Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Part 3: Catch-up

It is Monday, well, officially Tuesday, since it is after midnight, and, for a variety of reasons, I cannot sleep (unusual for me). Sometimes, I guess, blogging is a good substitute for counting sheep.

Prepare yourself. This is a long post.. part 3 of a catch-up series that will move backwards in time over a period of about three weeks.

Black Jack and I walked at Jericho Monday evening, and we watched a mallard in the pond. More accurately, I watched the mallard while Black Jack scouted the area for squirrels.

This was supposed to be an eagle/osprey free post. Half way there. No ospreys, but the Jericho eagles are around, and I find myself heading their direction in spite of myself. This evening, the parent sat, willing, I think, the chick to join him/her. The chick sat near its old nest, and remained there, at least until I had to give up waiting for a flight shot, and head for home.

Sunday, July 18

The eaglet appeared to fare well overnight, in spite of the thousands of people attracted to the neighbourhood because of the folk festival. S/he was sitting in the tree (same one shown above), where the parents have raised quite a number of chicks successfully over the past ten years.

Two people who have watched the eagles for most of that time told me that everyone is pleased that s/he has found this tree. All are hoping that the parents will give up on the other one, which has failed them twice. At least, this tree is strong, although the nests in both trees have suffered from construction problems. Plans are afoot to build a "natural" nest this winter while the eagles are away. There are bolts (seen in the last post) in the tree from a previous unsuccessful attempt to help out the eagles, who, I guess, are not the best nest builders. This time, the Jericho eagle-watching enthusiasts hope to benefit from this site, showing detailed instructions by the USDA forest service, on how to build a successful nest. I suppose it brings up the question of how much mankind should interfere with nature, but I love to see the passion and interest shown by so many people living near this eagle family.

Below are failed pictures, after an opportunity that does not come often. The parent eagle was hiding low in the tree (I believe looking for young crows), and suddenly emerged, flying straight toward me. Although she had been hidden, I had a feeling she was there because the crows were in a tizzy. The bottom line, I suspect, is that a tripod, something I continue to resist, could have made all the difference.

The folk festival is over for another year. I do not buy tickets, but admit that I enjoyed a couple of the performers as Black Jack and I walked around the periphery. As in other years, the disturbance to wildlife and to the Jericho grounds saddens me. I would still like to see the festival run more like the Jazz Festival, closing off downtown streets, and providing the same greatly appreciated entertainment for the thousands who arrive from all over the lower mainland and from places much further away as well. I am mystified that people litter so thoughtlessly, and especially since this crowd is considered to be an earth-friendly one. A lady who lives in a neighbouring condo told me this year was the worst she has ever seen. She had been up at dawn, when festival staff were so overwhelmed trying to clean up, they had to call the city for help.

Still, two ladies responsible for this extraordinary..

artwork on their..

van, told me that the festival was the best yet, and declared it an unqualified success! They could barely tear themselves away. Their van has brought colour to my street for the past few days. I was sorry to see them pull away.

Saturday, July 17

On Saturday, the Jericho chick barely bothered to glance up when..

four eagles (two adult and two youngsters) flew high in the sky, right over the nest. I managed to get a shot of one of the four. One observer told me that last year, the Vanier eagles occasionally socialized with the Jericho ones, and I wondered if the four in the sky were the Vanier eagles doing a family fly-about. Unlikely, I know, but I love the idea of family outings for eagles.

Saturday evening, a walk through the neighbourhood was tranquil, and brought a smile or two. These notices were posted on the fence of a very affluent looking home.

I particularly enjoyed the 20 cm limit on gunk:) There was a phone number that I cropped out, but if you have any need of a dog walker, plant waterer or shower gunk removal expert, let my know. I'll leave a little note on their fence.

Thursday, July 15

I rejoiced to see the return of more seals in North Vancouver, and

I loved this seagull's quizzical expression.

Wednesday, July 14 - evening walk at Jericho with Bill

I think I witnessed swallows mating. I guess they will soon be feeding a second clutch.

