This is one of my favorite studies! I stand around by the main road coming into Tofino with my tripod looking lost. I can see the tourists straining their necks as they go by to try and see what I’m taking pictures of? (some even stop and try to take the same shot with their I-Phones)
This tree spire is on Strawberry island and those mountains are 22 miles away in Strathcona Park. The tallest mountain is Mt Mariner.
This eagle is either Ernie or Ethel? Never can tell at this distance? I like to go here when I know there won’t be any clouds on the western horizon. That way the rich pink’s come out to play!
So……. basically I stand around with my camera/tripod perfectly composed and focused waiting. I have a remote control to trip the shutter at a distance. I need to always keep a eye on that spire! Either of the eagles can come up from behind the island and catch me off guard! It only takes a second! If they fly over to Strawberry island from the left or right,I can see them coming.
As you can imagine It’s usually cold when I do this,so to keep warm I pace back and forth. I am constantly watching that spire! Occasionally my eagle friends come to perch on that tree spire when the lighting is perfect! Most times I go home with nothing.
Notice the micro glacier in Strathcona? It’s the spot in the misty area. Underneath that mist is a small glacier. The ocean air is warmer and moist. It rises,and chills over top of that small glacier. Because that glacier stays put the mist stays put.
OH……….the eagles in the header shot are Romeo and Juliette. Romeo always looks at me in such a questioning manner?
I set up a trail camera station for Trumpeter Swans. Fingers crossed that they’ll do the Tofino two step for me!
This is Walter. I disturbed him while he was searching for dinner. He tolerates me.
We all know about 2020,so no need to flog a dead horse. I find we are such an optimistic species! With each coming year we hope it will be better than the last………….having said that…..It won’t take much to beat this year! So HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Delilah is on the left. You can see how much larger her beak/head is compared to her partner The Daredevil!
Lori plays a beautiful piano,she writes and has published and paints!
A true renaissance soul!
She has painted some of my sunset eagle shots beautifully and added her piano playing.
My pictures have never looked so good!
Give a listen……
My furry friends Peggy and Piglet have gone to bed for the winter but they wanted me to tell you to remember that love is what Christmas is all about. Nothing else matters.
Whenever you see a Blue Heron with it’s neck curled It’s resting and or sleeping. This one didn’t seem to mind me getting close enough to take this shot. I found the bird and the setting beautiful!
I was so happy to find my big feathered friends back in their normal spot! I’ve watched this group grow from 2 to 9 over the years! I know they lost one of them to a predator 2 years ago. (probably a Wolf or Cougar) I found the carcass or what was left of it. They spend their summers up in the Yukon and their winter’s in Tofino! Like a lot of people these days.
As some of you already know I place a trail camera up river during salmon spawning season to record the wildlife. I have had a trail camera up for over 5 weeks this fall. I must admit that I am disappointed with the results. I expected more bears or hoped there would be more than there was.
I have pondered why for sometime now? I truly do not know exactly why to be honest. My theory is that last years run was a poor run. So this year the bears migrated to other valleys for better streams. Nature self regulates it’s self. Animals will spread out naturally.
Plus I suspect that many bears did not put on enough body fat and so died in their dens during last winter.
In these two videos you will see a bear searching for a salmon and in the other a bear has found one. During normal times the river would have more bears around. So If you grabbed a salmon you hurried off into the forest quickly! WHY? Because if one of those other bears saw you get a salmon most times this would cause them to chase you until you dropped your prize! So when you grabbed a salmon you would always hurry off into the forest where you could eat it in peace! But in the second video thats not what is happening! The bear has grabbed a salmon and begins to eat it out in the open! The only reason why a bear would do something like this is If they felt like they were the only bear around! It felt comfortable enough to do this. Which points to the fact that very few bears were around this fall!
Also,notice in the first video the bear walks across to a pool. A salmon realizes a bear is coming and takes off.
With the Fall comes the inevitable wind storms! Power normal goes out,the only question is………. for how long? Wind is something I’m always mindful of! I go out in my 10 foot Zodiac (20Hp) so It doesn’t take much of a wave to make for a bumpy ride! So on windy days I keep my feet on solid ground and go out to the beach.
The West coast just had one of those big wind storms. It’s really easy to know when the surf is huge………everyone can hear the roar in town! Normally we can’t hear anything but after the storm noise is gone and the ocean is in motion….. the roar permeates the air!
That’s Mother Nature calling. I’ve always asked her to give me a call when the waves are huge!
I’m not sure if you are aware of this but all these huge waves here in Tofino and all around the Earth are created by the sun.
Energy blasts out from the sun,enters our atmosphere and begins to heat it up. The warm air rises,cools and then descends. This is convective turbulence. You ever see one of those Lava lamps? Lava lamps are a excellent example of convective forces. The wax gets warm,rises,cools and descends.
So this warm air rising,cooling and descending creates the wind we experience here on the surface. The only difference is the speed at which these air currents move. Most times gentle, but sometimes with great force!
The west coast is a perfect spot to watch storms! Thousands flock here each winter to marvel at the shear power of a raging storm! The only problem is …………timing!
If you come here and theres no storm happening, your not going to be very impressed. We get a lot of tourists here in Tofino. I always ask where people come from? If I hear they are from Vancouver or the west coast I tell them to watch the news each night. Specifically the weather. If they hear of a BIG low pressure system moving in, I tell them to get their asses over here ASAP! Make quick plans! Thats Mother Nature calling you. She wants you to get a great seat for the “really big show”! The key is to watch/ listen to the weather all the time!
Of course If you live far from the coast…….your SOL!
I got a good shot of Romeo fully stretched out!
I looked at the beach camera and saw that the clouds were perfect for a sunset shoot! Two other thingsI had going for me were the tide and recent rainfall!
