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March 12, 2013 at 6:30 AM
In a busy corner of Stanley Park, right by a half-dozen tennis courts and the Vancouver Park Board office, dozens of great blue herons have set up shop once again, building their nests in towering trees.
It’s an unusual spot for a heron colony, with tennis players whacking balls and people walking and biking on nearby paths. But the human activity doesn’t seem to bother the herons. This is the 13th year the herons have been nesting in the same spot in the Vancouver, B.C., park, their numbers growing each year. Last year, 86 pairs of nesting herons were counted, with an estimated 169 fledglings.
It’s a dramatic natural sight in the big city, with the big birds swooping in and out of the nests and a cacophony of calls as the hormone-raging males court the females. To see the herons, find your way to the park board office (see the map) in the southwest corner of Stanley Park at 2099 Beach Avenue, just a half block from the popular Sylvia Hotel on English Bay.
The Stanley Park Ecology Society watches over the birds, putting barriers on the tree trunks so racoons can’t climb to the nests and feast on the eggs (or the young birds). The group also fences off the area beneath the trees so humans can’t intrude or get nesting debris (and more) dumped on their heads.
February 5, 2013 at 1:32 PM
This is the time of year when cruise lines unleash some early-booking discounts, and Princess Cruises put some Alaska “cruisetours” on sale Tuesday for May and June sailings.
You can’t just saunter down to the dock in Seattle and board the ship; these deals are for “Denali on sale” cruise/land vacations between Vancouver, B.C., and Anchorage. The Princess deals include a seven-day cruise and land vacation on Alaska, and includes two of the most popular sights – Glacier Bay National Park and Denali National Park.
Some sample fares (per person, based on double occupancy):
10-night Fairbanks/Vancouver On Your Own cruisetour: starting at $989 interior (was $1,370).
11-night Anchorage/Vancouver On Your Own cruisetour: $1,149 interior (was $1,587),
January 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM
The neighbors are tarring their driveway? Your handyman is finally getting ’round to flushing the septic tank? For whatever reason, you’ve suddenly realized you really NEED to get out of town this weekend?
No worries. Just in time, here’s a short list of events you might take in around the region this weekend:
Wenatchee Winter Wine Gala, a fundraiser at the Wenatchee Valley Museum, features 18 wineries, representing winners of the Foothills Magazine 2012 North Central Washington Wine Awards, including Beaumont Cellars, Chateau Faire Le Pont, Horan Estates, Jones of Washington, Fielding Hills and more . 6 p.m. Saturday in Wenatchee, $45; 509-888-6240 or www.wvmcc.org.
Fertile Ground arts festival in Portland is billed as a citywide festival of new works. It starts today (Thursday, Jan. 24) and continues through Feb. 3, with a full schedule of world-premiere theater, visual art exhibits and more. www.fertilegroundpdx.org.
The PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver, B.C., continues through Feb. 3. Among performers on the festival calendar this weekend is dancer and performance artist Hiroaki Umeda, called “one of Japan’s most exciting artists, bringing together light, sound and movement with astonishing force and style” in a performance that plays with the sensation of color, drenching the stage in layers of red, blue and purple, framing Umeda’s constantly moving body. 604-605-8284 or pushfestival.ca .
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