Sunday, January 25, 2009

3 beasts and 2 birds on Sunday

Only three beasts, two of them squirrels (a light and a dark) and one of them Black Jack, but so many pictures.  I couldn't seem to leave any out, so here goes.

Our walk began today in the field at the top of the Point Grey Hill. Black Jack played with a very active and rather heavy-handed Golden Retriever with even less recall than Black Jack.  Rough play, and I worried a bit for her luxated patella knees (a grade 1 and a grade 2 and so far, touch wood, holding at that), but she handled it well.  The retriever was finally retrieved by its frustrated and embarrassed human who had called and called to no avail.  (No pics)  

Then, we headed to 16th Avenue to play in the Endowment Lands forest. 

A quick stop on the way to record some squirrel action.  

First, a hopping grey.
Then, a game of chase with this little dark one that looked brown sometimes and black at other times.  I wasn't able to catch the two of them in one photo.  Man, they were quick.
The grey coming down the other side of the tree.
And a close-up to see its expression as it suddenly notices Black Jack.
The dark one (now looking more black) comes after the grey.  Its eye is there, honest. 
The grey is so fast, heading up, I can't catch it, but I do get one of the dark following it.
The grey on the way down again.
Changes its mind, turns on a dime, and back up we go.
Stretches out a bit.
And over the top and out of sight.  Both squirrels disappeared.
Poor Black Jack.  She behaves with admirable restraint as I snap away, but she knows they're still up there.  I finally convince her the endowment lands will be just as entertaining, and off we go.
The forest was good.  Lots of stuff to investigate.
Really good response to recalls on leash.  She enjoyed the practice (and treat rewards).
More recall fun.
And a kazillion shots like this.  And that's it for Sunday beasts.
Now, for the two lone birds. The first shot of the day was a crow in the field.
The last shot of the day was this little cutie in my neighbor's garden.
In case you're wondering about the bike part of this blog, I did get out on --- (I'm a bit ashamed to say I've never named my bike - any suggestions?), and even took a few pictures of the sunset coming over the Burrard, but none cried out to be shown here.  Lovely day, and quite warm, as long as the sun stayed out. I went downtown, did a gym visit, a bit of shopping, had a latte, met Bill for supper and saw a movie.  Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino - no link, because it was mostly annoying, even when I sometimes reluctantly found myself laughing.  Good potential in the plot, but the script writer seriously underestimated the intelligence of the viewers.  Subtle, it wasn't.  Still, it was somewhat interesting and entertaining to watch Clint Eastwood and think about his long acting career.  I believe he's in his 70's and have to admit, he's in pretty amazing shape.  Last night, we saw The Wrestler.  Guess it was the weekend for aging, well-built actors.  Mickey O'Rourke was more successful than Clint, I thought.  Not exactly subtle, either, but a more honest portrayal and a stronger script.

Time to stop blogging and sleep.  Monday is here.  Yikes!     


  1. That grey squirrel seems to be doing well for itself. Looks related to the rats in our garage.

    We had gale-force winds today, so no riding for me. Maybe tomorrow as I will be home with the beasts while David is at work. And no movies for us this weekend either, but lots of Mad Men episodes. Enjoy your Monday!

  2. BJC--
    A suggestion for your bike's name: what about "Beauty" in "Beauty and the Beasties"? Seems appropriate, also, on the basis of how much beauty you find on your commutes...

    Also, I was backtracking a bit (I'm going to have to visit more often), and I have a suggestion for a replacement for your pink X's 4 leash (either when it wears out, or just on general anti-pink grounds): Check at a horse supply store (or on-line; I'm sure dp could give you lots of resources, or I can, if you need) for a lunge-line. They're usually anywhere from 25-35 feet long (8-12 m.?), are usually 1" nylon (identical to leashes), but can be had in woven cotton web as well (some with leather hand "stops"), and offered in mostly basic colors (at least the nylon ones; I prefer Navy Blue, for my stable colors).

    Love your photos! What do you shoot? Me and my hubby are pretty devout Nikon folks--D40 /D70 (tho I do have a little Canon point-and-shoot that I can stick in my barn coat pocket that does nice, too).

  3. Hope you did get out yesterday, dp, and that it was warmer than the morning temps here. Snow for you today? I finally understand the climate is different where you are:)

    Thanks EvenSong. Last night, I forgot my lock when I went to the gym. I left the bike outside and worried about it the whole time. When I came out afterwards, and saw it waiting there, I said (I think aloud, but possibly inwardly), "Thanks, my Beauty." So, your suggestion has worked its way into my mind and will stick. I like it!

  4. Yes, I did ride yesterday afternoon. It was darned cold, but not bad once we got going. Snow today, but not so much that I couldn't get out of the driveway. Might not get back in tonight...

  5. Muzzle says cool squirrel photos! We have squirrels in our garden, she's found one on the bird table before :)


  6. EvenSong, forgot to mention. The camera I have now is a Panasonic DMC-FZ18. It's probably just fine for my ability, but I'm thinking of upgrading, in the hopes of capturing better action shots and gaining better zoom for wildlife and bird shots.

    Thanks for the leash suggestions. Strangely, that pink one seems to work really well, but as you said, when it wears out, will have an alternative. dp had a suggestion as well that I have yet to check out. Really appreciate the ideas.