Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A Walk in the Park

Here are some sights that I caught on a recent walk around the Lost Lagoon area of Stanley Park. It was a slightly overcast day but there were a lot of people out strolling, cycling and jogging and lots to see.

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." John Muir

The Magnolias were in full bloom.

The swans (Mute Swans) were resting along the side of the path, drawing a lot of attention, but almost oblivious to it.

You can recognise a Mute Swan by the noticeable nob or lump on top of its bill.

The swan above is dozing, or trying to and the one below seemed to be grazing on under water plants, and creating beautiful reflections in the water.

Back on the path, still resting.

A little further along, these goslings (4 total) were grazing under the watchful eyes of their parents. At one point someone got too close to the little ones and the Gander started head bobbing and opened its beak and hissed; at which point the offender backed off.

The goslings were awfully sleepy, I saw them nod off several times while grazing.

The gander looking a bit comical with a feather sticking out of its beak. Mum below watching carefully.

 These ferns seemed to be imitating the geese and swans, with their fronds curled like long elegant necks.

More swans were just along the shore, this one was determined to share a woman's lunch; seeming quite eager to eat small morsels of her tuna sandwich.

Further around the lagoon there was another pair of swans enjoying an early afternoon nap; on a Sunday afternoon, I think this is a grand plan too!

 Would you just go away and let a bird get some rest, humph!

 The mallards further along were also in nap mode.

This juvenile raccoon was sitting in the shallows of the lagoon, maybe thinking he was hidden?

He seems to have a scratch on his nose, anyway he finally decided that it was time to move to a drier location; you can see below that his paws and belly were drenched when he moved out of the lagoon.

There were at least a dozen turtles on rocks or logs in the lagoon; these three were absorbing every bit of heat that was available on this overcast day.

The Stanley Park Explorer identifies the turtles as Red-eared Slider Turtles and gives this description of them:
"Red-eared Slider Turtle gets its common names from the fact that it carries a distinctive red (sometimes yellow) stripe behind the eye and that, if disturbed on its basking site, it will "slide" into the water."
"The turtles often stack themselves up on favoured basking sites. Large adults with shells up to 22 cm in length reappear on Lost lagoon on days when the sun is shining and the temperature climbs to 10 degrees Celsius or more. Basking is the art that so called "cold-blooded" creatures employ to regulate their body temperature. I suspect that a turtle in the sun is really quite comfortably warm".

Canada Geese looking for, and getting a handout.

A crow finds a prize of its own.

Camellia bushes were also in bloom, with beautiful pink, white and red blossoms.

I saw this white tulip with a single stripe of red among the bachelor buttons, looking very beautiful.

As I was almost ready to leave I spotted this tree with its odd gnarly bark.

Well the post started with a John Muir quote and here is another:
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." John Muir

For me the walk offered fresh air, some exercise and fascinating creatures and plants, a Sunday afternoon well spent I'd say!

    "Slow down and enjoy life.
    It's not only the scenery you miss by going to fast -
    you also miss the sense
    of where you are going and why."

    Eddie Cantor
This week I completed this watercolour of Stellar's Jays:

    "The Steller's Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) is a jay native to western North America, closely related to the Blue Jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body. It is also known as the Long-crested Jay, Mountain Jay, and Pine Jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains." (Wikipedia)

    Thank you for dropping by, happy Whimsy Wednesday, until next week ....


  1. Fantastic shot from your walk. The swans are so elegant. Turtles and raccoons are so much fun to see and the goslings are adorable. Beautiful flowers and your art were also great. Wonderful spring post.

  2. What a wonderful day you had!! It is delightful to see that the lagoon has nurtured so many adorable creatures. How cute the goslings are! I smiled many times seeing the
    swans taking a nap. This place is the sanctuary for wildlife.
    The birds in your watercolor have beautiful feather! I admire your great art!

  3. What a wonderful, wildlife-filled park you have there. And beautifully captured in your photos, Gillian.

  4. my, my, my. so much beauty! enjoyed the entire walk with birds, critters, blooms. and love your watercolor! such gorgeous birds!

