John Harvey Photo

April 2015Go to Slide
            Show

And some clever quip...


Grandma's House for Easter

Easter is kind of a funny time of the year - this year was a light snow year so it's too late for any kind of winter activity but it's pretty early spring so many things are still shut down or just cold.  This year we decided to go to Grandma's house!  The kids know the program - riding bikes on the deck, coloring with someone else's paints, and just generally being spoiled by Grandma.

Claira Painting Nara PaintingClaira Riding ATrike


There is a playground just down the street from my parents house.  Their neighborhood is funny - it was reasonable while we lived there but the cost of housing has risen and families have gotten older and now you mostly see kids with grandparents.  Saanich does a good job of maintaining the playground and there is enough equipment to keep both kids happy.

Nara Hanging From BarNara On Top Of BarNara Jumping Off Balance BeamClaira On Walkway
Claira Riding High  Grandpa Giving DirectionsNara Claira On Teeter Totter

Nara On Zip Line
We actually tried out a new park this week: Cadboro - Gyro Park.  It has a zip line which Nara quite likes and some very solid concrete climbing structures that will be here in a thousand years.  It's a drive to visit the playground (with a beach!) but I suspect next trip it will be the go to playground.

Cordova Bay

Nara With Bare Feet
The irony is that the ocean is closer to our house in Vancouver than it is to my parents house in Victoria, but we seem to visit the beach in Victoria more often than we do in Vancouver.  We brought rain boots for the kids but Nara insisted in going bare foot and Claira insisted on copying her sister.  The grandparents have a great selection of beach toys so the kids had lots to do in the sand.


Claira With Bucket Of SandClaira And Helen At The BeachNara Digging With Shovel At Beach

We got a "National Geographic" moment with the birds on the beach.  I was walking along the beach and accidentally made a sea gull fly off and drop it's lunch - a Red Rock Crab.  The crab seemed fine (no missing limbs) but it's behavior wasn't too smart - it appeared to be eating things in the sand rather than trying to get back into the ocean.  I gave it a good fling into the water but a minute later the seagull managed to fish it out again.  I think the beach is so flat that the crabs don't really stand a chance - the gulls take advantage of the low points between waves and just pluck the crabs from the bottom.  It didn't take long for the seagull to flip over the crab, rip off it's legs and then eat the crab guts.  It's a harsh world.
 
Glaucous Winged Gull Flipping Red Rock CrabRed Rock Crab

Uplands Park

Helen had two boutique toy stores in mind - I don't know Oak bay that well so I needed some map help navigating.  On the way home I decided to drive through Uplands and was surprised to discover Uplands Park.  The afternoon light was harsh so I decided to drive over the next morning and see it early morning light.

Arcing Train In Garry Oak Meadow Camas Growing In Garry Oak Meadow
The nice part about this time of the year is that sunrise isn't at four in the morning - lots of great light at 6:30am.  Even the parking lot had attractions.  The Gary Oak trees are just starting to come into leaves so there is lots of light hitting the ground.

Dense Patch Of White Fawn Lily

Common Camas With DewFew Flowered Shootingstar
I'm not even a novice at the Gary Oak ecosystem, but I could tell this was a special place.  Clearly there were invasive species all around but there were also native species (like shooting stars) that you just don't see in an urban park.  There were trails through the meadows and they weren't 8 feet wide.


White Fawn Lily With DewWhite Fawn Lily With Yellow StamenSpanish Bluebells

Thankfully the wind was light so taking macro photos was quite doable.  It's been quite a while since I've taken these kinds of photos - it was nice to get back into it.  I remember as a kid living in Victoria we never went into uplands because if you went off the main road you never found your way out.  Funny how things change.

Swan Lake

Nara Touching Rubbed Tree


There is a whole class of places I never went to when I lived in Victoria and I now go to frequently when I do visit Victoria.  Swan Lake is one of those places - a small urban wildlife refuge in the city.   I took Nara and my mom the first day but having a young child doesn't seem to match up with taking photos of birds unless you want photos of Mallards.  The floating bridge is always fun with kids - the bridge moves in the wind and brushes the nearby trees so there are sounds and damage to explore.

