Sunday, August 2, 2009


I've been having a lot of fun playing with my new camera over the past week or so.  The memories are beginning to blend together, and it seems important to me to record a few of the highlights before they become as hazy as the air has been, during this extended heat wave in Vancouver.

On my last day of work before the holiday, the owner of my school told me about an eagles' nest that I have managed to miss, even though it's not all that far from where I live.  On my way home, I decided to try and find it.  After asking at least 15 people in the area, I finally met a wise man named William.  He kindly took me to the nest.  I learned that the two juveniles have fledged successfully, so it is now an empty home, waiting until next year to become inhabited (I hope) once more.
William also took me to a beautiful garden, where he meditates each morning.  It was a tranquil spot, close to a hub of activity.  I was immensely grateful for the privilege of sharing a few moments there. 
Cormorants always make me think of ballet.  These three were in North Vancouver.
As I was watching the osprey nest (North Vancouver), a flock of geese landed right below me at the water's edge.  Talk about ballet.  It was as though they were reminding me that common birds are beautiful too.

Black Jack is usually happy to explore the rocks while I take pictures.  
The pond water is very, very murky at Jericho Park these days, but I can still see the turtles.
Bill has taken me on lots of excursions lately.  He is by no means a sun worshipper, and finding relief from the intense heat hasn't been easy.  Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver had some beautiful forested areas with great shade.  This photograph is mostly out of focus, but for some reason, I like it.
A tree at Lighthouse Park.
A neighborhood flower that caught my eye, on one of my morning walks with Black Jack.
A sunset at Jericho Beach.
I posted about the osprey in North Vancouver, and wanted to show the shared moment between the two adults, before they got down to the serious business of feeding themselves and Junior.  (Junior will be either Rosie or Pierre, as soon as I figure out its gender.)
This is Felix, a resident of the building I live in.  Felix comes when called, and is walked several times a day.  He wears that protective collar around his neck, as he has some sort of skin problem exacerbated by scratching.  I've tried several times to take his picture, but I have to be very quick, because he is so friendly, he walks right into the camera.  This is my best effort to date.
I've been watching and watching the pond by the little bridge at Jericho, hoping to get a photograph of the beaver.  The other evening, Bill and I watched (or more accurately, listened to) the activity.  I used my flash, and only realized after loading the pictures, that we had been hearing frogs (or maybe toads?)
We were both excited when the beaver finally agreed to give us a small showing, caught, again, with the flash.
I love to watch the cormorants dive.  This one was in North Vancouver.
There it goes.
A juvenile crow on a breezy day at Jericho.
I don't remember where I saw this flower.  Haze all around it.
This seagull flew by, as I watched the osprey.
It strikes me often, what an accomplishment it is for a young bird to poop successfully.  Here, Junior does a faceplant, trying to prepare himself to clear the nest.
He does it!!
But the effort takes a lot out of him.  He does another faceplant, trying to right himself afterwards.
Junior is beginning to test out his wings.  I have no idea how much longer it will be before he fledges.
More posts to come soon.  One showing Black Jack's first real swim in two years, and another to record a trip Bill and I took on Saturday to McDonald Beach and Iona Island.  Until then.


  1. It never occurred to me to wonder what happens to bird poop--afterall, it's my life's work to clean up after the horses! Amazing shot of an amazing instinctual skill!

    What camera did you get--I don't remember that you said? The one of Bill, I'm sure the camera was having trouble figuring out where to focus--but that's what makes it a neat photo: It is soft, like Bill (and I mean that in the warmest way...).

  2. Those comorants do indeed look ballet-like. They remind me of the opening scene of the very first performance I ever attended of Swan Lake, when I was perhaps 8 or 9. Thanks for the warm and fuzzy memory!

    Your comment about the ospreys fledging got me curious. I know sparrows fledge in just one to two weeks. The little ones from my birdhouse fledged in 10 days, hopped about for about 15 minutes, and then flew away, never to return. By nightfall, mom and dad had packed their suitcases and moved on, also.

    So I started reading up on ospreys, and discovered they take 53 days to fledge, and they continue to return to the nest for a couple of weeks after that. I found this interesting site of the Rutland Osprey Project in Great Britain, which may interest you:

    (Warning: don't go there unless you have an hour to two to spare! LOL).

  3. Hi Carol,

    You must have bought a very cool camera. Your photos are all nice, even toads! I have a hard time taking photos of toads maybe because I am very afraid of them. Hahaha. Birds looks very energetic and Felix what a gorgeous cat, he knows how to project in front of the camera. Is BJ okay? He looks very busy in your photo.


  4. More nice shots from an amazing camera. If anyone didn't click to enlarge it, here is another chance to see Junior's poo shot in wide screen. I presume it was aimed at those tour boats that get too close to the Osprey nest.

  5. Some great shots again! I particularly liked the three cormorants...
    Bird 1: Will you STOP showing off already? You're embarrassing us.
    Bird 2: (flap flap flap)
    Bird 3: (rolling eyes) Just ignore him. That's what I do.

  6. Okay, I just clicked on the poo shot. LOL LOL LOL... that is full of win!

  7. Thanks for the comments, everyone. Much appreciated!

    EvenSong, lovely comment (and true) about Bill.

    My camera is a Nikon D90. It came with a wide angle lens, but I also bought a 70-300 mm lens, which is the one I have been using most of the time. You might enjoy Anna's blog, at: Anna just did a post about using the telephoto lens. I love her blog because I learn something with each post. It will take me years to really feel I know what I'm doing, but I'm having a lot of fun along the way.

    Jean, you're welcome.

    I did go to that blog, and it is absolutely fascinating. (Good thing I'm on holiday:) Now, I have to figure out when Junior was born. I'm guessing s/he has about three weeks to go, but I will talk to Grandpa Wayne (posted about recently). He has a better idea of the birth date. I'm going to go back to that site and see if there's any way of knowing Junior's gender. Thanks so much!

    Thanks, Al. I'm enjoying the camera.

    I wonder what caused your fear of frogs. I've always thought they were cute.

    BJ is fine. She does, as you noticed, usually manage to keep busy:)

    Bill, thank you for linking that poo shot. At least one reader benefited. As for the tour boats, I hope your presumption was correct:)

    Carole, that dialogue was perfect! You really have a knack. Glad you liked the poo shot.

  8. Caeol,
    The D90 is a nice camera! Allan has a 70-300 for the really long shots--hope you got the VR(vibration reduction) version--it really helps! His mid-range lens is an 18-85, it's on his D70 right now. His all-purpose 18-200 lens is on the D40 that I use most often. I think he has one for close ups too. And several others that he covets...