I spent a couple of hours down in White Rock, BC, this afternoon shooting photos and rambling along the beach and pier. Lovely afternoon!
We took an overnighter down to Washington State last weekend. While it was foggy and drizzly, we still enjoyed some ocean expanses and fresh air at Deception Pass State Park.
North beach bluff
Thanks to the Richmond Review for running one of my heron photos in its Jan. 2, 2015, edition. You can see it in the Richmond Review eEditions online. Click the Jan. 2 issue, and go to page 3.
I spent nearly four hours “shooting” birds and scenic views in Fraser Foreshore Park in Burnaby, BC, this afternoon. I got thoroughly chilled but the shots were worth it. Here are a couple to get this post going.
In my experience, herons usually appear completely disinterested in people. I did not call attention to myself in any way to get this shot. Walking around the tree a couple of times attempting to get an unobstructed view likely piqued its interest.
There were several Stellar’s Jays feeding from stumps where people had left seeds. These shy birds can be hard to photograph, but as I stood silently for over an hour in the same spot, they gradually became more comfortable with my presence.
What I just wrote brought me up short. “These shy birds…” Huh?
I have also experienced them being very aggressive in seeking food, when camping in the BC interior, so I’m not sure why the Jekyll and Hyde personality shifts.
There are several nature walks coming up over the next few months in Burnaby, BC, parks. You can sign up here:
I have been on walks with birder George Clulow (check out his excellent nature blog here), and with species-at-risk specialist Pam Zevit (South Coast Conservation Program). I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to participate on a tour with Greg Ferguson yet, but here’s one of the interesting things he’s working on – The British Columbia Swallow Conservation Project.
I love celebrating New Year Japanese style.
We tape the entire Kohaku Red (Women) vs White (Men) NHK song extravaganza to our PVR, and watch it at our leisure over the course of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It’s always a bit over the top, a tish maudlin, and with few actually gripping or moving performances, but it’s a fun way to stay somewhat in touch with contemporary Japanese music and culture.
The food is great. Sushi, sashimi, chawan mushi, and a couple of bottles of choice nihonshu (sake) shared with friends.
Ringing the temple bell at midnight at Tozenji in nearby Coquitlam is always fun, too. Out with the old, in with the new.
Returning home at a crazy hour and cooking and eating toshi koshi soba for long life and prosperity.
Here’s Yumi’s Japanese-Canadian fusion tableau in our foyer:
Here are a few wildlife shots I like from my photography in 2014. I’ll add more over the year-end as I look for them:
This is one of my most-commented-on photos posted to Facebook. A heron shot in flight yesterday at Garry Point Park in Steveston, BC
Coyote near Tunnel Mountain campground in Banff National Park
Deer near the town bridge in Banff, Banff National Park
Moose in Jasper National Park
Raven in Columbia Icefields parking lot
Coyote just off Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park near Castle Mountain
Male sockeye cruising up the Adams River in BC
Red-winged blackbird, Burnaby Lake Park, Burnaby, BC
Male wood duck, Burnaby Lake Park, Burnaby, BC
Goldfinch, Elgin Heritage Park, South Surrey, BC
Gull carrying shellfish to drop and break, Birch Bay State Park, WA
Aerobatic heron, Birch Bay State Park, WA
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
I finished my seven-week communication contract at the MS Society of Canada, BC & Yukon Division today. Thanks to all the folks who made it a pleasure to work there, staff and volunteers. It was great meeting you all, and the MS Ambassadors that I interviewed. My final task today was putting together a “2014 in Review” slide show of MS events all over BC — great images of inspirational people.
Unfortunately the last day at the office was a cacophony of sneezing, nose blowing, and coughing, with me included. I think I shall now sleep through Christmas, with just enough fresh air and exercise to help get rid of the bug.
We don’t use our fireplace much because it’s gas-fueled, and is not very efficient. Most of the heat goes up the stack, with little going into the house. For years we’ve aimed to rectify that, but other reno priorities always win the budgetary battle.
So we light the pilot light for only a couple of weeks each year, from near Christmas to New Year’s.
Here are two of my girls, my wife and cat, enjoying the fireplace. The third girl, the turtle, was under her broad spectrum lamp.