Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
This stretch of the E and N Railway line runs just south of Shawnigan Lake and we went up there looking for some white stuff. I know the rest of the continent gets more than they ever want but here on the wet west coast, we sometimes feel feel a certain lack. - Fern
Saturday, November 26, 2011
|For Somewhere Saturday this week here's a trio of shots from my trip to India last spring. All these photos were taken at the seat of government in Delhi, the capital of India, and show where the main government offices and ministries are located. Just to the left of the photo is the Ministry of Defense and shortly after I clicked the shutter both of the uniformed men on the left came towards me and informed me that it was illegal to take photos of the Ministry of Defense. However, they were very nice about it and I was impressed with their politeness. The photo below was taken looking in the opposite direction, towards the India Gate. As you can see, Delhi was quite smoggy that day.|
Friday, November 25, 2011
|This is the Songhees Point Ferry Stop for the little harbour ferries that chug around during the daytime. They stop at various points up and down the Gorge and along the Inner and Outer Harbour as far as West Bay Marina but they don't run after dark or during the winter season.|
I just noticed the interesting and strange black bands across the top of the photo above. They are some kind of technological artifact I suspect. Hmmm....
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
This is poutine. It's a national favorite, which originated in Quebec. How can you go wrong with french fries loaded with fresh cheese curds (tasting somewhat like mozzarella) and a gravy sauce? We had ours at a little place in Esquimalt called La Belle Patate and it really feels like a little slice of Quebec. - Fern
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
As 'Paul from Powell River' commented yesterday, Cairn Park is one of Victoria's tiny jewels, so for you Paul, here is one of the many fabulous views from near the top. The colors this fall have been phenomenal haven't they? - Fern
Monday, November 14, 2011
I began to express my love of this season, and declare it "my favorite" but I believe I did the same thing in the summer and before that in the spring etc. This was taken on a late afternoon walk in Cairn Park. - Fern
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
On this Remembrance Day weekend I've been thinking about Gandhi and the Salt March he led in 1930 and how, thanks to Gandhi, civil disobedience has become an increasingly popular and effective way of effecting social change. The group of statues above depicts Gandhi at the head of the Salt March. I photographed it in Delhi in April of this year.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Today's post brings up to date the list of newly arrived winter residents with these photos of some Bufflehead Ducks (Bucephala albeola). There are still a few more wintering birds that I have not seen yet this year - Goldeneye Ducks for one. The photo above is of a male Bufflehead. Below are a couple of males and a female. Most of these small ducks (and mergansers) are busy these days flirting and bonding. The males in the photo below are engaging in one of the flirting behaviors. They get low in the water and then chug along at high speed for a short distance, creating lots of showy turbulence to impress the coy female. This is coupled with standing up and spreading the wings impressively. While they flirt and bond at this season, I haven't seen any that were consummating their relationships. I'm guessing that they do not actually mate until after they fly to their summer nesting areas in the spring.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Great Blue Herons are year round residents here but I didn't see much of this one during the summer and was happy to see him back on his usual perch high in an evergreen tree above the Sailor's Cove end of the West Bay Walkway. He's there most mornings, alternately preening and snoozing in the sun. I'm guessing that these birds are the most photographed birds in North America because they're big, they're widespread, they often live in or near urban environments, and (photographer's delight) they often stand perfectly still for long periods of time. Over the last few years they've appeared on this blog at least a half dozen times.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Here's another addition to the roll call of winter residents, A small flock of Common Mergansers (Mergus merganser americanus) who paused near the shore to do their morning toilette. Later in the year, during breeding season, the males wear quite a distinctive plumage but at this time of year these birds pretty much all look the same whether they are male, female or juveniles. In January of this year I posted a photo of these mergansers with the male in breeding dress. These are the most common of three types of mergansers we regularly see here. The other two are the Hooded Merganser and (much less often) the Red Breasted Merganser.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
It's been like homecoming week on the West Bay Walkway this last few days. Shoreline residents I haven't seen all summer are suddenly reappearing in their old haunts. Above is a Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) perched high above Sailor's Cove in the rigging of a sailboat.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Friday, November 4, 2011
Here's another common winter resident, the American Wigeon (Anas americana) (or Widgeon if you prefer). We do see them in the summertime also but there are many more here in the winter. They are almost as ubiquitous as Mallards and share many of the same areas and habits.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Every time I think I've seen or photographed everything, something new and interesting pops up. This morning it was this lovely little gull, Bonaparte's Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia). It was swimming near another gull. I suddenly realized that it was much smaller than the other gull and I took another look through the telephoto lens. That distinctive spot behind its eye told me I was looking at something I had not seen before. Then, as though it was aware of my intense scrutiny, it spread its wings and took flight. According to Wikipedia, this gull was named after Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a zoologist and nephew of Napoleon.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Almost lost amidst the blaze of autumn leaves, this Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) pulled my eyes away from the abundant mushrooms near the trail around Matheson Lake. While I am quite familiar with the local Black and Grey Squirrels that live comfortably in our urban areas, I don't remember seeing a Douglas Squirrel before and I am happy to add this one to the roster of local indigenous animals that I have recorded here.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Last week I posted a photo of some mushrooms we saw on our excursion to Matheson Lake Regional Park. We went there for the the express purpose of seeing some mushrooms and we weren't disappointed. We must have seen more than a dozen different varieties, including a little clump of Amanita muscaria, a mushroom I have not seen before though I have long wanted to. Unfortunately the Amanitas were all in sad states of decay and being near the trail's edge were mostly tattered and broken so I will not post any photos of them and encourage you to click their name above and see the many excellent photos of them on Wikipedia. I don't know the name of the cluster of ghostly white mushrooms pictured above. I'm still working on how best to identify mushrooms. One of the identifying features of mushrooms is the spore print but to get one you have to pick the mushroom and I am reluctant to do that so I may continue to appreciate mushrooms anonymously....