Thursday, January 22, 2009

Flora and Fauna

As promised, portraits of UVic campus resident rabbits. These photos were taken just a few moments ago, out on the lawn in front of the building my two classes are held in. Today is a grey day, but there were still many rabbits out. They only seem to take cover in the bushes when it rains.

Before I had kids, I read a rather depressing survey done amongst kindergarten-aged children, revealing that they could correctly identify a startlingly large number of corporate logos, but only a very limited number of plants and animals in their own environment. I'm sure that this observation is true for most adults in urban settings as well - I know that it is for me, despite the flower walks my mother used to take me on, and the bird-watching trips to Point Pelee I went on with family friends. It has been one of my goals to attempt to reverse this trend in myself and my children, and one of my hopes in moving to Victoria was that this task would become easier. So far, I think the learning curve has been pretty good. Yesterday, I finally spotted some birds at our feeder, and I think I am correct in identifying them as Northern Juncos. They matched the description fairly closely, with black hoods and their white tail feathers flashing as they fed. Dylan says he thinks they are roosting in our roof.

Sunday we all went for breakfast at the Beacon Drive-In, and carried on to the beach for a walk (and a wade). Sam pulled off his boots and his pants and went in this time. We just sat on a log, watching in disbelief. We saw seagulls snacking on crabs, a bald eagle flew right over us, and we spotted an interesting bird with a bright orange beak, that we later identified as a black oystercatcher. (We have a very handy pocket naturalist's guide to the BC shoreline wildlife, but I haven't managed to remember to bring it with us yet, so we just struggle to remember all the things we want to identify on the way home.) We strolled back, past the pond where the men with remote control boats were out once again.

I hope the following picture provides a little respite from the scenery most of my readers are used to these days. (Snowdrops instead of snow). If it is more irritating than enjoyable, feel free to say so in the comments, and I will stop posting this sort of thing.

Tuesday brought lengthy sessions of lego in the sun on the stairs for some:

And scenic bike rides for others:

It's a strange sort of season. It seems like spring, with the snowdrops and little green buds appearing on some plants. Even the neighbour's rhododendrons have a few pink blossoms opening up. I can't help feel like we're cheating winter somehow. But there is snow in the forecast for Saturday, so we'll see what comes next.

1 comment:

Happy Farmer said...

A imsply delightful account.Keep them coming. It is "warming" to think of and share your spring and know that it will be our turn....eventually !