I’ve found the best sunset shots are when the low tide coincidences around sunset time. That way there is lots of beach exposed.
All the rain we’ve been getting lately bleeds out onto the beach making the the beach like a mirror!
So I rode out in a hurry as I decided to do this late in the day……..one hour before sunset! By the time I got out there the clouds had moved in snuffing most of that great light!
Romeo did a sharp turn!
The Pacific Faith was coming into the harbour and made a perfect background for Romeo!
I went to see If Romeo was home? I haven’t seen him in almost a month! When I arrived at our meeting spot I found a Gull on Romeo’s perch. I told him he better get out of here as my friend was going to be coming over real soon! Which he promptly did when he saw Romeo flying towards him!
I didn’t know KFC deliveries?
I haven’t been able to get out on a shoot in awhile! I was physically heading down to the boat shed last night but saw some clouds moving in,so I turned around and went back! Which turned out to be a mistake because the sunset ended up being one of those great ones!
So when I saw todays weather was about the same and knew that the next three days were going to be pouring rain….I decided to go out. BUT….that incoming Frontal system came in early and snuffed the sunset!
So great sunset last night,didn’t go out. Poor sunset tonight,I did go out! Trying to be at the right place at the right time can be complicated!
This is Delilah. She’s the Daredevil’s mate. I should say this is Delilah #2. Delilah #1 disappeared over a year ago. She just didn’t come back from the salmon grounds. I haven’t a clue what happened?
When this female showed up months later I was thrilled to see who I thought was Delilah but soon realized it wasn’t my old friend but a stranger. I felt a shadow cross my heart when I realized my friend was gone!
You can see that frontal system moving in. Snuffed the light BIG time! Before I left tonight I checked the satellite feed. I saw it coming but went anyways! I needed to go see my friend and just get out and breath the fresh air!
This cloud formation is called Virga. It’s basically a small rain cloud. The strange thing about Virga is that the rain never reaches the ground.
I paddled upstream today looking for bears. I found one almost immediately! It was walking upstream on the left and so I paddled upstream on the right. We had rain last night so the stream was flowing faster than normal. We kept pace with each other but when I took out the camera to take this shot I quickly headed back downstream.
The vast majority of salmon a bear will eat are dead. The salmon spawn,die and float downstream. Bears are part of the clean up crew. They walk along the streams edge looking for dead salmon. If you don’t have to work for your dinner why bother?
This bear came across two salmon! It grabbed the first one and promptly dropped it. It than found a second one and walked off into the forest to enjoy but I was surprised to see It come back out 15 seconds later! When I see a bear being “fussy” that means It’s tummy is full! I bet the only fish it would keep would be a fresh squirming one!
I saw three bears on this trip but I still think there should be more! I saw 4 large dead salmon laying very close to the streams bank. Seeing those fresh salmon told me no bears have been around! If just one bear had walked by It would of grabbed one.
This bear was full, most likely because very few bears are around leaving plenty of salmon to eat! Enough salmon that It can afford to be fussy!
I camped out at my favorite river so as to get shots of the bears grabbing salmon! Lots of salmon in the river but zero bears? I was there for three days and saw no bears!
I talked to a friend of mine who has the unusual job of swimming down many streams around Tofino. He and his wife count salmon to get a idea on how healthy the run is. He told me that in 17 swims over the last month he and his wife saw only one bear!
No hunter or hunters could possibly wipe out that many bears all over the place. Maybe in one stream but still that’s stretching it! I haven’t a clue as to what’s going on? I’m hoping he and I are both wrong and the bears will show up on mass soon!
I found many Blue Herons out tonight! These two were hunting in the shallows. I swung around 180 degrees to get a different perspective.
Because the salmon are beginning to run the eagles are leaving their territories to flock to the streams! I was disappointed to find both Romeo and Juliette gone but my good buddy the Daredevil was home!
This bear was very concerned about watching the shoreline behind it. It must of heard something?
Whenever you see a white marking on a bear’s butt It’s because it was attacked by another bear while running away,………but not before the other bear swiped it’s butt!
The salmon are starting to arrive to spawn and the bears have also arrived for the party!
Most of you are already know, the entire west coast has taken up a bad habit…..smoking!
California,Oregon and Washington State all have major fires burning right now. The smoke from a forest fire once in the Jet stream can travel for thousands of miles! The smoke is composed of tiny pieces of ash. The thickness of a smoke layer varies. Basically the thicker the cloud, the less light will get through. Until its so thick that the sun is totally blocked.
Another thing that happens with forest fire smoke are surreal sunsets! The sun goes to a deep orange, than to a orangey red, than to a reddish pink and finally to a neon pink. The contrast is very muted because of the low light conditions. Exposures can be tricky.
Walter posed for me tonight.
I noticed the Daredevil had some down stuck under his beak. Must be like when we get some oregano stuck on our teeth!
My goofy friend came over to say hello! I can only get these close up shots when it’s calm out.
I wanted to line up those gorgeous clouds in the background with the Heron in the foreground but this Heron was wise to me!
I had to beach the boat and walk in the shallows. I am constantly taking shots as I walk. I call them “Safety” shots. If the animal takes off before I can get to that “special spot” at least I have something. Ten percent of something is better than one hundred percent of nothing.
So this Heron took off before I could reach that spot unfortunately!
This yearling was swimming when I came upon it. It climbed out of the water,shook vigorously like a dog and stared at me.
Bears are very good swimmers. They swim from island to island foraging. Actually just about every animal out there is a great swimmer and island hops as well.
When Bears get mange,they often times go into the ocean. The salt helps kill the parasites.
I found Walter kicking back. You know a Heron is relaxed If the neck is coiled. When it’s stands straight up it’s beginning to feel worried.