Weekend Expedition 24: Long Weekend in Victoria


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.


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


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.


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


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


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


a monster!


This little guy was having a ball.


The heat created some interesting haze effects on the water.


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


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.


A beautiful little Halictid.



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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…


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!



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


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


Some kind of flower-feeding scarab.


A juvenile katydid!


Small robber fly with aphid prey.