Saturday, May 25, 2019

Happy Gotcha Day, Maggie!

Happy 2nd Gotcha Day to Maggie!  It's our Adoptaversary - the 2nd anniversary of the day I adopted Maggie from Langley Animal Protection Society.  This past year has seen us move to Parksville (because, you know, those bigger sandy beaches that Maggie loves so much 😁), 

plus she survived dental and foot surgery, 

and went on lots of hikes and a trip to the mainland and another to Saratoga, and now she is doing some private training with Positive Dog to help her be more confident and comfortable around strangers. 

Love you loads, Maggie - I'm so glad I gotcha!  

I'm glad I gotcha too, Mama! 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Convocation of Eagles

Adult and juvenile coming in for landing.
Adult is carrying food in its talons.

This past week, I was mesmerized and thrilled by a convocation of eagles who gathered on our beach at low tide, eating crab, squid, fish, clams, and other tasty tidbits.  Most days, all year round, I see at least two eagles at the beach, and sometimes as many as a dozen, but recently fifty or more gathered within an area roughly three to five acres.  I wandered there for hours, entertained by their antics as they vied for the best place to sit on the top of a rock, soared on the breeze, fought and mated and taught their young.
On sunny days with a cooling breeze, staying indoors is not an option for me (even though I still have many older photo files to work on) - I'm out there, I come home exhilarated, and as quickly as possible edit the day's photos to share with my friends on Facebook.  These are just a few of my favourites (best viewed on a full-sized screen, not your piddly little smartphone). I think Blogger still lets you click on a photo to see it full screen and/or as a slide show. Enjoy!

I don't know what this one had in his mouth - a shucked razor clam, perhaps.
Whatever it was, he enjoyed consuming it.

This one was eating what appeared to be a squid.
The photo of him or her landing was blurry, but showed a bulbous end with dangling tentacles.

They were very active, hopping among the rocks grabbing little tidbits to eat (likely little crabs)
 as well as fighting over whatever fish or crab, squid or shellfish or seastars
they brought back from a flight.

Six in the air in one shot!

Dad, did you stick a feather on my nose?

"Henry, it's a long weekend! I TOLD you it would be busy here!"

Juvenile cleaning out a crab shell

Not sure if they were fighting, mating, or just had an awkward landing.
Moments later they were sitting side by side, staring out to sea.

Just cooling the talons! 

Every white spot is an adult eagle's head...the juveniles are harder to spot as
they blend in with the rocks.  I counted about 30 in this frame, but there were many more in total.

Another frame with six eagles in the air - seven actually, because the handlebar mustache of the eagle on shore on the left is actually a eagle taking flight in front of him.  The photo made me laugh! 

This one is coming in with a fish in his claws.

Synchronized soaring,
in perfect symmetry

This  one reminded me of the beautiful dances of First Nations peoples - in ceremonial robe,
the lower section swaying one way, the arms gracefully curved, the head bent.  Aboriginal culture is so full of  representations of nature, so imbued with meaning from the natural world. 

Despite the fact that the weather was gorgeous and much of this was over a long weekend in a tourist town,  few tourists or locals walked to this rocky end of the beach, or even walked further than a few meters from their cars at the other end.  They'll never know what they missed - these eagles were just a couple of hundred meters from the beach access Maggie and I always use.

Nobody here but us shelties....and a few dozen eagles!

Maggie was with me the first day I spotted the eagles, but she stayed between my feet and on a short leash as I photographed with my little point and shoot.  She was never in danger - and I left her home when I took the larger camera down there in the days that followed, so I could give all my attention to photography.   The eagles were also never in danger - I kept my distance in all these shots.

I live in an amazing place - I am constantly in awe of the nature that surrounds me.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Walking in Wildflowers

My backlog of photos from the herring run and numerous hikes of the past two months remains unsorted and unedited (well, partially sorted and partially edited) and my blog neglected, but the following photos from yesterday's hike have been getting so much attention on facebook that I just have to share them here for the couple of non-facebook blog readers who are still checking in daily in hopes of finding something to view while they sip their morning coffee.

Yesterday's hike was more of a walk among wildflowers, an easy trek at Harewood Plains in south Nanaimo.  We spent about four hours up there, exploring every trail available to find every pocket and meadow of jaw-dropping spring flowers. 

The pink meadows above are mostly a flower called sea blush, but there was lots of other flowers to be found.  Blue camas (not quite at its peak yet) and yellow monkeyflower were plentiful, as was spring gold, popcorn flower, buttercups, shooting stars, and flowering hawthorn bushes.

We didn't find any bog birdfoot trefoil, a rare plant found only in five places in Canada according to the internet, the most profuse of which is at Harewood Plains.  I think we were a couple of weeks early for it, so I may try to go back again before the end of the month. And while we didn't see the bog birdfoot, there was no lack of beauty to enjoy.

And what would a post about flowers be without one last shot of a certain sheltie posing amid the flowers?

Get out there and enjoy the spring.  It won't be long before we are complaining of the heat. (And who knows, maybe then I'll have time to post more often while sitting in a shady office, fan blasting cool air on my face!).