Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Early Asparagus .... gets EATEN!!

What a surprise this morning!  The wife was out in the yard giving away all my precious turning wood to our neighbor and happened to notice this in the garden.  I know it's the middle of March but that seems kind of early even for the "wet" coast of British Columbia.  I suppose I should keep this secret as half the snow-bound easterners will be thinking of moving out here to Canada and that's the last thing we need .....  more people with the "eh" accent .... Eh?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Out With The Old ....

The passing of time is not always kind ....  Rusting by the roadside into oblivion is the plight of this once glorious human creation.  I wonder if it will come back as a Toyota in it's next life?  You DO believe in reinCARnation don't you?

Canon 5d mk3 17-40mm L lens.  1/125th @ f8 25mm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keep Your Friends Close ....

Keep your enemies closer?  Have these small birds started to read?  Have they heard of this old adage or have they just learned from experience? 

It looks like those in this image HAVE learned that if they stay close the eagle is unable to catch them.  I wonder how that would work in Africa.  Is it possible that a baby Gnu could stand right behind a lion and feel safe?  Guess I'll have to wait for the video to come out on that one .....  anyone have the number for National Geographic?

Canon EOS 60D 100-400mm L lens  1/400 @ f16

Friday, February 15, 2013

Know Thy Neighbor?

I'm told we aren't able to pick our relations, more's the pity in certain circumstances, but we do have a say when it comes to our neighbors.  The question is ....  did we pick wisely?  I wonder who came first in the photo?  Just what went through the mind of the second renter when the real estate agent brought them to this location?  Did they notice the business next door?  Did they see the humor in the situation?  Does ANYONE notice anything any more?   Where the hell are my glasses?

Canon 60d 24-105 f4L lens  1/60 @f22

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Greeter In Training?

What better way to spend a grey Nanaimo winter day while your wife is shopping than in training?  It's obvious to me this guy would much rather be in a sporting goods store than in the local Wally-World parking lot.  OR is he in training for the greeter position and simply waiting for his audition.  Personally? ...  I think he's a shoe-in for the job ....

Canon 5d mkIII  24-105 1/125th at f5.0 iso-100

Monday, February 4, 2013

Suffering From Agression

Not many birds are more territorial than our local Annas hummingbirds.  The photo below shows one result of that aggression.  This poor little female has obviously ran into something and bent her beak badly on the tip.  I watched her for some time and it was obvious she was unable to retract her tongue all the way also.  Although she was still able to feed at the nectar feeders she would be unable to catch bugs and insects to feed any young she might have.  Sad ....

Canon Eos 5d mkIII - 100-400mm f4.5  iso 500 f 5.6 @ 320th

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Arab or A-rub? Both supply oil ...

With the price of oil getting to a ridiculous price most of us can't stop complaining about the price of gasoline.  There are those among us that have a steady oil supply all their own ...  They just have to be able to reach it as this critter displays all too well ...

Canon 5d mkIII 70-200 F4.0 L usm

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bright Lights of Nanaimo

On the west coast of Canada we are notorious for grey cloudy or rainy days for most of the winter.  Even on the worst days though I can still find at least one bright spot to capture my attention.  Today it was one of our resident Annas hummingbird that really caught my eye.  Damn it almost looked like an Xmas light in the afternoon gloom.  No wonder he can attract a female with a mantle like that....

Taken with a Canon 60D and a 100-400mm Canon lens. ISO 1600. F 7.1

Friday, January 25, 2013

You Otter See What I saw Today ....

Back to Nanaimo River flats today to see if I could get any better photos of the Short Eared Owl.  Took around 100 photos all of which went directly into the bit bucket but on the way home I came across this critter playing in the center of the river.  I haven't seen a sea otter this close up since I was steelhead fishing back in the early '70s.  Not a lot of fish in the river at this time of year so I wonder what brought him this far up river.  Like me .... curiosity?

