Category Archives: Travel

Goldeneye at Birch Bay State Park

I took a Friday – Monday trip out to the Okanagan to visit some relatives from Saskatchewan who had booked a suite in Osoyoos for a winter break. I’ll gradually catch up with posts, but here’s a couple of shots of a goldeneye at Birch Bay State Park in Washington State.  There were a lot of them hanging out just off the beach. (I came home through the US to take a different road, and do some shopping though the exchange rate isn’t nearly as favorable as it had been for the last few years.)

Goldeneye Birch Bay State Park
Stretching and/or drying wings

Goldeneye Birch Bay State Park
Making a call

Same Scene, Half a Year Apart

Realized that I’ve shot the same scene about half a year apart. While the scenes are not exactly lined up, you can recognize the fence posts and get a sense of how close I must have been standing for the two takes.

NIcola Valley March 2015
March 9, 2015

BC Highway 5A
October 1, 2014

If you look closely, you can see that I was just a few steps to the right compared to the more recent photo. Cool!

Oops, this is on the BC 5A north of Merritt.

Nicola Valley Under Blue Skies

I love the BC 5A between Merritt and Kamloops. The Nicola Valley and its string of lakes has a quiet beauty that changes with the seasons. In three or four hours of slowly touring up and back down, I saw at most a dozen other vehicles. The smaller lakes were still mostly iced over, with blue at the edges.

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Nicola Valley

Meadowlark
I tried many dozen shots of these Western Meadowlarks, but only these two were usable. They were very shy, and even with the monster Tamron 150-600mm maxed out, they were hard to capture.

Meadowlark

Here are more shots of the same route taken October 2014. 

Last Day in LA, February 18, 2015

Today was my last day in Los Angeles at the end of a one-week visit to see my sister and her family. I’ll gradually add previous days to this blog as I have time, but here are a few shots from Manhattan Beach where I spent a couple of hours before my flight at LAX.

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sea lion and surfer manhattan beach CA
This sea lion was following a group of surfers near the pier. This was no one-off — the lion repeatedly rode the waves and swam back out for more.

manhattan beach ca

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pelican
Pelican in flight

Off to Los Angeles!

Headed off to Los Angeles today to visit family for a week.

I had a car reserved with Budget, and a loop north up the coast and then inland through the hills planned for the afternoon. Unfortunately, there was a huge lineup at Budget and it took over an hour to get into a car.

I was pleased with the vehicle though — while the reservation was for a midsize Chevy, they gave me a bright red metallic Mazda 6.
Mazda 6
Photo from Mazda Canada website

The Mazda was solid, peppy, and sure-footed, so roads like this one in the hills north of LA were exhilarating to drive.  The 184-horse four-banger teamed with a 6-speed auto with available manual mode was fun.

California hills

Unfortunately, halfway through the loop, my phone and its GPS ran out of juice, and for some reason it wouldn’t charge either through the car’s cigarette lighter or USB port. I even stopped and bought a new cable, and that didn’t work either.

Eventually I was, um, unsure of where exactly I was. OK, lost. There, I said it, I was lost.

The Budget folks had asked if I wanted a paper map, and I’d said sure, but there was nothing in the rental-agreement package or glove box. Sigh. I finally stopped and bought a map, and figured my way “home,” a couple hours later than planned, so I missed my nephew’s key basketball game.

I know better than to rely solely on GPS in the bush, and now I know better than to rely solely on GPS in the big city!