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 ....