Good News

The New Democratic Party followed through on one of its campaign promises and announced that they are banning grizzly bear trophy hunting in British Columbia, which will take effect on November 30, 2017. Individuals will still be able to hunt grizzly bears for their meat and environmental groups are concerned about this loophole.

I recently spent a week photographing grizzly bears. They are beautiful animals and it was a humbling experience. There is a strong argument for stopping the hunt:

1.) Bears are vulnerable – nine of the province’s fifty seven grizzly population units are listed as threatened.
2.) Sound science says the hunt can’t be maintained – more bears are being killed than government quotas allow.
3.) Living Bears are worth more – bear viewing companies directly employed an estimated 510 people in 2012, in contrast to hunting guide outfitters, who created a mere 11 jobs.
4.) Grizzly bears are an integral part of the ecosystems where they live
5.) The vast majority support a ban – eighty seven percent of British Columbians want the trophy hunt banned in the Great Bear Rainforest. Eighty per cent of residents want the ban extended to the entire province.

You can see my grizzly bear images and purchase prints here.

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Summer Days

The Johnstone Strait area gets over 150 cm’s of annual rainfall. It creates a very lush and green environment. This photo was taken in the village of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island which is the home of the U’mista Cultural Centre and museum. It has an amazing collection of First Nations potlatch artifacts. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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The Great Blue Heron

The most commonly employed hunting technique of the Great Blue Heron is wading slowly with its long legs through shallow water and quickly spearing fish with its long, sharp bill. It’s the largest North American heron. As I was watching this heron, I noticed it was very patient and consistently catching small fish. Click on an image to see a larger version.

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Osprey ( Pandion Haliaetus )

I spent a few evenings taking images of an adult osprey as it was feeding on fish. It would fly just off the shore as the tide was coming in, looking down for fish in the water. The pattern it was flying reminded me of the circuit planes fly around an airport. The osprey would fly downwind over the ocean and then turn upwind as it hunted for fish. By flying into the wind it could fly slower and hover more easily before diving into the water feet-first to grasp its prey. When it caught a fish and began to climb it also shook itself like a dog when it steps out of water. The osprey is the only bird of prey that feeds exclusively on live fish. After catching a fish it carries it headfirst to make it as aerodynamic as possible. I feel truly blessed that this beautiful raptor let me spend some time with it. Click on an image to see a larger version.

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The Grand Old Lady of Granville

Today I spent some time exploring the Orpheum theatre with my camera. It was built from 1926 to 1927 and is a National Historic Site. At the time of construction storefront property on Granville street was expensive. Joseph Langer found a way around this by purchasing a small piece of property for the entrance and then built the theatre itself on the next street over, Seymour street, where land was more affordable.

The Orpheum Theatre was designed by the Scottish architect B. Marcus Priteca, who designed nearly two hundred theatres from San Diego to Alaska. Priteca was a master at economically creating the illusion of opulence with plasterwork on reinforced concrete. 

The design contains a number of different architectural influences – the vaulted ceilings of the main concourse and foyer and the terra cotta undersides of the marquees and the travertine walls and pillars are Italian influenced, there are exotic ceiling motifs, crests of British heraldry, chandeliers of Czechoslovakian crystal, Moorish-inspired organ screens, and Baroque ceiling and dome covers. 

When I walk around the Orpheum, the combination of the red carpet and the eerie light cast from the chandeliers, reminds me of Stanley Kubrick’s movie The Shining. To scroll through the gallery of images click on the first image and then use the left and right keys on your keyboard.

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Telescope Time

Last night the sky was clear and I was fortunate to spend some time looking through a large telescope. When viewing the moon I could clearly see craters caused by asteroids and meteorites colliding with the lunar surface. In one crater there were two mountains inside of it and sunlight was shining on its peaks. Later in the evening Jupiter rose and four of its moons were visible. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Decompress and Unplug

Three beautiful days of sunshine in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. I really enjoyed hiking through the rainforest, walking on the beach and listening to the relaxing sound of the surf. Ate my fill of fish tacos and salmon burgers. To see the images click on the first image and then use the right and left keys to scroll through the gallery.

Posted in British Columbia, Hiking, Spring, West Coast | Leave a comment

The Mink

Early this morning I was exploring a wetlands area with my camera and I spotted a mink hiding in the grasses and rocks along the edge of the marsh. The mink ( Neovison vision ) has chocolate brown fur which is dense and lustrous and serves as insulation even in water. The mink doesn’t have webbed feet, but it swims and dives well. They eat small fish, crustaceans, amphibians and birds. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Relax, This Isn’t The Mainland

The way of life on Vancouver Island is a little bit more laid-back then the hectic pace of the lower mainland. I just returned from a few days on the island and the weather in March is generally wet, overcast and cold, but I was fortunate to see some sunshine. It’s a beautiful place and you can purchase a home, with an ocean view for a reasonable price. In a few months campers and fisherman will be using the campgrounds and marinas, but right now this area is very quiet. In the city, when you sleep at night you often hear cars, taxis, trucks, people, dogs, helicopters and planes. There is also a considerable amount of light pollution from other buildings. When I went to sleep on Vancouver Island it was pitch-black and you couldn’t hear another sound. I’ve never slept so peacefully…

To see the photos click on the first image and then use the left and right arrow keys to scroll through the gallery. Prints are available on my website.

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Along the Riverbank

Exploring the Squamish estuary I came across these poplar trees along the riverbank. I like the contrast between the poplar trees in Winter and the conifers in the background. Click on the image to see a larger version.

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