April 29, 2009

Spring Has Sprung Along Byrne Creek

More signs that spring is really here.

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These are the same trilliums that I photographed on April 5. You can see how the pure white has shaded into pinks and purples.

Note: All of these shots, and the garter snake, were taken with my new ultra-compact Canon SD780IS that I first wrote about here. Still getting to know the little gizmo, but it's producing nice photos.

Posted by Paul at 09:04 PM

Garter Snake Heralds Warmer Days

This lovely little garter snake is a sure sign it's getting warmer. I spotted it just off Byrne Park Dr. in SE Burnaby, BC. These snakes are harmless so please don't hurt them!

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Posted by Paul at 12:30 PM

April 27, 2009

Lenovo Website Offers $9,840 Hard Drive

Was taking a peek at the Lenovo Canada website, and found a 500GB HD notebook upgrade for a measly $9,840. Yowza :-)

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Posted by Paul at 03:34 PM

Morning Sunlight on Balcony Cherry Blossoms

The morning sun danced in changing patterns over the thickening cherry blossoms on the tree by our balcony. As I read the paper by the window, I kept jumping up and going out to take more photos as the light changed.

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Posted by Paul at 09:11 AM

April 26, 2009

Burnaby Mountain Cherry Blossoms

It's been a strange year for cherry blossoms with the cold winter and spring, but there were some nice views on Burnaby Mountain.

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Posted by Paul at 04:03 PM

April 24, 2009

Bella Video of Me Promoting Edmonds Clean Sweep

The Edmonds Clean Sweep in SE Burnaby is getting great support from Ethos Developments, which is constructing the Bella development on Edmonds. At the last Edmonds Business & Community Association meeting, Peter Kefalas took a short video of me, and put it on the Bella website.

Thanks for backing the Clean Sweep, Peter!

Posted by Paul at 11:53 AM

April 23, 2009

Canon SD780IS

I bought a Canon SD780IS ultra-compact digital camera today on sale at NCIX in Burnaby. I like having a pocket camera in addition to my Canon S5IS superzoom and my Nikon DSLR -- something that I can carry all the time without it getting in the way.

I wrote about my previous ultra-compact, the Canon SD400, here, and about how it finally died with a psychedelic screen of death here.

There have been significant advances in technology in the over three years between the SD400 and the SD780IS. The resolution has increased from 5MP to 12MP, but that's rather bogus on such a tiny sensor -- I've got the SD780IS set at 8MP, which will be plenty. The 780 has a larger LCD screen: 2.5" vs 2" -- many newer cameras have 3" screens, but that takes you out of the ultra-compact category. The "brains" of the camera have improved significantly as well with the Digic 4 processor, adding features such as face recognition, contrast correction, less shutter lag, 720P HD movie capture, etc. Other useful features include image stabilization, which the SD400 lacked, plus a higher ISO range.

The SD780IS is about the same size as the tiny SD400, and is even thinner. Here's a shot of the two side by side. I like the black finish on the 780 -- it's a bit classier and more unobtrusive than the silver SD400:

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A few shots taken with the SD780IS. Tomorrow I'll take it for a walk along the creek and to a social event.

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Choco the cat: not bad for such strong backlight with no fill-flash or exposure compensation.

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Macro shot of sunflower seed sprouting on our balcony.

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Yumi snapped a couple of shots of me in my office -- with flash...

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... and without flash

Posted by Paul at 09:14 PM

April 21, 2009

Vancouver as 'World's Greenest City': How About Daylighting a few Creeks?

Is there any possibility of daylighting any of Vancouver's 60-odd lost and buried creeks as part of the mayor's plan to make Vancouver the world's greenest city?

How about a truly green city with salmon spawning in dozens of creeks running through neighbourhoods everywhere? That's what we used to have....

http://vancouver.ca/greenestcity/

Posted by Paul at 01:51 PM

April 17, 2009

Streamkeepers at Choices Earth Day, Saturday, April 18

Byrne Creek Streamkeepers will have our booth set up from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Choices in the Park for their Earth Day BBQ. We will also offer tours of Byrne Creek, so come and sign up! This is in southeast Burnaby, near Edmonds Skytrain Station. Last year's event was great fun, and kudos to Choices for sponsoring and collecting donations for streamkeepers' efforts to preserve and enhance this lovely, but struggling, urban creek.

Posted by Paul at 01:46 PM

April 13, 2009

Coho Fry Identified in Byrne Creek

Yumi managed to net a couple of fry in Byrne Creek today. To the best of our knowledge they are coho: sickle-shaped dorsal and anal fins with leading white/black rays, distinct parr marks, orange-tinged caudal, anal and adipose fins...

Definitely not chum, and do not have the white dorsal tip of cutthroat fry, and dorsal/anal fins definitely sickle-shaped, which cuts do not have...

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NOTE: It is illegal to net fry and streamkeepers do so with the permission of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for ID purposes only. Fry are returned unharmed to the creek.

Posted by Paul at 12:35 PM

Spring in Southeast Burnaby

Here are a few more spring photos from around Ron McLean Park in southeast Burnaby:

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Posted by Paul at 12:30 PM

April 09, 2009

Red-Tailed Hawk in Byrne Creek Ravine

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Nice to see a red-tailed hawk in Burnaby's Byrne Creek ravine today.

Posted by Paul at 10:44 PM

'Take Back the Park' Tribute to Slain Ladner-Beaudry

Yumi and I aim to take part in 'Take Back the Park' run/walk tribute to slain Ladner-Beaudry: 9:15a, Friday, ranger station 16th Ave. Vancouver http://tinyurl.com/d5a2k7

Map of Pacific Spirit Park, trials, roads, buses here.

April 07, 2009

Great to See Bees A-Buzzin'

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Posted by Paul at 10:50 PM

April 05, 2009

Spring Photos Along Byrne Creek

Salmon fry testing the current, fogs splashing, insects buzzing, trees and bushes leafing and budding, flowers blooming... Signs of spring along southeast Burnaby's Byrne Creek.

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Alder -- for some it means a streaming nose!

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Salmonberry hanging over the creek.

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Salmonberry blossom.

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Unfortunately, the dreaded invasive Japanese knotweed was also on the rise.

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We were fortunate to spot three trilliums -- these rare flowers are protected under BC law.

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A strider in the creek next to emerging skunk cabbage.

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Posted by Paul at 05:58 PM

April 04, 2009

White Rock Beach Walk

A beautiful sunny day found us strolling along the beach at White Rock.

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Surf scoters

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Posted by Paul at 05:31 PM

April 03, 2009

Edmonds Community Clean Sweep May 2

One month to go to the Edmonds Community Clean Sweep on Saturday, May 2, 2009, sponsored by the Edmonds Business & Community Association.

Mark your calendars, Burnabarians!

Meet at the Eastburn Community Centre to register at 9:45 am, or alternate registration available with the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers at the Edmonds Skytrain station parking lot.

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Thanks to Rosewood Printers for the great poster!

Posted by Paul at 05:09 PM