Posts Tagged “ocean”
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.
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).
Trumpeter swans, signets and canvasback ducks in the Kitimat River estuary, Dec.15, 2018. (Robin Rowland)
My portion of the Christmas Bird Count in the Kitimat River Estuary (courtesy Rio Tinto) was in an afternoon blizzard which cut visibility by up to about 80 per cent at times and was no help to the cameras, whether or on auto focus or manual.
…or in the air along the shore line.
Suddenly all the crows took to the air….that murder of crows (or as one of the other birders said “it looks like two murders”).
It was soon clear that they were mobbing a juvenile bald eagle.
The eagle escaped the crows. And we saw it about 20 minutes later, a little further away over the mouth of Whatl Creek at MK Bay, flying over some gulls skimming the water.