Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Shore crab condo, Hornby Island

The shale on the beach where we stayed at Hornby Island was so soft that the shore crabs could dig burrows in it. We could see them scurry for cover as we approached.

Smoky Hornby Island

On Aug. 4 and 5, Hornby Island and much of mid-Vancouver Island was covered in smoke from forest fires. It was a weird scene. At the campground, I overheard a teenager talking on a cell phone saying "the sun is dead." Not quite, but certainly blunted, orangy red at 10 a.m. and still hot as can be. My lungs still feel it.
The ferry approaching.

My kids on the beach, south of Phipps Point, at about 6 p.m. You can see Denman Island in the distance. Vancouver Island, behind it, is obscured.

Purple martins, Buckley Bay

Open the door after you get in line for the Denman Island ferry and you can hear the happy, gurgling call of purple martins. Several families were raising young in boxes placed on pilings next to the ferry line up.

We could see two heads out of every opening. Every so often a male or a female would fly in, perch at the top of the piling and look around, then swoop over to bring them a food item, sometimes leaving with a white fecal sac. I watched one mother bring a dragonfly to the box, and then another. The father showed up a few minutes later, also carrying a dragonfly. He offered it to the young, but they must have been full. So it was a meal for Dad.

Golden Buprestid, Mount Maxwell

Why is it called a golden buprestid? Looks green to me. Anyway, my husband and his t-shirt need fear nothing from this glorious critter. Douglas Fir, shore pine and various wooden structures, not so much.

Pacific spiketail, Saltspring Island