John Harvey Photo

June 2016Go to Slide Show

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Stanley Park, Beaver Lake

Marsh Cinquefoil
Last year I discovered a naturalist tour of Beaver Lake to hear and maybe see a beaver. I discovered it a few days after it happened. Ever since, I've been trying to see a beaver.  My Mom was in town so I could leave early and go for a walk.  The park was really quite so I can understand how you could hear a beaver slap it's tail on the water, but I didn't see or hear a beaver.

Two Wet Mallard Chicks

Great Blue Heron With City Behind
It was a beautiful evening so instead of driving straight home, I stopped at the totem poles for some city view photos.  After my eyes adjusted, I noticed the Great Blue Heron still fishing in the dark.  He flew off shortly after I took the photo.

Grandma Weekend

Helen was working for the weekend so my Mom graciously came over to help take care of the kids.  Nara really likes strawberry jam so we decided to pick some strawberries ourselves to make Jam.  We packed in to the car and drove to Westham Island in Delta.  We went to Emma Lea farms (good reviews online and the fruit I have bought there was good).  Parking was okay, we walked out to the field and started picking.

Nara Picking StrawberriesNara Stealing My Strawberries For Her FlatClaira Working Hard
 
 
Grandma Skimming Jam
Sadly, they don't mark the rows that have been picked so it can be kind of hit and miss.  I noticed one family was only picking large berries (we were after Jam berries so it was a different thing) so maybe marking rows isn't that functional.  They do have a sign asking you not to eat the fruit you are picking.  The kids picked and picked until we filled our buckets and then we went home to make Jam.  Grandma brought some equipment (a favorite pot) and Claira went to bed.  We made 7 jars of jam.



Claira With Ice CreamNara With Ice Cream
After Nara's Chinese class on Sundays we like to do something a little special.  Because Grandma is here, we went with Ice Cream!  I picked a place pretty close to home I had never been to - Tangram.  They made excelent ice cream, but at first I was a little shocked to see they had fewer than a dozen flavors on offer.  They had the only two that my kids eat though - chocolate and vanilla. 

Eating Ice Cream At Tangram
 
While Nara was in Chinese class, we stopped by Richmond Nature Park with Claira.  The place was buzzing with Dragonflies so I thought I would try again in the evening when they were moving a little slower.  I came out after dinner and the activity level was way reduced, but I did manage to find a Four Spotted Skimmer perched on a nice grass stem.  I went for a short walk around the park and found a Garter Snake.  I had my long lens out so I was able to watch it from a distance - if it got too close, I couldn't focus on it!

Four Spotted SkimmerFour Spotted Skimmer On DiagonalGarter Snake Mouth Open
 
 
 

Iona Beach Regional Park


Tree Swallows Mating
Iona Beach Regional Park is my new go to spot - it's pretty quick to get to from Vancouver and it has a wide variety of birds in large numbers - if someone scares away an individual, there is probably another one in the next set of bushes.  Today I walked the opposite of my usual route - I started with the ocean side and walked clockwise around the North Pond.  I've seen online that Purple Martin's have returned and found them quite quickly looking over a possible home.  I don't really get how the tree swallows haven't taken over every possible nesting box - the tree swallows seem to be on to their second brood of the season.
Purple Martins On Nest Box

I don't know why, but the hummingbirds were fighting more than usual.  I saw lots of pairs but sometimes as many as four birds diving and chasing, sometimes below knee height.  Sometimes you get lucky and a bird stops moving quite close to where you are standing.  Today luck favored females - I saw both a female Anna's and a female Rufus hummingbird.

Female Annas On BlackberryFemale Rufous On Blackberry

Speaking of luck, I stumbled upon three Cedar Waxwings flying by.  They paused in a tree long enough for my to raise my camera, but were gone before I got focus on them.  I walked a little further and found two more - and they didn't fly.  After watching them for a while, I found a nest!  This pair was putting a fluffy layer in, taking multiple trips to do so.  This is the closest I have been to Cedar Waxwings.

Cedar WaxwingCedar Waxwing Preening HgCedar Waxwing In Front Of NestCedar Waxwing Building Nest
 
I'm currently hunting for American Goldfinches.  There are two that frequently visit the power lines outside the window where I work.  They are too far away to photograph, but their bright yellow flashes really draw my attention.  I heard them on my walk today, but never got a chance to see one.  I did see a very productive female Red-Wing Blackbird (I wonder where they are getting all the bugs from) and a Common Yellowthroat closer than I have seen them before.


Female Red Winged Blackbird With Baby FoodMale Yellowthroat Singing
A great few hours of walking!

Beaver at Stanley Park

There is clearly a beaver (or two) living in Beaver Lake in Stanley Park.  Their house is prominent (if a little overgrown) in the pond and they work hard to make the lake flood more.  The people maintaining the park are trying hard to prevent more flooding and large trees from being felled.  I've been to Beaver Lake lots of times, but this is the first time I have actually seen a Beaver.

