Category Archives: Hiking

Barred Owl Chows Down on Mole in SE Burnaby

We heard a Barred Owl call during our afternoon walk in Byrne Creek Ravine Park in SE Burnaby. We looked for it, and eventually spotted it high in a tree. It sat there staring at us, while we stood there enjoying its beauty for several minutes.

We then realized it had caught a mole, and it began to nonchalantly shred and eat it as we watched. We didn’t hang around as we didn’t want to potentially disturb the owl’s meal.

A nature show right in “our backyard!”

barred owl eat mole
Unfortunately I got only a few usable shots out of about a hundred taken with my pocket Canon 720HS. I was hand-holding at max 40X optical zoom, and had the ISO boosted to 1600, both factors limiting image quality.

Here’s a wide shot to show how high up it was.

Barred Owl Byrne Creek

Welcoming New Hiking Boots

I’m a rambling man. . . 

An early birthday present. Vibram soles, breathable uppers.

Thank you my darling wife!

Dunno how many pairs of hiking boots I’ve worn out over the decades, ranging from traditional full leather to modern weird stuff.

These seem to be a nice balance of tried-and-true soles and moderately high-tech uppers.

Merrell Vibram hiking boots

Canada Day Weekend Depletes Canadian Stock of Kindness, Politeness

It’s back to work, grumpy people!

I wanted to buy some hiking socks. At the first sporting goods store I went to I was quietly regarding the racks, when a staff member came by, snorted, and said:

“Why would you want to buy those socks? These are the ones you should be looking at,” pointing to ones costing three times more per pair.

I said I’d been happy with a certain combo of layered liner and thick socks for over 40 years of hiking. That didn’t deter his disdain, or his prattle, so I walked out.

The next store I went to, it was clear sailing until the end. Nobody approached me, I had quiet time to myself to peruse the labels, checking the proportions of poly to wool to whatever. . . Bliss.

Then — accosted at the checkout. “Sir, if you sign up for Partner Credit Card today, I can give you 20% off your entire purchase.”

“I don’t want any more credit cards, and anyway, I have this 10% discount coupon which will do me just fine.”

“But sir, I can issue a paper credit card right now, which you can use to get 20% off. . .”

“What’s a paper credit card? How do I pay it off?”

“We’ll send you a bill in the mail, or you can go straight over to Partner Store, and pay it today.”

Right, sucked further into Database Nation. No thanks.

“But sir!”

“I said, no thanks.” Poor kid slumps away, and checkout clerk glares at me.

After these wee contretemps, I’m feeling hungry, and notice a Subway nearby. I walk in, and say “I’d like a footlong turkey on Italian.”

“What kind of bread?” Italian. “How large?” Footlong. “Was that turkey?” Yes. [Silently to myself — Earth to counter person??]

Another fellow walks in.

“Hi!” says the cashier cheerfully.

He says, “I’d like a. . .”

“Sorry, sir, you have to start your order from the other end of the counter.”

“So why did you say hi to me at this end?”

Oy. . .

Spring is in the Air at Campbell Valley Regional Park

We enjoyed fresh air and lots of signs of spring on a 2-hour ramble in Campbell Valley Regional Park today.


We’ve always enjoyed hand-feeding chickadees in the park, but this is the first time we pulled in a Red-Breasted Nuthatch.


The feeling of a wee bird’s claws clutching one’s finger is pure joy!


Doing the wormhole space-jump thing. . .  : -)


A sign at a trail crossing said flooding ahead, but we had to go see for ourselves : -)


Trilliums — I think these are protected in BC


Budding salmonberries!

Campbell Valley Regional Park
Busy as a . . .

Good to See Some of my ‘Elders’ Out on the Creek Trails

Happy to see a couple of Byrne Creek Ravine Park trailwalking “elders” out and about now that the snow and ice are gone.

Ran into Dave on the creek trail today, and it was good to chat. He’s 87, and always has a good tale to tell about what it was like growing up in the area. If I recall, he was a boxer in his youth, and he keeps telling me to keep moving!

Saw Ron the other day, too. Ron’s a retired stonemason also pushing 90, if not there already, who had a hand in some of the magnificent greystone work at the University of Saskatchewan where I did a couple of degrees. He speaks with a hint of a lovely Scottish burr, and also has tales to tell.

Good to see you, gentlemen, and hope I’m still walking the ravine 30 years from now!