Saturday, April 26, 2014

Critters and scenes

Our walk yesterday took us along a familiar route that feels new to me every day.  I played with my new lens (Sigma DC 17-50mm 1:2.8 EX HSM) and watched, as I always do, for critters.  I'll share the ones we found on Camera Critters.  Thank you to Misty!  She does a great job of bringing critters and the people who love them together every Saturday.

Edited to add a link to another fine critter meme called Saturday's Critters.  I still have to get used to the idea that there are two excellent memes for all of us critter lovers.  Thanks so much, Eileen!

Here is the entire Brush with Illumination where the cormorants love to rest.  There were only two on it yesterday.  I suspect most of them are busy building new homes under the bridges.  All the time I've been looking at that sculpture, I never thought to check out the Mandala.  Here's a quote from the page accessed by the above link: "The movement of the sculpture in three dimensions, as well as temperature, solar power and barometric pressure, are sent wirelessly to shore and then continuously logged via the internet. Via these datastreams, continual interpretation of the environment's influence on the Brush creates an ongoing movie of closely linked images and sounds."  If you open that in a separate page, you can listen to some very eerie and I think beautiful sounds while you read the rest of this post.  I can't believe I'm only discovering this now after appreciating the sculpture for years!
 These tiny flowers have just bloomed along the False Creek walkway.  The lens was about an inch away from the flowers for this close-up.
It was possible to include more of Henry Tsang's Welcome to the Land of Light with that lens.
 Big lens (Sigma 150-500) for this lovely House Finch (and for most critter shots).
Some of you will know we've been watching a pair of American Coots, the first we've seen at this end of False Creek.  The last few days there has only been one.  I'm hoping it is the male, searching for food to bring back to his mate, who is perhaps sitting on eggs in a well-hidden nest.  (Best case scenario.)
 He climbed out of the water to give us..
 a great view of his primly crossed toes.
A Canada Goose observed the coot and checked out my camera but wasn't too concerned.  For those of you with dogs, it may be news to you to realize that geese moult (both the male and the female) when they are raising young.  For some of the time, they are not able to fly.  It always makes me sad when people think it amusing to let their dogs chase wildlife, but especially at this time when many species are particularly vulnerable.  
We often walk by this fountain along our route from False Creek to the downtown streets.  
 I've never been able to get so much of it in one shot.
 Pacific Street just ahead.  
 We walked to the end of the fountain, turned around, and looked back to False Creek.
 At this fountain, we turned right to walk along..
 this carpet of cherry blossoms.  Bill posed for me and Black Jack begged for a lift up.
I cropped this down to a tiny portion of the photograph to emphasize Black Jack, our much loved critter.  I also used iphoto's "retouch" to eliminate her leash and one of the people in the background.  
Then I got down on my knees to get this close-up of the cherry blossom path.  Oh, I do love it!
 But, not as much as I love Bill :)
After lattes and cookies, we headed back to False Creek.  I looked over the little bridge where I saw an otter a week or so ago.  You can see him/her near the top of this very long post.  Oh.. oh.. oh..  can you feel my excitement?  It was Bill who spotted these..
 dear little mallards, so fresh, the egg shells were still lying about.
 They were in the exact spot where the otter had been.  How many do you see? 
 I hope the otter doesn't return for a while.
 Mom was keeping a close eye out.
 One more shot to include her lovely orange feet.
 And a final flower shot to conclude our walk.  Bill was amazed to see white tulips and I loved them too.  Thanks so much for stopping by.  Now, if you have a few extra moments, why don't you head on over to Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters.  Happy Saturday, everyone!


  1. pretty nice blog, following :)

  2. Beautiful and great photo series! Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. Great critter post, Love your cute doggie and the ducklings are adorable.. The water fountains are cool, what a great walk.. Have a happy weekend!

  4. WOW! Great photos - love the little ducklings, and of course Black Jack doing her happy dance!

  5. Very enjoyable post filled with lots of great photos. Congrats on that new lens.
    That was a pretty red bird and I liked the Coots, That dancing little dog and those sweet freshly hatched ducklings.

  6. oh, those tiny ducklings! i counted 11. bless 'em! loved your coot shots and finch. those blooms and blossoms fallen all over the walk are pretty, too!

  7. Carol, thanks so much for sharing your post with my critter party. Have a happy weekend!

  8. That's exactly what I needed to see Bill sitting in / surrounded in cherry blossoms. I used to bike home after work and inhale the pink beauty, so loved that moment!

  9. Beautiful birds! I love the adorable little ducklings.

  10. Great shots, all of them. I especially love coots.We have some migrating through here currently.

  11. some beautiful shots here. your doggie is SO cute!

  12. PS: I love your header!