John Harvey Photo

June 2015Go to Slide
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It's amazing how much can happen in a month.


Gardening at Pine Street Community Garden

Nara Running Over Bridge
We have a community garden plot just down the street from our condo.  The kids like it because they can "Garden" for a few minutes (watch Mom water) and then run to the playground where they play without us helicopter parenting. 



Claira Holding Onto ClimberClaira Reaching To Come DownClaira Climbing Internal Ropes


Covering Over Seeds
This week we had some in-fill planting to do - a new row of Bok Choy.  Helen is very patient - dig a trench, put in the seeds, cover with dirt and water.  We harvested some radishes.  The kids got their hands a little dirty.
 


Claira Digging Trench   Nara Planting Bok ChoyNara Picked Radish

Pond Dipping at VanDusen

Last year Nara and I stumbled into a class of kids doing pond dipping on the zigzag bridge at VanDusen.  The class was full and most of the kids were well past five - the minimum age.  I asked if Nara could participate but there just wasn't enough equipment.  We signed up Nara this year for the afternoon session during Claira's nap.  Turns out they had attendance issues this year - the afternoon class was canceled and the morning class was only half full.  The teachers were quite accommodating and it turns out the average age was about 4 years of age.
Nara Doing Dip NetNara And Kids Doing Dip NettingClaira With Her Net

The kids did dig small animals out of the pond.  Nara got a small fish and other kids got damselfly and dragonfly nymphs.  They got a few backswimmers.  The kids did enjoy looking at the animals swim in their tubs.

Damselfly Nymph In TubDragonfly Nymph With Common Backswimmer

Claira didn't last the whole hour and a half - we needed to go for a walk to see the turtles and just generally jump around.  One of the two naturalists managed to grab a turtle that was sunning itself on the rocks (not a very bright escaped pet) so the kids got a "not to close!" look at a turtle.  A duck and it's babies swam by - the kids had a good time.

Turtle Too Big For The Nets


Freighters With Light Point Atkinson Lighthouse
With the long days, I've been trying to do little trips in the evening.  I took a trip out to Jerhico beach to try some long lens work.  I didn't have much luck with anything but freighters.



Last Gymnastics Class

On Saturday mornings Claira has Gymnastics Classes at the St. James Community Square.  There is one class per season where you can bring a camera and you still need to prevent your child from falling.  Claira has a few favorite activities - she likes the trampoline the most.  Claira really developed jumping in the last few months and I suspect the weekly bounce on the trampoline helped a lot.  Claira also really likes the rings and the balance beam.

Claira Playing With RingsClaira On Balance BeamClaira On Bouncing On Pony TrampolineClaira On Bouncing On Trampoline

Claira Getting AFoot Stamp
I'm not sure if it's her overall favorite, but she definitely looks forward to the stamp at the end of the class.  We all sit in a circle and every kid gets a stamp on the foot and a high five before the next class streams in to replace us.


Alice Lake

If you are trying to beat the heat of the city, nothing is better than a glacier fed lake.  Alice lake is just past Squamish - about an hour from our house if the traffic is good.  It's quite a popular destination - if you arrive at noon expect to wait a while to find parking - we arrived early and had no problems.

Nara Blowing Bubbles Toward CameraNara In The LakeClaira In The Shallows

Kids Eating Picnic
Helen had prepared a picnic lunch in advance.  There is something about spilling crumbs everywhere and then shaking the blanket to clean up that kids love.  Dragonflies buzzed us as we ate and a band of Canada geese walked by looking for hand outs.


Claira Sitting On Her Bike
The lake is an excellent attraction, but Alice lake has another attraction - a small scale bike park that is good for new riders.  It doesn't take much space to pack the bikes in the car and the kids had a great time going around the park finding small hills and obstacles to bike over or around.  I like it because it's a loop - the kids don't get farther and farther from you making you run after them.


Claira Grinning On Her BikeNara Riding Into SunlightNara Riding Over Simulated Bridge

Amazingly, we got in swimming, a picnic lunch and bike riding with enough time to get home for a nap.  Great use of a morning.

City at Sunset

Great Blue Heron Off The Dock
Bob at work organizes the photo club and sometimes we have photo club outings where Bob shows us how to improve our technique.  I was lucky enough to participate in Bob's city at Sunset shoot on a Friday night.  We started at the Conference Center downtown - it's really touristy but it does use the low angle light fairly well.  There was a Great Blue Heron just off shore from the building that took a leap into flight.  Both Bob and I were there to shoot it - I got a blurry mess and Bob got a sharp image.


