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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gullp!

In a previous post, I mentioned seeing gulls picking up Starfish or Sea Stars and eventually swallowing them...a long painstaking process.  Over a 10-15 minute period I took photos of a  gull accomplishing such a feat.  I've shortened the process in the following photo clips, music added.  During the clips you will see a greyer gull picking up a Starfish attached to a rock.  I'm not sure if the gull had any luck with than one.


In one of my shots, the starfish was poised in such a way that it appeared to me that the gull was smiling.



I have included a youtube video recently taken in Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, by Ron Mulligan, a member of the Comox Valley Camera Club.  His video shows some other predators that are after the spawning salmon...black bears!

Friday, October 26, 2012

More Shenanigans

A couple of days ago I went back to check on the salmon, seals, eagles etc., however due to poor planning on my part, both of my cameras held batteries that died in minutes.  The lighting wasn't very good anyway, and the ground near the trail was slippery...which I know for a fact because I slid and fell forward onto my knees.  Luckily, it was a soft landing and other than a sore muscle in my right leg, I'm none the worse. 

Falling down rekindled in my memory, the picture that Adrian painted as he tried to slog through a muddy field. Strangely enough when reading the latest issue of the Funny Farm, I came across this article with photo.



 
I obviously seem to have too much time on my hands...well, I am resting my leg.  Recent efforts of mine, Legendary Exploits (Adrian), Whodunit (Flighty), and A Fowl Night (Mrs. Nesbitt), indicate that the weather is not conducive to spending much time outdoors.

I did notice this chap before my batteries died: (click on him and he'll move his head ;))


and it's possible that this lot were laughing at my tumble...of all the gall gull!


To finish off, Flighty's birthday was a couple of days ago, and as he prepares to write his novel, I just wanted to send a special birthday wish with sprinkles of good luck!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Salmon Feast



Recent rains have saved the salmon run.  Water levels were low after a long dry summer, but now rivers run and, with them, the Chinook Salmon return to spawn

A few days ago, I spent some time where the river meets the sea.  Undulating swells were caused by the surging river meeting a strong incoming tide.  Fresh and salt water churned together.  A heavy sky of shadow shades with intermittent patches of brightness reflected on the surface.  A powerful scene.

Seals and sea lions prowled the depths; gulls and other water birds gathered in anticipation because the feasting had begun.

Eyes followed my movement along the shoreline.

I watched and listened for the flocks of gulls that would surround a fresh catch ~  Hearing a sea lion growl as it lunged for a salmon, seeing a splash of pink flesh rise above the surface, followed by excited squawking as gulls feverishly attempted to snag a prize piece.


Incoming arrivals ~ a ‘mooter’ of Surf Scoters aka ‘skunk-headed coots.






After a feeding frenzy, a sense of calm returned to the scene - the hungry masses were appeased and satiated...for now.
 



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Whodunit?

Another rainy night here, so after reading Flighty's Thursday post, "Do I or Don't I?" regarding writing a novel, I could feel my mind gearing up for a creative journey.  The phrase he used, soaking in the bath...bubbled up some ideas.

As the night progressed, this is what transpired:

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000053461

http://www.bathrooms365.com/Bathrooms-for-the-Next-JK-Rowling.htm

The ensuing newspaper article, if a disastrous scenerio took place.  Whodunit?




Sunday, October 14, 2012

One thing leads to another...how to spend a rainy day!

Rain, rain and more rain...at last. But it feels like the middle of winter, already!

I did not leave the house today.  Instead I relied on Adrian's recent post regarding Speech Recognition to keep entertained.  Well, one thing led to another.  At first I was just talking gibberish, at least that what it looked like on the page.  I decided to tell a story, and before long a turtle and a squirrel became acquainted.

Once I had finished the first part of the tale, I thought I was done.  However, I began looking for various Photoshop brushes online.  That led me into copying the story onto a virtual notebook, and making a map, and a postcard....and on and on it went ... into the next morning.


What fun!  Thanks Adrian!

It's still raining.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Summer wildlife visitors

Summer started slowly.  Cherries usually begin ripening in early July....but not this year.


Quigley, the squirrel, came by to check out the bird feeders that he had cleared out, in hopes they had been refilled.  He was also busy clambering among the trees and scurrying through the undergrowth collecting acorns and other nutty treats to store away.


The cherry tree in the back yard was substantial nearly twenty years ago when we moved here, so you can imagine how large it is now.  Many of the cherries were far too high to reach, and when the birds and raccoons got up there, we were treated to cherry bombs on the deck.  Splat! It was decided to prune some of the higher branches.  Next year we will finish off the pruning to make it even better.

I was thrilled to see a robin feeding a cherry to its young one.


Cherries starting to ripen on July 24, 2012, nearly three weeks later than usual.


Once the high branches were cut down, we were able to pick bowl fulls of cherries from them!  The branches were piled  to cut into firewood.  Even the little twigs were gathered and bundled together for kindling.  One of my sons, who did most of the pruning, took them all away to use in his woodburning stove and outdoor pizza oven!  However, before the wood was chopped up, we left it in a pile because the deer were so happy to eat fresh leaves served at such a perfect height!


Of course, a little nap after enjoying such a meal is understandable.


The pear and apple trees also offer tantalizing nibbles as this fine fellow demonstrated.

Yum!


More summer photos to follow soon :)
 

Thursday, October 11, 2012