This weekend, we travelled to Victoria to attend the Entomological Society of BC annual meeting. This was pretty convenient, as this is my home town, just a short ferry ride away, and I could stay with my mom. On Friday, folks from my lab joined other (mostly student) presenters to give talks on our work. This was especially fun for me, as Richard Ring, my entomology professor from my undergrad days was in the audience, as was my mom! The talk I gave was a pared-down version of the one I did in Guelph, and it was a little rushed, with 3 major topics to cover. That being said, it was also quite well received.
I did not attend the honeybee symposium they held Saturday, as I had to do some final revisions to a manuscript, but we did end up having an extra morning on Sunday due to some ferry cancellations due to high winds. This was not such a bad thing, as it meant that we could have a Saturday night movie (we went to see “Gravity”), and I could get out in the morning to take some pictures!
This Weekend Expedition was a bit rushed, as things were both busy and tiring for me, with the Spooktacular on Saturday, followed by a 5 h bout of Barn Owl tracking all night on Saturday-Sunday. As I slept in til nearly noon, and had a vehicle, I took Catherine out to Lynn Canyon, in her fabled homeland of North Vancouver. The place was absolutely crawling with people, as are most natural areas on the North Shore are on nice weekend days. A major infestation! For this reason, Catherine and I stuck to the woods high above the river.
What is the perfect arthropod photographic subject? Cute jumping spiders, powerful robberflies, shiny tiger beetles? I would argue that all these are great, but they are not very easy to do full photographic justice to. No, what you need is something that stays still for long periods of time, at a handy angle for posing against the light, and is pretty to boot! Sleeping bees and wasps fit this bill perfectly! Many solitary bees and wasps perch with their mandibles locked into a plant substrate. making for some fine shooting opportunities. I was lucky enough to come upon two sleeping aggregations with Coelioxys bees and Ammophila wasps at Island View Beach on Friday morning. Because they were so still, I was able to try many kinds of shots with them, I hope you will enjoy seeing them as much as I loved taking them!
It has been a busy couple weeks here in Vancouver, preparing manuscript revisions for an upcoming paper and writing grant proposals for upcoming fieldwork. They way it is looking now, I may soon be travelling to Honduras in the fall for a 3 week expedition to survey for Red-throated Caracaras and Scarlet Macaws in a remote region of Olancho. This trip will also be to familiarize myself with the terrain, meet the local conservationists and researchers, and get rolling on some permitting issues pertaining to future fieldwork. This is an exciting development for species and habitat conservation, as well as for my harebrained scheme to continue research on my favourite loud birds!
Anyway, with all the excitement, it has been tough to find time to go out to shoot, but that is exactly what I did yesterday, hanging out in Stanley Park, and seeing what the late summer had to offer.
Well, we have been working hard for 9 days with the Photron SA-5, and this weekend was mostly busy as well. I managed to get some time out to take some photos amongst all the high speed madness. Most of these shots were taken during 6 minute downloading breaks with the camera, and I also snuck in a quick trip to the local community garden.
OK, you have made it to the end of the photos. Did I ever mention that I am part American? The following 2 videos were shot at a whopping 10,000 frames per second.
This Weekend, I joined local naturalist Istvan Orosi and members of the Hastings Park Conservancy for a guided walk around the pond at Hastings Park, my local greenspace. While Istvan kept an eye out for birds (he is master of the Audubon Bird Call!) I mainly scanned the foliage for insects and spiders.
This week was big for the Conservancy, as the Vancouver City Council heard arguments for the transfer of governance of the park from the PNE corporation (which is not doing that great a job for the wildlife) to to the Parks Board. The Council will decide the issue in a special session Aug. 1, but I am not really hopeful the governance will change.
In the meantime, here are the pictures I took on Saturday!
This weekend I have been working on revisions on a paper, so have not had time for a full-fledged expedition, but I spent a couple hours outside the lab at school (Simon Fraser University) on Saturday and Sunday, and some time in the Community Garden at Pandora Park in the evenings. For the time invested, it was not a bad haul of shots!
This weekend Expedition, my dad and I paid a visit to Iona Beach, a place that has been very productive in the past. We took our bikes out there, the better to enjoy the scorching sun and cloudless skies…
Like many hot and dry days, this trip was not as productive as it might have been, with many critters deep in shelter, and those that remain active remaining VERY active. Nonetheless, we did turn up a few cool animals, and I hope you enjoy the pics!
All in all, the Expedition was not terribly fruitful. In the future I need to get out closer to dawn so as to take advantage of the less-active insects and better light…I made up for it Sunday with a bit of grant-writing at home and some prep for Cheapskate Tuesday.
My Dad was visiting this weekend from Romania, and so I thought I would take him out to find some cool stuff in Stanley Park. Now is a great time for fledgling birds, and all the summer specialties such as robber flies are abundant.