Saturday, August 23, 2014

More Critters

I had planned to link yesterday's post to Saturday's Critters and The Bird D'Pot but will link today's instead.  For anyone interested in a Tupper (seagull) update, perhaps you could check out the post just before this one.  If you are short of time, the good news is that she was doing just fine as of yesterday though I didn't manage to get photos of her.

We rode our bikes to Lost Lagoon yesterday and walked with Black Jack around the pond.  Geese, pigeons, racoons and ducks were the main sightings of the day.  You could say they were of the ordinary variety, but I never seem to feel they are ordinary at all.

 


 We enjoyed the reflections,
 a lone seagull spotted wa-a-ay at the top of this very tall tree by Bill,
 some lovely Wood Ducks,
 and mallards..
 flying wherever they go as the sun falls.  
 There were four young ones, still with stubby wings, lined up close to the shore.  One of them..  there's always one..  declined the opportunity for a portrait shot :)
 Black Jack loves this walk and checked out pretty well every square inch available to her.  Bill was ever patient, giving her as much freedom to explore as he could, though keeping her and the resident critters safe meant reining her in at times.
 Invasive English Ivy has been a problem for a long time, and we were interested to see a new tactic is in the works after failed efforts to control it.  I'm sorry I only took a picture of the sign and not of the "bionetting" but will check this out more carefully on our next walk.
I was pretty happy with this dragon fly shot.  Getting them in the air has been a challenge all summer.  This one hovered long enough for my camera to finally get a focus. 
 Whether people or critters, it is always the story that intrigues me.  Bill spotted these roses..
in a tree hollow.  They seemed to have been there for quite a while.  I would so love to know who put them there and what memory was represented by their presence.
Though I love the bird memes, I hesitate to contribute as our rare sighting are zero to none this summer.  Even the Bush Tits, present in huge numbers, seem to evade my camera..
 most of the time.  Yesterday, they flitted about at the top of the tallest trees.  These two shots were the best I could manage.
I could resist taking photos of this swan yesterday.  (I don't take them normally because I disagree with the cruel practice of  pinioning.) This swan came close to shore and then plunged its face into the water..  quite an impression was made.
 Reflection shapes of their..
graceful necks are always different and often mesmerizing.
There are several beautiful Weeping Willows around the lagoon.  Bill and I always feel something special about their presence.  Yesterday, Bill told me a story about swinging from willow branches when he was a young boy.  I loved the story and with an intense sun coming through the branches, had a failed idea for a little photo shoot.
I wanted Bill to step behind the tree that you see above, and then peer out over the water's edge.  The willow branches would be draped behind him, with sunlight casting gorgeous light over all.  I stepped down to the spot to show Bill where I wanted him to go but my foot hit a soft patch of earth and almost ended up in the lagoon.  Phew!  So glad I tried this first :)  I never did get the imagined shot, but I did discover many spiders during my up close and personal grab onto the tree to avoid falling.  I'll call them Daddy Longlegs, though I'm not sure that's correct.  They were all over the tree.  I managed with my big lens to get one of them sort of in focus here.  
 Bill, bless his dear sweet heart, waited with Black Jack, not only while I stumbled around the edge of the lagoon trying to get the spider shot, but then waited some more while I tried to take this photo of him.  Too dark, change the setting, too light, try again..  and he stood, features frozen, with nary a word of rebuke.  As for Black Jack, she watched with a certain amount of curiosity, but was mostly just content to be in his arms.  I love this shot of the two of them for the memories they evoke and because they make me laugh at myself :) 
 Bill called my attention to the eyes below.  They qualify as a critter sighting, don't you think?
 As the sun dropped behind the fountain, I tried again for artsy shots.  They too, were not quite as I hoped they would be, but here's a sample of my efforts.



I conclude with three cormorants flying determinedly to wherever they spend the night.  My fervent thanks go to Bill and Black Jack for making the day fun, to each one of you for stopping by, and to Eileen and Anni for encouraging us to share our critters.  Have a very happy Saturday!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Our Day from Tupper's (Imagined) Viewpoint

Here's a rundown of our day yesterday, as seen through a combination of my eyes and Tupper's, the latter's mostly imagined.  Mine will be in the usual format.  Tupper's will be centred over the photos.  It is challenge enough, most of the time, to analyze  the thoughts of the humans around us.  If we're paying attention,  those of our beloved pets can be more direct, but to work out the thoughts of wildlife, even ones we have been privileged to recognize on an individual basis, is a feat I do not pretend to have mastered.  All to say, take my interpretations with a healthy grain or three of salt :)

