Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunday Travels

With rain falling most of the day on Saturday, travels consisted of short walks, and lots of play afterwards during Black Jack's much loved towel-down time.

A movie, Bebes, with my friend Kitty, was an excellent way to spend a rainy afternoon. There were some really thought-provoking comparisons of child-development in different parts of the world, although I confess that the movie didn't hold me captive all the way through, as I had thought it might, after loving the initial scenes.

On Sunday, this rock caught my eye as I walked along the beach near Jericho.

I wonder how long it has balanced in that precarious position.

These sweet-pea blooms brought colour to the shore-line.

There were lots of roses too, their aroma hanging on the still moist air.

I've taken photos of this tree stump before. I think it was Bill who first pointed it out to me. I wonder if someone has helped the sculpture along a little bit. Either way, I find it beautiful.

I checked on the eagle nest, and found just the one adult at home. Another observer told me there are still two chicks in the nest, but the occasional flicker of a wing tip never happened when my camera was ready, and I'll have to make some more visits to verify that he was correct. Here, the adult is watching a very persistent crow above.

I missed the adult's departure from the nest, but caught a few shots of the crow and its two seagull accomplices chasing it back and forth across the sky.

On the way home, I admired the flowers and enjoyed a conversation with a person who walks regularly in the park. He said that he is very "visual" and yet could swear those roses behind the lupins were not there on Saturday, and must have sprung up overnight.

Raindrop patterns in flickering sunlight.

A mother herded her two ducklings through the pond, trying unsuccessfully to..

keep this one from going off in its own direction. Kids these days:)

Another mother picked lice off her quickly-growing offspring.

In the afternoon, I biked over to North Vancouver, to stand for an hour on the shoal at low tide. There was no sign of Lawrence and Olivia, but I had several really enjoyable conversations with people who had stopped by. A teacher from Seattle, a lady I had not seen since last summer (Bettina), a couple with their dog, Mia - all enjoying the low tide and local wildlife.

This cormorant (Pelagic, I think) provided a lot of entertainment. There is something both beautiful and comical about these birds.

So many shades of greenish purplish blue.

Something insistent in the eyes.

Maybe spotted a fish?

A quick flap to dry the wings, and a little wiggle of the tail..

and it was off!

Quite a distance out in the water, I saw it dive, and then it seemed to have a white head. This is not a good photo, but there is a white fish wrapped around the cormorant's head.

An amazingly large fish, it seemed to me. Bettina mentioned that she is constantly amazed at the variety of fish in the water, and it occurred to me that we never see them, except when they are caught.

It was a struggle to get that fish down.

Quite a bulge in the neck! I was amazed that the cormorant managed to fly away right after this photo.

There were about five different gatherings of Canada Geese, but unlike last weekend, they seemed to get along with each other. I love watching them slide into their landings.

The seagull couple had a little tug of war over this food item. That is the very first disagreement I've seen between them, but it was settled quickly, with the one on the right deciding to go look for its own food.

This seal spent a few moments observing me.

I enjoyed watching Mia.

She is a strikingly beautiful dog, and she was really enjoying the day.

I stopped on the way home to check on the heronry at Stanley Park. There was no sign of action in Sue and Stanley's nest, but lots it in some of the other nests, with the chicks growing quickly, and competing noisily for food.

It is amazing to me that the siblings and parents manage to survive in what is becoming a smaller and smaller space.

Poor photo here, but this chick was watching a heated debate/squabble in the nest above it. I thought I detected horror in its eyes, and the straight-up topknot seemed to support my idea.

The rain began in earnest as I headed for home, and I hear it is going to last for much of the coming week. Not the best beginning to Bike to Work Week, which is a shame as I know the organizers have worked very hard, and I really appreciate their efforts.

Safe travels, however you get where you have to go this week.


  1. So many eye-catching and strange things to see in your post, Carol! The amazing balancing rock, the tree stump that looks like a howling wolf, the cormorant with a big white fish wrapped around its head, the tug-of-war between the gulls … or perhaps a failed attempt to divide a meal. Thanks for sharing the sights of a lively Sunday. :)

  2. Thanks for another beautiful post about Vancouver's wildlife (and tamelife if that's a word :)

    The shot of Mia is my favorite. Wonder if she is a Siberian Husky.

  3. Thanks, Penelope and Fred the Dog.

    Penelope, I hadn't thought of a "failed attempt to divide a meal" as a possibility, but that makes so much sense. Another photographer observed the other day that he has never seen such a close pair of seagulls.

    I checked out that link, Fred the Dog, and think your guess is correct. Mia's people told me that one of her relatives (parent or grandparent) had the lead role in a movie. Not sure of the name of the movie, though. And, I love "tamelife" as a word. If it isn't one, it should be:)

  4. Hi Carol
    Great photos, I enjoyed your blog and maybe I will start one. Met you at the eagle nest today. Linda and Holly

  5. Your photos always amaze me. What beautiful work. Thank You

  6. Great captures and story! I initially noticed your "cormorant vs fish" photos. So the bird really managed to gulp that huge fish down okay? Does the unluky fish put up a good fight, does it get swallowed down wriggling he whole way as well?!