Information and Services

Welcome to MASIT Communications (Medical and Science Information Technology), the science blog for Jacqueline – a Vancouver technical writer and web content specialist. Please read my blog postings below, or check out my services and skills listed here. For further information, please contact me by email: admin @ or find me on Twitter:  @masitblog and @jacbird. Enjoy!

Big Tree Trail on Meares Island

Tofino is known for its great surfing beaches and community, but there are also some fabulous places to hike. One such place is the Big Tree Trail located on Meares Island about half a kilometre across the water from Tofino. This trail features some of the largest and oldest Western red cedar trees in the world with widths up to 20 feet.

Photo by Jacquie Boivin
Boat taxi trip from Tofino to Meares Island

Meares island is a tribal park of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and got its name in 1862 from George Henry Richards, captain of the HMS Hecate, in honor of John Meares. This island was blockaded to prevent logging by the MacMillan Bloedel company in 1984. As a result of this protest, the Big Tree trail was created with a board walk for the first 1.2 km of the trail.

Photo by Jacquie Boivin
One of the large trees you will see along the board walk.

The board walk takes you to some of the oldest trees in Canada. Two of which are Western red cedar trees and are in the range of 1000-1500 years old. They are known as the hanging garden tree and poster tree, and are just two of the large trees that you will see along this trail.

For those looking for an adventure, continue on past the managed trail area, and follow around to your right to circle back towards the dock. This area is quite muddy, and is difficult to walk in some places. A few other smaller trails lead down to the mudflats. The mudflats are interesting to look at, but you should return towards the direction of Morpheus island and back on the main trail which takes you back to the water taxi dock.



Photo by Jacquie Boivin
Return trip back to Tofino.

On the trip back to Tofino, you will see the village of Opitsat along the shoreline of Meares island, which is said to be 5000 years old.

Opitsat and Esowista are the two reserves in the area where the Tla-o-qui-aht people reside. With the crystal clear blue waters and fresh forest air this is definitely not a hike to be missed while visiting Tofino.

Find me on Twitter:  @jacbird and @masitblog

New Ideas for Blog Postings!

I enjoy spreading the word about interesting science, and I’m hoping to delve into some subjects that I’m not as familiar with this year, such as physics and astronomy. Here is your opportunity to give me some of your own ideas for science-based blog posts! Write to me at admin @ if you have anything you’d like to see me write about on here in the coming months.


  • Northern Mountain Ecosystems in a Warming Climate
  • Earth’s Moon – Interesting Facts
  • Plastics Recycling – How energy efficient is the plastics recycling process?
  • Early Scientist Overview – Female
  • Coyotes – Behaviour and interaction with humans

Interesting and Odd Wildflowers of British Columbia

There are very many different types of wildflowers along the west coast of British Columbia (also including farther north and south). Some are just interesting to look at because they are unique and beautiful. Others have medicinal properties and/or are edible. They have long-standing uses by the native aboriginal peoples, and it is estimated that literally thousands of traditional medicines are derived from plants present along the west coast region. This is why the pristine beauty and hidden treasures of this area are definitely worth conserving, and should be left as undisturbed as possible.

Below is a sampling of some of my favourite kinds, just because they are beautiful, intriguing, interesting and/or unique.

Star-flowered False Solomon’s Seal

Smilacina racemosa

False Solomon's Seal

Perennial with star-like flowers. The fruit is a round, greenish-yellow berry with 3 or 6 blue-purple stripes, changing to dark blue or reddish-black at maturity. Berries are edible but not especially tasty.





Clasping Twistedstalk

Clasping Twistedstalk

Streptopus amplexifolius

Perennial with greenish-white, bell-shaped flowers that have flaring tips. The fruit is an oval-oblong berry (yellow to red, sometimes turning dark purple). According to Pojar and MacKinnon, most aboriginal people regard the plants and berries as poisonous. Continue reading

Interesting and Odd Wildflowers of British Columbia