Wednesday, July 14 - lunchtime walk with Dianne in North Vancouver.

We didn't really walk much, but sat on a rock by the river. Dianne was the first to notice this pair of cormorants.

I liked the way the sun caught the nose of this plane.

This heron entertained us for quite some time.

Tuesday, July 13

Some baby swallows were waiting inside one of the Jericho tents, set up a few days early for the folk festival. The parents were flying right into the tent to feed them. I love the expression on this one,

and was happy to see that the effort to open wide was not in vain.

Just a baby sparrow with beautiful colours in the background.

There were very strong winds on Tuesday. I had to walk my bike over the bridge, and that was the day all of Lawrence's hard work on the nest was lost. He has not made much of an effort to repair it, and in fact, seems to be keeping a very low profile these days. Still, at least some people enjoyed the wind's energy.

Weekend: Friday, July 9th to Sunday, July 11th.

On Friday, we attended the last of the Summer Sonata Series. It was, once more, absolutely thrilling! In googling one of the pieces, hoping to describe some of the appeal of this ensemble, I came across an amazing web site, including a fascinating blog, by Alex Waterhouse-Hayward, a well known Vancouver photographer. He had attended the concert, and his article gives a fitting and very eloquent description of the program. Check it out. I feel sure you won't be sorry. I'll be adding his site to the links at the side of my page. He took this picture of Michael Jarvis (left), Nathan Whittaker (top centre), Craig Tomlinson (the pianoforte builder) and Paul Luchkow (front) with his cell phone, but again, I urge you to read his description of the concert for yourself.

That same weekend, we were treated to an absolutely wonderful meal at a restaurant on Main Street called "East is East." The live entertainment afterwards was equally amazing. Thank you so much, Phyllis and Barrie!

Saturday, July 3

This walk goes way back. My friend Dianne found Bill and I, early on a Saturday morning, watching soccer with a most enthusiastic crowd at Brazza's in North Vancouver at their newest location on Marine Drive. After the game, we walked along the waterside, and then took the path along the river to the railroad track. The train had just passed, and since I am very familiar with its schedule, knew that the tracks would be train-free for quite a long time period. Although I would caution you not to "try this at home," we really had a wonderful time behaving like kids.

Very soon, we must do a repeat visit, to check on our penny.

Black Jack, as always, was happy for an opportunity to case the join from her elevated viewpoint.

On the way back, I stepped off the trail, and was treated to a scene that never fails to warm my heart.

Black Jack kept digging under the rocks, and it soon became obvious that her loot..

came in the form of bird feathers.

Sunday, July 4

Another lovely day! We parked near the heronry, and walked a good portion of the seawall, sometimes heading off the path, and onto wooded trails. These heron shots look similar to the ones taken in North Vancouver. I read recently that Blue Herons are rather "old hat" but not to me. I never get tired of them.

This was my favourite flower shot of the day.

Seagulls are never boring to me either, perhaps because I don't remember seeing any when I was growing up in small-town Quebec.

Bill and Black Jack, miniature toy figures against the rock wall.

It was fun to get a different perspective of the Lions Gate Bridge than the one I usually view from my bike.

We stopped for a much needed rest and a lunch at the lookout, and then spent a few minutes listening to Mr. Huang play the erhu. He graciously allowed me to take his photo.

I also photographed the sign beside him, which describes the instrument, and a little of Mr. Huang's musical background. (Double click on the photo to enlarge.)

Our walk ended where it had started, at the heronry. This chick was exercising its wings in preparation for flight.

There are a few random photos here, loaded quite some time ago, and not dated.

Robin with worm in Stanley Park.

Sparrow in Stanley Park.

Another of those once in a lifetime opportunities. This river otter crossed right in front of us, as we walked the path, one day, from Granville Island to Vanier Park. It disappeared in a manmade pool at the side of the path. Neither Bill nor I could believe what we were seeing. I didn't do so well with the photos, but here they are.

A cormorant with a small eel caught my attention one day in North Van.

