Archives For Nature

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With so much absurdness and negativity in the World — and I’m only talking about the real news — I thought it was time to publish something light. I hope you don’t mind. Last Spring, I unexpectedly met someone for the first time on the grounds of the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Such a pleasant, peaceful visit. Please meet…

Roger the Marmot 🙂

Roger is hiding here. Maybe he’s a little shy… C’mon Roger, come out and say hello.


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One of my highlights from last Summer was witnessing the Monarch butterfly release at Krause Berry Farms in Langley, Canada, just east of Vancouver. I have seen and appreciate butterflies in the wild but this event was certainly different. While the range of the Monarchs includes Southern Canada, I have never seen one outside of an enclosed sanctuary. For photo enthusiasts, such as myself, who enjoy flowers and butterflies, the butterfly release was a perfect opportunity on what was a beautiful Summer’s day in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.

During the event, participants make donations to a sponsored local charity and then release a Monarch butterfly into the garden of Krause Berry Farms. These butterflies don’t necessarily fly away but linger amongst the flowers…

Two of my favourites… a butterfly and a Tiger Lily.

tiger lily monarch butterfly

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It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had a “Photos of the Week” post. Let’s catch up a bit with photos for the month of April featuring Spring flowers and the skies over Vancouver. I also have a few photos from my travels last Spring and Summer. It’s going to be a long one so let’s get to it. These are just some of my photos posted to social media for the month of April.

 

This daffodil and I welcome you to this post! 🙂

daffodil Queen Elizabeth Park vancouver

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During one of my travels last Summer through British Columbia, Canada, I was very lucky to be visited by a couple of chipmunks at a roadside stop in the mountains. They actually came to the car door and, for a moment, I thought they were going to hop inside. For privacy sake of the chipmunks, I won’t reveal the location, but let’s just say it was somewhere in the southern half of the province. I have never seen such friendly chipmunks before, but I have a feeling that if I didn’t have sunflower seeds and acorns, they may not have stayed around.

Please bear with me with my captions, and if you have a better one, you can post it in the comments below. I have also posted my YouTube video from the same visit and please share if you like it. The video appears about half way down this post. Now, here is “Somewhere in Canada… Chubby Chipmunk Cheeks.”

 

Hello. Is that acorn for me?

cute Chipmunk british columbia

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With a climate perfect for growing tulips, every Spring, the Skagit Valley of Washington State, U.S.A. is home to one of the most popular tulip festivals in the World. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place between April 1st and 30th, and a can’t-miss attraction is RoozenGaarde. Well-known for growing tulips and other flowers, RoozenGaarde opens its gardens and fields during the festival with a breathtaking display of beauty. I had heard so much about RoozenGaarde and couldn’t wait to visit on what turned out to be a beautiful Spring day.

I would advise to plan ahead before visiting. In addition to the weather, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate with the set date for the festival. Please check the current blooming conditions so that you’re not too early or late. Also note that sunny days, especially on the weekends, can be extremely busy. Now, let’s visit the gardens…

With scenes like this, it is no wonder that RoozenGaarde welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every Spring. Let’s take a closer look…

tulips bright RoozenGaarde Skagit Valley

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Starting in February, Vancouver, Canada explodes with a vibrance of colour from many Spring flowers. For many residents and visitors, it’s the plum and cherry blossoms that are most awaited. As the city awakens after a usual dull and rainy late Autumn and Winter, the blossom trees are not hard to find. There are an estimated 40,000 cherry blossom trees in Vancouver with most being planted after the mid-twentieth century when the traditional, and very large, elms, oaks, and maples were replaced.

One of the most important moments of Vancouver history from a flora perspective happened in the 1930s, when the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama, Japan gave the city a gift of 500 cherry blossom trees. After that, the people of Vancouver fell in love with the cherry blossoms and planted them in parks, in front of homes, and along streets where the old trees once stood. With a lot of driving and some word-of-mouth, I discovered many beautiful streets in Vancouver, and saw some of the best blossom tunnels to be found anywhere. I wasn’t the only one, and, at times, would be among dozens of others at my favourite cherry blossom tunnel in East Vancouver.

For some who refer to a Japanese cherry blossom tree are actually looking at a plum. I’m a little confused myself so feel free to correct me when I’m wrong in the comments below. I often took the easy way out and just identified the trees as “blossoms.” I’ll work on my tree identification this year. Now, please join me on “Scenes of Sakura, Plum and Cherry Blossoms of Vancouver.”

No, it isn’t snow, but blossom petals. Taken on my favourite cherry blossom street in East Vancouver.

Vancouver cherry blossom petals snow

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