Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful Friday

We were really happy to get out for a good ride on our bikes yesterday after several rainy days.  The resident Blue Heron (I've named him Hal but am keeping the name Hali open if  his/her gender turns out to be female) was sitting by our favourite pond along Vancouver's Coal Harbour.  I'm sharing the post today with Our Town Shoot Out.  The theme this week is "thankfulness" and we certainly were that yesterday.  Many thanks to the volunteer hosts of that meme.
 Hal has at least one human friend who shares cheesies and chips (I wish the fare were healthier) with him.  He doesn't approach humans but neither is he very worried about..
 their presence.
 He wandered along the grass, 
 spent some time in the long grasses, and kept an eye on me, perhaps hopeful for food.
I love watching Hal, but had at least as much fun watching Bill and Black Jack..
 on the other side of the pond.  Yes, Black Jack is in there :)
 There were quite a few American Wigeons..
 and though it's early in the season, there seemed to be mate selections happening.
 Hal is very well coordinated.
 So is Bill :)
Perhaps you can see how the pond..
  is just enough out of the way of the bike path that many people miss it.  Bill had to settle..
Black Jack down here.  The lady above has just discovered Hal.  I like to think we were amusing him here, but  more likely, he saw food potential on the other side of the pond.
 With nothing forth coming from us, 
 he left for greener pastures.
 It took all of about five seconds..
 to fly over the tree reflections and by the ducks.
They are used to him.. 
 and his frequent flights across the pond.
 A few wigeons..
 took off..
 while some female Hooded Mergansers..
 batted their eyes..
 at two males who did the "top man on the totem pole" or "best guy for your money" show. 
 It has been cloudy, but for just a few moments the sun broke through..
and the light was magical over the harbour.
We talked with some visitors from California.  They have settled there but are missing the cold of their homeland, Russia.  They told me that the heat has been relentless in California, so for them, Vancouver's temperate climate is feeling a little closer to normal.  They were excited when I pointed out Hal.
 As for Bill, he was busy doing something, and I soon learned..
that he had adjusted the straps on my camera bag so that it will now go over my shoulder.  A small thing, one might think, but huge to me.  The bag is in temporary service until we either buy a new one or get the zipper on my old one fixed.  I made him pose with the bag because, yet again, he had found just the right way to make things easier for me to have fun.  
As he posed, I suddenly noticed some cherry blossoms.  That's crazy!  They shouldn't be out until the end of February.  Cold is supposed to arrive over the next few days, so perhaps, this is just an early preview.
 I suddenly remembered that I had a few saved peanuts (there is always one on the top of my cookie that we eat at Harrison Galleries) and I've been putting them away for the birds.  I put just one down on the bricks by the pond, and this crow immediately approached, 
and a Redwing Blackbird came out of the long grasses.  It took them all of one second to notice that peanut.   
The crow got that one,
but I put another in Bill's hand..
and he had immediate company.
 The crow wasn't too impressed.
 but the Redwings braced themselves..
 and it became pretty evident..
 that they had.. 
the upper hand.
I hadn't noticed before that they camouflage quite well in the fall leaves.
 They marched around, seeming to taunt the crow.
 Another one landed in Bill's hand.  There were only a few peanuts so we fed the last of some sunflower seeds that we happened to have with us.  The bird looked at Bill, 
looked at me, 
looked again at Bill, 
 and decided..
 those seeds were second best, but acceptable :)
 This is a second landing.  Bill has straightened his fingers a little.  He said the first landing hurt a bit, as the bird was clinging pretty tightly to his finger tips (see above), but in the photo below, the feet are more relaxed and the landing more comfortable.
 We tore ourselves away for the ride to the café at Harrison Galleries, thinking we would go directly there, but this tree stopped us in our tracks.   
 This may be the most beautiful one..
we have seen this Fall.
 I spent a little time trying to take in as much of it as I could..
 and caught a couple of shots as well over the harbour.  We rode up that (gentle) hill on the right, and around the corner to come across quite a gathering of people preparing to party hard before the Grey Cup game that will happen on Sunday. 
I guess that is why we were seeing quite a few tourists.  The music was very loud, and though the atmosphere was fun and very friendly (people kept coming up to talk with us and to pat Black Jack), I decided it was time to move on.  Perhaps we'll go back today to take some photos.  If you are a football fan, I hear there are lots of tickets still for sale.  That was our day.  Yes, you guessed it.  It was another good one :)  Many thanks for stopping by for a visit!  To check out more thankful Friday posts, perhaps Our Town Shoot Out could be your next stop.  Have a very happy Friday.  


  1. HI Carol, wonderful series on the GB Heron. And I love the cute Wigeons.. I am glad you had a day to enjoy with no rain.. Pretty Autumn trees and great shots of Bill and Black Jack! Enjoy your weekend!

  2. really cute redwings! and hal is a handsome one, too. :)

  3. Hal or Hali is remarkably beautiful. I love the pictures of the red wing blackbirds on Bill's hand! Hugs, Phyllis

  4. You have clearly exposed that birds have personalities in so many of these shots! How adorable is that little critter with the sharp claws attached to Bill’s finger. I think it took courage for it to eat from his hand.

  5. Carol, great shots of the heron as well as the red wing; really enjoying the good weather while it lasts!

  6. Thank you Carol for the beautiful series of all the birds. Those of the heron are exceptionally good!
    I like your sense of humour.
    Thanks for your visit. You asked me if I have ever written about my war experiences. You can find them on:8/15/2010, 3/24/2009, 10/14/2013. The one about the concentrationcamps was the most important one. If you have any questions , please do ask.
    Wil, ABCW Team.

  7. I've very enjoyed your lovely post with so many great bird photos. Funny, like the redwing hold on two branches... and he come on your hand - that's really wow!
    Since I have a cat (she was coming as a homeless from outside to me ), the blackbirds don't come no more to my backyard and in my corridor, like earlier...
    (sorry, my English is'nt good, I'm still learning by reading blogs )

  8. Great shots. I love the bird hanging onto two branches.