Friday, January 29, 2010

Those halcyon days of summer. In January.

It felt like summer. Half-way down the beach, a couple of days ago, we had to strip off our jackets and hide them behind a log; no way we were going to carry them, in that heat! A bit later, I was wishing I'd worn shorts and sandals. Even the water was warm.

Laurie has a little thermometer attached to his hiking stick; it read 80 degrees Fahrenheit. That can't be right! It's January, the coldest month of the year. We're supposed to need those jackets, and hats and gloves, too!

Barrow's Goldeneye, male.

I know how to make a duck dive; just focus the camera on it. A mixed flock of goldeneyes were diving near the point and we took many photos of holes in the water like the one just in front of this guy.

Barrow's goldeneye, and Common goldeneye, both males.

I have trouble remembering which is which; Barrow's or Common goldeneye. The Barrow's male has a comma-shaped white mark on his cheek; the Common wears a round patch, a period. And the Barrow's has a dotted line along the back, but less white overall than the Common. Of course, the females are almost indistinguishable, except that the Barrow's is an egg-head, with the point upwards.

I can never remember that on the beach, though. Maybe if I repeat it enough ... Barrow's, comma and dotted line; Common, period. B, ... C. BC birds; B, ... C. A mnemonic! Now I shouldn't forget.

We love poking through the shallow water; the White Rock beach, especially, has a great variety of stones; all textures and colours, solid or translucent, streaked, spotted, crystalline ... I always come home with a pocketful. In this little puddle, a purple shore crab is hiding. Can you find it?

Holding down the snags.

Looking back to White Rock and Blaine, with Mount Baker barely visible under the clouds.

Laurie loves to break the rules; he took this next photo directly into the sun. We both like the result.

Mid-afternoon sunshine.

A Skywatch post.


  1. sweet and romantic landscapes...
    good shot

  2. The way I learned to remember goldeneyes is Barrow's = Banana (shaped white spot), Common=Circle.

  3. What's the rule about taking photos of the sun? Now you've got me worried that my sensor has prematurely aged because of it.

  4. Matt,
    Good tip!

    Tim, the rule is one of those standard tips for photography; don't face the sun because it puts your subject in the dark. It's a rule that's made to be broken, like most of them are.

    I don't think it hurts the camera, unless you hold the shutter open for a long, long time facing directly into the sun.


If your comment is on a post older than a week, it will be held for moderation. Sorry about that, but spammers seem to love old posts!

Also, I have word verification on, because I found out that not only do I get spam without it, but it gets passed on to anyone commenting in that thread. Not cool!