Canon 5d mkIII with 100-400mm and 1.4 Tamron (crappy) tele-extender.  Oh well at least the lens will auto-focus with this extender.  I called a camera shop in Victoria to ask about Canons new 1.4 III version and was told that I would lose auto-focus if I used their version???

Thursday, January 24, 2013

This is Really For The Birds


Finally back posting simply because I bought a new camera and since there aren't any mushrooms out to collect/photograph in January I thought "what the hell" I would wander down to the Nanaimo River and see what was photogenic.  (Warning run-on sentence alert)  Both the photos are of the Short Eared Owl that spends a couple of months or so cleaning up most of the mice on the flats.  For the camera interested types they were taken with a 5d mk III with the Canon 100-400 f4 and 1.4 Tamron extender.

You'd almost think I had ruffled this guys feathers from the look of him ....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lonesome Pines

    In normal years past I have had some difficulty finding Pine mushrooms (Tricholoma magnivalare) with any degree of consistency.  This is obviously not a normal year!  I had been told recently by a women who sells mushrooms for a living that every ten years or so there will be a bumper crop of these mushrooms.  I'm beginning to think she was telling the truth. 
Disclaimer: (It's a noted fact that mushroom gatherers have been known to stretch the truth on occasion)
     So far this year I have managed to collect around 25 pounds of these gems and I have broiled, baked, fried, sautéed, steamed, dried and frozen all those that weren't full of worms.  Oh yes ...  did I mention that insects love these things also?  There is nothing more disheartening than cutting into the stem of a Pine and seeing a bunch of little worm holes. 
     Now I know of people that ignore this fact and cook them anyway claiming the added protein is actually good for you but I'm not one of them ....  Most of the protein that passes my lips (at least intentionally) was very recently clothed in feathers .... not housed in a cocoon!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Bear's Head Edible?

Took a drive to Cathedral Grove today hoping that the "touristy types" had retreated for the season so we could spend some time looking for mushrooms.  We were right on time.  There were only 3 other vehicles in the parking lot and not a sound of a critter under 20 years of age ...  Heaven!  Must be getting old as the sound of children's voices is like a thousand fingernails screeching on a blackboard.  We hadn't walked far when we came across our first Herecium abietis (Bear's Head) which was really quite small.  This second one took quite a bit longer to find but it was worth the wait.  They really resemble icy frozen waterfalls.  Finally a chance to taste one.  If this is my last post then you know the damn thing killed me ...

Hopefully --- To be Continued ....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

You know you've had a great day when you manage to come home with three Cauliflower mushrooms (Sparassis radicata).  I think I only managed to find 2 all of last year and we found three in one day today. 

If you have never tasted mushroom soup made with one of these then I suggest it's time you add the experience to your "bucket list".  They really do have a unique flavour and smell.  The hard part is cleaning the damn things.  They are usually full of coniferous needles and spiders.  But if you don't mind the extra protein then you don't have to be too fussy ....  besides ....  just how bad could spiders taste anyway?

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Silence Of A Waterfall

    The quiet and solitude of a corner of my property.  How can something as noisy as a waterfall that fills the late summer air with it's sound create the feeling of total silence?  It's as if the normal sounds of the neighbourhood are being masked to the point of completely disappearing.

  Then the quiet is shattered by the sound of a rock smashing into my fence.  One of these times I'm going to get lucky enough to hit that damn cat that comes to taunt my Koi ....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Just Pineing Away

Finally!!!  It's taken me a couple of years to find a decent amount of Pine mushrooms (Tricholoma magnivalare) but today made it all worth the wait.  My wife and I had been out looking for a Cauliflower mushroom that I had left to get bigger 2 weeks ago when I came across a small fortune in Pines.  When I got the bunch home and weighed them I was surprised to find I had collected 7 pounds and 10 ounces of them.  Damn!  I may have to buy a couple of more trays for my dehydrator to accommodate this bounty.

You know some days just ARE better than others.  This was a very good day ....