Saturday, May 31, 2014
Canada Geese goslings earlier this month, but can you ever have enough baby geese? And this group is a little bit special since they must have hatched right along the Westsong Walkway somewhere. They were swimming just offshore when I was walking there yesterday morning and these babies are too young to be flying yet. I say this family group is "special" because while many different kinds of birds hang out along the urban shoreline, most go elsewhere to nest and raise their young.
Friday, May 30, 2014
|Great Blue Herons are quite common in North America and I see them often on my morning walk. I like them because they are large, not too shy, and spend a lot of time standing very still - the photographer's ideal bird. However, even after a successful morning's fishing they always wear an expression of deep gloom, despair and desolation. Mallard Ducks, on the other hand, always seem to be smiling and calm. This has set me to thinking about how we interpret the expressions on the faces of birds and about human faces also. I have a particular empathy with the Great Blue Herons pictured here because I am often surprised by the expression on the face that looks back at me from the mirror every morning. With age my face seems to have settled into an expression of gloomy bad temper, a mood that I rarely feel. Yet I suspect that people seeing me often assume I am angry and dissatisfied when I am actually quite content, even merry from time to time. I am hoping that this is the case with Great Blue Herons.|
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Swiftsure website or the Wikipedia article on the race.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014
Sunday, May 25, 2014
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Victoria Hippo Tours seem perfectly appropriate for a city that has so much to offer both on land and on the water.
Friday, May 23, 2014
Salal (Gaultheria shallon). There's something I find particularly attractive about these hairy little blossoms. The berries that come later are edible, as are the leaves, and these were a dietary staple for First Nations People on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Nowadays Salal is more likely to be harvested for its glossy green leaves since they are popular with florists.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) that, like their relatives the Purple Martins, spend the winters in Central and South America and return here each year to breed and raise their young. They can be difficult to photograph because they catch their insect meals on the wing, swooping and diving with wonderful grace and speed. Thus I was happy to see this couple digging in the mud on the shores of a shallow puddle. They are collecting mud in order to build their nest. I found it interesting to learn that, when the young ones finally hatch, they will be fed not only by their parents, but by their brothers and sisters from the previous year's brood. I suspect this is a good way to learn the parenting skills required.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
|Above, adherents of Falun Gong meditate in the sunshine while the Sultan High School Marching Band entertains listeners from the steps of the BC Legislative Assembly Building. This took place on Friday but there was more of the same on Saturday.|
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Monday, May 19, 2014
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Purple Martin (Progne subis) pictured above probably returned two or three weeks ago from South America where he spent the winter. In the autumn he'll gather with others to make the long flight south again.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Victoria Golf Club. The course lies on both sides of Beach Drive and is bounded on the east by the rocky coastline and some pretty awesome views.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys).
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Monday, May 12, 2014
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Saturday, May 10, 2014
Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) appeared to be taking a break from it the other morning. It's not called "Savannah" because it lives in the savannah or grassland, but because the species was first recorded in Savannah, Georgia.
Friday, May 9, 2014
Bald Eagles. I saw one of these swooping by quite low but then he disappeared to the other side of the summit. Later I wandered over to that side of the mountain and there he was, peacefully perched overlooking the Saanich Peninsula. He sat quietly for nearly a half an hour as I crept closer.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Norwegian Pearl. The mountains in the background are on the Olympic Peninsula in the USA.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Western Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta bellii). But when I was out there last week all the logs were vacant except for this one. Why they all decided to pile up on this one log is a mystery to me. However, these animals have been around for about 15 million years so I guess they know what they're doing.
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Monday, May 5, 2014
Sunday, May 4, 2014
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Townsend's Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi). Several of these were perching and flying around the Garry Oaks at the top of Highrock Park Thursday morning. When seen from the back it's easy to mistake these for Robins because they are about the same size. But when I saw one from the front and realized it was missing that red breast I knew I was seeing something different. According to my field guides these birds prefer higher altitudes so I am guessing that those I saw were birds of passage on their way to higher ground for the summer. Townsend's Solitaire was named to honor the memory of ornithologist John Kirk Townsend.
Friday, May 2, 2014
Floating Boat Show. Buskers were busking, crafts people were crafting and artists were arting and though it's only early May it seems like summer has begun. (Okay, someone has to ask why it's called the "Floating" Boat Show. Is this to differentiate it from a show of non-floating boats?)
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Chocolate Lily (Fritillaria affinis). This one was photographed in Beacon Hill Park. It looks good enough to eat.