I'll begin and end the post with photographs taken yesterday of Tupper as I'd like to share this post with Saturday's Critters and The Bird Depot when those memes open up to new entries.  Many thanks to Eileen and to Anni. 
   Hello
My new lens (Sigma 17-50 mm) has finally gone back to the factory for repairs.  Our trip to Broadway Camera is the first one I'd have to say wasn't so enjoyable.  Procrastination cost me a chance to exchange the lens for a different one, as would have been my choice.  Neither Bill nor I had realized that had to be done within two weeks.  That said, I'm hoping its repair will end the photography issues for a good while to come.
As long as you get good pictures of me, what are you worried about?
 We soothed our nerves afterwards with lattés and treats at Caffé Cittadella and did a pretty good job on a crossword puzzle too.  Then, it was back on our bikes and around the False Creek seawall towards home.  We stopped to listen to an outdoor performance by Clara Shandler.  The notice below was tacked to the side of the stage.  I was impressed.
I wonder if she feeds seagulls. 
 Black Jack and Bill listened from a short distance away while I picked up a few groceries, deposited them in Bill's basket, and then moved closer to get some photos.
Is he reaching in his pocket to give Black Jack treats?  Hope he saves some for me.
 As I write this post, I'm listening to Clara play Bach, as found at that link given above.  Below, she was doing an upbeat piece.  The gentlemen passing by loved it.  I don't know the name of the drummer with her, but he did an excellent job of supporting her.
I make my own music every day.  Just have to get me a cup. 
 Our next stop was to watch the gentleman in front giving advice to beginner unicyclists.
They had a lot of fun.  With the pedals close to the ground, I realized there is the option of stepping off when things get a bit dicey.
 One person preferred to use the railing to get started, 
 but he was soon able to manage without holding on.
He should just wave his arms more vigorously.
 It occurred to me that those unicyclists are pretty lucky, riding around in a safe space, but with a view available whenever they rest.
Let me tell you about the views.
 After taking photos, I returned to Bill and Black Jack.  I could see a twinkle in Bill's eye.
Hm..  what's he up to this time?
Bill had noticed a police car parked beside the path.  When the policewoman got in the car..
 he asked me to take his picture.  He tried to look serious in the first shot, but was grinning in the way I love best in the second one.
Yeah, he's funny, but does he have treats?  That's the question.
Bill wasn't finished his performance.  I have to wonder if the policewoman was smiling..
 and maybe even waiting for us to finish the shoot (no pun intended) before driving away.
I like a guy with a sense of humour and treats in his pocket.
 When we arrived home, we saw many, many people walking in front of our apartment building and gathered in David Lam Park, across the street.  They were all dressed in white.
Bill went inside but I had to find out what was going on.  Remember Christopher and Maya, the dancers I photographed yesterday?  Well, I can tell you they sure clean up good :)  I'm kicking myself for not taking their photos, but can tell you they looked wonderful in white.  They told me this was an event called Le Diner En Blanc.  
A search will give you more information but the quick description is a "smart mob" event that can take place anywhere in the world, and that involves good behaviour, a certain dress code, and many, many people.  There were, according to news reports, about 3200 people participating yesterday, but thousands more lined up for tickets, only to be disappointed.
As I was taking pictures, I suddenly noticed Tupper on top of a light standard.
If they wanna see good lookin' dressed in white, they don't have to go far. 
 I couldn't believe she had the courage to land near me, as she has shown some shyness with crowds previously.
I was hungry.
Two things happened that upset me as I was giving her her treats.  First, a young girl, about ten years old, tried (and just missed) to kick her.  The child's parents thought that was funny.  Then, a gentleman mean man let his German Shepherd chase her.   The dog almost got her tail.  The man laughed as well.  Tupper managed to make it back up to the lamp standard.
Gotta remember all humans are not the same. 
I was sad and angry but at least relieved to see Tupper safe.  I took a few more photos..
 and thought about the logistics of running such an event.
 Tupper continued to watch..
What will those humans think of next?
 I'll have to wait until it's safe..
 Okay.  Good.  Now to get her to come over here and feed me.
 Tupper found a spot on the other side of the street and I managed to give her quite a nice feed before leaving her to join Bill and Black Jack for supper.  No white-dress code for us, but we enjoyed a relaxed time with Bill, ever the good listener, as disturbed as I was when I told him about Tupper's close calls.
Thanks for the feed.  I'm off now but I'll be back for "Le Diner" leftovers tomorrow. 
 That was the last I saw of Tupper yesterday.  Bill and I went up to the roof of our building after supper to catch this shot of the mob event.  The music was very loud, but bearable, and,
 until we saw this balloon with an unidentifiable source of light float..
 very high into the sky, we were thinking all was going very smoothly.  Bill recognized immediately that it was a fire hazard, and I, as always, worried for wildlife.
 I took a few more shots and then we decided to head outside.
 Two firetrucks had arrived and quite a number of firemen.  They had been summoned..
because of the balloon.  I don't know if they had to take any further action, but can tell you no fires started, and people..
 continued to have a good time dancing and yelling laughing, and generally making the..
 most of their considerable effort to take part in the mob event.  We learned that with the exception of the people at the head tables (volunteers), all others had to bring their own tables, chairs and any other equipment thought to be appropriate.
As we watched people making their way home across Pacific Street, all I could think..
of was the work involved.  It seemed to be worth it to them.  
 I guess the truth is that I'd rather take pictures and observe from the sidelines with Bill.
 It it's people watching that you want,
 this is an event to see for sure.
Some had tried to dress comfortably, but no one, to me, looked really at ease.
 That said, it was an evening out.. 
and a chance for people who like such things..
 to dress up.
The men who attended, and there were many, seemed to have put as much effort in their..
 hat choices as the women.
It was fun watching and even the long night of rather disturbing clean-up and bottle collecting  didn't bother me too much, but I'll be looking forward to seeing Tupper today to make sure she survived the night with no disasters.  (Edited to add that we did see her on Friday and she was just fine.)
My kind of white is as beautiful as anything you saw there, don't you think?
Thanks for reading, everyone, and a very happy Friday to you.  If you'd like to see more critters, come back tomorrow and check out those meme links I gave you.  My thanks, again, to Eileen and Anni!