A raven, the rain and some berries

The weather here in Kitimat on Saturday, November 3, 2018, was miserable, with heavy rain. I don’t often get ravens in my backyard but on Saturday morning, one landed in the mountain ash tree in my backyard to sample the berries. You can tell just how wet it was from the drips on the berries.

The raven gulps down two mountain ash berries.

Sony Alpha 55 (the camera I always keep by my backdeck) with a Tamron 70- 300.

Summer wildlife and nature photos in and around Kitimat

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.

A sleeping humpback floats in Douglas Channel near Coste Rocks Provincial Park on August 13, 2018. (Robin Rowland)

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 lesser yellow leg flies over seagrass at Minette Bay Kitimat BC during a North West Photo Fest photowalk, August 10, 2018. (Robin Rowland)



Two lesser yellow legs perch in the tidal streams of Minette Bay, August 10, 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)

 A rufous humming bird coming in to flowers at Minette Bay Lodge Kitimat, BC, August 13, 2018. (Robin Rowland)

Moon, Mars and a meteor over Minette Bay (plus other celestial wonders)

The moon and Mars rise over Minette Bay, Kitimat, BC, as a meteor streaks over head. You can see Saturn on the far right (Robin Rowland)

This week is a stargazer’s delight. Mars is at its closest approach to Earth, and that means the Red Planet is the brightest it will be from July 27 to July 31 (the latter date is when Mars is actually the closest). Although North America missed the solar eclipse earlier this week, the moon is actually at its smallest, sometimes called a Buck Moon. The giant planets Saturn and Jupiter are high in the southern sky this week. Earlier in the month, Venus was visible as the Evening Star and for those with the proper gear it was possible to get a glance of Mercury.

Kitimat is in the midst of the summer heat wave that is gripping most of North America. Nights are mostly clear although there is some high haze from smoke in the atmosphere stemming from the forest fires in both Siberia and North America.

With all that I drove out to the Kitimat Viewpoint late Saturday July 28,  to capture it all.

Gear
Apps (for Android)
The Photographer’s Emphemeris
– told me when the moon will rise and the angle of location. Note: TPE gives moonrise at sea level. That means moonrise in Kitimat is usually between 50 and 70 minutes later depending on where it comes up over the mountains.
A compass app. To check the compass direction of the moonrise as predicted by TPE.
Sky Map. Android app originally developed by Google. Hold up you phone and see location of stars, planets, nebulae, satellite etc.

Camera
Heavy duty Manfrotto tripod
with
Sony Alpha 77, Minolta 17 to 35mm wide angle lens
Mounted with Cokin P121L Neutral density filter (to reduce the glare from the moon)

Handheld
Sony RX10iii

Jupiter and Saturn over Douglas Channel

Jupiter over the Rio Tinto aluminum plant (right) and Saturn (left)  over the mountains above Kitamaat Village, about an hour after sunset (Robin Rowland)

The late summer dusk lingers for more than hour after sunset, so even the distant mountains of Douglas Channel can be seen.  Jupiter is bright over the Rio Tinto plant at 10:50:33

Sony Alpha 77 ISO 4000 F2.8  1/2.5 of a second

Moonrise

Moonrise over Minette Bay. (Robin Rowland)

 

The moon is about to rise above the mountain (Robin Rowland)

 

The first arc of the moon peeked over the mountaintop at about 10:57:40.

The first image in the photoblog was taken at 11:00:23 and the second at 11::02:27

Sony RX10iii, handheld, ISO 4000 f4 1/1000 of a second

The RX1oiii is a high-end carry everywhere point and shoot. Moon was shot at 600mm on manual focus.

 

The moon reaches for the zenith. (Robin Rowland)

Same settings on the RX10iii at 11:06:50.

 

Mars rises

 

Mars rose to the west of the moon at 11:17:08 This image showing the moon, Mars and Minette Bay Lodge was taken 11:18:35.

Sony Alpha 77, manual focus,  ISO 2500, f5 at 2.5 seconds

At 11:23:31 same settings

 

 

I was bracketing shots, working with different shutter speeds and other settings, still on manual focus.  The meteor streak is in just two frames. This was taken at 11:37:05. (The other at 11:36:58 by 11:37:00 the next frame it was gone. I did not notice the meteor streak until I got home.

Alpha 77 ISO 1600, f3.2 at 2.5 seconds

A last look at Jupiter

Jupiter over the Kitimat mountains and the Rio Tinto plant. (Robin Rowland)

At 11:34:02 Jupiter is setting over the mountains behind the Rio Tinto aluminum plant.

Sony Alpha 77  ISO 1600  f2.8 2.5 seconds

 

A juvenile raven comes calling

A family of ravens lives in a tree down the street from me.  I have often seen what I believe to be the same pair overhead for the past several years, often just enjoying flying around.   There are other ravens around, of course, and I often see them overhead or in the trees in the bush park near my house.

