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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Photo Scavenger Hunt

1. A is for Apricot blossom

Yes, there is an apricot tree in the back garden, along with pear, apple and cherry trees.  The apricot tree blossoms first, very early in Spring.  It is still quite chilly at that time, and not too sure if any bees are active enough to check it out...hence I have only ever seen one apricot on the tree years ago - and it disappeared before I could pick it! 


2.  11 a.m.

I took this photo at 10:56 a.m. at a Market, the colourful displays catching my eye.


3. Smooth

Mr. Easter bunny was dressed in style and seemed the epitome of a smooth operator, although the ride might be anything but ;)


4.  This photo shows a size and scale comparison ~ Olympic mountains, a bulk carrier (Energy Triton) and the Victoria Clipper, a passenger ferry heading from Victoria to Seattle.  This viewpoint offered me quite a few photo ops for this scavenger hunt!

5. Tile ~ I see from the tile that "The Witch is In..."  Dare I venture through the door, or should I just peek in the window and hope I'm not noticed...


6.  Logo ~ the Oiler logo represents the Edmonton Oilers, a NHL (National Hockey League) team.


7.  Scrap
As I drove down the road, I spotted this whimsical fountain created from many components ~


  
8.  Match
Two fellows chatting ... when they stood at a certain angle, their height and heads matched up...


 Peek-a-boo

 9.  Path
Here's a little path I was wandering along, camera in hand.


10.  Layers

An example of the unsettled skies showing layers of clouds we have experienced this month.




11. Carry

I was amazed to see this 15,000 lb weight being carried by a large crane way above my head ...yikes!


12.  Truck

This was a happy find :)


Thanks again to greenthumb for hosting this photo scavenger hunt ~ for other entries, please click here.

Addendum:

The first category in the The March Scavenger Hunt was ...M is for... and I was hoping for a better photo of a mountain.  During April, I took this photo which would have just fit the bill with the 'M' included... 



Thursday, April 24, 2014

Out and about...

I had occasion to visit Victoria again recently, fortunately on a clear sunny day ~  Mt. Baker located in Washington State, USA lent a surreal background to the Oak Bay Marina.


At home, two hummingbirds were noticed at the front feeder, and apparently have both shared the nectar, however I didn't catch a photo.  I decided to add another feeder to the back, and hung it from the flowering cherry tree... can you spot the tiny hummingbird?


I love seeing the trees come into blossom ~ just so beautifully delicate.



Out and about, there are other signs of spring ~ being protected by their guardian donkey.


Other birds and beasts ~

A Bald headed Eagle amongst the new spring leaves ~

Not too sure what he has his eyes on here, but at least it's not me :)

Bison ~


Also, I had The Goldfinch on order at the library, and it arrived a few days ago with a fourteen day time limit to read the tome of 771 pages...so I got right at it and went on a reading marathon....it has now been returned for the next reader!
I have also been collecting photos for the April scavenger hunt which is due at the end of this month.

We've been having a typical spring of unsettled weather...but it is a lovely time of the year.  I have been reading blogs, but not commenting recently ~ my apologies!

I noticed a creature while out and about that reminded me of someone ~


and also after reading that unbelievably busy Snowbird's post today, I couldn't help but include a restful photo using her garden as a backdrop and her words as the incentive (ohh...and her face ;)).


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sunny Spring!

The weather is brightening up and is expected to reach 17C this weekend ~ that's a perk!  By 10:00 a.m. today I was out with my camera, starting where the river meets the sea.  This appears to be a  White-crowned Sparrow ~ its sweet song greeted me. A wispy white feather or two were fluttering in the breeze.


Underfoot were tiny purple flowers mixed in with the various grasses.


Overhead, ducks!


I could hear sea lions barking, so I headed in their direction....these ones seem to have found a sandbar and were basking and lolling about. The tide was out and I could have walked much closer, but the rocks were ankle-twistable and after one slip, I decided to be cautious and stayed put.


I then drove farther up-island and had another walk along a path edging a conservancy area.  Because the tide was so far out, there were mudflats without much sign of visible life, so I concentrated on getting photos of the scenery ~ hence this panorama taken towards the inland area.


Of course, I took many more photos but these were the few I chose to share my day :)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

No foolin'!

April 1 was a magnificent day!  The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the mountain top was brilliant, too!

So where did I go?  ~ where the river meets the sea, of course.
The tide was far out enabling me to venture much farther than usual.  The Trumpeter Swans have flown off to Alaska.  A large variety of ducks and gulls congregated in the water and in the air.




The extended shoreline offered me an opportunity for different bird sightings, although most of them were so well camouflaged, except for this Violet-Green Sparrow ~ it was perched just perfectly!


A little sparrow ~

But the real eye opener of the day was the Killdeer that I spotted on my way down towards the water's edge ~



On my way back up to the shore, I could hear it calling out and a flash of orange wings caught my eye ~ a tiny glimpse of orange under his back feathers here ~

and then full-fledged orange as it displayed a lot of noise and flapping of wings, like it was in trouble.


After the initial surprise, I realized it was feigning injury to protect either its nest or young.  I did manage to get a video of this behaviour, but after walking around so long and not having a tripod, the video is unsteady.  I'll try to see if I can make it usable sometime.  There are examples of this 'broken wing' behaviour on youtube.

To end this post, I'd like to link up to a fantastic live cam of a hummingbird nest in Victoria, BC operated by Eric Pittman.  It is fascinating to see these two miniature babies being fed through the long beak of mother hummingbird!  Also, Eric Pittman's site is called Hummingbirds Up Close.

The following information was found on the Hancock Wildlife site.
Eric Pittman has been recording several families of Anna’s Hummingbirds in Victoria, British Columbia, including Tweet and Fluff. Their nesting season is from December to July. During that time period the female will lay two eggs almost every six weeks. In fact, when one batch of chicks gets too large for her to sit on, she will make another nest and lay another two eggs and she sits on those while still feeding her nearly fledged chicks! Female hummingbirds do not let male hummingbirds near a nest because the male hummingbird's bright colors might alert predators in the nest area..male hummingbirds will also attack a female hummingbird that enters his territory that he has not mated with...after the female mates with him, she will be allowed to roam his territory without too much worry...
Thanks to Eric Pittman for an interesting look into the lives of one of our smaller birds!
Thanks for sharing a wonderful day, and hope you enjoy the hummingbird cam.