CLOUDS

Great clouds, for me are just as essential as a great subject. No two are alike,kind of like humans. I just never know what kind of clouds will be hanging around near sunset? During the day there may be excellent clouds around but come sunset,they may not be there? So I keep a good eye on the satellite feed to see what’s coming my way and what I can expect.

Whether I go out on a shoot, is very dependant upon the clouds. I want Goldi loks clouds…..not too many (overcast conditions) and not too few,………..just right!

These shots are of my fine feathered friend,Romeo! I think the clouds enhance his beauty.

FIRST BOO BOO

The Bears are emerging from their dens,walking about,scratching their butts and looking for their first cup of joe!

Ok,so maybe not walking about or searching for a cup of joe but defiantly scratching their butts!

I went out searching for some and was surprised to actually find one, as it was high tide and they prefer low tide. At Low tide they can overturn the rocks and get all the baby crabs! They eat hundreds a day! I think the reason why our Coastal bears all have such shiny coats is because of this daily crab diet!

So, I found this adult female in Dawley pass near the south end of Fortune channel. She doesn’t know me,so I kept my distance. It’s when the ears flatten that you know a bear is getting anxious.

I did see a second bear but it was too far away and I couldn’t get closer.

TAKE A HIKE MIKE

When I come around from behind a specific island,Romeo can see me and almost always flies out to greet me and then we both travel to our meeting spot. We play this little game,to see who can get there first?……and of course, ……he always beats me! To make it worse he’s only soaring,no flapping!

On this occasion that’s exactly what he did,but on the way over he spotted another eagle flying towards his nest area ! He veered away immediately from me and went straight towards this interloper! He escorted this eagle to the other side of his territory! Eagles are constantly doing this each day. It’s very common.

This is how a eagle will find out if a territory is up for grabs or not. They trespass to see who’s home or If anybody is home to begin with? This is why a eagles offspring will always come back to their home to see if mum and dad are still kicking it?

So after escorting the interloper to the egress ,Romeo flew back to me,but because I was already there I was able to get a few shots of him arriving!

Once perched he began to scream loudly! Which I assume was a message for the interloper! Romeo was saying “TAKE A HIKE MIKE AND JUST KEEP GOING IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YA”!

When you see a eagle going vertical to vocalize , it’s a serious calling position!

THATS THE SPOT

This short video was recorded last Fall (21). A large tree had come down during the year and bridged the river. I knew during the spawning season in the Fall, bears would use this tree as a bridge. So I set a camera up to record the activity.
I called this Sow “Lady” and her cub “Scamp”.
Lady wanted to scratch her back, but notice that she stopped and looked back to make sure no male bears were following her!
A male will try to kill her cub, so she was being careful.

CONTRAST

Our weather has been less than admirable lately. As a result I haven’t been able to get out. With the dullness of overcast rainy days circling me like a Vulture,I decided to put a bit more colour into the pot!

I shot these of Romeo last summer (August 13) during a forest fire. Forest fires always produce some of the most striking sunsets!

I enjoy the contrast of colour and season!

STRAWBERRY SEQUENCE

Strawberry island is a small island in Tofino’s harbour. You could swim to it. It’s owned by Rod Palm. A very interesting man in his own right. Rod has been the eyes and ears for whales in the Tofino area for many a year now!

On his island are two tree spires that Ernie and Ethel love to perch on. When I know there are zero clouds to the west,I sometimes come down here to try and get a few eagle/mountain shots! If there are clouds to the west,the setting suns light will be snuffed.

I went down a few nights ago and basically stood around for 1 1/2 hours and nobody came to perch? Strawberry island is about 500 yards away from me, and those mountains (Strathcona) are 22 miles north of Tofino.

I went tonight to see If anybody was home and sure enough there was! I think It was Ethel? Hard to tell at this distance? I say Ethel because she’s taken off before. It’s like she senses me looking at her and so bugs out! Ernie doesn’t do that,but she does. So I think it was her.

From the time I arrived to the point she took off was only a few minutes. I waited for 70 minutes more but nobody came home.

Glad I got her at least,even If she doesn’t like me very much.

ROMEO’S WORLD

There are 365 days in each year and given that you will live to the ripe age of 80 years,this means you would have lived 29,200 days. If you could some how photograph the same spot each day at sunset for your entire life,you would see that no two sunsets are the same. A sunset is like a thumb print,each is unique. Now that doesn’t mean that each sunset could be called “beautiful”. After all beauty is in the eye of the observer.

Personally, for me clouds are very important. They colour the background,like wallpaper. A good picture should be layered with foreground,mid-ground and background. The foreground works best to invite the observer in to explore.

MY FRIEND

I went to visit my fine feathered friend,The Daredevil. He flew out to escort me. It was at this time I had to make a critical decision! Before I left harbour a friend told me about Orca’s being spotted close by for the last two days! So, I could go looking for them but that would mean no time to visit with my friend and there was a good chance I’d come up empty handed, as Orca’s are notorious for not hanging around!

So I decided, a bird in the hand is worth two Orca’s in the water! He was great fun tonight! There wasn’t much of a prevailing wind from the west. So he easily caught me! Once he catches me he kind of hovers like a huge Hummingbird looking goofy!

It was so good to visit with my friend and I didn’t hear about any orca’s being around.

