John Harvey Photo

July 2015Go to Slide
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And some clever quip...


Claira About To SplashClaira SplashedNara Down The Water Slide By Herself

We arrived right when the park opened but already there was an impossible line up at the water slide.  Nara was amazingly patient navigating the long line up - perhaps 15 minutes waiting for a 30 second ride.  Claira wasn't so into the water slide - even riding on my lap, but she did enjoy playing in the water park.

Claira With Hose Lorne At Fire Hydrant


 We met a lot of people we knew at the water park - David and his two kids were there, Nancy from swimming and her kids and others from Daycare.  We stayed until Claira got too cold.
 
 
Nara Jumping Into Foam Pit
One of Nara's daycare friends happens to be born on Canada day and she had a birthday party on Canada day!  We went our to Richmond to the "air park" - a trampoline filled warehouse where kids could literally bounce off the walls.  Fun time had by all.

Nara Climbing Out Of Pit

Spanish Banks

Walking On The Sand At Spanish Banks
Spanish Banks is one of those places I've been to as part of a large activity (summer BBQ party or bicycle meet up) but I've haven't actually been to go experience the beach.  The tides were planning to go low so I thought I would take the kids.


Claira Filling ABucket
We arrived a little early (the banks weren't yet exposed) but the kids were happy - lots of fine sand to shovel and build things with.  Nara started walking down to the water to get building materials and very quickly the water was running away.  The banks are so flat that when the tide goes down it really exposes a lot of sand in a hurry.

Kids On The High Sand

Once they figured out there was nice sand to play with, the kids moved to the newly exposed sand and started to play there.  We went for a walk in the ankle deep shallow water and walked from island to island forging the small streams between islands.  If you looked further out you could see great blue herons fishing where the water got more than ankle deep.  The herons kept moving.

Claira Walking Into Shallow WaterKids On The Sand Banks
 
  Soon enough the kids were tired so we headed back to the car.  We had a good time!
 

Bug Walk at Work

Banded Alder Borer On Log
I work right next to still creek - the poster child for invasive species.  I often walk or cycle by short segments of the creek but I don't spend much time walking around.  I decided to bring my 105mm into work and shoot for a little at lunch time one day and after work the next.  I was surprised at how much there was to see!

Banded Alder Borer

The biggest surprise was the Alder Borer Beetle - a large insect that was walking around an Alder stump.  I had no idea what it was but it turned out to be quite easy to lookup online.

Orange Winged Grasshopped Red Admiral On Sidewalk

Beaver "Lake" in Stanley Park

 
Spotted Towhee On Bridge
We had one of the those Sunday afternoons where Claira went for a nap and Nara and I needed to head out of the house.  I noticed I thought it would be good to see a body of water and decided on Beaver Lake in Stanley Park.

Song Sparrow Near Seeds

To make my life more challenging, I only brought two lenses - my 105mm and my 400mm.  Nara got the gold start for spotting something cool - the first time I have seen a bullfrog in the wild!

Bullfrog Covered In BugsBeaver Lake Full Of LiliesPollinator In Hardhack Hg
 

Vacation in Victoria

Dragonfly With Nymph Skin
My parents live in Victoria.  Helen works in a Hospital and getting summer vacation time is a bit of a trick.  We wound up with two weeks in July (yeah!) but turned out to be short on ideas.  Originally we were thinking a short road trip and some camping but the road trip part didn't have the yield I was looking for (hard to work afternoon naps in) so we decided a few days with the grandparents (and a bit of free childcare!) was the more attractive option.  We took a Sunday morning ferry - no reservations!  We arrived in time for Claira to take a nap.


The first thing I did was walk over to Outerbridge park. The early summer was very hot this year so the plant life is mostly in the "brown" stage.  That said, the bigger pond on the property is very active - lots of things to see.

Blue Dasher On Rolled Up Pond LillyBullfrog Floating In PondWestern Painted Turtle Near Rock Wall

What is the first thing the kids did?  Claira napped and Nara started on an art project.  After that, they go play on the deck.  We have a wide variety of toys (including the kids bikes) that are fun outside and the option to just walk outside from the living room is almost magical to the kids.

Claira With Bubble GunClaira With Bubbles In The AirNara With Bubble Gun

The next day we tried for a beach day!  My parents and I almost make a game of finding great places in Victoria I didn't go to when I lived there but are worth visiting.  Today's lucky location?  Willows beach!
 
Trouble Makers At The Beach
Willows Beach is in Oak Bay, very close to the boarder of Uplands.  Like most other things in Victoria, it was almost empty compared to a similar attraction (say Spanish Bank) in Vancouver.  Turns out we picked a windy day - the kids made it about 15 minutes before they started complaining of the cold.  We packed up and found something else to do.

Playing In The Sand At Willows Beach

McMinn Park

Claira Pulling Her Sister In Wagon Claira Blackberry Monster
Pretty much every trip to Victoria includes a trip to the local playground.  McMinn Park has a nice playground, a large field and blackberries around the walkways - lots of things for kids. 

