Break in the pouring rain

The weather was not very nice today. It was pouring rain in several waves. But in the afternoon, the clouds sort of broke apart and it was good enough for a bike ride.


Some swallows flying overhead.


Swallows are here

I took a short break from paper editing and rode to the dyke in the afternoon.

A gray day today.

Barn swallows are back! I hope they are here to enjoy the bugs that gets in my way when I rode my bike along the dyke. Many of them flew to my face and cloth and rested there. Kind of annoying!


Minoru Park & Biked to the dyke

Yesterday, my co-authors in Taiwan received our submitted manuscript on our study about the breeding biology of the Taiwan Barbet in Taipei Botanical Garden. We had good remarks, but we also needed a lot of revision and re-analysis of the results. They scanned they copy to me and now my goal is to get as much revision and rewrite as possible in the last 15 days before I leave for Ontario without internet connection or land-line telephones. Wish me luck!

But first thing in this morning I went to Richmond centre with my mother for our weekly grocery shopping.

Once again, we strolled in Minoru Park before heading to the Public Market.

Minoru Chapel
Minoru Chapel with gorgeous blue sky. Some people call it the Olympus Blue (for the blue color that Olympus cameras produce). Cool!


Definitely not a Wordless Wednesday - Heron up-close and American Mink again!!!

My story began when I biked across the bridge towards the Terra Nova Natural Area. Looking to my left, a young heron was just across from the deck!

So close!

Not wanting to startle the heron and missing the opportunity to photograph it up-close, I parked my bike on the grass and slowly walked towards it.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Getting closer.


Black-capped Chickadees nest excavation

Today, my mother and I walked around in the afternoon and we walked by the chickadee nest cavity that we discovered last month.

A pair of chickadees was heard and saw in the neighborhood.

House Finch, Bittern, and more...

I would had like to go out yesterday, but it was raining when I wanted to go out and sunshine when I did not want to go out. In the end, I did not.

This morning, I went to my local bank branch to get myself a VISA card for my expenses during my times in Ontario. While heading back home, I saw my first Small Cabbage White butterfly on the year! Spring is definitely here! After lunch, my mother and I walked to the dyke to enjoy this nice Monday.

Nice blue sky.

I pointed out this handsome male House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus) to my mother. She enjoys watching this pretty bird and listening to its songs!

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)


Hungry Cat, Vole Alive

Let's start of today with some photos of the delicious strawberries that my mother bought today.

Delicious Strawberry

Delicious Strawberry
Very yum and sweet!


Photographic post: Goldfinches arriving

As I was biking today I saw a crow chasing and harassing all the wigeons and Mallards.

I wish this Red-tailed Hawk would teach it a lesson about manners.


Heron doing its business

My mother and I went to Richmond Centre today to get some supplies for my upcoming trip to Ontario.

Cutting through the Minoru Park.

Y through pin-hole (filter)
Using the pin-hole art filter in the camera. Very cool.


Witnessing Green-winged Teals' courtship

Such a great weather today!

Sky-watch of the day.

At the Terra Nova observation deck, I saw the Green-winged Teals performing their courtship rituals.
I took photos only (with FZ18). And now that I think about it, I should had taken a video like this one. Pretty neat!


Photographic post & Rainbow at the end of the day.

Such a cloudy day today.

Look at that cloud cover! Thank goodness it was retreating.

Sky slowly clearing.


Good Birding Monday - female Canvasback, Sharpie, Snow Geese-in-flight, eagles, and Harrier-in-flight

I was going to walk with my mother to the dyke today. But just a few blocks away from our house, light rain started to fall and my mother decided to head back home and I can bike to the dyke by myself. Sigh.

Grey weather.

Looking at the water for something unusual.


Practicing my E-620 with flying gulls outside patio

Just when I was about to go out for my bike ride, rain started pouring down. So I stayed home and took photos of gulls from our patio instead.


Running away from the sex-crazed pheasant!

The title pretty much summed up what happened to me today. But let's start in a normal fashion.

Using my new camera for a sky-watch photo.

I saw a Great Blue Heron standing on a log hunting. It was quite far away so I used my trusty FZ18 for the job.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

Small fish caught!


Showing the RNPH to my mother

Today, my parents and I went to Richmond centre to run errands - buy myself a back-up CF memory card (on sale at Staples), eat lunch at Shanghai-style restaurant, buy groceries from Richmond Public Market.

Then my mother wanted to go to Terra Nova Sharing Farm to see the things people are planting now, as well as if she can see the Ring-necked Pheasant for herself - she really likes this bird and thinks it's just beautiful!

