Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birds on a Windy Tuesday

Even with my rain gear, I was soaked, after a wet, windy ride to school.  After my first class, I had a break long enough to go for a short walk with Hudson and Kevin.  Hudson was so entertaining, I devoted the previous post to him.  When he was sitting in the water, this pair of Mergansers came almost close enough to him for a group photo, but then thought better of it.  With the sun on the water, and the wind shifting the reflections around, I thought they looked especially beautiful.  Bill likes the female best, although right after he said that, he added that he didn't want to make the other one feel bad.  He calls her Woody Woodpecker.  He didn't know she was a girl; understandable, since brighter colored birds are usually males.  I guess Common Mergansers are the exception.

After the walk, I went to my desk that looks out over the river, planning to get an early start on my reports.  I saw Nicky, the blue heron, fishing, and I also saw a bald eagle being chased by crows and seagulls.  I photographed both through the window, but the photographs were poor.  Still, I couldn't stop marveling at the drama taking place right in front of me.  (Don't ask how many reports I completed.)  

Later in the afternoon, after my last class for the day, I went back outside, and for the first time that I can remember, the tide was out.  I was able to walk out much further than usual, and Nicky was fishing again.  

There was wind all around, but Nicky's fishing spot had moments of calm.  
The sparkles came and went...
... with the wind ripples. 
I was disappointed when this dog scared Nicky away, but then enjoyed watching him play.
The crows were gathered on a small sandbar.  Some of them would fly up to avoid waves.  I love the one with legs braced against the wind.  Every once in a while, a seagull would join them.  I missed part of this fellow on the top, but like the picture anyway.  
I watched the crows for quite a while.  
There was considerable competition to find a spot on the sandbar.
Three geese honked well in advance of their landing.  One of them, for some reason, chased the other two up the bank.  They weren't impressed.
The wind was against me for most of the ride home, and was so strong that I walked the bike over both the Lions Gate Bridge and the Burrard Bridge.  These branches were on the Lions Gate.  I thought quite a bit about how they must have arrived there.  I don't know how many feet they would have had to travel, if they were blown from Stanley Park.  It seems impossible that they could have flown that far, but I can't imagine someone carrying them onto the bridge.  
Wind can be exhausting,  but it brings its own kind of energy to the day, especially when accompanied by sun.  I've kept track of my biking kilometers (only the commute ones) at this site, ever since Bike to Work Week in May 2008.  Today, I reached 4,357.9 kl, and what amazes me about that is not only how easily the kilometers add up, but how every ride is different.  The last picture of the day was just sun on rock, but it seemed brand new.       


  1. I used to keep track of my kilometers there too, and they really do add up. If Vancouver is anything like Deroche this morning you will have another wet ride. Take care out there!

  2. Carol that must have been a windy Tuesday. I like the heron walking on the think trail on the water. Wow you live in some great place Carol. Thanks for sharing. Anna :)

  3. Thanks, dp;) There was a mix of snow and rain, and I was even more soaked than the day before, but the roads were ok, and the wind was much kinder. I do think of Raven and Tonka on these miserably wet days. I hope they don't hate the rain as much as Black Jack does.

    Yes, Anna, it is a great place to live, even with the weather less inviting this past winter than usual. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. I grew up convinced that horses should be kept in stalls when it was wet and/or cold outside, but I will never think that way again.

    I doubt that Tonka and Raven enjoy the rain, but I think that they are happier out in the rain than the would be confined in stalls. If it's really pouring they will usually go stand in their shelter, but otherwise they hang out in all kinds of conditions without seeming very bothered.

  5. Yes, I grew up with the same idea, dp. I've learned a lot from reading your blog, and definitely love the idea that your horses are free. That said, the heavy rubber flaps that keep heat in, but let elephants in and out, on the barns of the sanctuary in Tennessee (www.elephants.com), seem a great idea. There are no stalls, but partially divided areas that the elephants can choose to use. Mostly, they seem to choose their own space and keep to it. They are completely free to go in and out as they please. Some of them stay out for the entire summer, but start coming in at night as the weather gets colder. But, we're talking about horses, not elephants, and I know your two have it good!