A RAVEN’S TALE

Rita was posing on a prominent lamp post downtown today, when I noticed the moon was in perfect position behind her! I didn’t have my camera with me and cursed! I rode home as fast as I could and grabbed it and came back……but too late Rita had already flown the coup! I was afraid that would happen! So I sat there for over a hour calling to get her to come back. People must have thought I was crazy! I literally had given up and was beginning to walk back home with my bike in hand when I heard her calling me back! I turned and saw her back on her lamp post! I rode back and began to take some shots of her! She was making these cute single clucking sounds. (Robbie was MIA btw)

Sometimes she would make this single loud call! She looked like a wolf barking madly at the moon! I actually think she was just getting impatient with me and simply wanted her treat!

CRAZY CROWS

I feed the downtown Crows usually each day. They like to perch on my bicycle handlebars. I hand feed these Crows. Others like to perch on a nearby metal container. I call these Crows “Jumpers” as they like to play a jumping game with me!

I toss a piece of bread up into the air and they all jump to grab it! They are very agile flyers! Sometimes one will miss it but swoop back down to catch it on the second try! Several dozen Crows like this game and so the competition can be fierce at times and yes the feathers do fly!

When they see me riding down the street many join to escort me to our gaming “spot”!

There is one Crow who will take a piece of bread from my hand as I am riding. I call this one “Bandit”!

Crows are very intelligent creatures. One of their greatest strengths is in their numbers! Sometimes a Crow will foolishly grab Robbie or Rita’s treat! That’s when a Crow gets beat up and a cacophony of screaming Crows ensues! They don’t call this a “murder” for nothing! It does raise the hair on the back of your neck!

BUBBLE CONTEST

There were fourteen entries into the “Bubble” contest! I loved all of them! Very creative!

Robbie entered “Ooooh,it’s wet.Good thing I wore my second-best feathers today”

Hazel entered “I will never pass up any food because I am a foodie.More,more,more!”

Audrey entered “Make sure you get my good side,Wayne!”

Lynette entered “Everyone keeps talking about corvid 19.How ride! His name is Colby”

Annette entered “I’m ready for my close-up,Mr.Barnes!”

Chris entered “Wot,no silver platter?”

Martha entered “Would you please toast the bread slightly on both sides?”

Liz entered “Well,it’s about time! What’s a girl gotta do to get some decent food around here?”

Terri entered “Why yes,I know I’m smart,was there any doubt?”

Noelle entered “I’m posing!!!”

Adam entered “Yesterday’s bread?! I don’t think so…”

Linda entered “Who’s been ravin about snow? Wayne,find out if Amazon carries boots for birdies,okay?”

Michael entered “Two crows walk into a bar and start ‘ravin’ about the free food in Tofino their ‘cousin’ told them about!”

Widdershins entered “Snow!!…oh bugger! Where did the bit of bread land?”

The winner of the “Bubble” contest is Audrey with…….. “Make sure you get my good side,Wayne!”

Thank you to all fourteen who participated! I will be sending out 3 shots to Audrey of Rita posing in the snow!

CONTEST

We got a bit of snow a few days ago. I was about to go inside my apartment when I heard the distinct call of of a Raven! I knew there was a good chance it was either Robbie or Rita?

When Ravens call It’s called “croaking”. So I croaked back wondering If I would get a response?

Sure enough I heard some croaking just north of me in the adjacent forest! Then a few minutes later both Robbie and Rita flew over! They saw me and perched on a near by tree!

I took a chunk of bread and tossed it on the garage roof. There was about 4 inches of snow so both of them were up to their tummies in snow! Robbie came over first but was suspicious of me standing there (with my camera of course),so he flew back to the tree.(chicken)

Rita on the other hand flew right in no problem and grabbed the prize and flew off,…..with Robbie in tow!

This shot was taken when she had just landed. I want to put a word bubble coming from her.

The person who thinks up the most creative or funny thought will get a full file size of my fine feathered friend Rita!

A PINK CATS FACE

Cats Face is the name of a local mountain. It gets it’s name from a mica deposit that flashes like cats eyes when the sun hits it just right.

Last night we got a rare dumping of snow! One thing I’ve learned over the years is that If you want to get pictures of snow, you have to do it in the morning because it’ll be gone by sunset!

So I got up this morning at 6 am and headed out in the dark riding my bike on roads that resembled a skating rink! (I ended up walking more then riding)

Because there were zero clouds I knew the first light to come would be pink. It lasts just minutes! It’s the most delicate colour to shoot and yes very fleeting.

There is a low grade cooper ore deposit in Cats Face. Plans were made at one time to shear the top of this mountain off to make a open pit mine. Once word got out about this everybody shouted a loud “NO”! Since then I haven’t heard anymore about this proposal? Which is fine by me!

THE CAPE ANN

I heard from a friend that a raft of two hundred Sea Otters was around! I went out looking for it but couldn’t find them? They like to raft up in a kelp bed.

I did find the Cape Ann coming in from a exercise. This boat is designed to be able to roll. All the men are strapped into their seats and the hatches are sealed when they go out into rough weather.

ROMEO ARRIVING

We’ve been having rain for so long now I forget when we had a good sunset?

There is a meterological scenario I always watch for! It’s almost overcast conditions but there is a thin opening to the west. The sun will peek under this cloud layer (which acts like a huge ceiling) and light everything up! The dark background forces the foreground forward in an almost 3D manner.

Of course, when you have a fine feathered friend like Romeo It’s icing to the cake!