Saturday, December 8, 2012

Critters

This week, I tried saving most of my critter photos for a Camera Critters post.  This pair of bushtits were in a tiny park in downtown Vancouver.  It was raining lightly but they were working so well as a team, I couldn't resist trying to get a capture.

The next four may come across as cheating, since they are not my work.  However, they represent a tiny part of a project that I very much admire.  It is called "Art for an Oilfree Coast" and right now it is in Victoria, BC.  After that, I believe it will be on Saltspring Island.  By checking out the link, you can find dates and places of other shows or even arrange for them to come to a place near you.  50 artists (Robert Bateman among them) traveled to the Great Bear Rain Forest where they spent several weeks finding their way to a personal piece of art that is now up for auction.  All proceeds will go to protecting the precious environment they love so dearly.  Here is the link to the art auction.  Bill and I attended the showing in Vancouver, watched the film and enjoyed the experience.  There is a book for sale as well.  The art is well out of my financial reach but we left a small donation and perhaps, by spreading the word, someone with an empty space on their wall may  happen to see something that triggers their interest.  Below are four of the works that I liked very much.
"Sockeye" by Alison Watt

"Mussel Inlet Grizzly" by Terry Isaac

"What Lies Beneath" by Chil Thom

"The Golden Hour in Haida Gwaii" by Michael O'Toole

And now, back to my photography.  There were some fun sights in my world this week, but I do have to admit that most of my photos were on the "fuzzy" side :)  First, I have to mention a store called Knapps.  I love it because they have a strangely lovely and reasonably priced assortment of plants, clothes, ornaments, and handbags for sale.  But, best of all, Black Jack will always go there, even on rainy days.  And, she really hates walking in the rain!  

Here are some of their critters in the display window.

Somehow, there is a feeling of hearkening back.. 
to a gentler time when I go there,

although their fashions seem up-to-date. Not that I am in any position to judge.  I'm the ultimate non-shopper but anyone who treats Black Jack well has my vote, and I should add that a winter coat I bought there a couple of years ago is still the one I wear all the time.  
These next photos were taken last weekend when Bill and I enjoyed a walk at Moodyville Park.  We had just arrived when I noticed a flurry of activity in the sky.  I swung the camera up, and was surprised to capture this.  Two of the eagles were, I'm quite certain, the resident pair in the area that we have known for some time.  A third eagle appeared to be trying to steal a catch.
 
I wasn't really able to figure out which was which from the photos.  Perhaps, the one that was lowest in the top photo has now taken the food, 

but your interpretation would probably be as valid as mine.

I know that the two residents are quite large and the intruder appeared to be much smaller,

and this, I believe, is the pair.  I tried to get a clearer shot of their talons to see if either was holding prey, but the images were just too dark.

They flew together for a bit,

and then this one flew over my head,

circled once, 

and took off to the tree where their nest has been..

for many years.  I wasn't able to put the story together perfectly, but it sure was exciting to watch them and to know that they are still doing well.
I will post a bit more about that walk in a few days but for now, will just show Bill getting Black Jack prepped for her..

race up the trail towards me.  I love this "greyhound" shot, even though it was too dark and my shutter speed too slow to get a clear capture.

 This was the last critter from that walk.  I am always curious to know when and how and by whom it came to be there. 

And below, a series of critters from a routine walk along the seawall.  It started in the morning with this bird in the tree outside my window.  That little yellow stripe over its eyebrow..

suggested to me that it might not be the usual house sparrows that live nearby.  Could it be a Savannah Sparrow?  Or, perhaps, just a young house sparrow?  Texwisgirl?  Any thoughts?  I know you are a long way from Vancouver and the photos aren't the clearest, but you've helped me out before :)  Check out her blog, people.  She's amazing!

An American Wigeon,

a Doberman surprised at the high tide, 

a poodle incensed by the high tide,
a seal delighted with the high tide, 

and moving incredibly quickly through the False Creek water, 

an lbb (little brown bird..  maybe a female finch?), 

a male finch with beak seemingly extended by the bud,

and a house sparrow were some of the critters we saw.

This little ball of fluff invited Black Jack to play, 

but then changed his/her mind.

There was also a story behind these two Barrow's Goldeneyes.  Here, the female is in front and the male swims by her.

He is immediately attracted and tries valiantly to show off his beautiful head by raising it to the point where it appears it might lift right off his neck.  She coyly glances at him..

but then swims away as if to say, "Nah..  I can do better."  Here, she is approaching two other males.

That young lady must have had quite the appeal.  Here, she is being followed by eight..  count them.. eight males!  I continued on, so cannot tell you if she made a selection that day.

When we reached Lost Lagoon, I happened upon one of my favourite wildlife photographers.  He goes by the name of Ship Rock, and I heartily recommend that you stop by his Flickr site for a look at the cormorant he captured that day. While you are there, take some time to look around.  I yearn to make captures as sharp.  He was the one who pointed out this heron.  

A Wood Duck..

and a Hooded Merganser (also pointed out by Ship Rock) were the other critters that appeared before the rain began and we had to put away our cameras.

My final two photos are of this dog waiting for his human in front of Urban Fare grocery store. Such a sweet dog and his crossed paws reminded me so much of my last dog Scott that..

I just had to record the moment.  That's it for this week.  For lots more critter shots, check out Camera Critters.  Have a happy weekend everyone!

9 comments:

  1. adore that last pup! our thelma jean often crosses her paws like that. :)

    your goldeneyes are gorgeous! and the eagle sequence is amazing. i'm so jealous! :)

    as for the sparrow - ugh! i fail at sparrows! i would concur on the female finch and perhaps her mate right after her - house or purple finch, but not sure which.

    those artworks are amazing, too!

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  2. I'm always amazed by your shots of the birds! That female certainly was the hot one of the day! lol

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  3. Carol, I must say that you could have your own magazine on nature. That eagle series is spectacular! Really, you must have been in heaven when you got those shots! Nice job.

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  4. Wow, what a terrific outing! I love the mix and art work too.

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  5. Bushtit...tee hee!
    And "lbb"--my biologist friend would be proud you still like/use the term.

    Beautiful series of shots--the eagles are most amazing! But the wood ducks, goldeneyes, and other waterfowl are wonderful as well!

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  6. What an outstanding post full of so many terrific photos! Wow!

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  7. The satisfaction of the Black Lab in the last picture tells it all for me...loved this journey today. I particularly enjoyed the eagles...the various positions...crossover of wings and angles...just really loved these captures. I kept scrolling and re-scrolling over them. I really want to thank you for sharing your journey...it brings back such calming and peaceful feelings for me.
    Ron

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  8. that is a lovely collection of photos...I like the eagle shots, was interesting to figure out what they were up to.

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  9. Wow what a wonderful mix of photos. I like the eagle series and you running dog and... i like them all!

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