On July 11, while on a walk in the bush park with my camera, three ravens flew overhead. Then this young raven, flew down to a branch near me,  frequently calling for its parents while they remained high above in the tree tops.

 

The young raven samples some witch’s hair.

The varied thrush – one of my favourite local birds in Kitimat

One of my favourite birds in here in Kitimat is the Varied Thrush (Ixoreus naevius).  There were a lot more than usual this spring for one reason or another. So here is an album of  images.

A varied thrush on my back deck.  (Robin Rowland)

 

There was still snow in a hollow in a small woods near my house in mid-April. (Robin Rowland)

The snow in the hollow which lasted for about a week after all the snow had gone elsewhere attracted varied thrushes almost every day. (Robin Rowland)

 

The spring melt advances on the last patch of snow.  A pair of varied thrushes.  (Robin Rowland)

As the spring buds come out in the nearby woods. (Robin Rowland)

 

And in my backyard.

And on an old log in the same hollow a couple of days later. (Robin Rowland)

 

In early May on the waterfront at the Minette Bay Lodge. (Robin Rowland)

A closer shot of the varied thrush at Minette Bay. (Robin Rowland)

On an driftwood stump at the mudflats of Minette Bay at low tide. (Robin Rowland)

A closer view (Robin Rowland)

Raising the Haisla Kitimat friendship pole

On  May 4, the Haisla Nation and the District of Kitimat raised a totem pole to mark the growing friendship between “township” and Kitamaat Village.   Planning for the pole began a couple of years ago when the Haisla Nation and the people of the Kitimat township held a reconciliation forum at Riverlodge.   The pole was carved over the past year under the supervision of  carver Gary Wilson  (‘Nagamo’o).   Funding for the project came from the Canada 150 fund, the District of Kitimat and the Haisla Nation.

Before the ceremony

Haisla Nation hereditary chiefs and elders gather for the pole raising ceremony. (Robin Rowland)

Skeena Bulkley NDP MP Nathan Cullen speaks to Haisla Nation hereditary chiefs and elders before the pole raising ceremony. (Robin Rowland)

Eagle chief Cyril Grant Jr.(He’mas Sanaxaid) speaks to carver and master of ceremonies Gary Wilson  (‘Nagamo’o) and Kitimat mayor Phil Germuth before the ceremony. (Robin Rowland)

Aiden Robinson speaking to her Ma’ma’o  (grandmother) Rose Robinson, Sammy Robinson  (He’mas C’esi) amd Basil Grant (He’mas Legaix)  (Robin Rowland)

 

Unveiling and blessing the friendship pole


Carver Gary Wilson unveils the friendship pole. (Robin Rowland)

Sammy Robinson begins to bless the new pole, along with  Gary Wilson (‘Nagamo’o), Allan Williams (He’mas Wakas), Verlie Nelson (C’esi’s spokesperson) Cyril Grant Jr.(He’mas Sanaxaid)  as  Harvey Grant,  MP Nathan Cullen and Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth watch. (Robin Rowland)

Cedar boughs are used to cleanse the totem pole.  (Robin Rowland)

Sammy Robinson  He’mas C’esi and Verlie Nelson  prepare the eagle down to cleanse and bless the pole.  (Robin Rowland)

Cleansing and blessing the pole.  (Robin Rowland)

At the pole blessing,  Harvey Grant (He’mas Wiiseks), Sammy Robinson (He’mas C’esi), Nathan Cullen, Cyril Grant Jr. (He’mas Sanaxaid), Phil Germuth and Eugene Stewart (Dlaxwdlaxwaligisc Hai’mas).  (Robin Rowland)

 

Raising the pole

Hereditary  chiefs and construction workers prepare to raise the friendship pole. (Robin Rowland)

 

The construction workers prepare to secure the pole.  (Robin Rowland)

Simon Hall (Hai’mac Gax) helps put the totem pole in place. (Robin Rowland)

Carver Gary Wilson explains the meaning of the pole. At the bottom is the snowflake, the District of Kitimat’s official symbol.  The face in the middle  represents the people of Kitimat with four multi-ethnic  faces above it.  At the  top of the pole are representations of the clans of the Haisla Nation, with the eagle, the beaver in the middle, (Robin Rowland)

Dancing

 

 

Eugene Stewart (Dlaxwdlaxwaligisc Hai’mas)  speaks to Gary Wilson speaks as the dancing begins.  (Robin Rowland)

 

Cyril Grant Jr. (He’mas Sanaxaid) leads the Eagle Clan dance after the pole was secured.  (Robin Rowland)

 

People join in the dancing. (Robin Rowland)

Children from the Haisla Community School participate with drumming and dancing. (Robin Rowland)