Bright and beautiful our day turned out to be with much to see!
It was a glorious day gifted to us following yesterday’s gale that blew hard and kept us and our boat home and rested in the Bay.
On our tour this morning, the sea was calm and inviting when we headed out and excited to be exploring once again in our backyard. There was so much to see in all directions beginning with the orcas who we learned were spread widely across Johnstone Strait. They were travelling to the West from Blackney Passage, the same family groups as yesterday and we spent most of our viewing time with orcas in the vicinity of the A42’s.
Close by in Weynton Passage we enjoyed the spectacle of some 8-10 Humpback whales that were foraging and lunge feeding back and forth, feeding intensely alongside a myriad of seabirds all of them clamoring for food in a frenzy around the whales. It is a sight not easily forgotten, witnessing Humpback whales with their mouths gaping wide and that of Gull species, Common Murres, and Rhinoceros Auklets all gathered together also in a feeding frenzy because the birds share in the same takings of small prey (juvenile herring) as do the Humpbacks.
It was a great surprise and privilege to watch some 250++ Pacific White-sided dolphins who had also come to feed, it left everyone speechless and excited beyond all expectations. Listening to them over the hydrophone was the very best part, where ‘seeing is believing’ and their vocalizations made it even more so. Other wildlife activity included sightings of Dall’s porpoises, Harbour seals, Great Blue Herons and Stellar Sea Lions all of them adding greatly to everything else we had seen today both large and small.
We are noticing nature’s relentless onward pace, bringing summer to a close with exquisite hints of fall that appear everywhere we choose to look when outside in nature and not only on the water. They hang as glistening cobwebs along the tops of blackberry bushes where decaying fruits still hang, they fly south as birds migrating on tireless wings in long ribbons speeding overhead fast when a NW wind sweeps them along like a broom sweeping across a vast and open sky in v formations; calling to one another, their songs trail behind and it is a glorious sight to watch and listen for, to those of us who look upwards at the sky. They appear as falling leaves golden and brown blowing in the wind, rustling as they scatter along the roadside and come to rest before going back into the earth from where they ultimately began their cycle in ‘the nature of things.’
These fall days are wondrous for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, with magic in the making everywhere we look and go ‘in nature’. We just have to go outside to feel the peace and pace of ebb and flow of oceans, rivers, forests, fields, mountains, sky and gardens, some of which, we must surely know and experience often in our lives, not only here on the North Island where we are indeed so fortunate to live.