Saturday, November 29, 2014

Critters and Special People!

The last couple of days have been critter-filled.  My apologies for an overlong post that I'm sharing with Eileen's Saturday's Critters and Hootin' Anni's I'd Rather Be Birdin'.  If it's owls that interest you, just the top portion of this post detailing an adventure just a few hours ago is probably a sufficient read.  I'll title the rest of the post, "Our Friday Adventures" just in case you are up for more reading material :)  There are critters there, but also a small account of a wonderful Pacific Baroque Orchestra concert we attended last evening. And finally, if you love birds and didn't see yesterday's post, there are some interesting shots of Redwing Blackbirds (some on Bill's hand), and a Blue Heron.  Many thanks to Eileen and Anni for hosting fine memes and encouraging us to share our love of pets and wildlife. 

The Owl Adventure
A facebook friend posted that an owl was hanging out on a wall of the building she lives in.  Just a short block from my apartment, I made my way there as quickly as possible.  From her photo, I had a pretty good idea that it was the same Barred Owl that my friend Jock had photographed a few days earlier in his neighbourhood, just a short flight away, though on the other side of False Creek.  I can't be absolutely positive about that but feel there's a good chance I was right.  Here's the first photo I took.  
Though there were worries that its right eye was injured, I was encouraged that it seemed alert and moving its head easily.
Being nocturnal, it seemed reasonable that it just wanted a chance to snooze..
but the crows were pretty upset about its presence and harassing it quite persistently.
For the longest time, it didn't open its right eye
but I finally got one shot of it with the right eye half open.
It looked straight-on at me here.
The person who originally spotted the owl had done her best to find a box, call wildlife rescue people and fend off the crows.  Bless her heart!  However, she had to go to work, so I stayed to take up sentry duty.  Then, two more people arrived (I think summoned by the original sighter).  I photographed one of them.  He not only got out of car and ran up and down the landing in front of the owl, but he let me sit in his car to warm up.  (Vancouver had its first snow of the season last night, and the temperature had dropped at least ten degrees since yesterday, it seemed to me.)
The crows had set up a sort of sentry-duty as well, various ones leaving but others arriving to take their place.
We called OWL (Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre) but they are in Delta (an hour's drive from Vancouver).  I can't say enough good things about this rescue organization.  If you have a few minutes to check out their link, I think you will be amazed.  They even have flight barns where the train rehabbed birds to fly again.  They sent one of their volunteers to assess the situation.  While we waited for her, I took a photo of the scene across..
False Creek.  It was looking a lot more wintery than the day before.
Meanwhile, the kind concerned citizen paced up and down the landing with his little (rescued) dog, Cocoa.  
Our location is in downtown Vancouver.  Not the best place for an owl, we all thought.
The owl kept an eye on us, but didn't seem overly stressed, 
not even by Cocoa, who was more interested in the new snow than she was in the owl.
I am usually quite hardy, but boy, were we cold!  I was really, really grateful for that gentleman's car and for his friend who exhibited such a friendly and caring spirit.  There are some wonderful critter-lovers in the world and I appreciate every one of them!
When Angela, the rescue volunteer arrived, we were all so happy to see her, not one of us saw the owl suddenly fly away!!  I couldn't believe it!
She was totally calm about the whole thing, saying that this might be the best possible scenario for the owl.  My two new friends had to leave, but Angela and I walked around the..
corner to see if we could spot the owl.  We saw an eagle..
flying high in the sky, but at first, no owl.
Then Angela's quick eye spotted it after all, in a nearby tree.  Too high to catch, we decided..
that what the owl perhaps needed most was a good days sleep.  I showed her the photo of the right eye and she did think there might be some swelling, but at least for now, it seems best to let that heal, as it may very well do on its own.  That was our owl adventure.  Quite a treasure to start our Saturday morning!  Stay well, dear Owl.  I will be watching out for you!

Our Friday Adventures
I am hoping to post sooner or later, so very little commentary here.  All of the photos were taken during a stop along English Bay at the turnaround point of our bike ride.  Colours were catching my eye to the point where a very familiar area looked just about brand new.

