Saturday, May 16, 2015

Critters and Critter-loving Humans

It is Saturday!  Time to visit Eileen's Saturday's Critters meme.  She has lots of wildlife photos to share and so do the people who join her meme.  Great place to see beloved pets as well. Thanks, Eileen!

This morning, Black Jack and I met Brent and Sophia Havana hanging out..
by False Creek.  We got to talking and discovered we share some ideas..
about the good things in life.  We talked about taking responsible for our own health and loving our pets and appreciating nature.  I suspect Sophia might have added that a little snooze as you sit by the water wasn't a bad idea either.
Of course, knowing when to open your eyes to catch the action is important too.
 Top all those things off with a gentle hand.. 
 on your head..
 and an ear scritch..
 sealed with..
 a kiss, and I'd say these two buddies have figured out a lot about life.
Moving back in time a few days, a seagull's perfect take-off..
and Black Jack's happy prance on our first walk of the day brought a smile.
Going even further back in time, a photo of my previous dog, Scott, taken by a former neighbour, brought a smile as well.  
We saw this merganser a few days ago at English Bay.  Her "bad hair day"..
was forgotten as soon as "hubby" arrived.  A sip of sea water,
and then she headed for shore, all the better to greet him with open wings.
He waved his wings in approval..
and I counted them a happy couple.
While I watched the mergansers, Bill and Black Jack traversed the rocks..
until Black Jack became a little too intensely interested in digging under the rocks.  Bill picked her up.  He remembers the photo I caught a couple of years ago..
when an American Mink poked its head up.  Some of you will remember that photo as well, but I'll repeat it here, because I don't think Eileen has seen it.  Such a cute little critter, but I am not fooled. A few years ago, I watched as one no bigger than this little guy came up from under water, sank its teeth into the neck of a large seagull, and held it firmly until it drowned.  It was over in a matter of a minutes.  I have pictures of that as well, but they are not happy ones.  Let's just say I have a deep respect/fear for the damage a mink could do to Black Jack.
The moment Bill put Black Jack down, she dragged him right back to the rocks.  She knows there are critters there and she has no fear. 
Bill reassured me that he will save Black Jack if ever there is a mink crisis :)
I believe him but remain vigilant (and so does he).
I took this picture that same day at English Bay.  There is no critter to be seen but I love the delicate, silky-to-the-touch fern.  I'm betting there are hidden critters among its tendrils.
We saw these dear little ducklings another day while walking around Lost Lagoon.
Perhaps this was Papa Duck.  It was nice of the turtles to share space with him.
These turtles were hanging out on a different rock..
and these two were on the other side of the lagoon.  We almost always see at least a few turtles around the local ponds.  I have learned from this blog post that the Lost Lagoon turtles are called Red-eared Sliders and that they are not native to Canada.  Both Bill and I are curious about their mating habits, but I will have to leave that research for another day.
I haven't been doing very well with photos of smaller birds lately.  This is, I think, a Fox Sparrow but s/he refused to come from behind the reeds.
Almost at the end of our walk, we both smiled to see this Canada Goose pair hanging out by the park bench.
Then, one of them rose, and I saw that they were not so much relaxing on a.. 
lovely day, as they were keeping watch over a brood of three goslings.
This one was particularly precocious.
S/he fell over a couple of times, but got up as if to say, "My feet are a little too..
big for the rest of me right now, but just wait until my wings grow."
I took this last set of pictures yesterday when we stopped by the Stanley Park heronry to see how the chicks were doing.  I've known for well over a month that there were lots of chicks because their sound is unmistakeable, but this was the first time to have proof.  I thought this mother was staring desperately in the direction she hoped Pops would return with food to quiet down these two..
rambunctious youngsters.  It must be feeling quite claustrophobic in that nest!
I'm dying to show you all the wonderful blooms we saw yesterday, but will stick to just this one shot of gorgeous Bill with perfectly matching rhododendrons.
From the heronry, it's just a short walk to the lagoon.  As we stood looking over the water, I suddenly noticed we were being watched.  Can't argue with the "cute" factor, but I sure wish people would stop feeding the racoons.  They have very little fear of humans and that is not at all good for them.
We saw just one pair of Gadwalls.  I couldn't remember their name at first, but knew it started with G.  "Something like 'Godzilla', but I know that's not it," I said to Bill.  He, kindly, made no comment :)  This was the male, 
and then we saw the female.
We watched Mrs. Wood Duck go by with a very cute brood of ducklings,
and saw that they were also being monitored carefully by Mr. Wood Duck.
I was happy that they made it past.. 
the racoon without incident.
It was at about that time that we met Bob and Pat Grove.  What a lovely talk we had.  They are visiting from Michigan, and they were the ones to let me know the correct name of the Gadwalls.  As with my encounter this morning with Brent, it was clear we were on similar wavelengths about the things in life that make living good.  I love this shot of them as they joke around about having their photo taken.
They finally have time to travel and have visited 50 states as well as quite a number of countries.  They are avid bird watchers, adventurers and appreciators of nature.  It was a true pleasure to meet them.  Happy travels, Pat and Bob!
As we bid them good-bye, the wood ducks..
passed us again.
Mom climbed up onto the rocks and the little ones followed.  It was Bill who..
spotted them first.  Can you see the little one at the far right peeking from behind the rock?  By the time I got the camera out, three of them had disappeared.
There's one just to the right of the mallard.
That's it for this week's critters (and critter-loving humans).  Oh, and a couple of blooms because I can't resist!  There's a perfect leaf print on the Iris petal that I love, and the bed of petals in the last shot also caught my eye. Hope you enjoyed them.  We're on our way out now, so I'm going to have to explore Eileen's meme when we return.  In the mean time, happy nature-watching to each one of you!  


