Friday, April 23, 2010

Osprey watch and Earth Day

First things first, I've added a poll to ask for your opinions on naming the Osprey pair. (At least, I hope they will soon be a pair. There has been no sign of Mom yet, unless she arrived late last evening, after I left for the day.) So sorry the font colour in the poll is very hard to see. I tried to fix that, but haven't been able to, as yet. Phyllis's suggestion of the name Sherlock seems a good one to me. Thank you, Phyllis! Intelligence and problem solving are two qualities the dad shows. And, thank you also to Fred the Dog, who suggested the name Shirley, a good alliterative possibility, although he wondered if it would be too long to type. He also thought Jason and Jewel might work. "Sherlock and Shirley" works for me, although saying it over a few times, I do find my tongue gets a bit wrapped up. I looked up some of the details of Sherlock's life, as revealed in Conan Doyle's stories, and found that, although he never married, one woman impressed him throughout his life, and her name was Irene Adler. Apparently, he always referred to her as, "The Woman." I think Sherlock and Irene flow quite well, but for some unexplainable reason, the name Agatha (after Agatha Christie) also comes to mind. She married Archibald, but they divorced and she fell in love with Max. Hm.. guess we would leave out her love life:) Oh, Amelia, after Amelia Earhart, as a great adventurer and aviation pioneer, also comes to mind. She married George Putnam, and referred to the marriage as a "partnership with dual control."

I would love it if you had time to vote, so that we could make this a democratic decision:) The choices are: 1.Sherlock and Shirley 2.Jason and Jewel 3.Sherlock and Irene 4. Sherlock and Agatha 5.Amelia and George 6. Other suggestions.

For now, Mom and Dad will have to do. Here is an account of the past two days of osprey watching, with some Earth Day observations, and a few other titbits thrown in for good measure.

On Wednesday

I put Black Jack in her little front pack carrier, and we biked over to North Vancouver. For the first time ever, I had problems with her in the carrier. She didn't complain and seemed happy to continue on, but she began coughing. It was as though there were pressure on her chest or neck. I kept taking her out of the carrier, and as soon as I did, the coughing stopped. The cloth material of the carrier seems to have stretched. She was hanging much lower than I remember from last year, so it may be that it is time to buy a new and sturdier one.

When we arrived at the lookout, Dad was away. He arrived a bit later, and took up his place in the nest. My friend, Dianne, also arrived with her dog, Haley, and we had fun watching and waiting together. Finally, they took Black Jack for a walk, so that I could concentrate on taking photos. Thank you, Dianne!

Dad wasn't very active on Wednesday. He spent a long time just sitting on the nest. I looked around for other entertainment, and saw this otter, although he left immediately, so the picture was very rushed.

A little bit of work on the nest,

and a couple of displays of his beautiful wings,
and a final bit of nest work, was as much action as we saw on Wednesday.

Black Jack was getting restless and I knew it was time for her supper, so I put her in the carrier, and we started homeward. Unfortunately, the coughing started up immediately and I couldn't risk that she was somehow being hurt. Let's just say it was a very long walk over the Lions Gate bridge, rolling the bike with my right hand, and keeping Black Jack as close to me as possible, with the left. She is a wonderful walker, and I think quite enjoyed the adventure, but it is not one I hope to repeat. We stopped and sat on a bench at Stanley Park, where this seagull insisted on modelling. By the time we got to Denman Street, it was dark, and I was really, really tired. Thank you to the taxi driver who, after some heartrending pleas, finally agreed to accept my bike and Black Jack in his car.

Thursday: Earth Day

I didn't do a lot to specifically celebrate Earth Day, but felt aware all day of its significance. Being vegetarian, and getting around mostly by bike when I'm on my own and recycling as much as I can are the three ways I try to make a difference. However, my very bad habit of using too much hot water seems to be a difficult one to break. Small steps, I guess. I hope to do a bit better with that this year.

Since I didn't want to take Black Jack on the bike until I solve the carrier problem, I decided to give her a really, really long walk at Jericho in the morning, so that she wouldn't find the afternoon too long. We stepped outside the door, and this Flicker presented itself almost immediately. It occurred to me that my rather late, but passionate interest in wildlife, is another way I celebrate the earth.

It was really windy, and we spent some time watching the seagulls ride the air waves. This one seemed suspended against the blue sky backdrop for a very long time.

