Thanks, Anonymous Grandad

Was on Skytrain today coming home from a meeting, and at one station a little girl and her mom were dashing for the doors when a mini-tragedy struck. The girl made it onto the train, and mom didn’t.

The giggling girl turned around, saw mom beyond the closed doors, and burst into tears as the train pulled away.

A grandfatherly looking gentleman immediately stood up, went to the girl and said “It’s OK, I’ll get off at the next station with you, and your mom will catch up.”

I had two thoughts: admiration at the quick response, followed, unfortunately, by “even grandfatherly types….”

So I unobtrusively got off with them. I don’t think the gentleman even noticed that I was following.  There was a Skytrain security guy nearby, and “grandad” walked the girl over, and jumped back on the train.

The next train mom arrived, and I left. Thank you “grandad” and Skytrain guy!

Speaking Twice at SEP 2015 Stewardship Workshop in May

I’ve been asked to take part in two presentations at the SEP 2015 British Columbia stewardship community workshop in May.

One will be on event and documentary photography, with an emphasis on using photos for effective communication and engagement, be it in paper publications or online. The other is a panel on engaging youth in stewardship activities. Should be fun!

SEP 2015 will take place in Port Alberni, BC, May 15-17, 2015.

More information about the workshop will be posted to this website as details firm up.

Stellar’s Jay, Heron in Burnaby BC’s Fraser Foreshore Park

I spent nearly four hours “shooting” birds and scenic views in Fraser Foreshore Park  in Burnaby, BC, this afternoon. I got thoroughly chilled but the shots were worth it. Here are a couple to get this post going.

heron in tree burnaby
In my experience, herons usually appear completely disinterested in people. I did not call attention to myself in any way to get this shot. Walking around the tree a couple of times attempting to get an unobstructed view likely piqued its interest.

Stellar's Jay Burnaby BC
There were several Stellar’s Jays feeding from stumps where people had left seeds. These shy birds can be hard to photograph, but as I stood silently for over an hour in the same spot, they gradually became more comfortable with my presence.

What I just wrote brought me up short. “These shy birds…” Huh?

I have also experienced them being very aggressive in seeking food, when camping in the BC interior, so I’m not sure why the Jekyll and Hyde personality shifts.

Upcoming Nature Walks in Burnaby, BC

There are several nature walks coming up over the next few months in Burnaby, BC, parks. You can sign up here:

http://www.Burnaby.ca/webreg

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 don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to participate on a tour with Greg Ferguson yet, but here’s one of the interesting things he’s working on – The British Columbia Swallow Conservation Project.

burnaby nature walks

Celebrating New Year Japanese Style in Burnaby, BC

I love celebrating New Year Japanese style.

We tape the entire Kohaku Red (Women) vs White (Men) NHK song extravaganza to our PVR, and watch it at our leisure over the course of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. It’s always a bit over the top, a tish maudlin, and with few actually gripping or moving performances, but it’s a fun way to stay somewhat in touch with contemporary Japanese music and culture.

The food is great. Sushi, sashimi, chawan mushi, and a couple of bottles of choice nihonshu (sake) shared with friends.

Ringing the temple bell at midnight at Tozenji in nearby Coquitlam is always fun, too. Out with the old, in with the new.

Returning home at a crazy hour and cooking and eating toshi koshi soba for long life and prosperity.

Here’s Yumi’s Japanese-Canadian fusion tableau in our foyer:

New_Year_Tableau_2014

A Few Fave Wildlife Shots from 2014

Here are a few wildlife shots I like from my photography in 2014. I’ll add more over the year-end as I look for them:

heron flight
This is one of my most-commented-on photos posted to Facebook. A heron shot in flight yesterday at Garry Point Park in Steveston, BC

Coyote Banff AB
Coyote near Tunnel Mountain campground in Banff National Park

Deer Banff
Deer near the town bridge in Banff, Banff National Park

moose jasper
Moose in Jasper National Park

Raven Banff
Raven in Columbia Icefields parking lot

coyote banff
Coyote just off Bow Valley Parkway in Banff National Park near Castle Mountain

sockeye adams river
Male sockeye cruising up the Adams River in BC

red_winged blackbird
Red-winged blackbird, Burnaby Lake Park, Burnaby, BC

Male wood duck
Male wood duck, Burnaby Lake Park, Burnaby, BC

crow burnaby lake

spider luncheon

squirrel burnaby lake

goldfinch elgin surrey
Goldfinch, Elgin Heritage Park, South Surrey, BC

gull with clam
Gull carrying shellfish to drop and break, Birch Bay State Park, WA

heron acrobatics
Aerobatic heron, Birch Bay State Park, WA

Streamkeeping, sustainability, community, business, photography, books, and animals, with occasional forays into social commentary. Text and Photos © Paul Cipywnyk