Weekend Expedition 24: Long Weekend in Victoria

IMG_1438

This halictid peering out of a burrow was probably the coolest shot I managed.

This Canada Day Long Weekend, Catherine and I took the ferry to Victoria to visit my mom and chill out in the record-setting heat. This was great for the party people, not so great for our skin and the photographic opportunities. Strangely enough, very hot and dry weather is not very good for nature photography, as the light becomes very harsh very quickly, and those few insects that have not retreated to shelter from the elements are zipping around like maniacs with their metabolisms in high gear.

I did get some decent shots however, it was just a lot more painful than it might ordinarily have been.

IMG_1038

The first day, Catherine and I kayaked out to Discovery Island, just off Oak Bay, where a wolf has been living (!) since this winter.

IMG_1087

Although the voyage over was scenic and the water calm, I did not trust my ability to hold the camera free of the salt spray to shoot the seals and seabirds we saw. When we arrived, the overheated little island yielded little photographic material. It was also ridiculously hot.

IMG_1043

We did not end up seeing the wolf, but we did find some of its droppings, which were still fragrant and moist.

IMG_1068

One lowly Chestnut-backed Chickadee was the best I could come up with.

IMG_1156

Later that evening, walking on Dallas Road, we did some gull and dog shooting.

IMG_1257

a monster!

IMG_1318

This little guy was having a ball.

IMG_1176

The heat created some interesting haze effects on the water.

IMG_0980

Maggie, my mom’s dog is more sedate, but still a great model.

IMG_1565

The cliffs at Dallas Road (in Beacon Hill Park) are  a great place to find solitary bees, including Anthophorids, Megachilids and Halictids. These sandy cliffs are great for burrowing species.

IMG_1439

A beautiful little Halictid.

IMG_1529

Megachilid

IMG_1516 IMG_1560

IMG_1672

It was so rich with Hymenoptera, but so hard to shoot them in the sun, I came out Tuesday at dawn to try to catch them when they were less active…

IMG_1787

Unfortunately for me, the only insects that were slowed by the dawn temperature drop were a couple crabronids. All the Anthophora shot out of their burrows pre-heated and ready to work!

IMG_1796

IMG_1815

I did manage one shot of Anthophora bomboides peeking out of its burrow.

IMG_1920

Frustrated in the morning, I went out late Tuesday afternoon for some shooting at Uplands Park.

IMG_1943

Some kind of flower-feeding scarab.

IMG_1958

A juvenile katydid!

IMG_1968

Small robber fly with aphid prey.