Monday, January 2, 2017

Cross Orbweaver

I was told by a young biologist that this spider is most likely a European garden spider or Cross Orbweaver ( Araneus diadematus). I found it while birding by the Fraser River estuary in Southern British Columbia close to US border in early September 2016. It was an unusual find for me. Like the web, I found the spider's patterns on its back and its legs beautiful. If you look closely you can see the web has been fixed and reinforced in a couple of spots.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Snow Day in the Woods

After clearing the driveway, I decided to visit the local forest. Geared up with my camera, snow boots and a warm winter jacket I was good to go. Apart from the occasional bird, the woods were quite except for the sound of melting snow falling from the branches and my footsteps. I did hear a Northern Flicker following me, its song echoed in the valley. Amazing that it survives these cold winter months. The snow accented the already spectacular visual landscape and as I got away into the deep woods the more enchanted the forest became. The sound of a nearby stream, my crunchy footsteps and snow dropping from branches got me into a meditative trance, walking and lost in the now.  We are lucky to have such access to connect with nature.

In this forest I have seen black bears, deer, raccoons and coyotes and even heard reports of occasional cougars. Its early December and the bears are hibernating, the cougars typically avoid human contact and the coyotes keep their distance. In any case, it is pretty safe as animal contact is rare and we respectfully co-exist.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fraser & Harrison Eagles Arrive

The salmon have arrived in force with the annual migration of the eagles from Alaska to feast. I spent a day on an boat on the Fraser and Harrison river. It was raining hard, not cold, the boat was covered and carried about a dozen. I leaned over windows and the deck to get choice photos. We saw about 150 eagles, lots of seagulls and herons. What an amazing spectacle of nature.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

This Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus), of the woodpecker family. These woodpeckers are common in the open spaces by mountain forests.

Here it was foraging on the ground for ants and other insects. It eats many berries especially in the fall. This picture was taken close to a stream and dense forest. It has unmistakable ringing calls that come in short bursts.  

Here is a recording on an awesome site: