We live a 5 minute walk from Granville
island so going to the Island for Canada Day is the easiest thing
to do. The Island is owned federally (The CMHC) so they
organize activities for the day and actually shut down the island
to cars for the morning. It's rare that you can walk down
the middle of the road so I took a picture.
With most kids events in Vancouver, if you get there early, you
want to head to the face paint area. Obviously the lines are
shortest at the start of the day and if the line isn't long the
artists may have more time to add flourishes. If you get
your face paint first, hopefully the rest of your day has nice
painted faces in them. I did some research to find the face
paint tent, but it turned out the parade walked right by where the
kids were queued up.
The Island did a nice job with the painters - lots of seats and
talented artists. The kids were thrilled with the work done.
There a lot of things to do on the island
- artist open houses, arts and crafts project and lots of food
The kids wanted to do arts and crafts projects so we focused in
that area. They had tents setup for a button making place
and another tent setup for a bird making project. They had
an outdoor musical instrument zoo the kids enjoyed.
A Month of Time Lapses
The long summer evenings are
inspiring for photography. I went out to Terra Nova
to take a time lapse of the sunset. I did a few
things wrong - I shot every 16 seconds when I should have
shot more frequently. I started the exposure way to
bright so I lost the detail in the sun. I lost some
frames when I didn't pay attention to the exposure
time. I should have brought bug spray.
It's a holiday weekend, and you want to
enjoy the sun? Better go to Terra Nova early because it is
going to get busy.
Terra Nova has two ziplines side by side, but they still get busy
with all of the kids that come to visit. Most kids are
pretty good about bringing the swing back and keep the line moving
fast, but sometimes a little help is needed.
The park has an obstacle course that targets older kids - younger
kids can't reach all of the hand holds. Claira is still a
bit too young, but she can do most of it. Nara owns the
The hike is short (perhaps 2.5km), well
signed and has a high quality trail. It's close to a stream
or lake for most of the hike and while the elevation doesn't
change very much, you pass through lots of different niches where
different plants grow. At the start of the hike I saw
Slender Bog orchid growing in a few places - after that first 100
meters, I never saw it again.
Plants don't hold much interest for the
kids, but they do like the small bodies of water and the stuff
around the water.
When we got to the lake, we had a snack and let the wildlife come
to use. A pair of Red Breasted Sapsuckers chased each
other through the trees, briefly stopping by us. Dragonflies
flew past and occasional set down.
After a snack the kids were in a better
place and we walked back to the car. A good short day is
better than a long bad day.
Corpse Flower Opening at Bloedel Conservatory
The Bloedel Conservatory has been growing a Corpse flower - Titan
arum or Amorphophallus titanum - for about six years.
Apparently the first bloom normally happens in year seven to ten
but can happen as early as three years. It's hard to tell
exactly which day it will become super stinky and the magenta
colored frill will open so we visited just before our camping
trip. The Conservatory was pretty empty and we got a nice
show from Blanca, one of the resident big birds. On the
Monday morning that we left for our camping trip, we found out the
corpse flower had opened. Hopefully it opens again in the
next three to five years so we don't have to wait to long to
actually smell the flower!
Pre Camping Trip
This years camping
trip requires a truck. My car can only fit three bicycles
and with all the stuff for camping, we are starting to have make
sacrifices to get the necessities to the camp site. New this
year on the "necessity" list is a solid foam mattress because my
wife doesn't like our air mattress. Rather than just come
over for a day to get the truck, we made it an overnight trip and
enjoyed a morning at the local beach.
The "only a few times
a year" low tide at Cordova Bay beach is amazing. Our days
low tide wasn't that low tide, but it was low enough that we got a
nice warm ocean and softer sand to build sand castles. The
digging uncovered a worm which the kids wanted to capture and
Post Camping Decompression
We went camping in the Okanagan
and wound up coming back with a bunch of smokey camping equipment
and rocks from a rock hounding trip. The gear came out to
get some air and the rocks came out so we could see what really
had found on our trip.
We were in Victoria for the weekend so the kids went to the local
playground to try out the new gear and try to find some
blackberries. The blackberries were just starting to be ripe
(maybe one berry in 20) so it was hard to find the few sweet ones.
I also had a productive walk around Outerbridge park.
I must admit - I often don't know what I
took a picture of until weeks later. This was a small brown
jobbie - not something I recognized. Turns out this bird
(House Wren) is at it's northern limit here but it exists all the
way down to Brazil!
Another brown jobbie - this turned out to
be a Juvenile Darked Eyed Junko. He was quite patent, eating
near the stones while I walked by. I though he was a sparrow but
more research says juvenile.
Beacon Hill Children's Farm
We were in Victoria after camping and had
a morning free so we went to the Beacon Hill Children's farm to
visit the goats. I like butterflies and notice a butterfly
land in the goat enclosure so I took a picture. I wasn't the
only person that noticed - a kid came running over and scooped the
butterfly up in her hands. I didn't see what happened to the
butterfly after that.
For some reason, the kids found one goat - not the smallest one,
but only a few months old - and followed it around for most of the
time. Getting photos at the petting zoo is tricky - ideally
you want something with a face of a person and a goat, but rarely
do they both look at you.