  1. the ducklings and goslings are adorable! HANDSOME shots of those wood ducks! awesome! sophia is a beautiful girl. so glad she is loved so well!

  2. Wow, Carol. Your post is full of critters.. I love them all. I enjoyed the interaction shots between man and his best friend " Brent and Sophia". Your old dog Scott reminds me of the Black Lab I gave to my niece for her birthday many years ago. Cool Merganser shots and I love the herons and their chicks. The wood ducks and the ducklings are so sweet. The mink is cute but now that I know how and what they eat, maybe not so cute after all. The shot of Bill with the big stick reminds me of an Olympian posing for his throwing competition. And of course Black Jack will always be a favorite of mine. Thank you for linking up, have a great weekend!

  3. Wow! That was a wonderful tour through your images. Loved them all!

  4. Fabulous photos! Sophia Havana is so cute. So is that raccoon! :-) The goslings and the mink are just wonderful!

  5. I haven't seen any ducklings or goslings yet this year and it is getting rather late. Wonderful photos as usual.

  6. Wonderful critters all of them! The babies are so cute.

  7. Oh My! What an interesting and full outing you bboth had meeting lovely people, having great chats, seeing lots of new life in the ducks, geees and Herons and the flowres aer beautiful as well. Oh I could go on and on but thanks for sharing it all. Have a great week ahead.

  8. Superb images, Black Jack is having a real fun. I love the Raccoon.

  9. There does seem to be an element of Scott in Black Jack who is the petite feminine version. Looking at what I assume is a rare photo of Scott reminds me of how cameras have evolved to enable us to capture precious memories nowadays with relative ease and frequency. The tone and charm of the older photos is unbeatable though. :)

  10. A copious set of photographs--now all memories--our dog photos are memories as we approach our old age at 80+ and 78+.

  11. A great post, chock full of wildlife and not so wild life.

  12. So many great pictures!

    I will be stealing "Godzilla Duck."


  13. That's a lot of different critters Carol!

  14. So much to see, your photos and comments are a joy!

  15. I love the picture of Bill in the rhododendrons! An enlarged copy would make a great birthday gift for his sister! (Subtle hint!) Thanks for the walk through your day! Hugs, Phyllis

  16. Well, now I've caught up too, Carol! I was delighted to see your comment on my blog today, and I was happy to see that you are back blogging again. Somehow I missed that your were back. In a Big Way!!! My favorite photos are always the ones of you, Bill, and sweet little Black Jack ~ glad that she is feeling perkier! You have so many beautiful bird photos. I'm particularly fond of redwing blackbirds, and I was really surprised to see males and females sitting on Bill's hand. I like the pictures of other dogs too and hearing their stories like little Delray's. You put so much into your informative blog! Thank you. I'm beginning to know my ay around parts of Vancouver now! LOL Have a good evening!