Thursday, March 19, 2015

Birds, Critters and the Letter "I"

My long catchup post today was originally supposed to link to ABC Wednesday's letter "I" but I'm way passed the deadline.  That meme is now accepting posts for the letter "J" but I will leave my letter "I" content, for you to Investigate, as it has been sitting in a draft for days.  Many thanks to Mrs. NesbittRoger GreenReader WilLeslie and Trubes for Inspiring lots of creativity with the various letters of the alphabet. I missed Eileen's Saturday's Critters this week as well, but if you enjoy birds and critters, or better still, if you have taken lots of photos of birds and critters, her meme is a must visit.  I'll post today to Our World Tuesday (only one day late).  My thanks go out to Arija, Gattina, Lady FiSylvia, Sandy and Jennifer  for their Immutable loyalty to that meme.  And, depending on your sense of timing, I guess you could say I'm (almost) on time for Stewart's Wild Bird Wednesday :)  It would be well worth your time to stop by his meme as well.  This link will take you to a very interesting article in "Wild" Magazine about Stewart.  His perspective on the difference between "wilderness" and "wildness" was one of several points made that gave me food for thought.  To each volunteer, my heartfelt thanks for the gift of your time and talents to keep these Impressive memes thriving.  

Two "Isaacs" are featured this week.  The first is a musical one.  I love this heartbreak song by Isaac Hayes: "I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You" (5 "I's" in that title!)  And yes, I'm dedicating it to Bill :)

The rest of the post is mainly critter highlights, but before that, here are a few Interesting and/or "unusual words that begin with I" that I found at the Phrontistery site:
1. irenology - the study of peace
2. interrobang - combination of exclamation point and question mark.  It looks like this: 
3. interramification - Interweaving of branches
4. intellection - act of thinking.  Exercise of the Intellect

Tuesday, March 3 - Coal Harbour Pond
The red was Illuminated.. 
for just an Instant in this Anna's Hummingbird.
Four American Wigeons flew over our heads in Impeccable formation, and..
this robin Inspected us for a few seconds before returning to the job of searching for worms.
Wednesday, March 4th - Jericho Park
I posted about our bike ride to Jericho Park, but didn't show you these Ring-Necked Ducks. The reddish-purple ring around their necks that Identifies them is.. 
 pretty much Invisible (but I think that is because of their tucked-in necks.)
Not sure of this one's Identification.  Maybe a Gadwall?
Friday, March 6th - Near Granville Island
The textures and symmetry in this Image Inspire a feeling of Imperturbation (calm) in me.  Maybe something about the way the decaying leaves are under an umbrella of new life. 
It is Impossible to Ignore  the Canada Geese lately.  They are very vocal and not in the least shy about expressing their Interest in potential mates.
Saturday, March 7th - Olympic Village Park 
The Iridescent head of Mr. Mallard brings him a lot of attention, but I think the.. 
Indigo patch in Mrs. Mallard's wing feathers is worthy of just as much respect.  Together, they are an Item for sure :)   
I must Include two other common species that were all around us.  Red-winged Blackbirds..
and House Sparrows were finding an almost Inexhaustible supply of food in the trees and on the ground.
Sunday, March 8th - David Lam Park
This goose couple had a long discussion that wasn't Inhibited at all by the need for privacy.
After Insanely loud honking, they finally..
took to the skies, ironically landing just seconds later on a terrace,
all the while proclaiming their Imminent arrival to anyone who would listen.
To me, there's something Incongruous but ultimately loveable about their goofy expressions and magnificent wings.
I feel quite sure there will soon be a family of goslings taking their Initial flight from the terrace.  Though, I've never seen that event, I've been told it happens every summer.
On another terrace, a second couple called loudly to them.  We weren't sure if the conversations between the two couples were friendly in spirit or more of a warning.  Irenology (the study of peace) should be required learning for all neighbours.
A lone cormorant by the edge of the creek Ignored the geese, perhaps Involved with more pressing concerns.
Wednesday, March 11th
Not a critter to be seen in the next three photos, but a visit with Bill's sister, Phyllis, and her two grandsons, was Important for a few reasons.  Their Irrepressible energy puts a lot of..
merriment in one's day, and we see things through the eyes of children that sometimes are lost in our adult lives.  Instructions to make a paper airplane were the first ones that actually stuck with me (ever!), and learning to adapt a plane gone a bit askew to a tugboat is a lesson in Imaginativeness,  Inventiveness and Ingenuity as well as a reminder to keep an..
Insouciant approach to life's twists and turns.     
The second Isaac in this post is an artist and "Isaac" is his family rather than given name..
We saw an article about him in Arabella magazine.  We Investigated that publication during our afternoon outings at Harrison Galleries
The details in Terry Isaac's work are so Intrinsically accurate, 
one comes close to Imagining his paintings could be photographs.
Bill was Indulging me by holding the magazine up as I took photos of Terry Isaac's work (love this photo!)..  
and at first, I didn't notice Zoe watching us.  She is approaching 15 years of age, but as you can tell, she was Intently curious about us. She had probably noticed Black Jack as well, but it seemed there was an unspoken agreement..
between them to Ignore each other.
I approached Zoe, gave her a small treat, and then returned to photograph more of the article about Terry Isaac.  Two "I" words appear in the excerpt below (sorry it's blurry). 
His passion to expose the "Individual" uniqueness of his subjects comes through Incontestably in his paintings.
His "Impressionistic" brushwork behind his subjects adds to the feeling of awe as we take in his extraordinarily detailed observations.
As I finished taking photos of the article, my attention returned to Zoe.  Her humans were talking with Chris and Jennifer Harrison, and at first, didn't realize I was taking photos.  I decided to Indulge in a few Images and then ask permission :)  
We had noticed them with Zoe In the past, and..
it was clear to me that she has an Ideal life, one that I would wish for every pet. 

