic
majestic
what the heck?????
what the heck?????
This was around 35 feet in circumf…
This was around 35 feet in circum…
From fallen trees comes more life
From fallen trees comes more life
a wee rest is in order
a wee rest is in order
Peek
Peek
yiipeeeee
yiipeeeee
Fiddle heads...they are yummy to e…
Fiddle heads...they are yummy to …
Oyyyy big burl
Oyyyy big burl
Meet the burly tree
Meet the burly tree
I can see faces...can you?
I can see faces...can you?
little man...big tree
little man...big tree
Okay now to the other side of the …
Okay now to the other side of the…
Old miners cook stove and bucket
Old miners cook stove and bucket
okay lets go the other way.....
okay let's go the other way.....
Walk this way....
Walk this way....
Watch you dont get hit in the face
Watch you don't get hit in the face
where are all the pixies:)
where are all the pixies:)
A nursing tree
A nursing tree
they are every where giving life
they are every where giving life
one tree growing into another
one tree growing into another
Number 4
Number 4
Number 5
Number 5
dont know what happened to 1, 2, …
don't know what happened to 1, 2,…
all in a row
all in a row
One all alone...such a lonely numb…
One all alone...such a lonely num…
Can some one please let me have ju…
Can some one please let me have j…
Now when you are done hiking and y…
Now when you are done hiking and …
Yurtsville
Yurtsville
Its time to go home :(
It's time to go home :(
This is Chee What...near Nitnat La…
This is Chee What...near Nitnat L…
Chee What
Chee What
This is in the Carmanah Valley...s…
This is in the Carmanah Valley...…
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photo by: Mezmerized