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.
I went to visit my feathered friend Romeo. We have a routine. When I come around the corner in my boat I always look at Beck island (nest island) to watch for when he see’s me? When he does he immediately flies over to me and does several circles around.He then glides (his gliding is faster than my boat) to our meeting spot,a rocky islet I call his throne.
However……..on this occasion he came out from the north catching me off guard! Silly eagle. I wonder what he was doing over there and that’s not his territory? At any rate it was good to see him. I chatted with him for a while and then noticed that Juliette came over to do a fly by! I always like it when she perches here as well because she almost always sings me a song! She may have a egg and just wanted a excuse to get some exercise?
The mountains had a beautiful snowy appearance to them! A great background only enhances the subject!
The last few days Tofino has been getting snow. We do get it yearly but not that often. I miss the snow to be honest. I grew up with plenty of snow and always did so many wonderful things! My favorite was winter camping. Tracking animals was much easier in the snow!
Ernie and Ethel were perched on top of their Strawberry island perch. They are staying close to each other these days as its mating season. Wherever Ethel goes Ernie is always close behind.
We’ve had many wind storms this winter so far! Hardly a sunny day to poke about. If your not into the rain,best to stay home with your book by the fire.
Tofino has become Canada’s hot spot for surfing! The best in the world flock to our small hamlet! One thing that’s very different here is the water temperature! To keep reasonably warm everybody wears a thick neoprene surf suit.
Only experienced surfers need apply during the winters storms!
Ernie & Ethel have the best seat in the harbour! Their nest tree is on Strawberry island, specifically the NE corner. Their favourite place to perch is on this tree. Eagles always want the highest spot so they can see whats going on around them.
Those mountains in background are in Strathcona Park over 22 miles away.I used my large focal length lens to shoot these. Longer focal lengths bring the background seemingly closer.(compression)
Notice that mist layer in the first shot. That mist forms because of warmer moist air coming off of the ocean. The warmer air rises, chills & condenses due to the small glacier laying underneath. The soft pinkish colour is perfect but lasts only a few minutes.
We have a strong high pressure system entrenched along the west coast.This means sunny days & cold nights. This will be the very last week any furry straggler will be about.They almost all have gone to sleep for the winter but If there are any stragglers……..this is there final week!
The first snows have fallen up in the mountains. This is Mt.Mariner in Strathcona park.I keep a eye on this area because I’ve noticed something a bit odd. In the winter time there always seems to be a low level cloud hanging around in this spot. I now have figured out why.During the summer the spot directly below the cloud never melts.Meaning It’s a solid chunk of ice.,a small glacier! So during the winter this spot is much colder than the surrounding air.The air coming off of the ocean contains lots of moisture.When moist air is cooled,dew point is reached & so fog forms.
I’d love to go & camp in this spot! The photo opportunities look fantastic!
We had 4 hours of sunshine today. I had been watching the next Frontal system moving in on the satellite site. So I knew the sunset was snuffed. No point in going out in my boat or out to the beach.So I rode down the road to see if either Ernie or Ethel was hanging around on their Strawberry island perch? Sure enough,one of them was!
The clouds parted & the sun came out late in the afternoon.I decided to ride out to the beach for a sunset shoot but on the way stumbled across these guys.Cancelled the beach & focused on them.(pun intended)
Whenever I find a eagle I always look for a great background.I than line the background up with the eagle & project back to find the sweet spot! The spot where I can shoot the eagles with a great background. These eagles live downtown.Not sure where their nest tree is? I see them around but haven’t gotten familiar with them.
So I walked around downtown trying to find a good angle. Buildings & hydro lines were in the way,I was getting frustrated. I then realized that the best spot was on the roof of a local restaurant (Schooner).I went upstairs to the second floor,shot some from the bar & than the owners son took me upstairs to the roof.Got some great shots!
One of my strangest shoots but it all worked out in the end.
I found Ernie & Ethel sitting side by side! I don’t see them doing that very often.It’s mating season so they tend to hang out a lot together.So much so that when Ethel took off,Ernie joined her seconds later!