The lady then noticed the camera.  I Interpreted by her smile that she wasn't worried about the photographs and after taking a few more shots, approached to ask permission to post them. Though I didn't learn their names, she and her husband spent a few moments telling me about their beautiful Zoe.
They told me that they had asked their vet what age Zoe might reach, and that the response was, "Every day with Zoe is a gift."  I'm Inclined to feel that attitude is the best way to..
approach life, whether it be for ourselves or for our loved ones (human or critter).  Resisting the Impulse to be saddened by the Inevitable losses of aging is something dogs don't have to worry about.  They keep on keeping on, and the older I become, the more convinced..
I am that we should take a lesson from their book.  Zoe, you and your humans Inspired some Intellection but even better, it was fun to make your acquaintance.  I hope we meet up again very soon. 
Thursday, March 12th
On Thursday morning, the Industrious Bushtits were active in the tree by our balcony.
   As I watched them, I heard the cry of an eagle, and it was a thrill to see this pair Involved..
in what I Interpreted as the Spring mating dance.  I guessed they were most likely from the Vanier Nest (the closest one to our apartment).  This link (it has been down for a few days, but is a great one when working) takes you to the David Hancock page, with forums and web cams and all sort of Information about Vancouver's Bald Eagle nests.  I was excited to see this pair in the sky, having observed them, I thought, for many years.  In fact, I read in one comment on a forum that the female is new to the nest.  I hadn't heard that something happened to the last female, but that will Inform my observations as I try to follow their story.
But the foremost thought in my mind is how awe-Inspiring it is to live in a city where I can stand on the balcony and watch eagles. 
Though not an everyday event, it sure is Impressive when it happens,
and is a privilege Indicative of the many reasons why I love Vancouver.
A third eagle appeared, a juvenile, most likely offspring from a previous season.    
The eagles moved on and my attention returned to the bushtits.  Looking down on them from the balcony, I had a great view of the Intricate patterns in their wings. 
Their Itty-bitty black feet hooked onto the branches and grasped them tightly.  Perfect for..  
hanging upside down. .  I wonder if the food tastes better from an Inverted position.
Foraging for food is serious business.  Not an Instant to waste!
Later in the afternoon, we rode our bikes to Stanley Park.  The Parks Board Office sported an array of Incarnadine blooms around it.
The heronry across from the office has been active since 2001 but I don't think I've ever seen quite such a large number of Industrious herons.
I read at this site that the Parks Board has set up a web cam on two of the nests.  I visited it and watched one heron stand up, turn around, and resettle on her three (possibly four) eggs.  The cam appears to be popular. Each visitor has a one-minute opportunity to control the camera; the number of people waiting to do that is posted.  There were 39 people ahead of me, but just a few minutes later, that number was down to 17.  
Not much privacy for those more Intimate moments!
Tin bands around the bottom of the tree keep (most) racoons from Invading the nests. 
Remember that word, Interramification?  I sure think about the Interweaving of branches,
as I watch the herons try to manoeuvre their Immense wings through them.
To add to the confusion, they are often trying to deliver a branch that they picked up from a tree just across the path.  A good branch will Indeed please their lady loves.
One thing for certain, the grace and skill of herons as they fly is Indisputable.
We got back on our bikes after watching the herons and continued to Beaver Lake.  I guess you could say we both..
enjoyed ourselves.

