Category Archives: Photography

Searching Squamish, BC, for Salmon and Eagles

This is a great time of year to see salmon and eagles up the Sea-to-Sky highway heading north from Vancouver to Squamish.

Didn’t see that many of the magnificent raptors today, but enough for some decent photos.

eagle_paradise_valley_road_squamish_20141122Eagle soaring above the Paradise Valley road north of Squamish, BC

eagle_squamish_river__chum_20141122
Lunching on what appears to be a chum salmon on the Squamish River

eagle_squamish_river_20141122
Cruising along the Squamish River

eagles salmon squamish bc
A mass of  biomass. Lots of carcasses near the Tenderfoot hatchery off the Paradise Valley road north of Squamish. It looks gross, but salmon bring nutrients back from the ocean that enrich our coastal forests and other wildlife.

Save a Few Cents, Irritate a Customer

I ordered a SanDisk Ultra 32GB SDHC card online and got it today.

Disappointed that it came without a case. Every SDHC card I’ve ever bought previously — Kingston, ADATA, Patriot, and even some no-name ones — have always come with cases. And some SanDisk ones bought years ago.

I thought SanDisk was supposed to be a high-end product?

I’d think the difference between providing a case and just packing in flex must be on the order of a few cents.

SanDisk SDHC card no case

Frosty Deer Lake Circumrambulation

I was expecting a nature tour around Deer Lake in Buranby, BC, today, but I couldn’t find the group. I ended up taking a bit over two hours to walk around the lake with my camera on a crisp, sunny morning. Here’s a set of 30 shots in  a Flickr album.

Yes, I know circumrambulation is not a word, but I think it should be. It’s what you do when you ramble entirely around a lake : -).

Deer Lake photos Nov. 16, 2014. Flickr

 

I also counted about 30 chum salmon carcasses in Buckingham Creek, in the short stretch where it runs north of the parking lot and into the lake. I was impressed. Salmon had disappeared from the creek for decades, and began returning again only recently after restoration efforts including making culverts more fish friendly. The first time Yumi and I saw a salmon carcass there was in 2009, documented on my old blog.

Byrne Creek Moving Water Medley

As I patrolled Byrne Creek in SE Burnaby, BC, in search of spawning salmon on Nov. 4, I didn’t see any fish as the water was high and fast. But I did get several video clips of moving water that I edited together into a 2-minute video today.

BTW, nothing fancy. I used my Canon Elph 520HS pocket camera in its 1920 HD video mode. I mounted it on a GorillaPod so that I could get nice and low into the creek, while keeping things steady.

I edited the clips together using the standard Windows Movie Maker that came with Windows 8.1

No music, no narration, just the sights and sounds of moving water in nature.

Enjoy!

Catgirl Senses a Mouse in the House

I’m wondering if the colder weather has enticed a mouse into the house. The cat’s antsy, and wants to check out all the less used spaces behind closed doors — the storage under the stairs, the utility room, etc.

She rid us of a couple of mice a few years ago that sneaked in from the garage. Didn’t kill them, but caught them and brought them to us, and we released them outdoors.

She’s certainly fixated:

cat in sweatshirt cave

Ensconced in her cat cave, yet vigilant. The door to the under-stairs storage is about three bounds straight ahead, and is slightly ajar for access.

And yes, Daddy’s sweatshirts are great for sleeping on, under, in. . .

So are his outdoor fleeces, if he forgets to hang one up and just tosses it on the chair :  -).  That scenario results in a mass of cat hair matted onto the fleece.

Returning Salmon Highlight Wonders of Autumn

I like getting out in nature any time of year, but autumn is the season that evokes the most intense responses. Of course there’s the amazing display of colour, but there’s also a sense of excitement as the salmon return to spawn, and harvest reaches its peak with grain, fruits, and vegetables in abundance.

For me, autumn is the most stimulating time on my local waterway, Byrne Creek in southeast Burnaby, BC. I’ve volunteered as a streamkeeper for many years, and the return of salmon to spawn in this little local creek is an affirmation of efforts to maintain and restore some semblance of a natural world in an urban area.

Walking the creek and finding spawners is exhilarating. And I love to connect other folks to the creek through the awesome fish. Today I found a pair of chum spawning in an area easily viewed from the trail, and I pointed them out to several people who passed by.

“O my God!” “Really? That’s amazing!”

People are enchanted by the sight.

Sometimes the fish are not easy to see, even in a small creek like Byrne. Here’s an example of a “stealth chum” that I initially didn’t notice, though I had carefully scanned the area it was resting in.

chum salmon byrne creek

I saw a total of six spawners today, a pair of chum that were actively spawning, with the female flipping sideways and digging a depression in the gravel and cobble in which to deposit her eggs.

Then there was the fish in the photo above, a few meters away.

Later in a different part of the creek I saw two coho, a male already sporting bright wine red colours, and a speckled silvery female. There was another salmon in that vicinity, but I couldn’t get a good enough look at it for an ID.

Here’s to seeing more over the next month or two!