  Female Annas Feeding On Red Flowering Currant
Not having much luck taking photos of birds, I decided to go one morning before the kids got up and spend some time actually waiting to see things.  I considered going with the organized birding group on Sunday morning, but I'm still scared of the "more money than brains" tag because I don't know every species of bird but I do have a big lens.  I decided to go Monday morning.



  Marsh Wren With Breath CondensationMarsh Wren On Tall Reed
I found a hummingbird right out of the car and the combination of light bird and bright pink flowers is a no brainer.  After that I chased some Marsh Wrens for a while - they are territorial so they can be funny to watch chasing each other around. 

Marsh Wren On Top Of Cattails
If you look at the "What to See" at Swan Lake - there are a number of ducks on the list (I mostly saw them in the center of the lake, far away from good photos) and some larger predators.  I'm not gifted at find owls and hawks and my luck this day wasn't any better.  I still had a great time though - happy with the photos and I got home just after the kids got up.

Easter Eggs

Claira Sitting On The Floor
Traditions really are what you make.  When I was a kid we decorated Easter eggs - maybe a few times.  Maybe.  My Mom had an Easter Egg dyeing kit and 6 hard boiled eggs.  She heard that crayon survives the dye process so we started with getting the kids to color the eggs.

Claira With Airplane Egg
 
Coloring an egg isn't as easy as you would think - curved surface and all.  Nara made a pretty good rendition of a flower and Helen put together some patterns.  Claira is just starting to draw on her own (her version of drawing is pestering grown up into drawing what she wants on her materials) so the egg came out "distinct".

  Nara Putting Flowers On Her EggClaira Adding Black CrayonHelen Putting Wavy Line On Egg
 
The dye comes as little pills with probably enough dye for a gross of eggs.  I really wonder what the water at the sewage treatment plant looks like on Easter weekend.  With a layer of dye on top of the crayons, we had Easter Eggs!
 
  Mixing Up DyesClaira Watching Eggs DyeFinished Eggs Drying
 
Claira Breaking Into EggNara Eating Chocolate Ice Cream
But really it's about the treats.  Desert with every dinner - good desert, like ice cream or pie.  Chocolate eggs at Easter.  Treats.


Beacon Hill Farm is another "don't forget to do" part of any trip to Victoria.  It opens at 10am which is early enough to do before lunch but not rush breakfast.  The kids are getting more comfortable with the goats even though they still seriously outweigh Claira.

Brushing Brown GoatNara Brushing Goat

Nara's Birthday!

Previous years we have had a birthday party at our house but Nara wanted to invite day care friends and there was no way we could get that many people into our house.  Helen found an available booking at the Kerisdale Community Centre and did a ton of planning and tada!  We had a birthday party!
 
Claira Running With BalloonsNara And Abby At Top Of SlideLoren Riding On Fish

The community centre provided a party room for the meal and a gym toys and a bouncy castle for the kids to play.  We started at 11am and had lunch around noon.  The kids had pizza and cake in less than half an hour and were back to the gym to keep playing.

Noelle Getting Out Of Bouncy CastleNara In The Bouncy CastleClaira Nara And Uncle David

Plates And Balloons Set OutTable Full Of Kids Eating Cake   Nara Blowing Out CandlesFruits And Vegetables Serving

Nara's birthday Party was Saturday afternoon.  That evening, Sean, Catherine and Liam happened to be in town so we went out for dinner.  We happened to get all the kids on the stairs to take a photo.  Kat's daughter was also there, but she was sleeping so sadly she didn't make it into the photo.

