January 30, 2011

Day 2 of SEHAB Meeting in North Vancouver Nice & Sunny

I've been attending my first meetings this weekend as a rookie alternate member of the Salmon Enhancement & Habitat Advisory Board that works with Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the west coast. The second day of meetings was sunny, cold and clear, a sharp contrast to yesterday's damp haze. I got a few more shots from Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver on my way from the SeaBus this morning.

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By the time I was heading home I believe I had volunteered
for a couple of SEHAB committees!

Posted by Paul at 08:04 PM

January 29, 2011

Foggy Vancouver on Day 1 of SEHAB Meeting

I was recently named an alternate on the Salmon Enhancement & Habitat Advisory Board that works with Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the west coast. The first meetings that I attended were held this weekend, and I got a few shots from Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver on my way from the SeaBus on Saturday and Sunday morning.

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The view looking south at downtown Vancouver from the quay.

My first full day of meetings proved to be educational and interesting. It's a great bunch of people and I look forward to working with them.

Posted by Paul at 07:57 PM

January 27, 2011

Help Clean, Install Nest Boxes at Burnaby Lake

Come out on January 29 and February 5, 2011, and help the  Burnaby Lake Park Association prepare the nest boxes for this year's nesting season.  Meet at the Nature House at the end of Piper Ave. and work from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

My wife and I took in one of these events last year, and it was great fun, and educational to boot!

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Poster, info, courtesy of the BLPA.

Posted by Paul at 09:35 PM

January 22, 2011

Salmon Hazard Sign at Walmart in Bellingham, WA

On a cross-border jaunt to Bellingham, WA, I was surprised, and heartened to see this sign in a Walmart:

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I know some folks have issues with Walmart, and while I have my qualms about big boxes and rampant consumerism, I have to say that Walmart is progressive on many green & sustainability issues.

I don't know if this particular signage is a Walmart policy, or a State of Washington policy for any retailers of pesticides. Anyone know? You can reach me at paul@cipywnyk.com.

Oh, if you're having trouble reading it, it says:

Use in urban areas of pesticides containing the active ingredients 2, 4-D, carbaryl, diazinon, diuron, malathion, triclopyr BEE, or trifluralin may harm salmon or steelhead.

Help keep our water resources clean. Apply pesticides only to your lawn and sweep any product which lands in the driveway, sidewalk or street back onto your lawn. Rinse applicator over lawn or garden area only.

Posted by Paul at 10:11 PM

Larrabee State Park, Chuckanut Drive

Another shopping jaunt into Washington State got  side-tracked into more rural, nature-focused exploration, resulting in a few nice shots in Larrabee State Park and along Chuckanut Drive. We really have to explore more of the NW United States - some gorgeous areas and what looks like great camping!

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Not exactly hiking gear, but we hadn't planned to hit any trails, and
weren't expecting to get too far off road. But we couldn't resist. . .
My wife Yumi is cajoled into striking a pose : - )

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From the beach at Larrabee State Park.

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A sunset view from Chuckanut Drive.

Posted by Paul at 10:05 PM

January 21, 2011

Hawk Couple Pops Up in my HD Search for Printable Photos

Here's a nice shot taken nearly two years ago that I'd forgotten about. A pair of hawks on a nest near a rural highway in southern Alberta.

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And the following is what happens when you stare too
long at a hawk's nest. . .

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You get the hint real fast as a parent hovers, screeches,
and swoops, in "gonna take your scalp if you don't back off" mode. . .

You may snort and say that one of these birds is only a kilo or two, max. But I have a healthy respect for all raptors. They fight way above their weight classes. I've seen bald eagles take seagulls at least their weight, and carry them for hundreds of meters. I've read articles by nature photographers much more accomplished than I am - who treat raptors with extreme respect. . .

Not to mention, of course, that you really, truly, ought nought to disturb the nest.

Posted by Paul at 09:21 PM

January 19, 2011

Stream of Dreams Starts Search for Executive Director

UPDATE, FEB. 3, 2011: Please note that the following search for an executive director is now closed. Thank you to all who responded.


The Stream of Dreams Murals Society is in the midst of major changes precipitated by the resignation of our Executive Director, and co-founder, Joan Carne. Her passion and commitment to the society for over 10 years have inspired many Canadians (over 120,000 participants!), young and old, to think about where their water comes from and how to protect it. While the board is sad to see her go, we understand her desire for change and how hard this decision was for her. We thank Joan and her family for their dedication to the organization, and wish them all the best in the future.

The Board of Directors is beginning to search for an entrepreneurial leader with a passion for the environment who would be excited about growing the organization, and perhaps expanding its programs. The position would focus on administration and fundraising, and we look forward to hearing from interested parties. If you, or someone you know, might be interested in working with this remarkable, award-winning organization, and guide its solid brand and sterling reputation into a new decade, please contact Paul Cipywnyk, President, Board of Directors at paul@cipywnyk.com

We are also looking to expand our Board of Directors. The board meets three to five times a year to discuss current SDMS activities, finances, program initiatives and future direction. Please contact Paul if you are interested in participating.

For updates on our recent projects you can find our December 2010 newsletter on the Stream of Dreams website at: http://www.streamofdreams.org/images/SDMSNewsletterDec2010web.pdf

Thank you to everyone who has supported Stream of Dreams over the years!