When we got there, it was very windy and I did not see the pheasant anywhere. However, far away (near the spot where I first saw the pheasant in Terra Nova), I spotted something moving on the ground. Using my binocular, it was the pheasant! I quickly called my mother and we slowly walked towards it. However, before we got there, a pair of walkers walked past it and a Red-tailed Hawk hovered above it - causing it to run and hide.

The Red-tailed Hawk.

When we got to the spot, the pheasant was nowhere to be found. But I told my mother to be patient and quiet and it should reveal itself soon.

Sky-watching on 2010-03-011
Meanwhile, we sky-watched.


Arrival of Olympus E-620 & its first trip to the dyke...

My Olympus E-620 arrived at 10:43 this morning safe and sound. I looked out my window ever so often hoping to see the delivery truck, and when it pulled up, I was almost out the door ready to greet the delivery gentleman!

The unboxing photos. This is the 2 lenses kit.

In the afternoon, I brought both cameras to the dyke to test them out. But wanting to get familiar with the new camera quicker, all photos below were taken with it.


Herons finding and catching prey

Once again the terrible weather has not arrive yet (I am dreading it). But at least I can enjoy another dry but gray day.

The Bald Eagle was at home when I rode by.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Almost got a straight face-on passport shot like this one. So funny! I think I scared this heron and it flew away when I was photographing it. Sorry.


Bald Eagle drama

The predicted bad weather seemed to be delayed by an afternoon. Well, it hailed for a few minutes in the afternoon but later it stopped and gave me the chance to enjoy outside before being couped indoors for a week or so. Argh!

Still pretty gray and cloudy.

I did not see much wildlife until I passed the golf course and saw this juvenile Bald Eagle. It may be a fourth year bird according to this article (PDF).

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

And this young bird has a prey - I think a bird, but it was hard to see what kind) under its talons!


Thoughts after watching Hachiko...

I did not go out today and don't think I will for the next few days due to the rain and cold. It is currently very windy outside. I wonder if all the pretty blossoms will be blown away after this weather.

I had just finished watching the movie "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" and it is a great true story about a loyal Akita dog named Hachiko that waited for his master years and years after the master's sudden death. The story is simple and so is the movie, but I like it very much as it brought back (happy) teary memories with my grandparents' dogs - Wawa, Dodo, and Chilee (Lucky in Chinese).

Coincidentally, tomorrow will be 75 years after Hachiko's passing away.

Rest in peace, Hachiko, as well as Wawa, Dodo, and Chilee. I miss you all.

365 days ago (2009-03-07) ...


Good time to visit Minoru Lakes Park!

I helped out my mother with grocery shopping today in Richmond center. Before that we walked around the Minoru Lakes Park. It was very beautiful with the blossoming flowers and the colors! It was a very nice walk!

White Magnolia flowers.

Colorful hyacinths
Colorful hyacinths.


Enjoying the blossoms on Seafair Drive with mother

My mother wanted to see the blossoms that I photographed whenever I went to the dyke. So today, we walked to the dyke and I showed her the streets where I saw the blossoms.

Along Seafair Drive.

Then we went to the trail.


More Blossoms in Steveston

I drove my mother to Steveston to return some library books and buy some groceries.

After borrowing the books, we walked around the library and the Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre to check out the blossoms.

Steveston Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre

Busy Bee in Blossoming Flowers
A busy bee enjoying the blossoms.

After finish buying the groceries, we drove to Garry Point Park to walk around and enjoy the salty air.


Another day at the dyke - eagles, heron, towhee, chickadee, bushtits, and more

Yesterday's weather was a bit confusing. It looked like it was going to rain with the heavy cloud cover, but it never did. It was the same thing this morning, but by the afternoon it actually turned out quite nice.

With nice clear sky.


Herons on tree-top & Sharp-shinned Hawk

The cherry plum trees are in full blossom in our neighborhood, so this morning, my mother and I walked around and I took the photographs.

Cherry Blossom

I softened the images and increased the hues. Gave the photos a more interesting feel to it. I like it.

In the afternoon, I biked to the dyke.


Every Sunny Weekend Should Be Canada/US Hockey Game...

...that way, I can always enjoy my bike ride in peace while other people can stay indoors and watch their game. A win-win situation really.

Actually, I watched parts of the game until the beginning of the third period. That was when I headed outside for a bike ride.

The lack of people allowed me to fool around and take this photo while riding the bike at the same time.

I didn't see much until I got to the Terra Nova Sharing Farm again. This is a female Northern Harrier.
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