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?
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……
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 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!
I took this lame shot of my younger sister Marianne back in 74? I always called her “Boo”. I took this when I was just beginning to take pictures. We had a trampoline in the backyard so I got her to jump on and pose.
I got bad news early this morning that she had died. It was expected. She had cancer in multiple areas. She was in the Hospice in Huntsville. A small town in northern Ontario. She was seven years younger than me.
Take flight Boo and soar!
Here a few cute cubs to make you smile and go awwwwwwwwwwww!
I’ve taken pictures of hundreds of bears over 40 years! Each one is a unique memory and picture! When I’m close and I stare into their eyes and theirs into mine,I feel there is more there than we are aware of.
I couldn’t allow the year to slip past without wishing you all a Happy New Year and great health to you all!
Romeo perching upon his throne
and on a sunset flight
Maggie warning another eagle to stay away from her domain!
The Daredevil’s close up.
Romeo admiring his Juliette!
and The Daredevil’s sunset.
and remember that every time a eagle crosses your path,an angel gets its wings!
Happy New Year from the west coast of Canada!
I placed a trail camera upstream in Tranquil creek Sept 16th. I’ve been recording the goings on for awhile now. Around 1300 30 second videos were taken. I had the sensitivity too high. The camera was being activated just by the water flowing. Also I didn’t think of limiting the shooting time to day hours. So half the videos were shot at night. A black bear at night does not record very well but you sure can see their beady little eyes reflecting back!
Here are 5 videos showing what was going on.
This video shows how bears patrol the stream looking for salmon. Bears are very skittish around each other.You can see one bear hurrying to get out of the way of the other approaching bear.
This video shows a black bear searching for salmon on a beautiful day!
This video shows one bear chasing another bear. When a bear grabs a salmon it will hurry off into the forest. It doesn’t want any other bears seeing it with a salmon as the other bear will most likely charge it trying to make it drop its prize!
This video shows how cooperative the bears are with each other during salmon spawning season. They all have full tummy’s and so are happy campers! They feel the way you do after a big Thanksgiving meal……….content and not wanting to fight!
This video shows a Sow hurrying off into the forest with a big fresh salmon and cub in tow!
Its taken me several years to figure out how to video tape salmon without spooking them! I have created a device I call a “Drift Rig”. Its basically a piece of wood that I have attached a Go Pro to. I simply go upstream of a school and release it. Once released I have zero control over where its looking.
In this short video you will see mostly Chum salmon. Female Chum salmon have a black strip running down their side while the larger ones with purple are the males. There are a few that do not have that black strip or purple markings they are Chinook salmon. They are a prized salmon and so are fished constantly. Their numbers have been greatly reduced due to overfishing. We’ve had to replenish the stocks artificially through the use of hatcheries. The reduction of this salmon has greatly affected the resident Orcas. There are only 74 of them left! The Residents eat only Chinook salmon. Some have died due to starvation! They get what is called “peanut head”. Which is what happens when their fat reserves are depleted due to starvation.
The Chinook count in Tranquil is always low but this year even more so.
The smaller fish are cutthroat and rainbow trout that have come upstream to eat stray eggs. Everybody chows down when the salmon spawn!
This cub has a very unique white chest pattern. It kind of looks like a arrow head.So I’m calling her “Arrow”.
I think I can,I think I can!
Bears absolutely LOVE barnacles!
The best way to tell a female bear from a male bear is the “Pee Dreadlock”. A female pees out the back. The wet hairs become entangled and form what I call a “Pee Dreadlock”.
If you can’t see it,it has to be a male and If its raining or it was just in the water……all bets are off.
This female sat down on the other side of the creek and watched me. She seemed like she had a full belly!
Juliette tried to get close to Romeo several times but he just walked away. It was funny watching her waddle over only for Romeo to walk away.
Tofino shines in the sun and rain.
fine dining out
breath taking sunsets
bring the kids
Romeo and Juliette invite one and all!
I found Ethel chewing on a Rock Cod. She wasn’t in a sharing mood!
I haven’t been able to get out for one reason or another. Life in Tofino is never linear……thankfully! Life here is always unpredictable. When I wake in the morning I never know where or what I will be doing at the end of the day? Its a strange life to be sure but I wouldn’t trade it for all the gold.
This was originally shot on June 23rd,2013.
A small pod of Orca’s came into Tofino inlet looking for a snack.
Whenever a pod comes into a area,they make their presence known by announcing themselves.They make certain sounds that are very recognizable to all listening! Everyone in the neighbourhood knows exactly who they are & what they want! So everyone swims away & hides.Usually in beds of seaweed.
Once the pod announces themselves,they fall silent.They move into each bay checking the seaweed beds for hiding prey.Once supper is found,it’ll try to make a run for it.Sometimes they get away……..& sometimes they do not.
This time not so lucky for Mr.Seal. They made a kill! The water must of been all red from the blood as a few of the blows turned red!
After making the kill,the large male decided to come over and check me a visit.
He caught me off guard! I had my large lens on but because he popped up only 15 feet away I needed a wide angle lens. You could hear me cursing for a mile when I realized that!
………and I “think” I know why he came over to check me out?
I wear a pair of large headphones.I like listening to music,plus it muffles the engine noise and also keeps my hat on. When we came into Rankin Cove I took it off & had placed it on the hard floor of my boat.I shut the motor off so I could hear them breath. I hear them,locate and shoot.
When I threw the headphones to the boat floor I had accidentally left the music playing.I suspect the large male heard the music transmitting through the hull & simply came over to find out what that noise was?
When he surfaced directly in front of me,he surprised me! He slowly rolled over onto his left side & glided gently under my boat.I’ll always remember that large questioning eye looking up at me!
Yes,I do take pictures for a living but also live for moments like this! Words fail to describe the moment exactly. I’ve never been good with them to be honest. My worst subject through school. As a matter of fact If my English had been 2 percent points higher in grade 13 I would of gone into Ryerson for a BSc in Photography rather than pursuing Geology.
Life is complicated but in moments like this it seems so simple!