Posted by Paul at 09:49 PM

January 16, 2011

Enlarging Photos Gains New Perspective

I had fun this weekend selecting and printing a couple of dozen of my photos at 8 1/2 X 11". It gave me a new perspective on some of my work. I haven't printed much at all the last decade or so, save for 4 X 6" family photos to share, much less done any enlargements. A far cry from the days when I had my own B&W darkroom several decades ago. . . While I've been printing on an inexpensive multifunction Epson Artisan 710 inkjet, I've been using Epson Premium Photo Paper Glossy, and the results impressed me. I wonder if there's a $ or 2 to be made from my photography? It's been at least 30 years since I did any photography for $. Here's just over half of them, spread across the kitchen table. Sorry for a tish of glare at bottom centre, I don't have any lighting gear aside from the bounced SB-600 Nikon Speedlight.

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Posted by Paul at 06:11 PM

January 14, 2011

Blast from the Past

Here's a scan of back-cover photos from an album I played on what seems like a lifetime ago.

That's my sister Raissa on the left on the bandura, and skinny, tank-topped, Afro-flaunting, Fu-Manchu-moustachioed me on the right on a rented Fender bass guitar. The album was Samotsvity, led by a trio of lovely, talented, gals singing Ukrainian folk songs. What a great time! A family affair - the girls were two sisters and a cousin, and several of my cousins were also in on the orchestra on violin, etc.

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Oh, the year? I'm not sure. . . Mid-to-late 70s, I guess. . .

Posted by Paul at 10:45 PM

Vancouver Shifts Homicide Squad to Broccoli Patrol

No, they haven't moved April Fool's Day to January, unfortunately. Yet that was my first impression when I read the front-page headline in today's Vancouver Sun. No, it's not the same as my headline for this post, but if things progress further, mine may well appear in the paper soon.

The story that had me not knowing whether to laugh or cry was: Canadian first: Nutrition rules for street food. Apparently "Vancouver is about to become the first city in Canada - and quite possibly North America - to apply minimum standards for what it considers wholesome, nutritious food that can be bought on the street." Further into the story a city councillor is quoted as saying she "sees nothing wrong with the city acting as Big Mother."

Thankfully, I'm not a Vancouver taxpayer, I live next door in Burnaby. But if I were a Vancouver taxpayer, I'd get my laughing and crying done right quick, and move directly into the mad-as-hell stage.

How idiotic is this? Let me count a few of the ways:

  • What happened to personal freedom  of choice and responsibility?
  • For decades municipalities have been moaning and groaning about higher levels of government "downloading" functions on cities with no accompanying funding. Yet here's Vancouver taking on the roles of federal departments and agencies in charge of food safety and regulation, and provincial healthcare.
  • How about enforcement? The story says "if vendors want to throw on some healthy extras like vegetables, fruits -- even sauerkraut -- that balance out that cholesterol-laden gourmet beef patty or other high-fat food, they may just get past the city's food police." Where are the enforcement resources going to come from?
  • What about the consumer? Will I be ticketed if I scarf the chilli cheese dog but dump the side of broccoli into the trash? I predict this will result in huge food wastage.

Does this lead to a future in which our toilets are going to analyze our excrement to ensure we are consuming balanced diets and automatically send that data to government databases? It's an, er, slippery slope. . .

Posted by Paul at 01:50 PM

January 09, 2011

A Cheer of Chickadees at Campbell Valley Park

OK, I don't think you call a bunch of chickadees a "cheer," but darn if these teeny, bold little birds don't cheer you up!

Yumi and I traipsed through Campbell Valley Regional Park for several hours today and had a blast.

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We ran into some folks hand-feeding chickadees, and
one lady was kind enough to spot us a bag of seeds.
Yes, you're not supposed to feed wildlife in the park,
and while as a rule we don't, we ease up when it comes to
overwintering birds.

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This chickadee has just tossed a dud seed - they're
quite particular!

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The corn has gotta go, too! Where's the nice, plump sunflower seeds?

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OK, I'm going to bury my face in there and find something I really like!

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Whoa! Something spooked this one as feathers flare
and seeds go flying. . .

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This striking Stellar's Jay swooped in and out,
snatching the odd seed.

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All shots handheld with a Nikon D300 and the AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm
3.5-5.6 G ED zoom lens. ISO 400, 1/320 to 1/640 shutter speed at f7.1.

Posted by Paul at 08:49 PM

January 04, 2011

Elmer Rudolph Guest Speaker at Jan. 13 Byrne Creek Meeting

Elmer Rudolph will speak on the decline, cleanup and rehabilitation of the Brunette River at the Jan. 13 meeting of the Byrne Creek Streamkeepers at 7:30p at Clinton Elementary School.

Elmer has worked on the river for decades, and tells a fascinating tale of how a dedicated group of volunteers were instrumental in turning it from, what in effect had become an open sewer, back into a fish-bearing waterway again, working with various levels of government.

Come out and hear this positive and inspirational environmental success story!

Map: http://www.byrnecreek.org/member.htm

Posted by Paul at 02:50 PM

January 03, 2011

Eagles Near Squamish, BC

The Brackendale bald eagle count was way down this year - another of several bad years in a row - likely due to poor returns of chum salmon to area rivers. Yumi and I tracked down a few eagles near the Tenderfoot Hatchery. Here are a couple of shots. I'll add more details later.

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Posted by Paul at 07:50 PM