The beaver home had reached Impressive size.
but Black Jack was more obsessed with Imminent potential for excitement underfoot.
The Wood Ducks were Irresistible, as always, 
with their Inlay of colourful geometric shapes and eye-catching textures.
Bill was Intent on sharing the supply of shelled sunflowers seeds and unsalted peanuts.. 
brought with us as Incentive..
to convince a few Intrepid birds/critters to emerge from the woods.
Our Ingenious Idea worked :)

There is something Intimate about the feel of little bird feet clasped around one's fingers.
Both Bill and I have remarked on the Illimitable pleasure of their trust in us.

When there was no room on my hand, a few birds moved along my arm.
"Well..  I'm here, so where's the food?!"  
(Perfect place for an Interrobang but I can't figure out how to insert it.)  
As we walked back to the spot where Bill had locked up our bikes, we saw our first Hooded Merganser of the day.  A beautiful little fellow to Include in our day's sightings. 

But the fun wasn't over.  We rode from Beaver Lake to the Coal Harbour Pond, and were Intrigued to see, for the first time ever at that location, a Stellar's Jay.   
There were lots of Redwings as well.  It seems they love cattails, both for food (seeds in winter and Insects hidden Inside in the summer) and for the leaves to weave into their nests.
At this site, I learned that a researcher found 134 leaves wound into a single nest!  
 This Iridescent hummingbird was the tiniest critter we spotted,  
and we estimated these geese to be among the largest, but no one had Informed us that..
there was one more rather Irregular flyer to arrive.  We were both a bit Intimidated by its low altitude, but I guess it was just preparing for an Imminent landing.

Friday, March 13th
The next day, we had another Invigorating ride, this time to Jericho Park. 
There are large flocks of American Wigeons in every pond around Vancouver these days, but it was the herding Instinct ..
of a lone but most Insistent crow that really amused me.  Perhaps, the crow was worried that there would be nothing left for him/her to Ingest after the Wigeons were finished dining. The amusing aspect was that not a single Wigeon challenged the crow.  They all obediently moved to the right, as Instructed.   
You could be forgiven for thinking there are no critters in the photo below, but in fact, a loud chorus of frog song Induced us to approach the edge of the pond.  I hadn't heard a choir like that at Jericho for years.  Unfortunately, as soon as we reached the edge of the pond, the song came to an end.  Though I waited for quite some time, sure that I was going to see at least one frog, I had to admit defeat in the end.
In this photo, I almost convinced myself that I was seeing froggy eyes just a bit lower and to the left of centre.  My Imagination, perhaps.
Two herons flew to a tree just past the pond.  Each year, one or two heron pairs choose to start a family at Jericho, though most go to the heronry at Stanley Park.  I think these two were enjoying their bird's eye view of one of their favourite dietary Indulgences.  (The photo is very poor, but I'm wondering if they are already raising a youngster here.) 
We came across some tree-climbers and Bill recognized Immediately that we had seen them before.  In fact, I posted about them here.  This site will give you lots more Information about the "Climbing Arborists" If you have the time or Inclination to climb trees.
The tiny white dog at the bottom of the tree was reminding everyone that s/he was NOT Impressed with the Idea of his/her human going WAY up Into that very tall tree.  The person on the ground was trying to comfort the dog, but no comfort was to be had until both..
humans were safely on the ground. "Both humans?" you may wonder.  Well, yes.  On a closer Inspection, we see that..
all was again Ideal in this little dog's world.  Just as I hope it is, today, for each one of you!  Many thanks for stopping by!


  1. this is an INSANELY long post, carol! i think we need an interrobang key on our computers...

    loved all your birds and fowl. the bushtits are especially cute! cute zoe, too.

  2. So much to comment on, Carol!! The robin, the geese the newly sprung leaves in the bush-tit photo, Zoe, feeding the birds, the little white dog -- and on and on! Where do you find the time (interrobang here.) Not to mention the writing and and posting the photos.

  3. The first photo of you with hand outstretched is a picture of serenity, Carol. Also love the last photo … I think it would sell thousands as a greeting card! With the letter “i” in mind, the caption would say something like: be idle, relax and enjoy the day. :)

  4. An eventful week! I love the pictures of all the birds. I am always so astonished that there is so much wildlife in an urban setting. Happy Thursday!! Phyllis

  5. Very lively photos, all of them. An enthusiasm shows in all. And thanks for the great music !

  6. Great post. It is almost exactly a year since I saw my first hummer - and I still smile when I think about it!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  7. I love all your bird photos, especially the ones with the birds in flight and the one of the duck with the reflection. The artwork is wonderful--so lifelike! I am quite fond of artwork that looks real!