Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lost Lagoon and Neighbourhood Critters

I'm sharing our critter-full day yesterday with Camera Critters and Saturday's Critters.  

Our bike ride in the afternoon took us to Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park.  Black Jack, came with us in her basket, but we stopped on the way to let her "explore" her inner wild thing.  Have you ever tried to get even a small dog on her feet when she is determined to stay on her back?  Bill and I stood helplessly over her until she had rolled to her heart's content. 
 She was still smiling later as she ran back and forth between us.  
Bill locked up our bikes by the bridge at Lost Lagoon, while I..
 watched the pigeons join the ducks on top of the little cement bridge.
 We don't feed the wildlife here, but many do.  These pretty ones watched me hopefully.
I thanked them for posing..
but the expression on this one let me know that I had come up a bit short on expectations.
 Someone leaves peanuts around the corner of the bridge.  We heard lots of squabbling.. 
 as racoons argued with each other..
and with the squirrels who could barely tolerate the sight of all those peanuts disappearing under their very eyes.
 My first Towhee sighting of the season was exciting, but watching.. 
 Black Jack watch those raccoons and squirrels..
had to take priority.  Even on leash, we have to ..
remind her frequently that we exist :)  We finally dragged her away to continue our walk.
I always love to see Wood Ducks but the ones yesterday were the most colourful..
 With my big lens, I could only capture a few of a long line of geese coming towards us.
 We smiled to see that they let two baby Wood Ducks cross through the ranks.
Yellow Irises lined the bank on the other side of the lagoon and probably hid a trillion critters.
 A turtle leaned..
 on a friend, 
 and I took the opportunity to view some of the detail..
 in their faces and feet.  Their shells looked rather worn.  I wonder if they were elderly.
 There was lots of vocalizing..
 and splashing..
 and just plain revelling in the beautiful day.
Another pair of turtles (younger?) appeared to be enjoying each other's company.
 Hey, wait for me!
 You two had better listen to me and stay close!
 But Mom, there are so many places to explore.
 If you don't listen, I'll join these turtles and leave the two of you on your own.
 Turtles: Whoa lady!  We've moved to the end of the rock but we have our limits.
Baby wood duck:  Ma-a-a!  How do I get up there?
 I warned you.. either listen to me or fend for yourselves.
 Well then, I'll find my own food.
 This mama wood duck had only one baby and the little tyke was determined to escape what I imagine must have been the fate of his/her siblings.
 Mama sped through the water as though late for an important appointment.
Ma-a-a!  Slow down!
 Little feet churned as fast as they could go.
I rarely take pictures of the Mute Swans because they are pinioned and I feel strongly that this practice is wrong.  You can read about pinioning here.
 There seemed to be a "knowing" expression in this swan's eyes.  I clicked in spite of myself.
 I think we have underestimated the intelligence, not only of crows, but of all birds.
 I watched this one..
for a long time.  As Bill said, "Their necks are amazing."
 We both watched the swan's eye, sometimes closed..
 but peeking every once in a while..
to check for danger.
 Mama Mallard: "That's it.  Bottoms up."
Baby on the right:  "What the heck is my little sis/bro doing? 
 Sis/Bro: "Try it.  There's good stuff down here.
 Baby on the right: "Oh yeah.  Hey, this is fun!"
Sis/bro: "Toldja"
Mama: "My kids are so smart!"
 There always seems to be one domestic duck in the lagoon,
 and I always wish I knew the story of how it got there.
 We didn't stop at the heronry yesterday, but noticed that this tree seems to be a new place for gathering together.
 We had walked almost back to our bikes when I took a reflection shot, 
 and one more colourful Wood Duck, 
 and a tiny dragonfly,
 and some beautiful twists in an old tree, 
 and just one more reflection shot.
After supper, our walk along the False Creek walk way took us past a favourite spot.  Every time we pass by these wild roses, the aroma hits me with such a sweet pang, I can only breathe deeply and try to absorb every last particle of pleasure.
 On the other side of the walkway, some cultivated roses were too high for my small lens to reach for a close-up.  I tried to hold the camera above me and aim..
 but no matter how I tried, I couldn't seem to get more than half a rose in a shot.  Bill is taller, so he tried as well, but his shots were similar to mine.
 Then I finally managed to get a close-up of both roses in the shot.  Wanna know how?
 Bill's the best :)
We left the creek and followed the sound of people cheering through the open doors of a sports bar.  We were curious and peeked through the door to see that it was a Chicago/L.A hockey game.  The score was tied.  This dog was waiting outside and was just a bit nervous at all the cheering.  She enjoyed my treat offering.. 
 but this one, just a bit further on, didn't even wake up for the photo shoot.  (And, I was using my 50mm lens, so was pretty well at the end of his nose.  His human told us his name is Zorro :)
 Back to the Roundhouse Plaza just behind our apartment, it was a surprise to meet this cat.
 He stared pointedly at the silly..
 dog in Bill's arms..
 and then decided to try to squeeze back through the gate opening that seemed to have..
 shrunk a bit.
Could you give me a hand, please?
 We didn't know how to help the cat out, but hope it eventually made it back home safely.  I took these lovely flowers in the hedge by our building..
and then we rounded the corner where we met thirteen-and-a-half-year-old Jesse with our neighbour, Carl.  Carl told us his full name is Jesse von Yaletown :)  Jesse is a sweet, gentle dog but was chewing a treat in this shot that somehow cultivated a momentarily fierce look.
 I guess that look worked because another treat was forthcoming from Carl.
 Thank you.  That was delicious!
Then we met Jimmy, another much loved resident of our building.  He was sporting a brand new haircut and decided that my camera would not be able to handle his exceptional good looks straight on.  He's also on a diet, so that sideways glance may have had to do with his  disappointment that no amount of persuasion had convinced me to part with a treat. 
Thanks for stopping by!  If you haven't quite satisfied your critter hunger, there are many more waiting to make your day at Saturday's Critters (thank you, Eileen) and Camera Critters (thank you, Misty).  Have a very happy Saturday, everyone.