Archive For The “seascape” Category
It was a cool, over cast Saturday afternoon when I accompanied birders from the Kitimat Valley Naturalists on the monthly shorebird count.
Just after we arrived at our first stop, the Kitamaat Village seawall and beach in Haisla traditional territory, I (and the others) saw something out of the corner of my eye, a flash of black with a tail scampering along a driftwood log on the beach. A few minutes later the animal appeared again, coming up from another log. So while the birders put up their scopes and scanned the shoreline, I walked up on a pile of dirt and kept watch for the mammal.
I kept watch. It was dashing along the logs and under others. Had the camera on high speed burst mode and missed it about twenty or so times.
Then the mink decided to pause (or to do me a favour) and stopped on one log, looked up and I captured this portrait. It looked around and then dashed into a hollow log and disappeared.
Cloudy day. Sony RX10M3, Iso Auto shooting at 2000 ASA. 1/1000 at F4.
A lot of other usual shots, even at low tide the beach is far off so it’s often hard to get good shots.
Then I spotted a bald eagle high over Douglas Channel.
Then I got lucky again, the eagle flew right toward the beach, coming in for a landing.
And then perched on a driftwood stump.
A great blue heron stalks the Kitimat waterfront at MK Bay in a stormy fall rain squall.
It was forty years ago, in August, 1980, that a friend and I drove from Vancouver, BC, where I was living at the time, to spend a weekend at Florence, Oregon, which inspired Frank Herbert to write the famous novel Dune.
Like many at the time, I was entranced by Dune as soon as I picked it off a drug store bookshelf probably in 1965. It was sometime later that I read someplace that it was Florence that first inspired Frank Herbert to write about ecology when he originally visited back in 1953 when he was trying to write an article about a US Forest Service project to use dune grass to keep the sand in check. After all that research, as Herbert said in the collection of his essays, Frank Herbert, the Maker of Dune (1987): “Before long I had far too much for an article and far too much for a short story.. But I had an enormous amount of data, with angles shooting off at angles to gather more.” The result, of course, was the blockbuster novel, then more novels, then spinoffs by his son, a movie concept that was never made, an awful movie that was made, a pretty good miniseries and a new movie that we hope to see this Christmas (if there are movies in theatres).
That trip has been a wonderful memory for years, so to mark the anniversary, I found some of the old slides, taken on Kodak Ectachrome, with my old Minolta SRT101 and scanned them. For a some where the colour did not survive four decades, I converted to black and white.
Sand dunes are like waves in a large body of water; they are just slower. (Frank Herbert, “The Sparks Have Flown” in Frank Herbert The Maker of Dune).
For the Christmas Bird Count in Kitimat, there’s usually a lot of ground to cover in a very short period of time–that’s because here in the northwest daylight hours are limited as we get closer to the Winter Solstice. So we started before dawn, which is OK for those who are counting but not so good for photography.
The highlight of my day came at what is known as the Maggie Point trail to a gazebo overlooking Kitmat harbour built by members of the Haisla Nation. The problem is as you get older, hiking a trail in icy weather can be quite dicey, especially for me who has had minor hip problems since I was a kid. So with ice on the trail, I decided to stay by the cars and wait while the rest of the gang went to see what they could see from the gazebo. Then a swift flying bird landed on the branch not far from the parking area. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I began shooting with my SonyRX10iii which is 24 to 600 mm 35mm equivalent.
I wasn’t sure what the bird was, but I guessed it was a raptor since it sat there for almost ten minutes, surveying the area. At one point a crow flew by and the raptor didn’t budge. Then it swooped down over my head and into the bush. It was only then I checked the display to see the yellow rimmed eyes. The birders debated whether the raptor was a merlin or a sharp-shinned hawk and then came to the conclusion looking at the eyes that it was a dark red-tailed hawk.
And here are some other views from the Christmas Bird Count 2019.
All the images were taken in the morning up until about 11 a.m. I went home for lunch, ingested the morning images and then we went out again. But with heavy cloud cover, fading light and fewer birds, the afternoon session was a bust. No photos worth posting.
Summer photography in Kitimat and down Douglas Channel.
Images from walking around Kitimat, hikes, and from North West Photo Fest at Minette Bay Lodge and down Douglas Channel.
The most amazing event was when we were off Coste Rocks and witnessed three humpbacks up Amos Channel. One did not dive, but floated on the ocean, asleep. The currents slowly sent the whale toward us while the winds pushed the boat toward the whale.
Watch the encounter on Youtube.
A newly fledged American robin hides in the undergrowth in Kitimat, August 4, 2018. It was just beside the sidewalk as I walked by. About 10 minutes later as I walked back to the location it finally flew away. (Robin Rowland)
Another fledgling American robin munches on #berries in the undergrowth of Kitimat, August 4m 2018. (Robin Rowland)
A female surf scoter at Pine Lake, near Terrace, BC, August 6, 2018. (Robin Rowland)
A light in the forest. Light on a tree during a photo walk at Minette Bay Lodge, August 11, 2018. (Robin Rowland)
The largest Coste Rock on August 13, 2018. (Robin Rowland)
A flock of juvenile surf scoters fly over Douglas Channel south of Kitimat. (Robin Rowland)
Harbour seals look out from Coste Rocks, August 13, 2018. (Robin Rowland)
Two marbled murrelets take off near Coste Rocks in Douglas Channel south of Kitimat, August 13. (Robin Rowland)
A marbled murrelet swims in Douglas Channel south of Kitimat, August 13. (Robin Rowland)
A barn swallow feeds its young under the rafters of the Tookus Inn floating lodge anchored in Clio Bay, south of Kitimat. (Robin Rowland)
A rufous humming bird coming in to flowers at Minette Bay Lodge Kitimat, BC, August 13, 2018. (Robin Rowland)
Two bald eagles battle over a duck at Kitimat harbour. Images taken off the shoreline of Kitamaat Village.
Another bald eagle watching from above. (Robin Rowland)
Splash! The first eagle swoops down and grabs a duck (hard to see in this image) (Robin Rowland)
The second eagle heads skyward with its eye on the first (Robin Rowland)
The first eagle is heading away with his catch (Robin Rowland)
The second eagle swoops down to attack. (Robin Rowland)
But the attack is unsuccessful and the first eagle escapes with its meal still in its talons. (Robin Rowland)