Beaver Swimming RightBeaver Swimming Left

The beaver never got out of the water - he seemed to be swimming in different deeper parts of the lake.

Caitlin and Family Visit

Caitlin has graduated UVic and off to travel.  Congratulations!  Her family flew into town to help celebrate the big day.  When Caitlin first came to the west coast, her family came to visit and we went out to Sandbar on Granville Island.  We decided to repeat the event four years later.
 
East Coast HarveysGroup Shot Under BridgeEveryone From Dinner

Caitlin Cutting Cake

After dinner at Sandbar we walked home to a cake Helen made and decorated.  Caitlin has a Gluten free diet so sometimes it's easier to make deserts than it is to find them.

Helens Decorated Cake

It was great having you on the wet coast Caitlin, don't be a stranger!

Lightning Over English Bay

  Lightning Over English Bay
We don't get much thunder and lighting in Vancouver - the coastal mountains seem to break up storms before they get large enough.  Each year, we might get one or two.  This years storm was early enough in the night that we noticed it so I set my camera out on the deck hoping to record some lightning strikes.  I was in luck - the camera did see a few!

Iona Beach Regional Park

Friday night was nice, but it was forecast to rain all weekend.  After I gave the kids a bath, I drove over to Iona.  I was really hoping to see the Cedar Waxwings that were making a nest the previous weekend. 

Pied Billed Grebe With Chick
We walked straight to the nest, but it was empty - something had moved from the core of the tree to the outer branches.  It wasn't a great place to raise chicks (too close to the walking paths) so hopefully the waxwings just made a nest somewhere a little more secure.  We poked around the pond - I was quite surprised to see a Pied Grebe with a chick - a shocking looking young bird.  It was the first time I had see one.


Cotton Wood And Brown Eyed Susan At Sunset
The weekends bad weather was arriving soon which lead to dramatic skies and a fiery sunset.  I tried my hand a bit of landscape photography - something I have done less of now that I am doing so much birding.

North Arm Of Fraser Tugboat And BargeIona Spit At Sunset

HDR seems to be the name of the game - the contrast is so high, I often needed multiple exposures to get a satisfactory image.

Gymnastics

Nara Upside Down On Bar
Claira and Nara are in Gymnastics on Saturday afternoons.  One class a year they have a photo day.  Because both kids have photo day on the same day at the same time, it's a rush to try and get photos of both of them.  I've learned a few tricks over the years - gymnastics means moving so generally I shoot way faster than the 1/50mm rule would suggest - 1/200th or better is a good idea.  I didn't get much time to shoot Nara (the class ended early) but next semester we have the kids in different time slots so we should be better off.



Claira Jumping On TrampolineClaira On RingsClaira Swinging On Bar

Happy Birthday Claira!

Nara had a birthday at the Kerrisdale community centre and we had a good time - nice space, volunteers and nearby Pizza place to cater.  We were originally going to Claira's birthday at Granville Island community centre but the dates conflicted so we were back at Kerrisdale. 

Nara With Balloon CloseNara With Pink BalloonClaira Strolling With Two BalloonsClaira Running Around

At Kerisdale they have a party room (with a kitchen) and then a small gymnasium with a bouncy castle.  The provide some decorations and kids appropriate furniture.  Nara and Claira both like helium filled balloons so they first thing they do is going ripping around the room with balloons trailing.  The volunteers help setup the room (thanks!) and Helen got out the decorated cupcakes she had made earlier.

Decorated Kids TableHelen With Cupcakes

Nara And Noelle Playing Soccer
The two hour window is basically gym - eat - gym.  Four kids at a time can play in the bouncy castle (a volunteer acted as a gatekeeper and timer) and the rest of the gym is setup with toys for various ages.  Claira spent a lot of time in the bouncy castle with friends while Nara did more of the sports related activities with the older siblings that were there.



Claira In Rocking FishNara About To ShootClaira With Hula Hoop

Claira With Lit Cupcake
We had delivered pizza for lunch (the volunteers help herd the kids to the bathroom to wash their hands).  After lunch (everyone ate some vegetables), cupcakes and more gym time it was sadly time to say goodbye.  Thanks everyone for joining us!

Random Kids On Wall

Granville Island Waterpark

The kids seem to really enjoy a run around the waterpark on a warm day.  It's not to much for me to take both kids down (we can walk) while Helen takes a few hours to herself.  This time I brought my waterproof camera so I could bring the camera into the spray zone.

Claira Dancing In Small SprinklerNara In The RainClaira With Hose
 

  I haven't really figured out how to take a good video of the waterslide experience.  It seems just wrong to do it with a self stick (not that I own one).