Claira Taking Handfull Of Blackberries

This time the city of Saanich had an event called "Playtime in the Park" where the city provided a coordinator and activities for two hours for a fee.  They were short of kids for their parachute songs and games so Nara and Claira got to play. 

 
Claira With Sidewalk Chalk
We also borrowed some of their art supplies.  I haven't used sidewalk chalk before - it's crude but effective.  The kids that actually signed up (and paid) got to paint bird houses, but we didn't pay so no bird house for us.

Claira And Nara Drawing With Chalk
 

Mount Doug

I've always liked Mount Doug for the view but I'm starting to like it as a wildlife viewing area.  In the warm summer butterflies and birds like to ride the updrafts and can often be seen from the top of the mountain.  This time didn't disappoint.

Painted Lady On RockAnise Swallowtail On Walkway

Turkey Vulture Circling Mount Doug

Swan Lake

Bushtit In Hawthorn
Swan lake has two "birding walks" each week - Sunday and Wednesday.  I've actually run into the group before while at the park with Nara - today and before it was about a dozen people with binoculars moving slowly around the park.  I have a big lens - people come up to me and remind me of that when I'm walking around.  I was a little worried about "coming out" with a group of birders and then not knowing the difference between a common and western Sandpiper.  "More Lens than Brains" probably describes me well.  Turns out I didn't have much reason to worry - the members were quite patient with newbies which I appreciated.

The floating bridge at Swan lake is under repair this summer so our walk couldn't go around the lake the short way.  We decided to start walking clockwise around, first passing by the old farmers fields.  I haven't walked that way before so I was surprised to see how different the habitat is from the rest of the lakeside habitat.

  Killdeer In FieldSpotted Sandpiper Turning Around

The bird walk finished around 11am in the morning.  Later in the day the Nature House put on Reptile day for the kids.   We planned to arrive early and leave early so we could head home for Claira's nap.

Nara Getting A Purple LizardClaira Getting A Blue Turtle
When we arrived we noticed the face painting space had no line up.  Vancouver events often have multiple painters but still end up line ups several kids deep.  Nara and Claira got reptiles painted on their faces!
Nara And Claira With Their Face Paint

They had arts and crafts and meet the animals shows.  The kids really seemed to like the touch the snakes area.  They had a garter snake out that the kids could touch and both Nara and Claira seemed really into it. 

Nara Touching Garter SnakeClaira Touching Garter Snake

We stayed until Claira almost fell asleep standing.   After dinner we we decided to return to McMinn park to try out the kids new kite!  It was just barely windy enough - if you came behind the trees the wind died and kite fell out of the sky.  The kids played with the kite for about 20 minutes and then hit the reliable swings.

Nara Flying AKiteClaira Pulling AKiteClaira On The Big Kid SwingNara Watching Her Sister On The Swing 

Trestle Over Blenkinsop Lake

Normally the kids have a bath around 7:30 or 8pm, but since it's Grandma's house we can sometimes bend the rules.  We decided to go out for a walk over the Trestle that bridges Blenkinsop lake.  We parked on the South Side and walked the few hundred meters to the bridge where there is a great view of the lake:

Trestle

Two Kids Funny Grandma And Claira On The Trestle
The low sun was out casting everything in a lovely warm light.

 Petting Zoo at Beacon Hill Park


Nara And Grandma Looking At PeacockNara Brushing The Goats
Last day in Victoria, family favorite, we had to go to the Beacon Hill Petting Zoo to see the goats.  Neither kid was actually that into it - Claira was scared of Peacocks and Nara wasn't thrilled with the goats.  

Claira Brushing Small Goat

Having Icecream In Victoria
Trying for a new tradition, we went down to the fisherman's wharf to see if we could see the seals.  No so much luck there, but the kids did get ice cream and they certainly liked that!  Thanks Parents for taking us in!

Fireworks

My building has a roof top deck.  Previous years it's been a first come first served to reserve the key for the roof - this year they just left the door open and anyone can drop in.  It was actually the first time I'd been up there - the view of the city is pretty good and while it's not a perfect view of the fireworks, it's a lot less obscured than what we see from our unit.

Purple City Wide ShotRed Disks City Wide Shot

In my mind there a few different kinds of "really good" fireworks photos.  Fireworks + City makes a nice combination.  Fireworks from water to sky is nice.  Isolating elements of fireworks is good too.  Cutting off the bottom of fireworks (because you can't see the barge) isn't really in the "excellence" category.  That said, the fireworks as seen from the top of the building were quite nice.