The sun through this rabbit's ears gave quite a view of the veins, during a Jericho walk with Bill and Black Jack.

A flower shot near Jericho.

A Canada Goose on the river in North Vancouver. I love it when they skate.

A young flicker on 5th Avenue, one morning as I biked to work. I saw one again this morning. They seem to be finding great food in the cracks of that sidewalk.

The river otter in North Vancouver made a rare appearance a couple of weeks ago. I'm told it has two young now, but I've never seen them.

Last but not least, a turtle that left the Jericho Pond and was on the walking path as Black Jack and I headed home one evening. I worried about it, even asking several people if they thought I should carry it back to the pond. A lady told me it was probably looking for a spot to lay its eggs. I hope it found a better place than that path. I'll be watching for tiny little turtles to show up soon.
Most of this post was completed in the wee hours of the morning. As always, when I fall behind, I promise myself not to do so again - at least not for a little while. If you have made it all the way to the end of this post, I thank you. Shorter one next time, for sure:)


  1. What an enjoyable newsy post, Carol. There are far too many amazing photos to mention them all. However, I can’t help highlighting a few. The red and yellow flower exquisitely framed in green, the playful “don’t-do-this-at-home” walk on the track (always love it when a penny is mentioned), tiny birds hidden in the leaves, the splashing of an orange boat on a windy day, a curious seagull scanning the horizon, the flowery bus AND a white rabbit with sun-stroked ears. Thanks as always for sharing your journey of a rich and wonderful life!

  2. I, too, loved all of the photos--but the one that caught my eye immediately was the heron with it's long legs outstretched for a landing.
    I thought of you the other day as I drove to and fro in the valley with the horse trailer, making it difficult to stop for photo ops. Once going in to town, a field FULL of Canada geese, some just taking flight across my "bow". Coming home on another route, a man-made nest at the edge of a small wetlands park looked to have at least two, maybe three large chicks in it...not enough time in passing to tell if they might be osprey--do they live this far inland? It was after our long, hot day at the fairgrounds, so I didn't think it was fair to the girls to stop and dig out the camera. Next time I go to town...

  3. I, too, love the one with the heron's long legs stretched out to land - and the baby bird hollering for dinner - and the very first one, with the duck conducting an invisible orchestra.
    Great shots, Carol, and so many interesting adventures.

  4. I love the rail walking pictures! We should never lose our childlike impulses!!! The chicks being fed are very tender and poignant. Phyllis

  5. Thanks for the comments, everyone! As always, they are much appreciated.

    Penelope, I agree there is something about pennies. For one thing, they bring back my memory of the corner store candy counter with its many colourful 3 for 1 cent choices. (I just noticed there is no Cent sign on my keyboard!)

    EvenSong, osprey generally live pretty close to water, since their diet is almost exclusively fish. I wonder if that may have been a Peregrine Falcon nest. And yes, with your busy life, I can imagine that getting out the camera is often a luxury!

    Jean, I hadn't thought of the invisible orchestra. Love that image!

    Phyllis, your appreciation for the wonder, imagination and openness of children is just part of what makes you such a stellar grandmother!

  6. Carol, The nest is near *fresh* water, would that do? It's in a field that is part of a small state park where several of the valley's creek join the Yakima river (actually just below the "lookou" of the next trail ride I'm going to post). There are some wetlands there, that's why it is protected with state (or maybe county) park designation. The humans seem to like it for fishing. I'll just have to stop and get some photos for ID purposes...

  7. Carol, you know you just amaze me, your photography is a stunning collection now. Those birds, the flying eagle wow factor, still great what you got. And the dog walking services made me smile. So cute. Thanks so much for your beautiful photographic journey. Anna :)

  8. Thanks, EvenSong and Anna!

    EvenSong, I am just finishing up reports for end of semester, but will check out your area when I get a chance, to see if ospreys are known to nest there. This link states that ospreys nest near both fresh and sea water, so your nest may very well have ospreys in it.

    Anna, you are kind! How nice of you to take time out of your busy life to read my blog.