Six Kids




Claira Running With Balloons
Person: Claira
Tags: balloons
Nara Digging With Shovel At Beach
Person: Nara
Tags: beach, Cordova Bay
Finished Eggs Drying
Tags: eggs
Nara Blowing Out Candles
Claira Breaking Into Egg
Person: Claira
Six Kids
Person: Abby, Claira, Haley, Nara, Xander
Noelle Getting Out Of Bouncy Castle
Person: Noelle
Helen Putting Wavy Line On Egg
Person: Helen
Camas Growing In Garry Oak Meadow
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Painting
Person: Claira
Nara With Bare Feet
Person: Nara
Altitude: 5m (16 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, Cordova Bay
White Fawn Lily With Yellow Stamen
Species: Erythronium oregonum (White Fawnlily)
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Brushing Goat
Person: Nara, Claira
Altitude: 24m (78 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: petting zoo
Marsh Wren With Breath Condensation
Species: Cistothorus palustris (Marsh Wren)
Altitude: 21m (68 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Swan Lake
Spanish Bluebells
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Female Annas Feeding On Red Flowering Currant
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird), Ribes sanguineum (Redflower Currant)
Altitude: 25m (82 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: BC fauna, bird, Swan Lake
Loren Riding On Fish
Person: Loren
Nara Putting Flowers On Her Egg
Red Rock Crab
Species: Cancer productus (red rock crab)
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Marsh Wren On Top Of Cattails
Species: Cistothorus palustris (Marsh Wren)
Altitude: 12m (39 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Swan Lake
Claira Nara And Uncle David
Nara And Abby At Top Of Slide
Person: Nara
Tags: slide
Arcing Train In Garry Oak Meadow
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Claira On Teeter Totter
Altitude: 23m (75 feet)
Location: Go To...
Mixing Up Dyes
Claira Adding Black Crayon
Person: Claira
Plates And Balloons Set Out
Fruits And Vegetables Serving
Brushing Brown Goat
Person: Nara, Claira
Altitude: 27m (88 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: petting zoo
Table Full Of Kids Eating Cake
Grandpa Giving Directions
Tags: McMinn Park, wagon
Nara Painting
Person: Nara
Claira Watching Eggs Dye
Person: Claira
Tags: eggs
Glaucous Winged Gull Flipping Red Rock Crab
Species: Cancer productus (red rock crab), Larus glaucescens (glaucous-winged gull)
Altitude: 3m (9 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Eating Chocolate Ice Cream
Tags: dessert, ice cream
Dense Patch Of White Fawn Lily
Species: Erythronium oregonum (White Fawnlily)
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Jumping Off Balance Beam
Person: Nara
Altitude: 23m (75 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara On Zip Line
Person: Nara
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: playground, zipline
Few Flowered Shootingstar
Species: Dodecatheon pulchellum (dark-throat shootingstar, Few-Flowered Shootingstar)
Altitude: 6m (19 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira With Bucket Of Sand
Person: Claira
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bucket, Cordova Bay, sand
Nara On Top Of Bar
Person: Nara
Altitude: 24m (78 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Riding High
Person: Claira
Altitude: 20m (65 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: McMinn Park, playground
White Fawn Lily With Dew
Species: Erythronium oregonum (White Fawnlily)
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Sitting On The Floor
Person: Claira
Nara In The Bouncy Castle
Claira And Helen At The Beach
Person: Claira, Helen
Nara Hanging From Bar
Person: Nara
Claira Riding ATrike
Person: Claira
Common Camas With Dew
Species: Camassia quamash (common camas)
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira On Walkway
Person: Claira
Altitude: 20m (65 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: McMinn Park, playground
Claira With Airplane Egg
Marsh Wren On Tall Reed
Species: Cistothorus palustris (Marsh Wren)
Altitude: 12m (39 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: Swan Lake
Tags: Swan Lake(4), Cordova Bay(3), McMinn Park(3), playground(3), beach(2), petting zoo(2)
People: Claira(14), Nara(11), Helen(2), Haley(1), Noelle(1), Loren(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > April 2015

Leave a Comment

Some HTML allowed: <b>, <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>, but most isn't.  Text length is limited.  comments from first time authors will be reviewed before being posted. comments with swearing or painfully poor spelling will probably be rejected.


Last Modified Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 22:41:48 Edit
Copyright and Contact Information.