The water scenes, however,
hadn't changed that much.
Bill was in fine form,
entertaining Black Jack while I took photos.
Black Jack's tail was..
telling a story of its own.
She was in fine form too.
She is obsessed with the critters under these grasses, 
and Bill had to settle her down..
a few times.
Loved the moon..
and the seagulls hovering on gusts of wind.
This one appears to be flying through the sculpture, but actually hovered and then landed on the log.  Lots of seagulls in the photos to come.

Palm trees are not native to Vancouver.  Bill and I both wonder how they feel about cold, windy days.

Black Jack had some wonderful run-free time.

One lone Cormorant.
Cutest critter of all!

The Burrard Bridge with the Granville Bridge behind it.

Reflections in a puddle.
A dog having a great time playing Frisbee. 

The concert was pure joy!  Here, Alexander Weimann tunes the harpsichord.
Ed Reifel was an invited guest and did two incredible solos on Baroque timpani.  Just spectacular.  Check him out at this link.  Here, he attends to the drums before the concert.
I couldn't figure out what he was doing, but it sure looked interesting.
Alexander brings early music to life like no other director I have ever encountered.  Here, he dressed up in his pyjamas to show how a part of Boccherini's "La Musica Notturna delle Strade deli Madrid" was meant to be sung by the night watchmen who roamed the town telling people to put out their fires and take safety precautions before sleeping.
The musicians were as surprised and delighted..
 as the audience members.
Alexander always is more interested in crediting the performers than in taking bows.
It must have been an exhausting night, with so much wonderful music played so incredibly well, but what came through most was the pleasure and warmth in every smile.
I took a few photos..
of early..
 percussion instruments,
as well as one way-over-exposed one of the inside of the harpsichord.
The timpani were especially rare to see, 
so I'll close with this shot of one of the tuning keys.  Many, many thanks for stopping by.  My thanks to all of the beautiful people (including Eileen and Anni) for making every event in this post so special to me.


  1. Your adventure with the owl is so interesting. I hope you see him/her again with both eyes wide open and looking very healthy. I love the picture of Alex in his pyjamas and of the reaction of the musicians! I am always glad to see my daughter and son-in-law in their professional capacities!! Hugs, Phyllis

  2. hope the barred does well! i love those owls. we get them regularly here. :) nice beach scenes, too. the gull in the splashing water is cute.

  3. Hope that owl is okay! Beautiful shots of it by the way! Loved your visit to English Bay, my old haunt of when we used to live near there. Interesting instruments! Great post!

  4. That's one spectacular camera you have there -- not to mention the photographer ! The waves breaking behind the seagulls were great. Crows harass owls eagles and hawks because the latter eat their eggs and fledglings. It's a dog eat dog world!

  5. Hello Carol, I do hope the barred owl is ok! Maybe it just needs a rest! Awesome photos! And cool sighting of the eagle! And I always enjoy Black Jack! Great critter post! Thank you for linking up, happy weekend!

  6. The owl is so gorgeous. I hope it will be okay.

  7. Well that was quite an adventure with the Owl. You got some great shots and I also love the shots of the Gulls around the water's edge. You dog was very energetic and was really enjoying himself. Have a great weekend.

  8. Wow...where do I begin. That barred owl is mighty pretty. Hope it's faring well tho. And the eagles...jealous here!! Love the adventures added into your post Oh, and not to forget your images of the gulls with the wave action...beautiful too.

    And once again, I send thanks for sharing your link at I'd Rather B Birdin'

  9. I'm so pleased the owl came to no harm even though it wasn't looking exactly 100%. Like you say it thought it had found a nice warm spot to stay safe and recover but all's well that ends well. I'm impressed with the bald Eagle overhead and I'm sure those gulls are Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens.

  10. What an adventure and lovely images. Have a great week ahead.


  11. Wow! What a great post! Loved the owl husband and a friend rescued a red-tailed hawk that had been hit by a car once. Your Friday adventures were great, and how awesome to attend the concert! Wonderful! (Great eagle shot too!)

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