(Nothing much going on here at the moment so I'm going to continue to post various vacation pictures)
One of the things I love about vacationing in British Columbia
is being able to show our kids the huge variety of animals, birds and marine life that I grew up with. My parents are lucky enough to live on a piece of wooded property that attracts all kinds of living creatures, some of which are more like house pets than wild animals.
119 of Canada's 209 terrestrial mammals and 362 out of 462 bird species are resident to B.C. along with 18 species of amphibians and 15 species of reptiles.
Mammals include elk, caribou, black and grizzly bear, mountain goat, mountain sheep, hoary marmot, pika, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, cougar, and lynx. Killer whales, seals, sea lions and sea otters can be found in coastal waters and the fishing industry profits from 5 species of Pacific salmon, red snapper, herring and halibut.
On our previous vacation two years ago, a young black bear appeared in my parents back garden (which is actually a forest) several times and we were able to have a closer look (from inside, of course!). No such luck this year - there had been a bear in the neighbourhood shortly before our arrival but were saddened to learn that it had been shot by the officials because it had been breaking into people's house and garages foraging for food and had become too much of a danger. There are still plenty of bears around, though, and if you walk through Lighthouse Park you'll see signs like this:
Down by the beach we saw Canada Geese
and lots of mussels, barnacles, kelp and crabs
Most mornings we got woken up by these racous birds, Stellar's Jays
, who would scuttle across the roof and peck on the skylight in my mother's kitchen to let her know they were ready for their daily ration of peanuts.
As well as seeing black-capped chickadees, nuthatches, finches and hummingbirds at the bird feeder, once in a while we would get a glimpse of a woodpecker.
Here's a bird's worst enemy but Boy10's very best friend.
She'd do just about anything for a tummy rub and a can of tuna.
Raccoons are everywhere in B.C. and we saw this young one having a nap in a tree in Osoyoos.
This guy, a gorgeous black squirrel, came by every day for his share of peanuts and entertained us with his antics. Black squirrels are actually a type of Eastern Grey Squirrel and are not native to B.C. but were introduced in 1914 and decided to stay. They are considered a pest in some areas because they place havock with bird feeders.
You want a piece of me??