Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Drive Along River Road

Yep, another beautiful sunny Sunday and our routine coffee 'date'. He wouldn't call it a date, it's just something we happen to do (on a pretty regular basis) every Sunday morning. This Sunday, we just pointed the car down River road and drove until we wanted to stop and look at things aka take pictures of things.

Our first stop -none of the locations are really identify-able- we just pulled off the road and roamed around. The first little gem was sort of a mini-park. It has a horseshoe pit. Is that what those boxes with a spike sticking out of them are called? It had a few picnic benches and it had an odd pier-like thing jutting into the river. It also had a pretty little beach off the adjoining path.

Our next destination was arrived at by blatantly ignoring the well displayed 'do-not-enter', 'private-property' and 'authorized-vehicles-only' signs. At first we weren't sure where we'd 'snuck' into. I speculated that it was all contaminated land and the pipes sticking out of the ground were to monitor toxic gas emissions! I confess I may have jumped too easily into 'conspiracy theory' territory.
It turns out we were motoring along the elevated path between cranberry fields and the *suspicious* pipes were for when they flood the fields come harvest time.

*1st note to self: go back at harvest time.*
*2nd note to self: find out when that actually is!*

*3rd note to self: invest in a polarizing filter!*

There were canals(?) all along the fields and in them beautiful lily pads.
I believe a view of Burnaby over the field.
One of the most exciting thing for me on this trip was stumbling across a "portable?" apiary. These guys were strapped to pallets and were open for business. There were countless bees going about their day and all seemed quite pleased with their stacked digs!
I'm no expert on all things bee but I do know that there is a growing concern for the bee population in BC and all of Canada actually. I know that it takes a shitload of bees to make honey but that's not all bees are important for.
They're the main reason we have food on our tables. With their numbers dwindling we're risking a food shortage/crisis. So, if you have a garden or access to outside dirt - plant plants and flowers that honey and or bumble bees can use.
Bee-side these two most common bees there are also; sweat bees, mining bees and hairy-belly bees. The sweat and mining ones don't 'hive' they live in the ground. Hairy-bellies 'nest' in natural 'cavities'.

Taking a moment here to also give a shout-out to the other hard working pollinators out there: the hummingbird, butterflies, things called 'flower flies', flies, beetles (not Beatles) and why-do-they-even-exist! wasps.

We gotta keep these industrious critters fed or we won't be!!!
So I was excited to see these hives stacked here in the middle of the cranberry fields. They were hopefully enjoying the hollyhocks that were flourishing in the fields as well as the cranberry plants themselves. Happily pollinating their little bee hearts out!

So, we got as far as we could before we ran out of unblocked road and had to turn back. At 'that' end of the road was a great view of the Alex Fraser Bridge with Mt Baker somewhere in the hazy background.
(note: remember- buy that polarizing filter!)

And the second exciting part of the Sunday morning was finding we were basically under the flight path of arriving airplanes. If we were closer to the airport in Richmond, they'd have been even lower in the sky over our heads!
I'm now obsessed with planes and want to go and hunker down at the end of the runway and wait for the birds to fly over head. And he tells me that there is an aviation museum out in Langley......

These aren't spectacular shots by any means but to see them fly right over head and able to get that close to them with my telephoto was such a thrill!

At the turn around we - well *I* - managed to *not* scare off one of the many heron we saw along the cranberry canals (I'm going to copyright that term) and got a passable shot of one. (don't look too closely the focus is kind of soft)
And a bunch of Canada Goose footprints in the sand. Oh and a work vehicle of some sort that was 'run off its feet'.

Wonder where we'll end up next Sunday.......

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