  5. You always have such a beautiful collection of images and topped off with such fantastic art. Your jays ar gorgeous.

    I love the various critters you've encountered on your walk. I'm watching a Canada goose nest closely in my local park. Those eggs will hatch any day now. I absolutely adore raccoons but I suspect that one was hoping to feast on a gosling or two. And I think it's brilliant how you noticed the similarities between the goose necks and the ferns. But I'm not surprised that you did. :)

  6. Wonderful shots, Gillian! Glad you saw some goslings. Love your painting of the jays!

  7. Really wonderful series of photos here. It's so true what Muir wrote and I tell this to everyone I may hike with.....we may go with an idea of what we'll find, and we may or may not find that animal, bird, etc.....but we'll find something. We'll always find much more than we expect. Every hike has proven that his quote is very true. Love your art piece of the Stellar Jays. Wonderful! Hope you enjoy your week:)

  8. Once again so many wonderful photo here. Looks like a fabulous walk you went on.. And your Painting is fabulous..

  9. So nice to see all that there is in Stanley Park. Where are those turtles? I have never seen any when I used to visit the park. Enjoyed viewing your photography!

  10. Hi Gillian,

    You have a wonderful assortment of photographs here, but the fronds "curled like long elegant necks" really stood out for me. The second one, especially, could be hanging as a beautiful art piece. I also loved the white tulip with a single stripe of red. Just gorgeous! And, I enjoyed the perfect mix of intelligence and mischievousness in your Jays' expressions. Interesting to see that tree. Each time I walk by it, I think of you :)

  11. Beautiful photos, my favourites are the Raccoons and the Turtles, fantastic.

  12. Gillian, what a beautiful walk. The swans are lovely and you got some awesome shots of them. And I love the cute goslings. The magnolias and flowers are gorgeous. Lovely shots and post. Have a great day!

  13. I've heard so many wonderful things about Stanley Park! Love all the photo ops you found there!

  14. Fine taking, the marvellous nature. I am greeting

  15. The creatures in these photos are wonderfully expressive when seen through your eyes. I, too, like your observation that the fresh curly ferns resemble the necks of the swans. Thanks for the walk through this gorgeous park at our doorstep. You’ve revived my interest, as I haven’t visited there for quite some time. :)

  16. John Muir is so wise. Your shots really capture the spirit he talks about.

    Gorgeous gorgeous - plants and wildlife. My favourite is that gnarled tree trunk.

  17. we call the swans Lump swan. :) Great shots.

  18. A wonderful post Gillian... you could have been walking with me over here until I saw the raccoon lol.
    Hugs Drew xx

  19. Gillian, your photos today are just so amazing. I think my favourite is the turtles reflected in the water. Your walk brought back memories of when I first moved to Vancouver to teach and I, lived in the West End. It was so wonderful to walk to Stanley Park on a Sunday. I walked around Stanley Park fairly often as well training for a walking marathon. You live in such a beautiful city.!

  20. so fun, so much to see!! you captured some wonderful moments and colors!!

    your watercolor is gorgeous!!

  21. Fantastic photographs, sensational walk. Very beautiful swan. I am greeting

  22. A lovely selection Gillian; especially the Racoon.

  23. Thank you for the lovely walk through the park. I had to laugh at the swan's eye open/eye shut. They sure are beautiful, as is your Jay watercolor. As always, enjoyed my visit.

  24. You have the most interesting walks, your birds are a common sight to me but your raccoon sighting was special. For me it is seeing the little rabbits, lots of babies out there now, but somehow I don't seem to have my camera like you. Once again, some really good shots.

  25. Gillian, thank you for posting those gorgeous shots of Stanley Park. I have been going there since I was a baby, [a lot of years] and it makes me homesick to think of it.

    Yes it's beautiful up here, and there will be treasures to find and visit, but Stanley Park has been in my life for so long...

    I really enjoyed seeing it again through your lens.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  26. Beautiful shots! Thanks for the outing.

  27. What a beautiful post again ! full of beauty and hapiness !

  28. A great series of photos. Your eye for detail is wonderful. The John Muir quotes are perfect!

  29. There is nothing better than a walk in the woods. Thanks to your blog, I was able to do that right now. The last artwork is wonderful.

  30. Beautiful photographs, fantastic place, I love walks through the park. I am greeting