March 5

Where I Live

As of 2016, the Comox Valley has a population of around 66, 527, with a growth rate of around 4.7%. That includes Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, Royston, Union Bay, Fanny Bay, Black Creek and Merville. Most people consider Denman Island and Hornby Island to be a part of the population as well. Comox Valley is on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

In the Comox Valley, one of my favourite places by far is Mt. Washington. I love to ski, and on Mt. Washington, there are plenty of runs. In total, there are 5 chairlifts and 6 magic carpets. The magic carpets are for beginners, it’s how you get back up the bunny hills. The five charlifts, in order of difficulty, (easiest to hardest) are;

(The magic carpets) The Hawk, the Eagle, the Whiskeyjack, the Sunrise and the Boomerang. The middle three could be in any order.

Here’s a map of the downhill skiing/snowboarding trails on Mt. Washington!

Once every week I go up there and just go skiing with some friends. There’s plenty of good food, (by “food” I mind as well be saying “pizza”. There is SO MUCH PIZZA up there! But it’s really good pizza!)

One of my favourite places to eat there is Ted’s. They have so much! Poutine, nachos, burgers, you name it. It’s also delicious! Ted’s can be found near the entrance to the lodge closest to the Eagle chair.

There also used to be this place called Beaver Tails up there. Unfortunately, it’s closed down now, but it was a tiny little nook place. There was no seating, so you found see tons of people wandering outside with Beaver Tails, but it was pretty much similar to the BEST waffle place ever. The waffles would come in the shape, size and pattern of the average beaver tail, and you would be able to order tons of delicious treats to put on top. Strawberries, chocolate syrup, bananas, icing sugar, candied bacon. Plus tons of other fruits and sauces!

Anyway, I’ve told you about one of my favourite places, what about your favourite place, if you could choose? Have a great day!

~Sarah

December 4

5 Most Unique Beaches

When I think of beach, I think of white sand, turquoise water, sun shining and lots and lots of bird poop. However, not all beaches are similar to what I imagine. Not all beaches are the usual water, sand, rock combination. Some are in crazy locations with strange facts about them that you probably wouldn’t believe. Here are 5, crazy weird beaches you may have heard of.

1.) The Green Beach

At first glance, you may think that moss is covering every inch of sand at this beach. Not at all! At one of Hawaii’s many beaches, the sand is actually green! The reason the sand is green is definitely not because of a lot of algae. The native sand gets its bright green appearance from a nearby volcano that produces a lot of the green mineral, olivine! It is only one of 4 green beaches in the world!

2.) The Hot Water Beach

Forget baths and hot tubs, just imagine a hot bubbling beach! The water is heated by underground springs! You can sit in there all day, but that’s probably not the best idea health-wise. If you want to visit a natural hot tub, just visit the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. The water temperatures can peak at 147 degrees fahrenheit. No jacuzzies in the world can compete!

3.) The Hidden Beach

There’s a reason why this beach is called “The Hidden Beach”! (Very creative names, I know!) You wouldn’t be able to visit this beach unless you know it’s there. You have to be very high up to spot this beach on the Marietta Islands in Mexico. This beautiful beach is in a large crater, almost cave-like among the edges. You can only see the way in from high above! However, this beach has a violent past. ┬áIt was formed when the area was used by the Mexican government for bomb testing. I’m not sure why the government chose this particular spot, but all those tests led to a huge hole that was blasted into the earth! Fortunately, they don’t use this spot for tests anymore due to swimmers. Now, this beach is a beautiful swim hole!

4) Boulder’s Beach

Who knew you could sightsee penguins and soak in rays at the same time? Well, this beach in South Africa is made up of 2 inlets between granite boulders in the False Bay. It’s actually a getaway for both humans and 3,000 penguins! Located just south of Cape Town, South Africa visitors come here year round to take advantage of the wooden walkways as so to not disturb the penguins. The penguins are also very smelly though, so you may not want to get too close.

Penguins on Boulder’s Beach, 2005. Photo taken by Ms. Smith’s shipmate, John Holmes.