Conference Centre Pano
Chinatown Plaza
Next we went down to Chinatown to get a panorama of the city from the top of a parkade.  At this time of the day the elevator is locked down so we had to walk up the stairs.  The top floor is leased out to someone (like a car lot) and is locked off so you can only get to the second highest floor.  From the second highest floor you can still get some nice views.  I just wish there wasn't a squeeler trying to keep people from sleeping in the stairs.



Columbia And Keefer Pano
 
We finished at the Inukshuk at English Bay (next to the sea wall).  It wasn't really a city shoot (no city in the background), but the Inukshuk makes for a nice silhouette to use the dying light from the sunset.

Inukshuk At DuskInukshuk Lit At Twilight
 
Thanks Bob!

Happy Birthday Claira

Claira Walking In Trout Lake
Claira's third Birthday happens to fall on a weekend my parents couldn't come over to visit so we decided to move it up a weekend.  Claira knew her birthday was coming - we kept telling her "Happy Birthday - no more soother!" and she seemed to get it.  On the Saturday she started asking for pizza - not her favorite food, but we went out for a pizza lunch none the less.  Then we figured it out - Nara had pizza on her birthday two months back and Claira thought after pizza comes cake (the real point of a birthday) so if she pushed pizza, she would get cake too.  We hadn't told her she was having cake after dinner.

Claira needed a little treat (ice cream) to go down for her nap.  We did got to dinner and Claira did get cake for her birthday.

Claira With BalloonsHelen Brining Out Clairas Cake

A combination of poor lighting and bad planning makes this probably the least photographed childs birthday ever.  My bad.

Dragonfly Day (Our Anniversary)

My parents were over, our wedding Anniversary was this weekend so my parents offered to take the kids for a few hours so we could enjoy ourselves.  We decided to do a walk at VanDusen followed by lunch in Chinatown and then Helen went for a massage at Tinseltown.  I don't know if it's the weather or what, but there are a ton of flying insects in the air right now.

Photographing Butterfly FailEight Spotted SkimmerFour Spotted Skimmer On End Of Reed
 
Turns out VanDusen has lots of dragonflies but they seem to be the same two species.  We went downtown to the public side of the Dr. Sun Yat Sen garden and I was surprised to find a Cardinal Meadowhawk flying around the pond.  This is a very colourful dragonfly and it kept returning to the same perch making it easy to take photos of.

Koy At The Dr Sun Yat Sen GardenMeadow Hawk BackLooking Meadowhawk In The Eyes

Visit to Courtenay

Claira See Birthday CakeClaira Eating Cake

We had originally planned to go to Courtenay for the May Long Weekend but Helen was too sick to go so we had to delay.  By the time everyone was well and we could get a day off, a month had gone by!  My grandparents are always gracious hosts and agreed to have us over on short notice.  My Mom was also in town for a day so Claira even got second birthday cake!

Claira And Nara With Whipping Cream

Grandma Reading The Day The Crayons QuitGreat Grandma And Claira With BookGreat Grandpa Looking At Clairas Drawings
 
Chipping Sparrow
It was actually a trip to Courtenay that got me thinking of buying a big lens.  There are so many wildlife opportunities in the Comox Valley, I was getting frustrated at not being able to take photos properly.  I figure trips to the Comox valley can serve as practice for more exotic destinations to iron the bugs out of process.  This time I got up early and went for a drive to see some hot spots.  Sure enough I had bugs - I had the lens in the wrong VR mode and I didn't bring bug spray.  That said, I still saw a bird species I hadn't seen before and I had a great morning walking in the morning light.


When we last visited at Christmas we took my Grandfather up to the alpine lodge at Mount Washington.  It's wheelchair accessible and he had a good time having team upstairs while we alternated going out to get cold and coming in to warm up.  I did some research and it turns out the meadow trail is wheelchair accessible as well.  This is a first for me - I've never taken someone hiking in a wheelchair!

 
Took My Grandfather HikingNara With Sitka Valerian

Fleabane
One of the reasons I like alpine hiking so much is the large number of plant species that are in bloom later in the year.  Many of these species are actually native (unlike what you find in the city) and they are often quite unique - adapted for the short summers in the alpine.



Pacific Fritillary On Sitka ValerianCanadian BurnetSlender Bog OrchidWhite Bog Orchid Next To Boardwalk
 
We had a good time, but not a long time.  I've learned the hard way - it's better to have a good short day than to have a bad long day.  That and we had picnic plans back at the Ocean.

Model A Roadster PickupNara Throwing TossClaira With Her Set

Nara And Claira Playing Toss Game
My Aunt David and Jennifer kindly put together a dinner for my family.  It's been hot in the Comox Valley so a picnic at the beach really was welcome.  New to me, they arrived in their 1930's Model A Ford - a small sized truck that has been in David's family for years.  It certainly turns heads - people came over to complement the vehicle.  It's not a big truck, but it had lots of space to pack a picnic.


