He’s Not Pavarotti, But …

This gallery contains two photos. The aria of the Song Sparrow is the most recognizable and pleasant birdsong for me. Here he is (and we know it’s a ‘he’, because the males sing to mark their territory), singing his heart out in full and close view of the digital camera (15 feet away) on the pear tree.

Song Sparrow Serenades

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He Thinks He’s a Star!

The sun may be slow to melt the snow, but this little grey ball of feathers might just melt your heart first. Bushtits find the California Lilac on the front lawn so fun to pop in and out of, plus they like to snack on the teeny tiny seeds that we can’t see!

Bushtit in California Lilac

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Even during mild winters, the children’s playground will see some usage. Now it’s completely abandoned–thanks to three straight days of snow. Not a single duck was seen nearby, either. Photographed against the setting sun at Boundary Bay Regional Park in Delta, BC.

Abandoned Playground

On The Bucket List: Australia

Adventuring in Australia is on the bucket list because it exemplifies and fulfills the saying, “Go big, or go home.” Australia is brimming with natural and man-made wonders; these are six of the “must-see” places and creatures on my list. Consider it a sneak peek at my travel itinerary.

Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius at Hobart ...

Eastern Rosella (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beautiful birds. Australia is a birder’s delight. Some of the most colourful and interesting avians hail from Australia, including cockatoos (Galah, Yellow Black-Tailed, Gang-Gang, and Major Mitchell’s being some of the more esoteric breeds you’ll have a hard time finding outside of the continent), parrots (the Rosellas), finches (Zebra, Gouldian, Red-Browed, Australian, and Blue-Faced Parrot), kookaburras, and the “big birds” — ostriches, emus, and cassowaries. I am lucky to see a small fraction of these Australian birds here in Vancouver (at the Bloedel Floral Conservatory).  Continue reading

Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

The best dream I have ever had is part dream, part nightmare. It is vivid because I often dream in shades of gray, but every hue of the rainbow was represented here. The fragments of my dreams tend to be disjointed, the imagery travelling in different time streams: sometimes in slow motion, other times at accelerated speeds beyond my ability to comprehend. This dream, however, was linear and ordered — if logic and entrophy can be ascribed to dreams.

It was a familiar scenario: I was on the run from enemies heard but unseen. What I had done to incur such wrath, I do not know. Did I hail from a royal lineage they wished Continue reading

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

This gallery contains 3 photos. Ah, the majesty of Washington’s Mount Baker, cast against the rays of the setting winter sun, encroaching sea fog, and the first blue skies to be seen in three days of non-stop snowing. Photographed from across the way (on the Canadian side) in Boundary Bay, Delta, BC.

Mount Baker

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Don’t Move, Vivian!

If we don’t twitch a whisker, that human won’t see (and shoot) us! Here’s a pair of squirrels, caught in the act … of grooming. This would explain why the stores of seed have been going twice as fast–there are not one, but two raiders of the same rodently persuasion. And is it my imagination, or does the one on the left look like he’s cracking a smile? Such impudence for one who has been made!

A Pair of Squirrels

Mine is Not the Life of Pi, But …

If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.

Frank Herbert's Dune

Dune (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve always found the bildungsroman, or coming-of-age novel, to be an interesting story form. L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, Frank Herbert’s Dune anthology, Scott Orson Card’s Ender’s Game, Hal Borland’s When the Legends Die, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, and Wilson Rawls’ Where the Red Fern Grows are personal favourites of that genre.

Seeing how I will progress down the path–as penned and/or told by another–delivers an interesting, if questionably accurate perspective; I might (alternately) take offence or be amused. However, I would choose not to read the story of my life in advance (thank you), because I also believe that (large degrees of) uncertainty add spice to life. That’s the “je ne sais crois” I have often alluded to in some of my blog posts. 🙂  Continue reading

Snowy Douglas Fir

Thanks to above zero temperatures, three days of non-stop snowfall–which is rather uncommon in Vancouver–have offered interesting photo opportunities. Some of the lower branches of the 100-foot Douglas Fir in the backyard are finally starting to sag under the weight of snow.

Snow-Covered Pine