John Harvey Photo

April 2009Go to Slide Show

It is cherry blossom season again.

Richmond Nature Park

Leaf Rotted To The Veins
It's been an unusually cool spring this year so when even passable weather falls on the weekend you want to make the most of it.  I had a few hours free so I decided to go to a park I've never been to before - The Richmond Nature Park.  This is a square park in the middle of Richmond that shows the boggy terrain Richmond used to look like.  There is large nature house and a number of trails you can walk around in the bog and keep mostly dry feet.

Coopers Hawk
The park is ringed on all sides by major roads (and a railroad track) so there isn't much wildlife getting into this park unless it flies or lives here full time.  There was a Coopers Hawk (or so said the staff - they are almost identical to a sharp-shinned hawk) hanging out in the park while we were there and the "birders" (the people with the big lenses) were quite exicted to see this bird.

Slider Pushing Up On Log
Rufous Hummingbird
The park maintains a number of bird feeders around the nature house so if you are patient there is lots of wildlife to be seen.  I'm not a huge fan of birdfeeder art, but a large number of wildlife photos are taken very close to man introduced food.

Downy Woodpecker On FeederChickadee On Branch

It was a quite a tough walk - exposure was a constant problem and focusing on birds is never easy.  It was hard introduction to a summer of taking photos.


Pink Blooms On Hard Blue SkyCherry Blossoms Over City
For a while there it was looking doubtful there would be any blossoms this year.  Vancouver is a fantastic city for Cherry Blossoms - there are many streets lined with beautiful trees.  This spring was abnormally cold for a long time so the trees were weeks later than usual. 

Bike the Blossoms

Doing something different this year, Helen and I, Sean and Catherine decided to do the "Bike the Blossoms".  There is a prescribed bike route and a number of events happening around the city.  Slow Food Vancouver took a lead role in organizing events.  Helen was feeling a bit under the weather, so she drove the "support vehicle".   Our first destination was Commercial Drive and the a small market showing local farms.

Busy Bike RoutesOrganizing Area On Commercial Drive

Different vendors supported the events by having samples or discounts.  I'm not sure Terra Breads was associated, but they were certainly swarmed with bikers doing the route.  There were enough bikes to slow down traffic on many of the bike routes we biked.

  Terra Breads Bakery

Cherry Tree Lined Path
Our ride finished at Van Dusen Gardens.  Van Dusen has many different trees and they have a few substantial cherry blossom groves.  We went for a walk about looking for photogenic places to be photographed with the trees.

Sean And Catherine With Cherry TreeSean And Catherine With MagnoliasHelen And I Under Cherry Tree
Thanks for organizing and a nice bike ride!

Low Tide at Stanley Park

Ochre Stars Over Rocks
Stanley Park is impressive.  Sure, it has forests, large fresh water bodies and many examples of wildlife asking for handouts.  As if there weren't enough bounty, you only have to walk a few steps off the sea wall to visit the Ocean.  Stanley park has a number of sandy beaches where people like to swim, but my goal was the rocky beaches with swift current found close to lions gate bridge.

Good tide pools aren't easy to find.  The best ones like Botanical Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island are worth the drive out to visit.  That said, finding a "pretty good" beach that is close by can be a treasure.  This is my second scouting trip Stanley Park - my first trip was to beach that turned out to be too sand and turned into battleground between seagulls and seastars.  This beach was much better - plenty of sea stars and the mussels they like to feed on.

Blood Star In KelpBrown And Orange Sun StarLeather Star In Shallow Water
Hiding In Shadows
Low tide must be a rough time of the day for a sea star.  When low tide coincides with noon, it has to be especially rough.  Sea stars are found hiding under every ledge available at the low tide zone.  The much harder purple stars seems to be okay with lying exposed but the sunstars can be watched heading for deeper cover or water.   The purple stars don't seem to mind that the sunstar (which are a predator) are hanging about.

Combining a view of the stars and the bridge is too easy.  When the sun does peak through the contrast can be very high making for difficult images.

Large Group Of Ochre StarsOchre Stars Under RockOrange And Purple Sun Star

Large Group Of Ochre Stars
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Tags: beach, sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Ochre Stars Under Rock
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Tags: beach, bridge, sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Downy Woodpecker On Feeder
Species: Picoides pubescens (Downy Woodpecker)
Tags: bird feeder, Richmond Nature Park
Slider Pushing Up On Log
Species: Trachemys scripta (Common Slider)
Tags: Richmond Nature Park, turtle
Leaf Rotted To The Veins
Tags: plant, Richmond Nature Park
Helen And I Under Cherry Tree
Person: Helen, John
Organizing Area On Commercial Drive
Sean And Catherine With Cherry Tree
Person: Catherine, Sean
Ochre Stars Over Rocks
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Tags: sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Leather Star In Shallow Water
Species: Dermasterias imbricata (Leather Star)
Tags: sea star, tide pool
Cherry Blossoms Over City
Tags: cherry blossoms, city, Vancouver
Sean And Catherine With Magnolias
Person: Catherine, Sean
Busy Bike Routes
Tags: biking, crowd
Blood Star In Kelp
Species: Henricia leviuscula (Blood Star)
Tags: kelp, sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Chickadee On Branch
Species: Poecile atricapillus (Black-capped Chickadee)
Tags: bird, Richmond Nature Park, shallow depth of field
Coopers Hawk
Tags: bird, Richmond Nature Park
Cherry Tree Lined Path
Tags: cherry blossoms, VanDusen
Hiding In Shadows
Tags: sea star, tide pool
Brown And Orange Sun Star
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star), Pycnopodia helianthoides (Sunflower Star)
Tags: sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Pink Blooms On Hard Blue Sky
Tags: cherry blossoms
Rufous Hummingbird
Species: Selasphorus rufus (rufous hummingbird)
Tags: bird feeder, Richmond Nature Park
Orange And Purple Sun Star
Species: Pycnopodia helianthoides (Sunflower Star)
Tags: sea star, Stanley Park, tide pool
Terra Breads Bakery
Tags: biking, panorama
Tags: sea star(13), tide pool(8), Stanley Park(6), Richmond Nature Park(6), cherry blossoms(3), biking(2)
People: Catherine(2), Sean(2), Helen(1), John(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2020 to 2005 > April 2009

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