Category Archives: Nature

Mason Bee Condo Destroyed in Burnaby Park

Someone destroyed a mason bee condo that my wife and I volunteer to take care of in Ron McLean Park in SE Burnaby, BC.

Mason bees are beneficial pollinators and are no threat to anyone.

This is so sad. I cannot comprehend such wanton destruction. There was even a sign that explained the program, and that mason bees are no threat to anyone.

I am including the “food” category in this blog, because without pollinators like mason bees, we would have little or no fruit and many vegetables.

Mason Bee condo destroyed in Burnaby

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Lovely Day on Duffy Lake Road Loop in BC

Gorgeous day today on the Duffy Lake Road loop. Burnaby > Whistler > Pemberton > Lillooet > Lytton > Hope > Burnaby.

I try to do this loop at least once every couple of years. You can do it fairly comfortably in a day, with several stops here and there along the way.

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Duffy Lake
Duffy Lake

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Seton Lake

cayoosh_creek_bugs_2_20140912 Cool beetle near Cayoosh Creek

Spruce Sawyer, I’m told. That looks right.

cayoosh_creek_bugs_20140912Lots of big aquatic bugs in Cayoosh Creek

Google Map of Duffy Lake road loop

Google Maps has the trip at 580km and about 8 driving hours

Streamkeeper Training in North Vancouver

I attended a one-day streamkeeper training course in North Vancouver hosted by the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation. We covered modules 2, 3, and 4 from the Streamkeepers Handbook.

I figured it was about time I had a refresher, since it must be around ten years ago that I originally took the training.

It was a lovely, sunny day, and a great group of people.

You can check out some photos I took in this Flickr album.

Streamkeeper training North Vancouver

Injured Gull Caught, Delivered to Wildlife Rescue

Good deed of the day accomplished. While we were checking out lighting stores in Richmond BC, Yumi spotted a seagull that appeared to have a broken wing. We observed it for a few minutes, and it was definitely dragging its right wing, and when approached, stayed on the ground.

I called the Wildlife Rescue Association in Burnaby, and described the situation. They said it would be great if we could get it into a box and bring it in.

I grabbed a pair of work gloves and an old towel from the trunk of the car, and kept an eye on it, making sure it didn’t stray onto busy Bridgeport Rd. while Yumi went in search of a box. Yumi was back in a few minutes and after a short chase and trapping pincer movement, it scooted into the box and we had it secured.

We drove directly to the WRA, getting there in about half an hour, and deposited the patient. We kept the box covered with the towel to keep it dark and relatively quiet, and the gull made the trip with little noise.

Hope it makes it.

We were so focused on the rescue that I forgot to take any photos!

UPDATE: Aug. 20. I’m sad to report that I contacted the WRA today to check on the gull, and it had to be euthanized. Apparently the humerus was beyond repair. Sad to hear, but at least it didn’t have a potentially long, suffering death.

Urban Sprawl — Are Humans Less Efficient Than Slime Molds?

“History suggests humans, in contrast to ants and slime molds, rarely optimize growth, particularly when multiple objectives such as profit, equity, and ecological integrity come into conflict.” And since we aren’t quite as good at this as slime molds are, there is the distinct possibility that we should plan for the worst rather than assume we’ll fix the problem ahead of time. – Dave Levitan | August 5 2014

Thanks to Pamela Zevit for posting this quotation, and the article it came from, on FaceBook. Pam posts links to a steady stream of articles that make one sit up and think.

Small Sockeye This Year?

I bought our first wild sockeye of the season at Save-On Foods in Burnaby, BC, today.

It was small, weighing in at 0.686 kg, or about 1.5 lbs. Of course that’s sans head and guts, but it still appeared undersized. All of the sockeye at Save-On looked small. Certainly way smaller than the pinks I fished on the Fraser last year.

Come to think of it, the fish looked not much bigger than a coho jack — a male coho salmon that returns to spawn a year early.

According to the DFO Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Guide, a sockeye “usually weighs between 2.2 kg and 3.1 kg, but can reach 6.3 kg.”

UPDATE: I’ve been looking into this online, Googling and reading academic papers, and have come to the conclusion that while small, this fish was likely not an outlier.

Most research and reporting on fish sizes and weights presents “average” ranges, and it’s hard to find information about what the usual minimum weights are. However I did find the following on the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada government website:

“Commercially caught sockeye range in weight from 2 to 9 pounds and are graded according to size: 2-4 lbs., 4-6 lbs., and 6-9 lbs.”

So I guess that 1.5-pound dressed fish was not an outlier.