Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Awe-some . . .

 Some big excitement here the other evening. A former student of mine, who has kept in touch with my through years of wending her way through grad school, travel, and exploring career options, came to visit, and as the glass of wine turned into an easy invitation to stay for dinner, we chatted and noshed while Paul turned out a simple frittata and put together an apple brown betty with the gleanings my student had brought from her parents' tree.
As we caught up with our recent reading which, for N. revolved around Animal Studies, animal welfare, speciesism, etc., I jumped up sputtering, gesturing, and shouting as I moved outside. Paul and N. thought I'd seen something alarming, but I was welcoming these two Orcas. They took their time shuttling in and out of the water as they worked their way south, so I was able to get quite a few photos -- all of which confirmed my growing commitment to the purchase of a zoom lens! If you click on these to "embiggen" them, you'll at least be able to confirm that I saw cetaceans, but they're not frame-worthy photos. . . . Still, I'm happy to have a record of my first whale sighting in at least eight years.
Several seals clustered, understandably, in the shallow waters just off our beach. It is a bit sobering to note how close these big guys come to the water we swim in regularly, and, of course, we've paddled right through that route when we head out to nearby Snake Island.  But then perhaps awe must always be tinged with fear as well as wonder, and anyway, we were experiencing our awe from the safety of our front deck. Sipping wine and nibbling on goat-cheese stuffed squashflower fritters.  . . .

16 comments:

  1. It's a good thing you were paying attention! Great shot.

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  2. It sounds like a wonderful evening. Orcas! How freaking exciting is THAT??

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  3. Wow. Spouse saw whales off the beach when he went for a morning cycle this week and was excited, but they certainly weren't Orcas!

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  4. Orcas, squash blossoms, and wine....oh my!
    And right at your door...How exciting!

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  5. excellent! finally!!!! what a good omen for the upcoming school year.
    YAY ORCAS!

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  6. Congratulations! So thrilling to see such a big and wild animal in their own domain.

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  7. Susan: They took about ten minutes to move through our view, so I was able to get a few photos to choose from.
    Sue: Pretty freaking exciting!
    Tiffany: Humpbacks? We're pretty privilege with the orcas, having them in our backyard, but I still rarely get to see them.
    Pavlova: It's true. I didn't even have to leave home. ;-)
    Megan: It's been forever since you and I watched that crew -- and before that, the time with all the neighbours out on the point, Chris playing his guitar, I think . . .
    Lisa: Yes, completely different than seeing them in captivity.

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  8. Amazing - the wonders of the west coast never cease! My brother lives outside of Victoria. The first time I visited him there, I saw comet Hale-Bopp, an eclipse of the moon, wild peacocks, an otter (I think), endless streets of trees in pale pink bloom. I felt like Dorothy in the land of Oz, but did NOT want to go home.

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  9. Wowee wow!! Amazing. We sometimes see dolphins off Malibu, but not Orcas!

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  10. On my very first morning of living on the water Andy and I were enjoying our coffee amidst boxes and furniture. As we were gazing out onto the ocean what should wander past but the largest pod of dolphins that I have ever seen! Must have been 30-40 of them! Pretty sure that sealed it for me and now I am destined to live on the ocean.

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  11. OWW: We're pretty lucky, I know! Although I'm not as attentive to the astronomical wonders as you apparently are. . . And a friend here laments the stupendous lightning storms she missed as a transplanted Ontarian. . .
    Aunt Snow: I'll have to read up on their range.
    Janet: Wow! That's def. a sign -- you must have felt welcomed indeed!

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  12. How exciting is that! Sounds like a fabulous evening. I think I shall dream of goat-cheese stuffed squashflower fritters.

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  13. Mardel: it was great! I think I have enough squashflowering still going on for perhaps one or two more fritter fry-ups. I'm trying to think of another simple filling, but the goat-cheese is hard to beat.

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  14. My husband sat out on the balcony with the camera, taking photos of lightning for an hour. Meanwhile, I quivered indoors, just enduring it until it was over (hours and hours later).

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  15. By the way, did you feel the earthquake on Friday?

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  16. 1ww: I'm like you around lightning, and we don't get it as often -- I did get tempted to photograph it a year or so ago and blogged about it. I'm more likely to quiver and endure. Didn't have to do either on Friday, as we didn't feel the earthquake at all.

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