Back to UBC to reflect

Went to UBC today to pick my transcript (needed to apply for some jobs). It feels strange to come back to school and yet not being a part of the student body anymore. Listening to students on the bus complaining about courses and professors made me realize how small my world used to be, or at least seemed like it now.

Just a year ago, my fondness for nature was still in its budding stage. Learning the Latin names of animals and their ecology were what I thought needed in order to be an ecologist. But after a summer of doing field research along side even more enthusiastic naturalists made me realize how limited my knowledge was. There is the world out there. The real thing, not inside the textbooks, and it is much more impressive and amazing than what you read in the books or watched on TV. Now, I am discovering things all around me that I haven't paid attention to before - eagles perching in the distance, waterfowls out at sea, some small mammals scurrying in the bushes, and more.

Anyways, I guess what I want to say is how much I am enjoying my new new found sense of being observant and patient.

This was the first animal I saw at UBC today. Not surprising that it was a squirrel. Although it was doing some pretty interesting things like grooming its bushy tail and genetial (?).

Then I headed to the Biology building to see if there are job postings and if I can found professors and friends I know.

Last time, I was at UBC, I was walking along the beach and taking pictures until my camera battery died. Well, think of this post as a continuation from last time and enjoy the pictures walking down Trail 3 to the Tower Beach.

Many fallen trees for some strange unknown reason.

Juvenile Bald Ealges hovering at the sky above me.

Discovered this strange looking fungi (?) on a fallen tree. Otherwise, it would be pretty high above.

Pretty nice view today. You could see the snow-capped North Shore mountains quite clearly.

I didn't stay for too long because I needed to go pick my transcript and take care of other things.

Adding a splash of color into this post. I am ashamed to say that I don't know what this is. My botany knowledge is not as well as I like it to be.

Fir cone - with a hint of uncertainty.

This I know! Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis). It's the same species as the first one above even though it's a differnt color. There are two colour phases for this species, gray and black, which wrongfully leads people to think that they are two different species.


shan-lin said...

it's so nice that you have the beautiful scenery on campus. my campus is pretty "natural" though we don't have a lake, which is what i really love.

i thought there were three colours to eastern squirrel, grey, black, brown?

PSYL said...

We don't have a lake here in UBC neither. Although we do have the Pacific Ocean though, ha.

As for the Eastern Gray Squirrel, the gray ones may also have a reddish browne tinge to their back. Black morphs and albinos can also be common in some areas.

Based on the distribution map, I think other reddish brown squirrel species in eastern Canada are: Eastern Fox Squirrel and Red Squirrel. And of course, you might be talking about chipmunks too.

shan-lin said...

i've seen red squirrels and chipmunks, they're pretty easy to differentiate from easter grey squirrels due to size and pattern. i think it might be cause i worked with them when they're babies and you get really close where the coat colour is more distinguishable i don't know.

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