Posts Tagged With: nature

A grizzly day…

I was very fortunate yesterday.  Steve Williamson, photographer extraordinaire, took me on one of his photo tours, a jaunt from Telegraph Cove to the headwaters of Knight Inlet.  We were on a boat handled by Tide Rip Tours and it took about two hours to cross to the mainland.  Almost immediately, we saw a few juveniles followed by a mother with two small cubs followed by three siblings about two years old!  Most of the people on the tour were avid photographers so they were getting the good shots.  I took these below with my little Nikon and you can see that we must have been close as it doesn’t have a huge zoom!  I reckon we were within about 30 yards of most of the bears.  It was a great day and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing these magnificent animals enjoying some early summer feeding in their natural habitat.

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Categories: General interest, Trips & Events | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Tsunami – world videos II (unbelieveable)

I couldn’t sleep tonight so I spent some time surfing a few non-North American news sites for fresh video of the situation in Japan.  I must admit there is a morbid curiosity – rarely do we see such devastation captured in HD video.  The tsunami and subsequent surge of water still boggles my mind.  It’s interesting to see that many non-American media sources seem interested in telling the story as best they can as it unfolds whereas after the cursory ‘lead story’ byline on CBS, Fox et al, the talking heads seem eager to return to the latest Charlie Sheen antics – a sad but perhaps telling commentary on our state of affairs.

The videos below are stunning and while I am obviously concerned for those in the flood zone, I can’t help but be amazed by the awesome power of the ocean.  Sources: Russia Today, NHK, ANN, CNN Japan, ITN.  To share these videos, click whatever share button you want at the bottom of the post.

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It’s been a long time since I last ventured into the beautiful Strathcona Park, ages since visiting Buttle Lake.  We haven’t made the best use of such a magnificent resource, only a short drive away from us; we’ll try to do so more in the future!  We left Comox Thursday lunchtime and drove to the launch site, just past Strathcona Park Lodge and the turn-off to Gold River.  We packed the kayak and within half an hour we were paddling down the lake, basically in a southerly direction.  The sun beat down on us, the whisper of wind and drops of water from our rhythmically dipping paddles just enough to keep us cool.  The lake was dead-flat calm making for speedy paddling.

It took as about an hour, with one brief reconnaissance stop, to reach our first stop, Titus Site.  It was at the base of a mountain, tucked into a twisted stand of cedars and oregon grape and appeared to us to be shadow bound for most of the day so we continued on to stop two, Wolf Creek.  This was a nice looking campsite, on the edge of a glacier fed stream but for some reason it spooked Josée, the woods surrounding the campsite reminding her of the Blair Witch Movie.  We moved on.

We paddled for nearly two more hours, enjoying the scenery, drifting alongside green forest and towering granite hills.  The occasional stream rumbled down from the heights, glacier-fed and cold as ice.  We were looking for Philips Creek marine campsite but either didn’t paddle far enough or paddled by it; several of the sites are hidden in the dark of the forest, difficult to find with even a conscious effort.  Eventually, as we were in the gloaming, we decided to bunk down on a small spit of gravel.  Unpacked, supper eaten and tent pitched, we enjoyed the quiet of the late evening, the random call of a loon, echoing in the hillsides and across the still water.  It was a beautiful night.

Josée was up early the next day and located a better campsite for us, a tiny island, perhaps half an acre in size.  It turns out (after reviewing google maps post-trip) that this island was only a kilometre or so away from Philips Creek but it was a great site so there was no point in moving.  We enjoyed the day, reading, napping, and reflecting.  Perhaps the best thing about being in the great outdoors is the quiet and feeling of ‘big-space’.  It was great to just sit and be; no thoughts, no phones or computers, no chatter, no work.  Just be.  As the Italians say: La dolce far niente.

Saturday saw us pack up and paddle out, three hours, the last of which was hard slogging into a strong nor’wester.  The trip was a nice little break; disconnection is a good thing!  Next trip – Sayward Lakes!

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Categories: Commentary, General interest, Trips & Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

John 15:13

“Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for another”

~ John 15:13

Requiem for a Rooster

For the last year, we’ve had a rooster.  We used to have three but two of them went in the soup pot (see my post Sunday, Bloody Sunday).  Now we have none.  Josée came home today, late afternoon while I was still at work.  As she walked up the drive, she saw a white headed imposter up the driveway.  Hurrying inside, she saw another in the long grass, just out the back edge of the gardens, head bobbing up and down.  His gold eyes caught her look of shock as she realized what he was doing.  Feet quickly into her rubber gumboots, she sprinted up the path but to no avail as golden eye launched into the air, a pulpy, crimson coloured mass clutched tightly in one of his cruelly taloned feet.  Our rooster was no more; two eagles had made short work of him.

The other chickens were in the coop, terrified into statuesque poses, in the hopes that silence and stillness would cause the raptors to pass them by.  Two hens were outside still but frozen, unable to move.  Josée easily picked them up and took them into the coop with nary a fuss or cluck from either.  We’ll see how the hens are in the morning.  Hopefully they have short memories.

It’s funny how the death of a chicken makes me pause for reflection and I’m not trying to be silly here.  I didn’t mind our rooster, although he didn’t like my galoshes and often attacked them.  He did great work though; always chaperoning his charges around the yard, keeping a watchful eye on them.  If anyone (or thing) got too close, he was quick to rally them to the safety of the coop.  He’s dead and more than likely it was not a pleasant death.  He gave up his life to protect his chickens and when I thought of his last moments, I will admit that I got a little choked up.  Would I do the same for my family?  My friends?  My cause?  I don’t know.  This rooster was acting on instinct and reflex but he acted nonetheless.

How would you respond?

Categories: Commentary, Farm stories | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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