Self-Publishing Fair Convinces Me to Join Federation of BC Writers

I went to my first Federation of BC Writers event today, the Self Publishing Fair held at the main branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

I enjoyed the speakers and chatting with folks who had displays at the fair. I recognized a couple of fellow members of the Editors’ Association of Canada.

I decided to join the “Fed” as it appears to like to call itself. Perhaps being part of such a group will help stimulate me to do more writing!

Restore Canada Rocks!

Thank you Restore Canada, Burnaby location.

The used office chair I bought from you three or four years ago for, if I recall, C$20, died.

So on my way home from dropping off a bunch of stuff at the Burnaby Recycle Center I stopped by your store and picked up a “new” office chair for C$10. Not quite as swanky as the last one, but it still has adjustable height, adjustable arms, lockable back tilt, etc.


Crisp, Clear Day at Alice Lake Provincial Park

I took a couple of hours away from the office to zip up to Alice Lake Provincial Park to take some photos today.

Driving north on the Sea to Sky Highway

Alice Lake Provincial Park
Heading out counter-clockwise around the lake

Alice Lake Provincial Park mergansers
Mergansers hanging on the beach

Alice Lake Provincial Park robin Alice Lake Provincial Park mountain view Alice Lake Provincial ParkStream tumbling into the lake

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park Alice Lake Provincial ParkIn the summer these tables would all be full. Today, I saw only three other people over the entire loop around the lake.

Alice Lake Provincial Park Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park
Roots and rocks embrace

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake Provincial Park

Byrne Creek Fry, Blossoms

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers volunteers found a coho fry (newly hatched with yolk still visible) in a bug sample yesterday, so today on my creek walk I stopped at a few likely places to see if I could spot any in the water. I was happy to see three fry!

Byrne Creek salmon fry
Two fry under the wooden footbridge, and I spotted another about ten meters downstream.

Byrne Creek Ravine Park blossoms

Byrne Creek Ravine Park blossoms

Byrne Creek Bug Counting

It was a lovely day for counting bugs on Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby today. Such aquatic invertebrate surveys provide an indication of water quality in the creek, and unfortunately while streamkeeper volunteers have been regularly sampling for over ten years, the quality is nearly always poor to marginal, with just the occasional satisfactory at best.

byrne creek bug count
Using a D-net to gather a sample

Byrne Creek bug counting
Chatting with neighbourhood friends

Byrne Creek bug counting
Volunteers show up with a new generation of streamkeepers 🙂

Byrne Creek bug count

Byrne Creek garbage collection
Volunteers usually combine data collection with ongoing garbage cleanup

Early blooming
It’s been a warm winter!

Early blooming

Strange black substance coating Byrne Creek spillway
I checked the artificial spawning habitat and sediment pond for fish, but saw only two cutthroat. No fry yet. I also found this odd black, flaking coating on the sediment pond spillway. Something yucky came down the creek not too long ago!

Great Birding Day at Reifel Sanctuary

Yumi and I spent three or four hours at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary today. In terms of species seen, it was one of our best days down there. It was great chatting with more experienced birders who were happy to share their finds, point them out, and help us with species identification.

Here are some shots taken today:

black crowned night heron
There were lots of these black crowned night herons — apparently an unusual number.

northern saw-whet owl
Northern saw-whet owl?

american cootAmerican coot

american wigeon
American wigeon

American wigeon closeup

bald eagle
Bald eagle

hooded merganser
Hooded merganser

long-eared owl
I’m thinking long-eared owl?

mallard head
Mallard head

mallard tail
Mallard tail

northern pintail
Northern pintail

northern shoveller copule
Northern shoveller couple

red-winged blackbird
Red-winged blackbird

Ring-necked duck?

sandhill crane
Sandhill cranes

sandhill crane head
Sandhill crane

Scaup of some sort?

sharp-shinned hawk
Sharp-shinned hawk? Cooper’s?

Last Day in LA, February 18, 2015

Today was my last day in Los Angeles at the end of a one-week visit to see my sister and her family. I’ll gradually add previous days to this blog as I have time, but here are a few shots from Manhattan Beach where I spent a couple of hours before my flight at LAX.


sea lion and surfer manhattan beach CA
This sea lion was following a group of surfers near the pier. This was no one-off — the lion repeatedly rode the waves and swam back out for more.

manhattan beach ca








Pelican in flight

Off to Los Angeles!

Headed off to Los Angeles today to visit family for a week.

I had a car reserved with Budget, and a loop north up the coast and then inland through the hills planned for the afternoon. Unfortunately, there was a huge lineup at Budget and it took over an hour to get into a car.

I was pleased with the vehicle though — while the reservation was for a midsize Chevy, they gave me a bright red metallic Mazda 6.
Mazda 6
Photo from Mazda Canada website

The Mazda was solid, peppy, and sure-footed, so roads like this one in the hills north of LA were exhilarating to drive.  The 184-horse four-banger teamed with a 6-speed auto with available manual mode was fun.

California hills

Unfortunately, halfway through the loop, my phone and its GPS ran out of juice, and for some reason it wouldn’t charge either through the car’s cigarette lighter or USB port. I even stopped and bought a new cable, and that didn’t work either.

Eventually I was, um, unsure of where exactly I was. OK, lost. There, I said it, I was lost.

The Budget folks had asked if I wanted a paper map, and I’d said sure, but there was nothing in the rental-agreement package or glove box. Sigh. I finally stopped and bought a map, and figured my way “home,” a couple hours later than planned, so I missed my nephew’s key basketball game.

I know better than to rely solely on GPS in the bush, and now I know better than to rely solely on GPS in the big city!