Cascade Of Green And Red  Four Oranges  Pedestal Of Colour
Three FansTwo Balls Of TextureCascade Of Pinks And Purples




Trouble Makers At The Beach
Person: Claira, Janet, Nara
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Red Admiral On Sidewalk
Species: Vanessa atalanta (Red Admiral)
Tags: insect
Red Disks City Wide Shot
Tags: city, fireworks, Vancouver
Nara Getting A Purple Lizard
Person: Nara
Tags: face paint, Swan Lake
Claira Splashed
Person: Claira
Tags: water park
Song Sparrow Near Seeds
Species: Melospiza melodia (Song Sparrow)
Three Fans
Tags: fireworks
Pedestal Of Colour
Tags: fireworks
Playing In The Sand At Willows Beach
Altitude: 10m (32 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Down The Water Slide By Herself
Person: Nara
Claira Getting A Blue Turtle
Person: Claira
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: face paint, Swan Lake
Western Painted Turtle Near Rock Wall
Species: Chrysemys picta bellii (Western painted turtle)
Altitude: 35m (114 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Touching Garter Snake
Altitude: 17m (55 feet)
Location: Go To...
Cascade Of Pinks And Purples
Tags: fireworks
Orange Winged Grasshopped
Species: Arphia conspersa (Red-Winged Clickhopper)
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: insect
Dragonfly With Nymph Skin
Species: Pachydiplax longipennis (Blue Dasher)
Altitude: 36m (118 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: insect, Outerbridge Park
Pollinator In Hardhack Hg
Claira On The Big Kid Swing
Person: Claira
Tags: McMinn Park, swing
Nara Watching Her Sister On The Swing
Person: Nara
Tags: McMinn Park, swing
Claira With Bubbles In The Air
Claira Pulling Her Sister In Wagon
Altitude: 31m (101 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: blackberries, McMinn Park, wagon
Claira Brushing Small Goat
Altitude: 31m (101 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira With Sidewalk Chalk
Person: Claira
Altitude: 25m (82 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: art, McMinn Park
Lorne At Fire Hydrant
Nara And Claira With Their Face Paint
Person: Claira, Nara
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: face paint
Nara Touching Garter Snake
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira Walking Into Shallow Water
Claira With Bubble Gun
Nara Climbing Out Of Pit
Person: Nara
Turkey Vulture Circling Mount Doug
Species: Cathartes aura (Turkey Vulture)
Tags: bird in flight
Beaver Lake Full Of Lilies
Species: Nymphaea odorata (Fragrant Water Lily)
Tags: lake, Stanley Park
Bullfrog Floating In Pond
Species: Rana catesbeiana (American Bullfrog)
Altitude: 41m (134 feet)
Location: Go To...
Banded Alder Borer
Species: Rosalia funebris (banded alder borer)
Altitude: 10m (32 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: insect
Bushtit In Hawthorn
Species: Psaltriparus minimus (American Bushtit)
Tags: Swan Lake
Killdeer In Field
Species: Charadrius vociferus (Killdeer)
Tags: Swan Lake
Claira Pulling AKite
Altitude: 35m (114 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara With Bubble Gun
Trestle
Altitude: 27m (88 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, lake, panorama, trestle
Kids On The High Sand
Altitude: 9m (29 feet)
Location: Go To...
Spotted Sandpiper Turning Around
Species: Actitis macularius (Spotted Sandpiper)
Purple City Wide Shot
Tags: city, fireworks, Vancouver
Two Balls Of Texture
Tags: fireworks
Claira Blackberry Monster
Person: Claira
Altitude: 31m (101 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: blackberries
Kids On The Sand Banks
Person: Claira, Nara
Tags: beach, holding hands, sand, Vancouver
Claira With Hose
Person: Claira
Four Oranges
Tags: fireworks
Claira Filling ABucket
Person: Claira
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, bucket, sand
Two Kids Funny
Person: Claira, Janet, Lloyd, Nara
Altitude: 29m (95 feet)
Location: Go To...
Claira And Nara Drawing With Chalk
Altitude: 25m (82 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara And Grandma Looking At Peacock
Claira About To Splash
Person: Claira
Claira Taking Handfull Of Blackberries
Altitude: 28m (91 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: blackberries
Painted Lady On Rock
Species: Vanessa cardui (painted lady)
Nara Brushing The Goats
Altitude: 25m (82 feet)
Location: Go To...
Having Icecream In Victoria
Nara Flying AKite
Altitude: 35m (114 feet)
Location: Go To...
Nara Jumping Into Foam Pit
Person: Nara
Anise Swallowtail On Walkway
Species: Papilio zelicaon (Anise Swallowtail)
Banded Alder Borer On Log
Species: Rosalia funebris (banded alder borer)
Altitude: 10m (32 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: insect
Grandma And Claira On The Trestle
Person: Claira, Janet
Altitude: 30m (98 feet)
Location: Go To...
Spotted Towhee On Bridge
Species: Pipilo maculatus (Spotted Towhee)
Bullfrog Covered In Bugs
Species: Rana catesbeiana (American Bullfrog)
Tags: pond, Stanley Park
Blue Dasher On Rolled Up Pond Lilly
Species: Pachydiplax longipennis (Blue Dasher)
Altitude: 32m (104 feet)
Location: Go To...
Cascade Of Green And Red
Tags: fireworks
Walking On The Sand At Spanish Banks
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, sand, Vancouver
Tags: fireworks(8), insect(5), Vancouver(4), McMinn Park(4), Swan Lake(4), beach(3)
People: Claira(13), Nara(9), Janet(3), Lloyd(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > July 2015

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