DINNER TIME

I was done the evening shoot,so headed back to the dock. I was pleasantly surprised to see a young River Otter chowing down at the dock! The best time to get close up shots is when a animal is eating. They tend to zone out.

Unfortunately the sun had already set so the lighting was poor! I bumped my ISO up to 1600,slowed my shutter down to 1/125 and opened the f-stop wide open and that still wasn’t enough. I hate poor lighting conditions with a excellent subject!

THE MYSTERIOUS CASE OF THE “HEADLESS LION”

I went for a ride/walk out on Chestermans beach. It was overcast so I didn’t take my camera. As usual, when I don’t bring my camera Mother Nature says something like “what can I do to make Wayne shake his head cursing that he didn’t bring his camera”?

So what do I come across out on Frank island…..a dead adult female Stellar Sea Lion……….with no head! Now I’m not a expert but I think those things usually come with heads. Someone mentioned that they had seen a mother Orca and calf in the area a couple of days ago. Suggesting that the Orca may of bitten the head off. As soon as I heard that I knew that wasn’t true. Any animal whether out in the bush or water would never turn done a gourmet meal! That would be like somebody finding a wallet full of money, throwing the money away but keeping the wallet.

Coincidentally some friends came across the carcass as well. He’s a retired surgeon and his wife is a retired GP. They both examined the wounds and thought that a sharp metal instrument had been used to cut the flesh.

So this Lion must of died and simply floated ashore.Than somebody came along and took the head off for a souvenir? Now this animal looked perfectly fine to me. It wasn’t starving and my Surgeon friend said that he thought it might be pregnant? Well If anyone is going to know that kind of stuff it would be him.

So my revised theory is that it was shot. You must remember that when Harbour Seals and  Sea Lions are shot 98% of the time they are shot in the head. Thats because the only thing poking up above the water is their head! A friend suggested It most likely was shot by a commercial fisherman? They are the only ones out there that carry firearms and they also have a hatred for Lions.

When they net Herring and have their nets pursed by the boat the Lions attack on force by the dozens! They leap into the nets to gorge themselves! This pisses off the fisherman. They have “Seal Bombs” they use to frighten them away and do also shoot them. There has been vocal support to cull the Lions on the west coast.

The basic problem here is that we as a species have collectively raped the oceans for hundreds of years! When we weren’t here (that means ALL humans) there was plenty of fish to go around but now many stocks have become depleted! Take the Northern Cod on the East coast. That stock still hasn’t come back after 30 years of moratorium!  Here in Tofino the Herring fishery was stopped decades ago! All fished out.

So these poor creatures are being forced to jump into the nets for something to eat. If you could ask one of them they would say something like “We don’t want to go near those animals but they have all the fish”!

We’re like King Midas,except instead of everything turning to gold, everything we touch, dies.

ROMEO’S SUPER PINK MOON

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This months moon is called a “Pink” moon. The name comes from flowers that bloom early. Its a Super Moon because the orbit brings it closer than normal to Earth. The Moon is the most “Super” (closer) moon of the year. There are three Super moons in 2020 and they are consecutive.

 

THAR SHE BLOWS!

The Gray whale migration is on! They are travelling from the warm waters of Mexico and heading to the food rich waters of the Bering Sea! Consider this migration route like a huge highway. When some of them pass Tofino they ramp off and spend the summer here! In the fall time they will get back on that marine highway and head back south where the females will give birth.

A rather large pod of Gray’s has arrived in Tofino. Maybe 12 plus. I first saw them a few days ago.

Our Hospital is located near the water. I was heading home on my bike when I heard singing and drumming. It was a Native man singing and drumming a traditional song to someone he knows sick inside the Hospital. Magically I noticed a pod of Gray whales behind him in the waters spouting! I decided to put my boat in the water to go check them out. Because the whale watching boats have been side lined I knew I would be able to get some great shots….which I did!

