Friday, March 16, 2012

The rain held off on Thursday

After a day of rain on Wednesday, it was good to see the sun on Thursday.  This Barrow's Goldeneye pair on False Creek was fun to watch.  The female (on the right) kept swinging her head, almost violently, from side to side.  I am not sure what that was about but am guessing it could be a courtship behaviour. In the picture below, she swings to the right.
And now, to her left.
 The male seemed to lean back as if to ask, "What are you doing?"
 And then, they were on their way.
I think this is a bushtit nest.  It was in a small tree alongside False Creek. I saw bushtits nearby, but I couldn't get a decent photo.  Hopefully, I will see them going in and out of the nest, soon.
I took a lot of photos of crocuses yesterday.  These striped ones had popped out in random spots along a grassy bank by the seawall.  
These were under a tree in the heronry at Stanley Park.
They were hard to resist.
Many of the nests had two herons in them.  It seems quite a few mates had been selected since Monday.  This male (I'm guessing) is hiding his head to catch a few winks.  His mate can just be seen on the right,  burrowed down in the nest.
Suddenly, the male opened his mouth and made what looked like a silent cry, as he looked up in the sky.
Then the female did the same thing.  I found it really strange that they were silent.
When I followed their stare, I saw a young eagle.  It didn't approach (probably because there wouldn't be eggs yet), but all of the herons were on alert.  
It occurred to me how stressful this season is for the herons.  From March until the end of August, I don't think they relax for a second.  "Should I stay or should I go?"  That's the dilemma, I think, for the one below.  If he leaves to find nesting material, there's a chance the eagle could attack the female.  That poor heron in the top photo was probably sleep deprived. 
One more check above him and he decides to stay.
Back to the first heron.  This time, I was struck by the sheer length of its bill.  One would think that would be a sufficient defence against the eagle, but in each attack that I've witnessed, the herons appeared to be powerless.
These red flowers were also beside the heronry, 
and one of the trees had a sad remembrance attached.  RIP, Buster.
Black Jack has really enjoyed the heronry these past few days.  While I watch herons, she keeps track of the squirrels.  This squirrel was so tame, it came right up to us, and I was worried for its safety.  I, and not Black Jack, finally scared it by stamping the ground to encourage it to head for higher ground.
I don't know where I saw this house, since we zig-zagged a route homeward, but I took  the next photo because I was grateful to the home owner for not sweeping the sidewalk and steps beside that beautiful tree.
A gentleman came by as I was taking pictures, and he nodded his head as if to agree that it was very photogenic, and then he said,  
"It blooms early every year."  Are these camellias?
As with the crocuses, I had a hard time..
drawing myself away.
One last shot for the road.
Right next to the red beauty was a tree with these white flowers.  Also camellias?  There was a note beside the tree asking people to please not steal the flowers or break the branches off.  It explained that breaking the branches damages the tree.  It strikes me as sad that the note would be necessary.
I saw this show at The Roundhouse last evening. That link will take you to a site, complete with a video of last year's performance.  Last night's show had a new set of  talented artists. There was some outstanding dancing,  singing, instrumentals and art work.  I can't say I enjoyed every minute, but there were thrilling moments that I will remember for a long time to come.  Sacha Levin on percussion, Kozue Matsumoto on koto, Katheryn Petersen on accordion, Chelsea Johnson on vocals, and most especially, Jacky Essombe's dancing, were highlights.  Keep your eyes and ears open for these artists!
My friend, Kitty, had a birthday on the 12th.  We had a wonderful meal at Naam.  Anyone thinking that vegetarian food is boring should try the burrito shown below.  Bill said it was absolutely delicious.  I had the vegan version of the Avocado-Cashew Enchilada.  Also unbelievably tasty, but in the darkish restaurant, I didn't get a useable photo!
I did manage to get this sideboard, one that I have admired ever since I first went to The Naam, almost 15 years ago.  Bill and I loved the laughter and catch-up conversations with Jock and Kitty.  Happy Birthday, dear Kitty!  
On Monday, Black Jack made me laugh with her "intelligent" look.
 This little chick-a-dee sat in the tree by my balcony, waiting for the neighbour to feed it.  It looked sort of hunched over against the rain and cold.  Poor little thing.
Also on Monday, a film shoot took place right beside my apartment building.
I have no idea what the movie title is, but had fun watching the work that goes into just a couple of short scenes.
 Below, the star in the trench coat has just finished his take-down scene, and is laughing with the other actors.
 The equipment necessary for movie-making just..
boggles my brain, especially since they did not suspend the shoot, 
even with very windy, wet weather.

Bill and I watched Being Malkovich a few days ago.  It was clever, perhaps even brilliant, but I didn't enjoy it.  It did make me think about the idea of living inside someone else's head for 15 minutes, and how that might change my view of them. In thinking about it later, I came to the conclusion that it was the lack of human tenderness in this movie that left me saddened.  It was interesting that when Malkovich got inside his own head, he could only see a kazillion images of himself.  I think that may say something about acting and the kind of personalities who do well in that field. The photo on the right came from this site.  The one on the left is all over the internet, including Wikipedia.

And that's the way it's been lately.  Thanks, as always, for reading the blog.


  1. So many beautiful images. I am glad the herons are back, someone told me that they were scared away by the windstorm we had earlier in the week. Great pictures of birds and flowers. It is so good to see the flowers blooming.
    Love that intelligent look that Black jack is giving you. Thanks Carol, I enjoyed visiting.

  2. You caught some great sights, Carol. I feel sorry for all the creatures that are lulled into thinking it’s spring only to get hit by more winter weather. It has been so unpredictable lately. The candid shots of the film crew are interesting. If I was walking by I might have thought there was a real crime going on. Amazing the camellias are in full bloom already and even shedding petals. Also, love Black Jack's "intelligent" look. She was definitely calculating her next move!! :)

  3. I love the image of the camellia leaves on the steps - great photo. And the Barrow's goldeneye are such beauiful birds with their shiny deep colours and distinct markings.
    As for Black Jack, I would love to know what she is saying in that photo!

  4. I've never seen camelias before. They are stunningly beautiful and their petals equally so. The herons, as you say, look stressed and sleep deprived. I had the urge to offer your service as guard/sitter.

    Black Jack is guilty, plotting or both. Have you checked to see if she's stolen your bed?