Days in Pictures Thoughts about Things

Year 7: the broken streak

But we keep moving

It was bound to happen, eventually: my previously unbroken streak of daily photos… was broken this year. Twice, actually. First August 11th, then September 13th. Hey, a 2,413 day streak (I hope I did the math right) isn’t bad! I’ve been good since then, and if things keep up I expect I’ll beat my old streak on April 22nd, 2030. Mark your calendars!

Also, this year I got myself a new camera: a Sony A7RV. My old one served me well for 3+ years, but I felt it was time to get something with cool new features, like subject recognition, target locking and oodles of megapixels. Very happy with it so far!

Now let’s get on with this year’s greatest hits:

January 28: The eagles are coming!

Two great Bald Eagle photos in one day! The immature one happened to be resting in a tree at Centennial Beach, not too far above eye level, and the soaring adult was captured at Boundary Bay.

March 9: Anna’s Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird, male

I’d been shooting this Anna’s dude since January (well, I assume it’s the same dude) when he claimed the line of bushes south of the Sunset Beach dog beach. That day I went to pay my respects and he landed right in front of me, almost too close for my telephoto lens to easily focus. I was able to snap this amazing photo, showing off his fierce eyes, dainty little feet, and some of the delicate iridescence on his beautiful gorget.

March 28: Red-breasted Sapsucker

Red-breasted Sapsucker

This bird was right outside my building! It kept digging around, with a couple of nap breaks, and overall put on a great show. Didn’t seem to mind me at all!

April 1: Messy Wood Duck

Wood Duck

This is just a very silly picture and I love it.

April 11: Majestic White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

I just love how round and imposing it is!

April 15: Taste the rainbow

Wood Duck, male

Wood Ducks do take good photos, don’t they?

April 15: The fiercest orange boi

My first good photos of a male Rufous Hummingbird! There was so much posing, you just knew he knew how shiny and awesome he looked. Well, until I got too close, then he buzzed me a couple times. Paparazzi must keep their distance!

April 30: Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird

This guy was my yellow and black white whale. I’d seen him and his mate at Iona Beach the day before, but they kept their distance and I couldn’t take good photos. However: with my upcoming trip to Europe, I was afraid I’d lose my chance to capture them properly before them moved on with their migration. So for the second day in a row, I trekked down from hell’s heart to stab at thee… and there he was, right on the boardwalk being fed by some guy. A bit anticlimactic, but hey, not all stories have to end with planet-birthing torpedoes.

May 12: Prague Old Town Square

Old Town Square east side: Kinský Palace, Our Lady Before Týn and Jan Hus

I had a hard time finding one photo to summarise Prague, but this comes pretty close. I love all the layers of history and architecture revealed here. That pink Rococo palace (18th century); a Gothic church (14th century); and a 1915 monument to a 15th century church reformer who birthed a movement that resonates to this day. Prague is beautiful and endlessly fascinating.

May 12: European Green Woodpecker

Eurasian Green Woodpecker on a trail

Looks like these guys are Europe’s answer to Northern Flickers. But way fancier! Because that’s how they do things in Europe, I guess.

May 13: St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen's High Altar: behind it is a big painting of St. Stephen framed in black marble, surrounded by stained glass and statues

Speaking of fancy… here’s the magnificent and opulent High Altar of St. Stephen’s in Vienna.

May 15: Hooded Crow

Hooded Crow, a crow with a grey back, turning its head to the right a bit

An unexpected lifer!

May 15: European Goldfinch

I really wanted to catch them on this trip, and I finally got my wish! Seriously, what is it with European birds and their wild colours?

May 15: Saint Charles Borromeo Church

St. Charles Borromeo, an incredibly decorated Baroque church

Baroque and roll.

May 18: Salzburg Cathedral

Shooting inside Salzburg Cathedral. Someone else is in the centre of the aisle also taking a picture with their phone

I almost always avoid putting people front and centre (or including people at all if I can help it) so this is a silly and meta break from tradition. In an absolutely breathtaking church, by the way!

June 17: Cedar Waxwing

A Cedar Waxwing clinging to a vertical reed, looking a bit to the side

I love these guys, with their mysterious masks, smooth swept-back crests, and radiant yellow tum-tums!

August 7: Eastern Kingbird

My best photo of these guys! They usually keep their distance, but this one was right by the trail!

August 26: Northern Harrier

A Northern Harrier -- a raptor with a mainly brown plumage -- is flying in my general direction, looking down at the ground

The closest a harrier has ever come to me!

August 27: Barred Owl

A Barred Owl is sitting on a branch, in the shade during the day

Yet another beautiful raptor I get to see up close for the first time!

September 17: A splashy Mallard

A male Mallard Duck twisting and splashing in the water

I love this photo, it looks like he’s dancing.

October 22: Steller’s Jay

Gorgeous pics of a gorgeous bird. I couldn’t pick one favourite, so you get all of them!

November 13: Northern Flicker

A male Northern Flicker up in a tree, surrounded by pale orange foliage

There’s just something about this bird with its orange and red highlights, matching so well with the fall foliage.

November 17: White-crowned Sparrow

An immature White-crowned Sparrow sitting on a reed

We first spied this dainty little critter with the sun to its back, but it was kind enough to let us circle around and catch its good side.

November 21: White-fronted Goose & Snow Geese

These 3 guys were hanging out together for weeks, and may still be around David Lam for all I know! It really makes you think how interspecies socialising works for them, and how they manage their migrations. How long will they be friends? When do they decide to move on? Will they remember each other?

November 25: Rude Hooded Merganser

Hey, nature’s not always pretty.

November 30: Burrard Bridge

Burrard Bridge at night. The pavement is wet, reflecting the red of car taillights.

What’s this? A picture I took on my phone? Did we travel back to the year 2019 or something? I admit, this was kind of a throwaway — the weather was bad, I didn’t even go out during the day and I just took one of my default options. But it’s growing on me! It’s cool, it’s different, it’s edgy!

What’s next in 2024?

Okay, this is a weird idea that’s been stewing at the back of my head for a while, but bear with me: I want to start drawing. Or doodling. Or something.

There are a bunch of photo originals I’ve saved but never posted because for whatever reason they’re not high enough quality, but do have a cool scene or composition that speaks to me. And at some point the thought occurred to me that, maybe, I could save them by turning them into art.

I mean, I’ve never been any good at it, but then there’s lots of stuff I didn’t think I’d ever be good at, including this whole clicky-shooty-birby thing. So let’s see where this goes! I’ll keep on with the daily photography of course—that is its own journey, and I still have tons to learn and do there—but I feel I’ve kind of outgrown that particular challenge, and I need to explore something new.

Schedules, details, all to be worked out as soon as I get back to Vancouver and rebuild my routine again! I’ll try something like once a week to start?

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