Ptarmigan was formed on Vancouver Island in 1970 when Michael Bieling introduced James Lithgow (guitar) to Glen Dias (vocals, recorder). They added members, including Monte Nordstrom (guitar, vocals) to get up to a sextet which played on the island and around Victoria.
In 1971 the lineup fragmented to just Dias and Nordstrum who set out on the road, making friends along the way. They played the Ting Tea Room in Winnipeg where they jammed with Lighthouse, Fiddler's Green in Toronto (with Leon Redbone and Downchild), and several weeks nearby in Hamilton before returning home. The duo road tripped again in 1972, hanging out in Stratford with the Perth County Conspiracy, playing at Le Hibou in Ottawa where they met Bruce Cockburn (he had just put out High Winds, White Skies) and then to Toronto to guest with Syrinx. They returned to Vancouver Island and met up with flautist Paul Horn who produced the first (and only) album. They recorded the tracks for the album in 1972, and it sat on the shelf until finally released in 1974. The track below is part of The Island suite - 6 1/2 minutes of lush west coast psych-folk-prog.