Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kayaking at Pike Lake

Shelley and I went out kayaking at Pike Lake this morning. The river is really high and fast these days - not conducive to a leisurely paddle, let alone trying to take pictures, so it seemed like a good day to head to Pike Lake. Didn't end up taking too many pictures. We caught a glimpse of a beaver but it didn't stick around. No muskrats this time. But it was nice and peaceful on the water. A few too many water lilies in some spots though!

I must have got too close to one of the red-winged blackbird nests. The male was flapping around me trying to chase me away. Meanwhile, the female showed up with a mouthful of worms.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Walking to Work

A few photographs I took walking to work a couple of weeks ago.

Walking to Work

Urban Sunset

I looked out the window last night and saw the pink clouds. They don't last long so I quickly grabbed camera and ran outside. Our view to the West is not as open as to the East, so I don't usually try to take sunset photos from home. These were taken from the driveway.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Photos from the race

Waiting for the start:

At the first transition, from biking to running:

Coming into the finish:

Photos by Bill Wallace.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Missed It By That Much

Shelley and I and Jeff Ferguson raced in the Urban Adventure Race yesterday. This race is a score competition which means the team that gets the most points wins. We had the most points but we ended up in second place because we lost points for finishing 9 minutes late.

We were perfectly happy with second (out of about 20 teams). I'm always amazed that more of these youngsters don't run circles around an old fart like me. I know it'd be a different story if it was a straight bike or running race. Thankfully experience and strategy play a big part in this kind of race.

The weather was perfect - overcast and not too hot, not too much wind. The mosquitos were crazy though if you walked across any grassy areas.

Much to Shelley's chagrin, she slipped off at the end of the climbing challenge. Muddy running shoes aren't the ideal climbing footwear!

All the racers got yelled at by the adults organizing a kids race we had to pass by. I can appreciate warning us that there were kids around, but they were a little over zealous trying to get rid of us.

Thankfully the biking was split into two sections with the running in the middle. None of our team had been doing much biking lately other than back and forth to work, which isn't really adequate training for a four hour race!

It was a little frustrating to get the late penalty - we know that's a big mistake. We've always managed to time it pretty well in previous races. But we had a long way to get back to the finish and misjudged how long it would take us.

Other than finishing late, the race went pretty well. No more than minor delays finding any of the points, and our route choices worked out pretty well. Some of the points were in areas we were pretty familiar with, which always helps. But there were others in parts of town I'd never seen before, and that's fun too.

We only had one crash. I was trying to read the map and was debating which fork of the trail to take. I went over the handlebars but slowly and into soft grass. More embarassing than painful.

I guess Shelley and I can't have been too out of shape since we're not too stiff or sore today.

I was lucky with my bike. I went out on it this morning and only got a few blocks and my chain broke and fell off! Thank goodness that didn't happen during the race! It's a bit strange since I got a new chain about a month ago and haven't abused it in any crashes or anything. I managed to repair it with a link from an old chain and my chain tool that I've never had to use before.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kayaking on the River

A few photos from kayaking on the river. The baby geese are always so cute.

2010-06-06 River Kayak

On one hand, it's easier to get close to the birds from the water. On the other hand, it's hard to take pictures while the kayak is drifting down stream. And one of these days I'm likely to lose my paddle while I'm concentrating on the photography!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Dancing Rainbow

Noticed the sun shining through the aquarium making this rainbow on the floor and grabbed my iPhone to record it.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Turtle Tales

The sun was shining and I was going to sit outside so I thought I'd feed Millie (the turtle) outside for a change. She could get some real sunshine instead of just UV lights.

The feeding part didn't work so well. Despite being in the same blue tub as always, she could obviously tell things were not normal and she was too distracted to eat. Occasionally she would happen to spot some food, reflex would take over, and she'd grab it. But mostly she was trying to escape. Despite being mostly aquatic, these turtles are surprisingly strong climbers.

So I decided to let her go for a walk. At first she stayed on the patio close to me, but after a while she headed off into the weeds (of which we have no shortage!) and pushed herself half under the dead leaves.

I think she'd be tough to find if you didn't know where to look. Eventually I had to pull her out to go back in her tank.

Some days she can be quite a handful, thrashing around with her sharp claws and drawing blood if you're not careful. But today she was being quite calm, even after I removed the leaves she was hiding behind.

Although turtles aren't particularly intelligent, they (like many animals) have a surprising range of behaviour, which isn't easy to predict. It makes them seem like they have a "character" even if they don't in the human sense.

[thanks to Shelley for the photographs]

Friday, June 04, 2010

Environmental Shenanigans

To the Tsilhqot’in Nation, Fish Lake is a sacred place that has sustained them for generations.

To the Taseko mining company, it’s an answer to a very different prayer: a cheap dump site for acid tailings from the proposed Prosperity gold-copper mine.

Shenanigans like this used to be prohibited by the Fisheries Act – until it was amended in 2002 to allow lakes and other freshwater bodies to be re-classified as “tailings impoundment areas”.

In other words, you can't destroy a lake, but if you don't call it a lake, then it's ok. So if I don't call it "murder" is it ok to do it?

PS. If you ask me "shenanigans" sounds far too harmless.