Saturday, April 16, 2011

Catch-up: April 6-8

*Blogger has changed some things, so this post is a bit of an experiment.  Mostly, it looks positive since multiple pictures can be uploaded in one easy step.  However, I suspect you will no longer be able to click on pictures to enlarge them.  I've chosen "extra large" for the size.  That could be a mistake, and if so, my apologies in advance.

On Wednesday, April 6th, I stopped on the Lions Gate for a quick shot of the lions' latest wardrobe change.

The daffodils were glorious, and I took one shot before checking out the Stanley Park heronry.

When I arrived, it was clear the herons were in a state of panic.

It didn't take long to see the problem.  

It was sad to see the herons so upset, 

but I don't know if they have ever appeared so strikingly beautiful.

There was only one eagle, and so many herons, but they seemed powerless.  Most of them flew about in a panic, and the ones who stayed in their nests cried piteously.  I couldn't understand why they didn't band together and attack the eagle.  Surely, those long beaks would be useful as weapons.  But, no, they cried and squawked, but the eagle was not threatened.  It finally left, and here, Stella returns to her nest to check on its condition.  I'm assuming the eagle ate eggs.  Several broken shells lay on the ground.  

Stanley also returned, but only for a moment.  He ignored Stella, and would not settle in the nest.  Although I checked for several days afterwards, I did not see him again until yesterday (Friday, the 15th).

On Thursday, April 7th, I walked across the street from school at lunchtime to get a Thomas Haas latte.  An unmistakeable sound caught my attention, and I looked up to catch my first osprey sighting this season.  I rarely go outside without the camera, and managed a quick, lucky shot.  Some of you will remember that there are two nests near the school.  I've named the pair in the closer one Lawrence and Olivia, and the pair in the nest over the shipyard, Jewel and Jonny.  I couldn't identify this one, but suspect it may have been Olivia or Jewel, since the necklace marking suggests a female.  She didn't settle in either nest, but flew very high in the sky.

I lost sight of her, but snapped a picture of this Merganser on the river.  It seemed to be in some distress and I wondered if there was something wrong with its wing.

It stood up and although something still seemed a bit odd, it was at least able to flap and to swim. 

The osprey came into view once more, with an upset seagull close behind.  I wondered if the seagull had been hoping to use the osprey's nest.  Ospreys eat mostly fish, and I haven't ever seen them stealing eggs or chicks (as eagles do), so it is a bit of a mystery that they are so disliked by seagulls.

Later, on the way home from school, I stopped just after the bridge at the turnoff to Prospect Point.  This skunk cabbage was looking absolutely stunning in the sunlight.

Continuing on to the heronry, things were again in a state of chaos.

And, once more, I admired the herons' beauty.

Again, Stella returned to check her nest.  There was no sign of Stanley.

The eagle flew from nest to nest, 

not the least bit disturbed by the herons.

A horse and carriage came by, and I was happy for the distraction.  It was quite painful to listen to the herons' cries, and I decided I had had enough wildlife viewing for one day.

Friday, April 8th, was the last day before the holiday.  It was really, really busy with reports and a move to my school's new music room that has just been completed in a construction phase 2 project.  I was eager to head home to one of Bill's delicious meals, so the stop by the heronry was very brief.  Almost all of the nests were deserted.  I took this one shot of a crow gathering nesting material, and continued home.

I'm slowly catching up on posts.  It is now Saturday morning, April 16th, and I'm looking forward to an outing with Bill and to an Ibsen play (Rosmersholm) this evening at Jericho Arts Centre.  The Canucks won their game (with a lot of hard work) last night, and appear to be headed for a good playoff run.  I'm glad of that, as they have had quite a few disappointments over the years.  It is rather grey outside, but somehow, I feel it will be a good day.  More osprey and heron updates to follow soon.  Happy weekend, everyone.


  1. Carol, absolutely wonderful pictures of herons in this and recent posts. I am facinated by them and how they can at times look so graceful and at other times appear awkward and almost comical.
    Hope you enjoy the play, we loved it.

  2. Oh, I think the lion is doing a little pr towards the fight against cancer. Yes, the herons look gorgeous in frightened flight. I feel sorry for them but since I have been eating eggs myself these days, I’ll try not to be too hypocritical. The white horse looks like a beauty and the touches of red on its coat are perfect.

    By the way, Carol, I’m wondering if you’re using the new or old editor to download several pictures at once. I’ve been curious if this is an option for some time now on old editor.

  3. Thanks for the comments, Gillian and Penelope.

    Gillian, the play was excellent! I hadn't seen it before, nor even read it, so it was a great "brain-stretcher" that still has me playing over scenes in my mind. Also, I really loved the set. Thanks so much for recommending it. Bill and I have decided to buy season's tickets.

    Penelope, I don't remember signing on to the new editor, but when I began this post, it automatically went to a new system I hadn't used before. Downloading multiple pictures was really easy. When I went into my iphoto event, I just held the command key down and clicked on all the pictures I wanted to use. It took perhaps about two minutes to see them all in the box, and then I clicked on OK and they all appeared magically in the blog post:) There are some other issues they (or I?) have to work out, but overall, I think it is a better system than the old editor.

  4. Carol, I've been downloading (or is that uploading) multiple pictures all along (five at a time), but only in the html mode on the old editor. Recently, when I toggle back and forth between html mode and the other choice, I lose all my spacing and formatting every time - yet the other mode is the only one that offers me a range of options for formatting. I tried the new editor and that was far, far worse so I switched back to the old one. I'm a bit frustrated - once again, the evil techno guys have 'fixed' something that wasn't broken!! I wish they'd leave good enough alone!

    But as for your photos - they are consistently wonderful, and my heart goes out to the distraught herons.

  5. Hi Jean,

    The jury is still out as far as the new editor for my needs. Today (Monday, the 18th), I struggled with it. I wonder if we just have to take more time to study it and use it properly. One thing I had hoped was to be able to put the pictures in "extra-large" format, so that people wouldn't have to click on them to see better detail. When I do that, the entire right side of the picture is missing. I also have some spacing issues, and today, I suddenly lost over half of my pictures and had to go back and reload them. Not sure. I'll let you know more as I work with it. Thanks for the comment. It is always good to know I'm not alone:)