Nara With Spray WallNara With Water Crown
 



Group Shot Under Bridge
Person: Caitlin, Claira, Janet, Kyle, Lloyd, Nara
Nara With Water Crown
Person: Nara
Tags: Granville Island, water park
Caitlin Cutting Cake
Person: Caitlin
Great Blue Heron With City Behind
Tags: city, lights, night, Vancouver
Nara Picking Strawberries
Person: Nara
Decorated Kids Table
Beaver Swimming Right
Species: Castor canadensis (American Beaver)
Altitude: 26m (85 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Stanley Park
Two Wet Mallard Chicks
Species: Anas platyrhynchos (Mallard)
Tags: Stanley Park
East Coast Harveys
Person: Caitlin, Kyle
Random Kids On Wall
Claira In Rocking Fish
Person: Claira
Grandma Skimming Jam
Claira Swinging On Bar
Person: Claira
Marsh Cinquefoil
Species: Comarum palustre (marsh cinquefoil)
Altitude: 87m (285 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Stanley Park
Female Rufous On Blackberry
Species: Selasphorus rufus (rufous hummingbird)
Altitude: 6m (19 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Claira With Hose
Person: Claira
Tags: Granville Island, water park
Everyone From Dinner
Person: Caitlin, Claira, Helen, Janet, John, Kyle, Lloyd, Nara
Claira Jumping On Trampoline
Person: Claira
Nara About To Shoot
Person: Nara
Iona Spit At Sunset
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, Iona Beach Regional Park, sunset
Claira On Rings
Person: Claira
Claira Dancing In Small Sprinkler
Person: Claira
Tags: Granville Island, water park
Cotton Wood And Brown Eyed Susan At Sunset
Species: Gaillardia aristata (common gaillardia, brown eyed susan)
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park, sunset
Cedar Waxwing In Front Of Nest
Species: Bombycilla cedrorum (Cedar Waxwing)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Claira Running Around
Person: Claira
Nara With Spray Wall
Person: Nara
Tags: Granville Island, water park
Cedar Waxwing Building Nest
Species: Bombycilla cedrorum (Cedar Waxwing)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park, nest
Helens Decorated Cake
Tags: cake
Four Spotted Skimmer
Species: Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer)
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: insect, Richmond Nature Park
Cedar Waxwing Preening Hg
Species: Bombycilla cedrorum (Cedar Waxwing)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Nara With Pink Balloon
Person: Nara
Tags: balloon
Nara With Ice Cream
Person: Nara
Tags: ice cream
Claira With Lit Cupcake
Person: Claira
Beaver Swimming Left
Species: Castor canadensis (American Beaver)
Altitude: 26m (85 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: pond, Stanley Park
Garter Snake Mouth Open
Species: Thamnophis elegans terrestris (Coast Garter Snake)
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Richmond Nature Park
Claira With Hula Hoop
Person: Claira
Cedar Waxwing
Species: Bombycilla cedrorum (Cedar Waxwing)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
North Arm Of Fraser Tugboat And Barge
Location: Go To...
Nara Upside Down On Bar
Person: Nara
Claira With Ice Cream
Person: Claira
Tags: ice cream
Four Spotted Skimmer On Diagonal
Species: Libellula quadrimaculata (Four-spotted Skimmer)
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: insect, Richmond Nature Park
Nara Stealing My Strawberries For Her Flat
Person: Nara
Nara And Noelle Playing Soccer
Person: Nara, Noelle
Female Annas On Blackberry
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Nara In The Rain
Person: Nara
Tags: Granville Island, water park
Pied Billed Grebe With Chick
Species: Podilymbus podiceps (Pied-billed Grebe)
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bird, Iona Beach Regional Park
Lightning Over English Bay
Tags: night, Vancouver, weather
Nara With Balloon Close
Person: Nara
Female Red Winged Blackbird With Baby Food
Species: Agelaius phoeniceus (Red-winged Blackbird)
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Eating Ice Cream At Tangram
Person: Claira, Janet, Nara
Tags: ice cream
Tree Swallows Mating
Species: Tachycineta bicolor (Tree Swallow)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park, nest box
Claira Strolling With Two Balloons
Person: Claira
Purple Martins On Nest Box
Species: Progne subis (Purple Martin)
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park, nest box
Claira Working Hard
Person: Claira
Male Yellowthroat Singing
Species: Geothlypis trichas (Common Yellowthroat)
Altitude: 6m (19 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park
Helen With Cupcakes
Person: Helen
Tags: birthday cake
Tags: Iona Beach Regional Park(13), water park(6), Granville Island(6), Stanley Park(4), Vancouver(3), night(3)
People: Claira(16), Nara(14), Caitlin(4), Janet(3), Kyle(3), Helen(2)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > June 2016

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