BARNACLE HITCHHIKERS

Barnacles attache themselves to a Gray whale in the warm waters in Mexico. Once attached they will stay attached for life. (which is about a year for this species of barnacle) They do not harm the whale,but they do make their skin a patchy colouring. They basically use the whale like a taxi,all the while feeding upon plankton. Whales do rub themselves upon sandy beaches (which is what I observed) to rid themselves of barnacles but many are rubbed off when they feed anyways.

A Gray whale will go down to the bottom and turn on its side. It will swallow a mouthful of muddy bottom and filter it with their baleen. Baleen look like a big broom. It stops the food from escaping.

A Gray whale will live between 55 and 70 years. It grows to 40 feet and can weigh in at 40 tons.

 

 

A TOFINO SUNSET

I love sunsets…..sunrises too but am too lazy to get up that early. Besides,looking to the east here is poor. Too many trees and hills blocking sunrise! Plus the only body of water one could go for a sunrise is Kennedy lake and thats too far away.

I like shooting Chestermans beach (Chesty) at sunset.  I found out over the years what works and what doesn’t.

I need the right clouds,tide,lots of rain. The clouds need to be Goldi Loks…not too many (overcast) and not too few. The tide needs to be low around sunset,that way more beach is exposed. It needs to of rained for several days (easy in Tofino) and than break! The rain leaks out onto the beach creating a huge mirror!

Than If your lucky a few surfers will walk past. I do like a subject but in this scenario they are always like chickens teeth.

Oh and the God rays are icing!

INTRODUCING……..”RITA”

I’ve been trying to get to know two Ravens the last few months,Robbie and Rita. Robbie wasn’t around tonight but Rita came over to say hello!

Bar none Ravens are the most intelligent creature out there! There are humans……and than Ravens! When they look at you,you can see the gears turning. They’re figuring you out before you do!

They also hold mythological status in many cultures! If your superstitious,don’t piss off a Raven..they have friends! A gathering of Ravens is called a unkindness,a conspiracy or a congress. I lean towards congress myself!

With Eagles the females are larger than the males,with Ravens the males are larger than the females. I hope to get some shots of Robbie!

SUPER WORM MOON

Each full moon has a name. The March full moon is called a “Worm” moon. This is what I found out about the Worm moon………Native Americans called this last full moon of winter the worm moon after the worm trails that would appear in the newly thawed ground. Other names include chaste moon, death moon, crust moon and sap moon, after the tapping of the maple trees.

Because the orbit is closer this month Its also a Super Worm moon!

  1. Wolf Moon – January
  2. Snow Moon – February
  3. Worm Moon – March
  4. Pink Moon – April
  5. Flower Moon – May
  6. Strawberry Moon – June
  7. Buck Moon – July
  8. Sturgeon Moon – August
  9. Harvest Moon – September or October
  10. Full Corn Moon (Harvest) – September
  11. Hunter’s Moon (Harvest) – October
  12. Beaver Moon – November
  13. Cold Moon – December

“DELILAH” MAKES A RARE APPEARANCE!

Delilah was perched close to me and I didn’t even see her! By the time I was able to shoot she was already beginning to high tail it out of there.  She’s not a fan I guess.

I remind you that this is Delilah #2. The original Delilah liked me much more. It was still nice to see her close up at any rate, It seems I never see her!

ROMEO AND JULIETTE

Many people have asked me over time, “how do you tell the difference between the females and males”?

The above two shots show the best comparison. A female eagle is about a 1/3 larger than the male. Romeo is on the left with Juliette in behind on the right. You can see how the females beak is much larger. A males head/beak contour is more streamlined.

It’s hard to tell in the beginning but If you pay attention to the beak head ratio,you’ll be able to tell If Its a female or a male zipping past at mach one!

Note: Juliette is further away than Romeo but appears larger. I’m guessing that she’s about 4 feet behind Romeo. If she was right beside Romeo she would appear even larger.