Friday, February 5, 2010

Wednesday walk and 20 minutes by the river on Thursday

On Wednesday afternoon, I walked along the waterfront in North Vancouver with my friend, Dianne, and her beautiful dog, Haley. At the shipyard across the river, we could see this set of olympic rings. Curious, I googled to find this tiny bit of information:
A giant set of Olympic rings are seen being refitted with hydrogen fuel cells at the north shore shipyard in Vancouver harbor Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. The LED lights which light up the rings at night will now showcase cutting edge sustainable technology and will be even greener than before. Vancouver is the host city to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games which begin on Feb. 12, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
I have always wondered what kind of work is done at that shipyard. At least, I know now that some of the work does not involve ships. I am also curious to know just how many sets of olympic rings there are in total.

Haley wasn't interested in olympic rings. Things to smell,
roll on/in,
and run through/along, were much more fun.

On Thursday, I sat on a rock by the river for about twenty minutes. A Blue Heron was across the river. It walked toward the shipyard.

My attention strayed for a moment to this seagull, flying by.

When I looked back, the heron had flown to a tree quite a distance down the river to my left. I had missed the take-off.

It stayed in the tree for a couple of minutes, and then came back towards me. (an aside: I'm never sure whether to use "toward" or towards" - sometimes one feels right and sometimes the other. Maybe a reader will fill me in.)
It flew past the shipyard spotlights,

past me,
continued along the river towards the trees,
and finally, headed to the mountains.

I took a moment to admire the barnacles on the rock in front of me,

and then noticed a female Hooded Merganser. She was soon joined by an amorous suitor.

I guess she approved, because they swam together for a moment or two, and then flew off, a beautiful sight as they sped through the sky. They sure are speedy flyers - I couldn't capture their flight.
Break time was over, and I headed inside, grateful one more time for the wildlife and other observation potential right at the doorstep of my workplace.


  1. What a happy Haley-dog!
    And a nice sequence with the heron, even if he did all his take-offs surreptitiously.
    And the male merganser looks all puffed up, like a teen aged boy who is courting the prom queen!

  2. wonderful pictures and what a pretty dog

  3. So cute how Haley seems to be rolling with the rings! And I wonder if those two pretty birds at the end are old friends rediscovering one another.

  4. Nice photos (as always)! I remembering sitting in a park by the river in Burnaby and watching a big blue heron once. It was magnificent to see ... but did it ever have an ugly voice! I guess we can't all join the choir, LOL!

  5. Nice article as for me. It would be great to read something more concerning that theme. Thnx for posting this information.

  6. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    Evensong, for such large birds, herons can take off more quietly than I would ever have imagined possible.

    Dianne, you take Haley for seashore walks just about every day and give her a ton of love. Must be the perfect recipe for a happy dog:)

    Penelope, I hadn't made the connection to Haley's rolling and the rings. Thanks:) As for the Hooded Mergansers rediscovering one another, I like to think that may be true. I did a bit of searching to find out more about their mating habits, but didn't come up with anything conclusive. On one site, it was mentioned that the male abandons the femal as soon as the eggs are deposited, but even then, it is always possible that they get together again the following season. You have triggered my curiosity, so I'll probably be on the lookout for more information.

    No kidding, LDF:) The fierce squawk of a heron could never be described as a musical sound. I love to hang around the heronry at Stanley Park, but when the chicks are being raised, they and their parents can be heard long before I reach the nesting area. Maybe that's why herons seem to spend a lot of time alone during the rest of the season.