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Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Weekend Trip to the Saanich Peninsula

This weekend we made a quick trip over to the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island, BC. We visited the Butchart Gardens, my first time there. I was really glad we arrived about an hour before sunset, because that gave us time to see the gardens in the daylight (and also to avoid the mad rush of people coming just for the lights!). We especially enjoyed the Japanese Garden, which would be closed after dark.

One thing I've really grown to love about macro photography is that regardless of the day (or the weather or the light) you can almost always find something interesting to photograph. It was a pretty gray afternoon with fading light, but there are always little wonders to be found.

We took a full walk around the gardens in the fading light. It wasn't quite dark enough for the nighttime photos we were hoping for of the Christmas lights, but there were still some opportunites for pictures.

As darkness continued to descend, the lights became more and more spectacular, and they really go all out.

The most spectacular vista at night is the overlook of the sunken garden
And it's no fun to photograph so many colorful lights without playing around with some abstract long exposures...

This morning before catching the ferry back to our home island we headed down the peninsula in search of a flock of common redpolls that's been seen regularly in a certain neighborhood. Of course as luck would have it they didn't turn up in the hour we were there, but we still saw more than 15 bird species in a walk around the neighborhood.

Anna's hummingbirds now overwinter on San Juan Island, too, but I'm always amazed at how many I see on Vancouver Island - they are everywhere!

Even though the redpolls were a no-show, I did manage to add one species to my photo year list. I've seen sharp-shinned hawks a handful of times this year, but never cooperative enough to get a picture of - until now. I've seen or heard 196 bird species this year, and have managed to photograph 188 of them. I was hoping for a 75% success rate so am amazed to be at about 96%!

Then back at the ferry landing we had a flock of very cooperative hooded mergansers bathing nice and close.

It was quick trip, but always nice to do some exploring, and the sunshine made for an especially nice pick-me-up!

1 comment:

Vera said...

I especially love the dewdrop photo and the one with the squiggly lights. So glad you had a nice trip.