There were several Northern Harriers near Centennial Beach in Delta, BC, today. Also lots of other birds, and a variety of bees and wasps, several of them burrowing species.
Swallows in, er, action
Bunny taking the sun. Yumi spotted the bunny — it’s great having a patient partner along to double the eyes searching for wildlife!
Lots of burrowing insects
We hadn’t been to Minnekhada Regional Park in a long time, so we took advantage of the superb sunny weather to ramble around for a couple of hours.
We didn’t see a heck of a lot of wildlife, but did run across a garter snake and a frog.
Yumi at a lookout near the lodge
Yumi spotted this frog
This garter snake crossed the trail to our delight, and that of a couple of other walkers
Squeezed in a couple of days off with Yumi and we camped for two nights at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island in Washington State. We love it there, and try to get down at least once a year.
Here are some photos from the trip:
Me looking forward to the sunset
Heron in flight shot from the Coupeville wharf
Kingfisher in flight shot from the Coupeville wharf
Harlequin duck off the west beach at Deception Pass. I think this is the first time I’ve “shot” one of these.
Yumi spotted this otter in the lake, and we saw it catch and eat at least three fish in ten minutes or so.
Spotted this yawning sea lion way out in the ocean. Hi ISO, 450 mm lens handheld, so not a poster shot by any means, but still cool.
Lovely sky at Fort Casey
Yumi and our tent – playing with angles
Yumi at the end of this long log – playing with perspective
Making breakfast on the camp stove
Relaxing by the fire with a glass of wine
I joined a Jane’s Walk today led by Mary Wilson that began in New Westminster BC, and crossed the border into Burnaby to explore the urban trail system. Mary pointed out that while there were great trails in the Edmonds area of Burnaby, there was no connectivity to neighbouring New West. Perhaps this is something that the two municipalities, and particularly NW, could look at.
Mary had come to last month’s Byrne Creek Streamkeeepers Society meeting, since these volunteers help care for the urban creek and ravine park in the area. I tagged along on the walk today, and welcomed the opportunity to chat a bit about urban watersheds, daylighting creeks, the importance to wildlife of natural areas and corridors to connect them, etc.
You can find other New Westminster Jane’s Walks here, and while at this time Burnaby so far appears to lag in variety, there are walks popping up here.
Looking at the massive, near-50-acre former Safeway distribution lands that will be redeveloped soon. There’s an ambitious plan for a walkable, transit-friendly, mixed-use residential and commercial area.
Master birder George Clulow led a group around Burnaby Mountain today. It was great fun, but the birds were on the sparse side, so he suggested ending the morning at Piper Spit on Burnaby Lake, which proved to have an abundance of feathered friends to observe.
Thanks to the City of Burnaby and its Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Dept. for organizing such tours!
A few photos from today’s rambles:
Kamui Mintara, or, Playground of the Gods
I’ve shot Kamui Mintara many times over many years, yet I think this may be the first for me to approach the totems from behind, move around, and deliberately expose for a silhouette effect.
Yes, they do stand upright. But I like this tilted angle.
Burnaby Mountain picnic tables
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 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
Heading out counter-clockwise around the lake
Mergansers hanging on the beach
Stream tumbling into the lake
In the summer these tables would all be full. Today, I saw only three other people over the entire loop around the lake.
Roots and rocks embrace
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.
Yumi on the beach
Deception Pass bridge
West beach looking north-ish
West beach looking south-ish
North beach bluff
Whidbey Island in Washington State has become one of our favorite camping destinations. There are several state parks on the island, which, depending on time at the border, takes about two-and-half to three hours to reach from our home in Burnaby, BC.
Yumi scanning the ocean at Deception Pass State Park west beach
Seal pup on rocky outcropping near the west beach at Deception Pass State Park
Sunset at Deception Pass State Park west beach
Interesting patterns on parks pass lockbox
Love the grainy detail on the handle on a beach BBQ box
The wharf at Coupeville, a funky town mid-island
Our campsite at Deception Pass State Park.
We’ve grown to love Whidbey Island ever since we “discovered it” several years ago. Lots of nature, wonderful state parks, lovely beaches, a variety of wildlife, yet all accompanied by easy access to groceries, shopping, etc.
And the state parks are quiet. We marvel at how even on busy weekends campers are near totally silent by 9:30 and definitely by the 10:00 pm quiet time.
It’s hot and sunny today, so the beaches were crowded at Alice Lake Provincial Park just north of Squamish, BC, and the campground was full. I was there for the easy ramble around the lake, and found the trail cool and nearly deserted.
You can find my Flickr album here.