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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Balcony Covered in Birdseed

Recently I decided to get a new installment for my balcony. I've always wanted a bird feeder for my own place, so when I found this gazebo feeder for only $5 I knew it was fate. I had a lot of concerns when I first adhered it to my balcony using adhesive strips. What if it falls down in front of the driveway? What if the neighbors complain about the birds chirping? What if no birds show up?

I was foolish to worry about the last one. The chickadees and juncos found my feeder in just under 10 minutes. The picture above was taken as the chickadees started checking out the new feeder. I'm proud to say this was my first frame! 

So far, the bird feeder has held up and I've hear no complaints! I think it would be a shame if someone complained about a few birds, especially seeing we have a lot of road traffic nearby that causes a lot more noise. It's funny how something as simple as a bird feeder can really improve my day. I look forward to coming home and sitting on the couch to do some readings while watching the birds out my window.

I even bought a bird identification book specifically for western British Columbia birds. I was quite knowledgeable on bird species back home, so I feel like I need to get up to speed. So far I've identified every species I've seen at my feeder. Some are even birds I see frequently in Ontario, they just have a different coloration. 

Here are some of my favorites from over the past few days:

Female junco (Oregon coloration) and a black-capped chickadee. These were the first two species to show up to my feeder. They're quite entertaining to watch since they don't like sharing the feeder and will chase each other away.

A male spotted towhee. I was excited to see this bird because it's a new species to me and not present in Ontario.

A male spotted towhee, male junco and song sparrow (pacific northwest coloration) all waiting to use the feeder. The song sparrow had me confused for awhile; it looks much more bland back east.

I've saved the best for last, as this is probably the most showy bird I'll see out here: the steller's jay.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vancouver Waterfront

The rain season on the Northwest Pacific has held off, and I feel grateful that I've had plenty of days of sunshine lately. However, we get an eerie mist sometimes instead of rain. It's very damp and thick, and it usually doesn't clear until the late afternoon.

So far I haven't been too bothered by it. My campus is on a mountaintop, so as my bus crawls up the mountain in the morning we usually break through the fog. The past two weeks have been quite sunny and mild on campus, but it's always interesting to go home and realize the city had remained misty all day long.

Recently I went with a friend to take pictures by Vancouver's waterfront and in Gastown. Despite it being late in the afternoon, it was still very hazy and cloudy out by the water. It made for some very interesting pictures around the Canada Place building.

My friend, who's nickname is Chuy, then ventured with me to Gastown. Clark has been telling me to check out Gastown for quite a while, and he kept telling me to see the steam clock and "Captain Gassy". I got a picture by the steam clock for Clark, and I have to admit it was a very lovely area. 

Right as we got there the street lights turned on. I tried to get some pictures, but between the night lighting and the mist, my pictures were all blurry and out of focus. I didn't really mind; Chuy and I were too busy looking for grungier places to take pictures. Gastown was historically an industrial area, and the train yards are located right behind the pretty buildings.

To finish off the evening, we grabbed some pumpkin spiced donuts at Tim Hortons. It's really hard to find Tim Horton's out here, which is a huge difference from Ontario. Octobers during my undergrad were spent eating pumpkin spiced muffins and donuts in excess, so being back at school without a nearby Timmies has made me miss home a bit. It's the silly little things that make me homesick, but that's another blog post entirely.

Definitely a successful photo adventure! I'm sure there will be many more to come since Chuy is also new to Vancouver and willing to find explore new areas of the city with me. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Happy Birthday Nature is Love!

You know what I realized just the other day? My blog has been two years old since this October began! Happy birthday Nature is Love!

What's even more amazing is that I've been able to maintain and consistently update my blog for this long. This blog has helped me reflect on and share parts of my life, and I'm really thankful I've had it as an outlet.

I figured it would be appropriate to share my first blog post here. It's an entry about A Sand County Almanac and features pictures that were taken at one of my favorite places:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hall of Fame - The Script (ft. will.i.am)

Hall of Fame by The Script on Grooveshark

My coworker Mariusz was obsessed with this song last year, which was right as I was beginning to apply to Masters programs. When I got nervous or insecure about my applications or what I would end up doing if I didn't get accepted, Mariusz would play me this song. "Amanda, you're King Kong!"

I'm not motivated by fame, but I am driven for excellence and hope to one day make a difference. This song is such a great anthem. It also brings a smile to my face to know that Mariusz was confident of my abilities and intelligence.

Mariusz, I'm not sure if you still read my blog, but if you do, please know I still listen to this song when I start feeling insecure about school.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Do you ever find that sometimes you can get a sense of the love and warmth someone has for you by the way they look at you?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Camping in Buckhorn, Ontario

This is a very belated post, but I was looking through my pictures from this summer and realized I never shared anything from my camping trip. Before moving to BC, one of my last trips was camping with my good friends that I met during my undergrad. We stayed at a quaint, private campsite called Woodland Campsite just outside of Peterborough, Ontario.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Quest for Lighting

I'm on a mission to add more lighting to my living room, which doesn't have any ceiling lights. I'm also decorating and working on creating a nice space. It's coming along well, and I've got some little treasures on display.