Orcas, Bunnies, and Old Growth

Hello friends, I have been super busy over the past month, and this blog post for July is a little longer than normal. Enjoy!

Whale Watching

While I have been whale watching on Vancouver Island, I only recently took advantage the local tours based out of
Steveston, British Columbia (Vancouver Whale Watch). These tours travel through the Gulf and San Juan Islands, and during the summer months, the chances of viewing orcas (Orcinus orca) are excellent. We were fortunate enough to view a pod of transient (marine mammal eating) orcas, and they were quite active during this tour.

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Orca breaching I Orca breaching II

Orca fluke Bull Orca

We were also fortunate enough to view a large group of harbour seals (
Phoca vitulina) and a juvenile bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) learning to fly.

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Harbour Seals Juvenile Bald Eagle

Cheakamus Lake

While on a hike along the beautiful
Cheakamus Lake Trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park, I came across a very common mammal that one rarely sees up close and personal: a snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). I have literally seen thousands of tracks and only a few hares running away from me, but this young hare froze and allowed me to take a few frames. This hare was also by far one of the cutest hares or rabbits that I have ever seen, and it could fit in the palm of your hand.

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Young Snowshoe Hare Foraging Young Snowshoe Hare

The trail along Cheakamus Lake passes through some spectacular Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Western redcedars (Thuja plicata). It is an easy hike and well worth the visit. A stop in Porteau Cove Provincial Park on the way home capped off a great day.

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Douglas Firs Western Redcedars Porteau Cove at Dusk