Saturday, July 4, 2015

Eileen's Saturday's Critters #81

First, to all of our American friends, happy 4th of July!  Wishing each one of you a safe weekend full of wonderful times with friends, family and lots of critters!

I am posting to Eileen's Saturday's Critters today, with many thanks to her for a meme that always brings smiles.  

On Saturday, June 27th, we saw this Scottish Fold kitten on a leash,     
having a great time..
in a nearby park.
 Sadly, I've forgotten his/her name and gender,
 but I remember clearly how engaged and comfortable s/he was outdoors.
 Happy exploring, 
 adventurous one!
The next day we heard a wonderful gospel choir at St. Andrew's Jazz Vespers.  
 My small lens continues to work well (Yay!) and I took the photo above of Black Jack as she sat on my lap.  Bill took this shot of me immediately afterwards.  Since he is so generous in letting me post his photos, I'm posting a few that he has taken as well. I think this one looks like I'm trying very, very hard to sit up straight and behave myself :)
 Everyone is welcome at St. Andrew's and that includes critters.  I loved this family shot.
 No critters here but I thought you might like to see the source of everyone's entertainment.  We haven't heard all that many gospel choirs in the past, but this one (The Good Noise Gospel Choir)..
and this one (The Marcus Mosely Chorale - highly recommend this link if you have the time to listen to Marcus sing with his choir as you read on - he is amazing!) had us tapping our toes and feeling a sense of euphoria as the energy filled the church.  
I also made it to one of the lunch hour concerts in honour of Vancouver Jazz Festival.  This is City Soul Choir.  They were brimming over with energy as well.  
Sometimes, it is hard to stay in your seat in the presence of that much energy.  I sat in the back for this performance, and loved watching this lady dance quietly but joyfully through most of the performance.
But, back to the critters.  Here, Bill snaps my photo as I walk with Black Jack to the edge of False Creek, hoping to catch this..
cormorant, but s/he dives just as I snap the shot.
That's okay.  I'm still happy as I return to Bill.  We've found the most wonderfully shaded spot to sit with a breeze wafting over us on one of the hottest days of the summer.  We're fortunate and we know it!
 A little bit later, the cormorant flies right toward us and I manage to catch a shot as we sit on the park bench.  The face isn't very clear, but I love the roundness of the body and the strength of the wings as they carry it forward with such purpose.
The Bushtit below was twittering away.. 
outside my balcony a couple of days ago.
 Later that day, three Cormorants perched bolt upright,
 and one duck (a Gadwall?) hung out with the geese in False Creek.
 S/he was the only duck around.  Perhaps, adopted by the geese?
The rest of the photos were taken yesterday during our ride to Stanley Park and then home by the Coal Harbour bike route.  Many of the Blue Herons have left the heronry, but there are still quite a few young ones working on their flight skills.  This one flew short distances back and forth from the nest..
 to a nearby tree.  
 This link will take you to the heronry web site, with the season's final report and some truly spectacular photographs.
 The information is very interesting, if you have time to check it out.  As I had suspected from the fierce fighting observed each time we visited, quite a few nests that started out with three or four chicks ended up with only one or two, due to an act called siblicide (older chicks kill the younger ones).  Still, this 14th season at that location has been a very successful one.  Nature is cruel, but she plans, I guess, for the survival of the species over the long term.      
 This youngster sort of floated down from the nest.  I don't know if that was his/her first flight, but s/he landed softly and though I didn't see the take-off, did observe that s/he appeared to be gone when I checked back about 20 minutes later.
 As I've mentioned in past posts, the heronry is not the most pleasant place to be at the end of the season.  Everything is covered in white (and no, it isn't snow :)  These tin wrap-arounds have been put on the trees to keep racoons from invading the nests.  They are usually a shiny brown metal, but now seem to blend into the tree's textures.
 Bill usually takes Black Jack for a good walk while I check out the herons.  The air is so full of "chalky" dust, I figure the further away they are, the better it is for their lungs.  I, too, tend to breathe as shallowly as possible.
 I wonder, sometimes, at the state of the herons' lungs,
 but they will soon be flying over the ocean..
 and sitting by the rivers,
 where the air will be much cleaner (I hope).
 I was standing in the parking lot watching the herons when this dragonfly landed on the antennae of a parked car.  Bill and Black Jack returned just as I was admiring its glittering wings.
 This heron landed high above us, struggling a bit to find its balance.
 I'd say s/he is well on the way to becoming an accomplished flier.
 What a beauty!
 The dragonfly hung our for a long time on that antennae.  I am convinced..
 that dragonflies observe us and are curious about us.  Their faces are expressive and it seems to me that..
 their thought processes are more advanced than I would ever have thought possible for an insect.
 As we watched the dragonfly, two friends happened by.  We hadn't seen Ross and his beloved dog, Brooklyn, for quite a while.
 Brooklyn is growing into an absolutely gorgeous dog.  I snapped a couple of..
 photos with my 500 mm lens.
 We visited for quite some time before bidding them good-bye and carrying on to the pond by Coal Harbour.  A few bullrushes had fallen to the ground and Bill, ever the entertainer, made me laugh as I snapped this one. 
 The Redwing Blackbirds weren't really interested in our peanut offerings.  The ground was covered in kernels of corn.  I think they are being well taken care of.  Most stayed in the rushes, but this juvenile came out to say "hi" and then we were on our way.  And that concludes today's critter post.  Thanks for stopping by, everyone.  Happy critter watching!


  1. Hello Carol, I just love you action packed critter post and photos. The Herons on the nest are a cool sighting. And the kitten is sweet as are all the cute puppy dogs. And Black Jack will always be a favorite of mine! Great shots of you and Bill. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

  2. great herons and geese. interesting kitty cat! be well and happy!

  3. What a wonderful collection of critters! Of course, you already know I am a dog let so between Black Jack (love the name) and Brooklyn, I was hooked. Then the herons...which I also think are such beautiful creatures. Did you see that I monitor an Eagles Nest each year?...another favorite pastime...:)JP

  4. Great shots! I like the idea of take-your-pet-to-church, too.

  5. Black Jack is a cute pup, Carol! I love blue herons. They are one of my favorite birds to see and to photograph. It looks like you are having a fantastic summer!

  6. Hi Carol,
    What a fantastic post for Saturday's Critters!
    I loved seeing all the birds (big and small), insects, and the incredibly cute cat and the lovely photos of the dogs. To me, this is the good life. Being outdoors and enjoying all the great things that nature has to offer, is indeed a blessing. Thanks for sharing your joy with all of us.

    Thank you so much for your kind sentiments on my recent post about Shaggy.
    FWIW - Here is another post about Shaggy - about his passing.

    I started writing GreenComotion back when I lived in Texas.
    Just updated the Genesis page, tonight, to reflect the same.

    And, here is a link to a mugshot :)

    How do y'all say, "Happy Trails" in BC? :)

    Have a Great Week!
    Peace :)

  7. A fantastic vareid post today as gorgeous images as usual. cute kitty, Brooklyn is also handsome. Loved all the bird and insect shots. Have a great week ahead.

  8. What wonderful and delightful photos!

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