Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rock Flipping Day, Sunshine Coast Day 3, Past Week

September 11th was International Rock Flipping Day.  I missed it last year, in spite of Wanderin' Weeta's best efforts to let her blog readers know about it.  This year, she again posted about it in lots of time, and I really thought I would finally contribute.  No problem getting out there and turning over a rock, no problem with taking a photograph, but the next step of identifying what is found, and of sending the post on, seems to be where things break down.  I have a long list of things I hope to do when I retire (at the end of December 2011), and I'm beginning to accept that I may not make it all the way through that list, but one of my resolves is to find time to learn the name of everything I photograph.  I hope I stand by that one. 
For this year, I'll have to satisfy myself with posting pictures taken in the spirit of Rock Flipping Day.  No i.d.'s and sometimes, no living things found, but here's the evidence that I was at least headed along the path of good intentions.  It began the Friday before, at our school picnic at Ambleside Beach.  From quite a distance, I noticed three students engrossed in something and suspected they were having their own entirely spontaneous Rock Flipping Day.
When I approached, and told them there was such a thing as Rock Flipping Day, they were interested, and we spent some time talking about the importance of replacing the rock carefully.  I took a few pictures, but as I said, no attempt to identify any more than to say..  
there were lots of crabs, and mollusks.
When Sunday came, I forgot all about Rock Flipping Day until almost sundown.  When I remembered, I grabbed the camera and headed across the road to David Lam Park.  Black Jack and I explored the area along the seawall, and saw lots of rocks, some of them really lovely in the evening light, but not a living thing seemed to exist under them.  
There were three helicopters flying overhead, all very close together.  I think there was a photographer in this one.  Maybe he was checking out rocks from above.  Isn't that dangerous to fly with the door open?
As I said, there was no shortage of beautiful rocks.
Red plants,
huge sunflowers,
and even a blue parrot sitting on a girl's shoulder, 
but not a living being could I detect when I overturned stones.
I finally gave up, taking one picture of this fountain before turning in for the evening.
Remembering that Wanderin' Weeta had said the official day could be extended to Monday for school children, I took one grade 8 class for a walk along the beach in North Vancouver the next day.  It was early in the semester, and the students were still very new to English, so I had a really difficult time explaining Rock Flipping Day to them.  They kept running up to me with rocks that they admired, and insisting I take pictures, so I finally did just that.
I think they enjoyed the walk, and they told me later they found lots of interesting things.
I snuck in a few pictures of mollusks, 
lovely blue shades and textures,
and seaweed, and that ends my 2011 attempt to honour Rock Flipping Day. Maybe next year, I'll follow all the rules, and submit my post in time for the deadline.  The good thing?  I had fun, getting this far.

Back to Day 3 of our holiday, it began as Days 1 and 2 did, with breakfast at Molly's Reach.  This lovely moth was exploring a plant near our table.
After that, we went to Pender Harbour, where we discovered a lovely bookstore and a music school.  We were excited to learn that there was a chamber music festival happening, and that the Borealis String Quartet would be performing the next day in a free concert.  We decided to arrange to take in that concert before heading to the ferry the next day.  I also bought a few books, one called Fishing with John, that I am almost finished reading. It has apparently been made into a movie called Navigating the Heart.  I won't say I've fallen in love with the book, but as Bill often says, "It has its charms."

Our next stop was in Egmont, where we did an 8-kilometre (return) hike along the Skookumchuck Narrows Park Trail.
That hike was to take us to one of the largest salt water rapids on the west coast, and we both thought that would be interesting.  It began with an easy walk past this very old car with an interesting sign.
It was apparently false advertising as no bake shop appeared, but I liked the old car.
Moss on trees looked beautiful in the sunlight.
We arrived at the first lookout point, still feeling fresh and with lots of energy.
The view was lovely, although the salt water rapids were a bit less obvious than I was expecting.  
There was another lookout point, and we decided we might as well check it out too.  They didn't really warn us that the hike suddenly became a bit more challenging.  Not that it was difficult, but it took longer than we expected to get there. 
Larabars and our bear bell were much depended on, although one fellow suggested that the bell might work for bears, but was nothing more than a lunch call for cougars.  That made us just a tad nervous, but fortified with the Larabars, we marched (dragged) onward.
By the time we reached the second lookout point, our energy was diminishing, and we knew we had a fair walk ahead of us, so we didn't linger for long.
There were very tall trees,
impressive slugs,
and lots of evidence of regrowth.
We were both happy to see this washroom sign, indicating that we were almost back to the truck.  I thought the person who embellished the broad-shouldered Men's sign with a skirt had quite a keen (if the tiniest bit cruel) sense of humour. 
We had enjoyed supper the day before so much, that we returned to Gumboot Restaurant for the exact same meal.  It was every bit as delicious the second time.  A small stopover at Porpoise Bay on the way home did not yield any porpoises, but I did like this feather in the sand.

