Monday, November 30, 2009


There was sun on Friday, rain on Saturday, and thick clouds throughout Sunday. It should have been a letdown to go from clear to grey weather, but it struck me that colour sometimes emerges when least expected.

On Friday..

There were only a few minutes in the day for picture taking, but they were good ones. Sumac berries caught the sun along the riverside path in North Vancouver.
The ducks, geese and shore birds were very active. I happened to catch this bird flying towards me, but had no idea what it was at first. After cropping the picture to bring it closer, the stripes made the bird look like a giant bumble bee, and the sun glare across its eyes formed a silver mask. I'm thinking now the two dark stripes may be a clue that it was a Killdeer.
One Blue Heron made an appearance.

On Saturday..

Bill, Black Jack and I attended a seminar in Squamish about Bald Eagles. The steady rain should have been truly dismal, and I guess it was, but I was happy, and the day was coloured by a feeling of contentment as we drove along the Sea to Sky Highway, listened to the speakers, watched the slide shows, and finally spent time watching the eagles.

Bill was, as always, fun to be with, Black Jack was allowed to sit on my lap in the beautiful theatre at the Adventure Centre in Squamish, and the speakers were passionate about all things nature-related, and especially about their beloved eagles.

I (we) signed up for three sessions of eagle counting, the first two next weekend. I can hardly wait!

In the mean time, here are my very poor pictures, taken as we stood under a shelter by the eagle viewing dyke. The forecast for next weekend is sun, and I'm hoping to get some better photos then.

While I took pictures, Bill walked in the rain with Black Jack. So many things to appreciate about you, Bill. Thank you for another wonderful weekend!
This dog, named Spring, led us to a fascinating conversation with his human, Mark. Spring's father was a timber wolf, and his mother was an Alaskan Malamute. What a beautiful and very sweet-natured dog.
Mark spends many hours in the mountains, collecting all kinds of berries to make the most amazing organic products. He had stories of close encounters with a Silver-backed Grizzly as well as a cougar.
We sampled a pure berry kind of liqueur that was out of this world, and left with some jam, some honey and a berry nectar. If you ever decide to visit Squamish, I highly recommend looking up Mark and Spring. Make sure to ask about those wildlife encounters as well as the products.
The view across the river was many-layered, and stunning, even through the rain and mist.
I've encountered coyotes before, but this is my very first photograph of one. It was on the other side of the river, so quite a distance off, luckily for Black Jack.

On Sunday..

it seemed there was colour everywhere, as Black Jack and I did our morning walk at Jericho.

I'm fairly certain this is an American Wigeon male.
The wigeon couple are being watched by a female mallard.
The male again, with fanned feathers.
We met Roxanne with Merry Lou, in almost the same spot as a couple of weeks ago.
I was struck once more with Merry Lou's gentle nature.
Just a sweetheart!
I'm sorry this photo is not clear enough to positively identify the little bird, but again, the surrounding colours took the grey right out of the weather.
Black Jack's favorite part of the walk is at the far end of the park by the rabbit bushes. Somehow, I don't think colour was the first thing on her mind.
Perhaps a Goshawk? That's what a lady passing by thought it was, but again,the photo is not clear enough to make a positive identification. I had to remind myself that seeing it was a gift, and try not to feel too frustrated, as it flew right in front of me at about waist height, obviously looking for a rabbit meal. I know it has to eat, but I'm very grateful that it didn't catch anything while I watched. The colour patterns in its spread-out wings flashed by very quickly, and I wanted so much to slow down its flight and take a better look.
My eyes tend to scan the trees as I walk at Jericho. Black Jack saw this squirrel on the ground before I did. It escaped up the tree, framed by splashes of colour.
On Sunday afternoon, Bill drove me to Broadway Camera, where we met our friends, Jock and Kitty. We all enjoyed Henry Wong, a passionate photographer first, and a salesman second. I bought a new lens, and hope to practice using it this week. Perhaps, I will be able to bring the wildlife just a bit closer to you in next weekend's post.


  1. LOVE the drippy red berries!

    When my kids were little, their school always did a yearly trip to Glacier Nat'l. Park (we were in Whitefish, MT.) to see the eagles fishing for salmon on their seaonal migration. There were dozens, if not hundreds, in the trees and swooping down on the lakes and creeks! Really something to see!

  2. Oh, and what a rotund bunny! He's ready for winter!

  3. I am very excited that you will be counting bald eagles. Glenys and Paul introduced us to the eagles beyond Squamish 5 or 6 years ago! Wonderful!!!

  4. Thanks for the comments, EvenSong and Phyllis. Yes, even a few in the rain were exciting to see, bit I imagine seeing them in the sunlight will be just that much better.

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