Friday, April 30, 2010


Sometimes, thoughts trigger photos, and sometimes, it is the other way around.

Last weekend, Earth Day was celebrated at Jericho Park. A huge truck arrived with Port-a-potties, and that red truck off to the right sold specialty coffees and some healthy fast foods.

An army of volunteers rushed to have everything prepared in time. My thoughts: Earth Day is good. Do we really need Port-a-potties? There are washrooms within a five-minute walk. I wonder if the food stands and booths could have been set up at the entrance to the park, rather than right by the pond where so many birds are nesting.

A Red-winged Blackbird and a Blue Heron have been at each other for several days now. In lots of ways, birds and humans are not that different.

Last Sunday, I stopped and took a picture of the lions in their Canucks outfits, at the entrance to the Lions Gate Bridge. I am really, really curious to know who has been dressing up the lions, and what time of day the deed is done. (During olympics, they had outfits as well.)

This is the seagull couple that I have been watching in North Vancouver. They have since moved out of the osprey nest, and as EvenSong noted, smart decision. My thought: There is always (well, usually) something endearing about watching two beings in love.

The next 13 pictures were all taken as I stood yesterday, watching the empty osprey nest. I was there for about an hour, and did not see Dad. I wonder where he was and what he was doing.

Some thoughts as I observed other action around the nest:

1. We often miss the beauty of crows.

2. This heron is flying almost directly to me, with no sign of nervousness. Even in my pink bike jacket, I think I am beginning to blend into the surroundings.

3. Love that landing gear forward look.

4. Wings wide open like a big hug about to happen.

5. I saw you swallow something, but have no idea what it was. What is your favourite tidbit lying in that shallow water?

6. Flying right toward me again. I am honoured.

7. Heron physique reflects both nature's sense of humour and her eye for beauty.

8. I am envious of the ability to fly.

9. Landing gear coming down.

10. Windy day and the waves on the heron's back are rather like the waves on the water.

11. Set of three, as a cormorant drove the seagull off its post. Thought: the seagull doesn't seem to take it personally.

I stopped on the way home to take this picture by the bridge. One of the lions has lost its Canucks jersey, but gained a sliver (tin foil) cup.

My thought: Never count your chickens....

I noticed this Monkey Puzzle Tree as I was taking the picture of the lion. I wonder how long it has been there. How many times have I biked across the bridge, and never once seen this tree?

I decided to stop at the Stanley Park heronry. On the way, I saw two crows in this fountain. One seemed to be showing the other how to soften its food in the water. By the time I got my camera out, the crows were gone, but I reflected yet again on the intelligence of crows.

Behind the fountain, I looked again at the Yue Minjun "Amazing Laughter" sculptures. So many people were enjoying them, children posing in front of them, mimicking the postures, parents smiling as they snapped photos. I aimed my camera high, not to intrude. I have complained about these sculptures, but as much as it is a bit difficult to admit it, they are growing on me. My thought: There is a kind of rudeness in the gestures, and I understand where it comes from, but it still offends me. I almost feel Yue Minjun is laughing at my weakness in feeling the contagious laughter in spite of myself.

The heronry was buzzing with the rhythmical chuck-chuck-chuck of chicks. This male had just delivered food. It rested for about 10 seconds and then took off again. My thoughts: 1. Those little guys have musical drive without melodic flow, unlike most birds. 2. I wonder why herons have a squawking voice - it seems at such odds with their grace and beauty. Part of nature's sense of humour, I guess. 3. I wonder if the hard working parents ever complain to each other about the spoiled kids. 4. Beautiful, beautiful bird.

Plants right beside the heronry. My thoughts: 1. I am inspired to notice these because of Penelope's post. 2. No time to look up the name of these. Is it sort of irresponsible to post plants and birds that I cannot name? No, I hope not. Seeing them is a start.

Black Jack and I walked at Stanley Park after I arrived home from work. This Red-winged Blackbird chirped insistently at me. My thoughts: 1. It is demanding a photo shoot. 2. I have taken so many of these birds, but I can't resist. I can see the red inside its mouth. Amazing!

These Mallards flew by and I thought they were beautiful.

They followed a third one that seemed to have rather a flat head. Injured, or have I just never noticed that shape before? Almost a perfect diagonal line. Beautiful. Oh, to fly!

Almost home, camera put away, but taken out to catch the light on this flower. Penelope's influence again:)
These were some of yesterday's thoughts. Thanks, as always, for taking time to read them.


  1. I think I prefer lions undressed. The two gulls are looking more and more like doves. And can’t recall EVER seeing the inside of a bird’s mouth without a worm or some such thing in it. Thanks as always for sharing the words and pictures of your journey. The heron is so relaxed knowing you mean it no harm that I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we see a picture of it right by your shoulder. :)

  2. I'd say the black bird was giving you an earful!
    We have a coyote statue (tho I think he looks more like a fox) who stands outside our public library reading a book. His attire changes with the seasons, too.
    I know I've got the perspective wrong, but in the first photo of the two mallards, it almost appears that the male has his wings protectively shielding his mate.

  3. I agree with you, Penelope, about preferring the lions undressed:) And, same for me. I can't remember ever getting such a good look into a bird's mouth:)

    EvenSong, it did seem like the male was shading, or somehow protecting, the female. It is nesting time, and I have noticed what I have to call tender exchanges between many pairs of birds.

    Thank you to both of you for your comments!