A week ago, Saturday, we attended the National Ballet's 60th Anniversary tour performance at Queen Elizabeth Theatre.  I particularly enjoyed [Olivia Clark and Jimmy Orrante in The Man in Black set to Johnny Cash's music. *Photo credit: Will Shively, courtesy of Ballet Met]
Last Thursday morning, the sun was a ball of fire as I headed to school.
This was the view as I approached the Lions Gate Bridge.
On Saturday, we went to Granville Island to do a little shopping, and stopped to watch Ralph Shaw entertain the crowd.  I had at least as much fun watching some children respond to his music and energetic dance style as I did watching him.
Bill entertained Black Jack and watched the show at the same time.  She still has to have one more bandage change this Wednesday, and then her stitches should come out on the weekend.  We are challenged to keep the foot dry, but so happy that the lump was benign.  Bill is the best caretaker, ever!
Ralph Shaw is an excellent entertainer.
I recommend some "stop and listen" time, if you are lucky enough to come across one of his performances.
On Saturday evening, these flowers and grasses in David Lam Park.. 
caught the sunlight.
Lots of trees are still green, but every once in a while, a brilliant flash of red appears.
On Sunday, we stopped in Vanier Park on the way to the vet.  I think this may be a grebe,
the first I've ever seen in this area.
It appeared to be having a very successful time fishing.
Some children were enjoying the beautiful weather to build sandcastles on the beach.  
It's been quite a while since I took a crow photo, but this one seemed to insist.
I took just the top figure of the 100-foot Centennial Totem Pole.  The smile on his face seemed in harmony with the beautiful day.  You can see a stunning photo of that totem at this link.
As we walked up Cypress Street, I took a few of the plants..
that caught my eye.
Later, the call of the gulls at Granville Island alerted me to the arrival of one of the small fishing boats.  Poor fish, but happy fishermen,
and delighted seals!
"And that's," as Lloyd Robertson would say, "the kind of [week] it's been."  Thanks, as always, for taking time to read the blog and have a very happy Tuesday!


  1. Carol, once again your post is a feast for the eyes. There are so many beautiful shots. I too have been on that hike up to Skookumchuck Narrows and taken pictures of the same old truck; we were there closer to low tide and the rapids were impressive. The sunrises are amazing especially the one with the boats and water and shots of Granville Island entertainment tell a story themselves. So glad to hear that Black Jack is mending well. :)

  2. Your non-rock-flipping day was lots of fun to follow, Carol! And come to think of it, I’ve never seen a porpoise either in Porpoise Bay, although I’ve been there many times. Glad Black Jack is continuing to do well. The Ralph Shaw captures are fantastic in that they show so clearly his enthusiasm. Now I’m hoping to catch his performance on one of my future visits to Granville Island. :)

  3. Great Rock Flipping day post, if the teeniest bit late!

    We found a great bookshop in Pender Harbour, too. Same one? Our find was just beside the wetlands.

  4. I loved the description of your Grade 8 students learning about rock flipping. Our Oscar seems to make every visit to the beach an opportunity to flip rocks, throw rocks etc. Luke, our two-year-old neighbour does the same! Phyllia

  5. Absolutely love that sunrise photo of the marina/boathouses!
    As for the Skokumchuck rapids, they tend to vary in appearance according to the tides - I've been there when they looked pretty tame, and been there when they were wild as could be.