5.) The Glowing Beach

Who dropped a couple thousand worth’s of glow stick juice in this beach? This beach gives a spectacular, glowing view to tourists and visitors. It seems like something out of a fairy tail with its glowing blue water! The reason this water glows blue is because of phytoplankton, which glows when disturbed! Question is, who’s bugging these plankton’s? Whoever is doing so, don’t stop! The view is beautiful! These phytoplankton are quite common among the shores of the Maldives, which makes it a hot spot for tourists, especially honeymooners!

Those are 5 spectacular, unique beaches you may have never heard about! If you know about another beautiful, strange beach or have something to say about one of mine, tell me in the comments!

Have a great day!

~Sarah

November 26

5 Animals You Probably Didn’t Know Exist

Did you know that there are so many different species of animals out there scientist don’t even know the exact number? Some are the first animals that come to mind when you think of the word “animal”, like your brother, your sister, cats, dogs, horses or birds. But some are so strange and rare very little people even know they exist! Here is the top 5 weirdest animals I composed.

1.) Portuguese Man O’ War

This animal lives in the ocean and is truly beautiful. It looks very much like a jellyfish, ’cause it looks like a coloured blob of goo with long tentacles. That’s why it’s sometimes called a False Jellyfish. You can find it mostly in the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the Pacific and Indian ocean. The thing is, technically we should call it “Men Of War” and not refer to it at “it” but “they”. Here’s why. It’s an animal that’s made up of a colony of organisms cooperating together! Man Of War has tentacles that could be 30 feet long, which it uses to paralyze and kill fish and other small creatures! A Man Of War, to humans, luckily isn’t deadly but only EXTREMELY painful. The worst thing about it’s venom is that it can stay on beaches for days after the animal has already left!

2.) Blobfish

Don’t let the miserable, scowling, slimy face fool you. The blobfish is a harmless fish found in the deep sea off Australia, Tasmania and even New Zealand. The blobfish has won the contest for World’s Ugliest Animal in 2013. Poor blobfish! There is even quite a few memes, my favourite being a picture of Mr. Blobby (a very photogenic blobfish) with the words saying; “Go home Evolution. You’re drunk! Overall, the blobfish is basically a loose, gelatinous sack.

3.) Venezuelan Poodle Moth

This moth was only discovered in 2009, and doesn’t it look like a tiny, furry poodle?! Mammals need hair or fur to keep their body heat, but insects are cold-blooded, meaning even though the poodle moth looks like it should be in Antarctica with all its poofy hair, it in fact comes from Venezuela, a tropical country. It’s hairs don’t serve for heating! Most insects use hairs for smelling and sensing what is around them in the environment or for protection. Maybe that’s what the poodle moth’s hairs are for as well. Seeing as it was a pretty recent discovery, not much is known about the poodle moth.

4.) Trumpapillar

Trust me when I say I am not joking about the name. The scientific name for this caterpillar is the Flannel Moth caterpillar, but it is also widely known as the Trumpapillar because it looks EXACTLY like Donald Trump lost his hairdo. At least, the yellow ones do. There are a variety of colours. If you were to put this caterpillar on his head, no one would even notice. That’s the main reason why this caterpillar is on this list. The other reason is because the Trumpapillar’s hairs, even though they look like a wig, are extremely painful to the touch because they cause burning and irritation. If you were to look really closely at the hairs under a microscope, you would see tiny little needle-like things covering every single hair. This acts as protection against predators! Unfortunately for Trump, his hairdo lives in the Amazon.

5.) Glass Frogs

Like the name suggests, this frog is completely translucent, which means its almost completely see through, like looking through a fogged window! Glass frogs are found in Central and South America, and this type of frog, like you may guess, is extraordinary at camouflage. Sometimes these frogs have green bones to help blend in with leaves or grass behind them. The coolest thing about this froggy is that you can see it’s heart beating through it’s skin! Also know the following picture is a female glass frog with eggs.

That’s my top 5. If you know about another super-weird animal, or think one of my five is crazy, tell me in the comments!

Have a great day!

~Sarah