Bad photo here, but as we walked by the pond, a Blue Heron suddenly squawked angrily, and flew out of the reeds, with a Red-winged Blackbird hot on its trail. You would have to click on the picture to see that the pesky blackbird is practically sitting on the heron's head. I wonder why they were arguing.

With the strong wind, cherry blossoms lined the streets and covered many lawns with pink blankets. Earth Day came to mind again, with the thought that Vancouver even has beautiful litter. (Street festivals and fireworks celebrations excepted.)

Dogwood blossoms are suddenly everywhere, and with the sun yesterday, were shown at their very best.

I rode to North Vancouver in the mid afternoon, and Earth Day again came to mind, when I met two women picking up litter on the Lions Gate Bridge. Whoops! I guess I just contradicted my statement about beautiful litter. I wish I had stopped and taken their picture, or at least found out their names, but I surely did appreciate their clean-up. Thanks, ladies!

Dad was on the nest when I arrived in North Vancouver,

but flew away almost immediately.

For several hours, I watched seals,


the moon against a blue sky,


seagulls diving,

seagulls flying,

seagulls eating,

and Cormorants eating.

Dad was gone a long time, and didn't seem concerned that his nest was being used all the while.

He finally returned with a fish,

but he took it almost immediately to the next pylon, where he enjoyed

protection from the wind, and maybe from curious humans, while he ate.

He seemed very, very alert, looking around, with eyes wide open and intensely focused. I was convinced he was waiting for Mom, and I watched and waited with him.

She didn't show up (at least, while I was there), so I amused myself taking pictures of the colourful array of ropes around the pylon that holds the nest.

Dad didn't work much on the nest yesterday. I'm not sure if that is a good sign. Perhaps, he expects Mom any minute now. Perhaps, she is there as I conclude this post, tidying up and getting to know Dad all over again.

My last photo of the day was of this Merganser, and then, I finally tore myself away.
There you have the latest update. I do hope you will take time to vote on Osprey names, and if you choose "other", perhaps will leave a comment with your suggestions. Thanks, as always, for reading the blog.


  1. I’m so impressed with your mid-motion photos, Carol, especially of the diving seagull. Magnificent!
    The “beautiful litter” highlights your creative writing skills. I’m also looking forward to seeing “Mom” and hope she shows up soon. I’m getting attached to the Sherlock and Shirley names. I wonder if Sherlock and Cheryl would do … although shorter, it is still dealing with two shhh sounds, however. Maybe Sherlock and Meryl (for Meryl Streep)?

    Thanks for sharing your journey where every post feels like Earth Day.

  2. Hi Carol:
    Inspiring photography ... as usual.
    I didn't find the ballot, but how about "Bill & Carol" for names in the "other" category.
    Simple, easy to remember, easy to say, reminds us of you, ... what's not to like?

  3. Thanks, Penelope. I really admire and enjoy Meryl Streep, and Sherrill (different spelling but same sound) is my sister, so those are meaningful suggestions for me. But, I will put you down in the vote for Sherlock and Shirley, unless you let me know that you really prefer one of the other two.

    P.S. About the poor font colour: Just discovered that if you highlight the poll (click and drag mouse over it), it is much, much easier to see.

    Jock, good to hear from you. Flattering suggestion but it would be really confusing:) And, I edited my senior moment (x3) spelling error. Yikes! But, thanks!

  4. We like Ozzie and Harriet.


  5. I voted before I read your first paragraph! I look forward to the decision! Thank you for another wonderful celebration of the natural world. Remind me to tell you about the three minute shower rule I learned during a drought in South Africa. Phyllis

  6. Carol, wow these are amazing. For the names, I think number 1 is good with me, lol, kind of cute. We used to have osprey in our pond, but have not seen it last year. Thanks for sharing amazing adventures, you are awesome. Your moon photo is stunning! Anna :)

  7. Lawrence and Olivia would be my vote if it's not too late.
    Love the photo of the blossoms in the street. It is a beauty I always mourn and you have captured it perfectly.

  8. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    Marianne and Bill, it was wonderful to meet you on Sunday.

    Cristina, Phyllis, Marianne and Bill, there's a new poll and it's up for four more days. Add your vote if you get a chance. Great to hear from you.

    Thanks, Anna:)

  9. Hello, my name is Glenn, Molly the french mastiff's owner. Is there any chance you can switch the last photo of her, all my friends say how vicious it makes her look. Everyone is very impressed by your work, thank you, Glenn.