Thanks everyone for your generous hospitality!



Nara In The Lake
Person: Nara
Nara Planting Bok Choy
Nara Riding Into Sunlight
Person: Nara
Altitude: 205m (672 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking
Canadian Burnet
Species: Sanguisorba canadensis (Canadian burnet)
Tags: Mount Washington
Claira Eating Cake
Person: Claira
Helen Brining Out Clairas Cake
Person: Claira
Tags: birthday cake
Nara And Kids Doing Dip Netting
Inukshuk At Dusk
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Throwing Toss
Person: Nara
Eight Spotted Skimmer
Species: Libellula forensis (Eight-spotted Skimmer)
Tags: insect, VanDusen
Claira Getting AFoot Stamp
Dragonfly Nymph With Common Backswimmer
Species: Notonecta undulata (grousewinged backswimmer, common backswimmer)
Claira On Bouncing On Trampoline
Person: Claira
Tags: gymnastics
Nara Picked Radish
Freighters With Light Point Atkinson Lighthouse
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: freighter, lighthouse, sunset
Nara Riding Over Simulated Bridge
Person: Nara
Altitude: 197m (646 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: biking
Nara Blowing Bubbles Toward Camera
Person: Nara
Tags: bubble
Pacific Fritillary On Sitka Valerian
Species: Valeriana sitchensis (Sitka valerian), Boloria epithore (Pacific Fritillary)
Tags: insect, Mount Washington
Inukshuk Lit At Twilight
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Grandma Reading The Day The Crayons Quit
Person: Janet, Nara
Claira Holding Onto Climber
Person: Claira
Tags: playground
Nara And Claira Playing Toss Game
Looking Meadowhawk In The Eyes
Species: Sympetrum illotum (Cardinal Meadowhawk)
Tags: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, insect
Chipping Sparrow
Species: Spizella passerina (Chipping Sparrow)
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira And Nara With Whipping Cream
Person: Claira, Nara
Claira In The Shallows
Person: Claira
Altitude: 191m (626 feet)
Location: Go To...
Four Spotted Skimmer On End Of Reed
Species: Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer)
Tags: insect, VanDusen
Photographing Butterfly Fail
Claira Grinning On Her Bike
Person: Claira
Altitude: 203m (666 feet)
Location: Go To...
Great Grandma And Claira With Book
Claira Reaching To Come Down
Person: Claira
Tags: climbing, playground
Columbia And Keefer Pano
Altitude: 16m (52 feet)
Location: Go To...
Koy At The Dr Sun Yat Sen Garden
Tags: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Koy
Meadow Hawk Back
Species: Sympetrum illotum (Cardinal Meadowhawk)
Tags: Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, insect
Claira On Bouncing On Pony Trampoline
Person: Claira
Tags: gymnastics
Nara Running Over Bridge
Person: Nara
Tags: bridge, playground
Turtle Too Big For The Nets
Claira With Her Set
Person: Claira
White Bog Orchid Next To Boardwalk
Species: Platanthera dilatata (white bogorchid)
Tags: Mount Washington
Great Grandpa Looking At Clairas Drawings
Person: Claira, Philip
Claira See Birthday Cake
Person: Claira
Damselfly Nymph In Tub
Slender Bog Orchid
Species: Platanthera stricta (slender bog orchid)
Tags: Mount Washington
Took My Grandfather Hiking
Person: Nara, Philip
Tags: hiking, meadow, Mount Washington
Nara With Sitka Valerian
Person: Nara
Tags: Mount Washington
Claira Digging Trench
Person: Claira
Tags: garden, tool
Model A Roadster Pickup
Nara Doing Dip Net
Person: Nara
Claira Playing With Rings
Person: Claira
Tags: gymnastics
Claira Walking In Trout Lake
Person: Claira
Tags: lake
Great Blue Heron Off The Dock
Claira On Balance Beam
Person: Claira
Tags: gymnastics
Fleabane
Tags: Mount Washington
Claira With Balloons
Person: Claira
Tags: balloon
Conference Centre Pano
Altitude: 17m (55 feet)
Location: Go To...
Covering Over Seeds
Claira Climbing Internal Ropes
Person: Claira
Tags: climbing, playground
Claira Sitting On Her Bike
Person: Claira
Altitude: 207m (679 feet)
Location: Go To...
Chinatown Plaza
Altitude: 15m (49 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira With Her Net
Person: Claira
Kids Eating Picnic
Person: Nara, Claira
Tags: Mount Washington(7), insect(5), playground(4), gymnastics(4), Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden(3), biking(2)
People: Claira(22), Nara(12), Philip(2), Janet(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2013 to 2005 > June 2015

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Last Modified Saturday, July 11th, 2015 at 22:45:37 Edit
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