Nara did an intertidal exploration at
Centennial Beach back in 2016. Nara wasn't feeling well so
Claira and I drove down to Stanley Park to take advantage of beach
walk organized by Nature Vancouver to coincide with a very low
tide. Parking was nutso (we parked about a km away), but we
did get to the event on time.
first find was Kelp Lace Bryozoan - a colony of small animals that
grow on kelp. They make regular patterns on the kelp and
slowly weigh it down, basically causing their own demise. I
had never seen this before so it was an amazing detail to find.
We had a "Sea Star Wasting Disease" die off on this part of the
coast starting around 2013. It was once common to see Purple
Sea Stars all over the rocks, but now they are quite rare. I
was quite surprised we found several hiding on the rocks and tide
There are lots of things to be found looking under the rocks.
Claira liked the snails.
Sunset wasn't going to be until late and it was a cloudless
night so I went out to shoot a timelapse. I've taken a
near Siwash rock before but that night was cloudly and
I wondered if I could do better. I got more of a
sunset but I had trouble with the exposure changing between
Claira Graduates Chinese Class Kindergarten
Our kids are in Chinese class on Saturdays. The roughly follow
a grade system - two years of kindergarten and then a year a year
until the kids graduate grade 12 with roughly Grade 12 level
Chinese. The have a ceremony for the kids that pass
kindergarten, grade 7 and grade 12 and this year was Claira's year!
The hall is quite dark so taking photos is quite a trick.
This is Claira's Kindergarten class. The grade 12 classes are
much smaller, but kids do make it all the way through.
The kids have participated a few "learn to fish" events at various
Lake in 2018 and ). Berry's Bait and Tackle in Richmond
puts on a fishing event where the kids get rods and fish out of a
stocked pool. They still didn't have luck here, but they did have a
Happy Birthday Claira!
This year Claira wanted to have her
birthday at the Play Palace in Kerisdale. We had it a few
days early because the next weekend was a long weekend and hard to
get everyone together.
Overnight at Fort Langley
Last year, Jin visited Fort Langley and
found out that overnight camping in the fort is an option.
Fort Langley has 5 "oTENTic" semi-permanent tents where you bring
a sleeping bag and food for an overnight stay but almost
everything else is provided - BBQ, cutlery, washrooms and
lights. Of course they are popular and you have to book them
the day they become available. We failed to get
reservations, but David was able to get two night and Jin got two
nights. We were kindly invited to come out and join the
BBQ cooked food has some limits, but the
kids love hot dogs. We didn't do too much planning, but
there is a grocery story just outside the fort and you are free to
come and go as you please.
Of course the kids are here for the
campfire and the roasted marshmallows. There is one central
fire pit that all the families share and there is campfire wood on
site you pay for as you use. As soon as the kids saw fire,
they wanted the ingredients for smores.
Kids eating smores makes for a fun time
taking photos. David has an APS format camera that makes his
50mm closer to a 75 and he took some very nice portraits.
I only bring one camera to these kinds of things so I left mine on
a tripod taking pictures of the fire pit during sunset. This
can turn a bit tricky in post (for some reason, my camera does a
poor job auto exposing dark blue skies consistency) but with
enough time you get something acceptable.
The next morning, you are still in the
fort! During the day you rarely hear the trains but at night
you find they are running just outside the walls. I was up
early enough to see sunrise. The kids woke up not that much
The fort has a sample garden - the real
for had a 2000 acre farm outside the walls. The fort also
has a small collection of animals - goats, sheep, rabbits and
chickens. In the morning the and the animals have each other
and not much distraction.
During the day you can buy bags of feed by
donation. After hour that isn't there, but the kids find the
grain that other kids dropped and the goats are happy to eat
Considering it's a walled fort, you wouldn't expect much
wildlife. We did find racoons living under one of the
decks. A Northern Flicker parent and child stopped by one
morning to eat bugs. The crows were pretty much constantly
around looking for unattended food.
The kids played with each other most of the time which gives a
little rest to the parents. Of course the kids get tired out
and the behaviour degrades, but everyone had a good weekend.
When the kids got home they had an afternoon nap - the first in
probably 6 months. Thanks David for sharing your oTentnic
with us and Jin for the idea!