Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day

April 6th, 2014 @ 8:14pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

During the month of April I will be featuring a Cherry Blossom Photo of the Day, sourced from the Miss604 Flickr Pool and/or the #Photos604 tag on Instagram. You can barely walk a full block in the city without encountering a photographer capturing this pink blooms — or stopping yourself — so it’s the perfect time to start this series. Enjoy!

Photo credit: David Evanochko on Flickr

The canopy is filling in at the Stanley Park Rose Garden. Blossoms lead you to forest paths and if you know where to look, just around the corner from here is a permanent tribute to Shakespeare himself.

View more photography posts on Miss604 along with the Vancouver Photos of the Week.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

April 6th, 2014 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Pink blossoms have taken over photo streams lately so for this week’s roundup of images from the Miss604 Flickr Pool I stuck with photos that depict the grey, the gritty, and the often very pretty landscape of our region.

Vancouver Photos of the Week

Deep Cove
Photo credit: Philip on Flickr

Baden Powell Trail Baden Powell Trail
Photo credit: Philip & Philip on Flickr

>> >< << Left or right
Photo credit: Jianwei Yang & Jianwei Yang on Flickr

A Touch of Grey
Photo credit: SeaSide Signs ~ Vancouver, BC on Flickr

North Vancouver Port Street Photography Vancouver Denman Street Bikes 2014
Photo credit: Mark Teasdale & Mark Teasdale & Mark Teasdale on Flickr

Photo credit: phoenix45photo on Flickr

Poor Old Patullo ICBC Building, North Vancouver
Photo credit: Patricia Meyer & AJ on Flickr

Convocation Mall
Photo credit: Brigitte Mueller on Flickr

Street Photography Vancouver
Photo credit: Mark Teasdale on Flickr

Spring Sunset On Scotch Pond
Photo credit: Clayton Perry on Flickr

Vancouver from Above
Photo credit: Alexis Birkill on Flickr

Third Beach, Vancouver
Photo credit: Claude Martin on Flickr

Viewing the Lions Gate Bridge at Low Tide - Explored
Photo credit: Winson Tang on Flickr

As always, please click through on these images to view more work from the photographers and feel free to share your own photos with the Miss604 Flickr Pool or with the tag #Photos604 on Instagram. View all photo collections here. Please note that some Flickr Group settings may have changed so if you are adding a photo to the pool for the purpose of sharing, please make sure your settings are open for that — you will not need to change your licensing at all.

SPES Saturday: Co-Existing with Coyotes

April 5th, 2014 @ 8:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

StanleyParkEcologyThis post has been contributed by Ben Hill, Communications Volunteer with the Stanley Park Ecology Society (“SPES”). I have been following SPES since I moved into the West End almost eight years ago and I recently became a member. I wanted to offer the team an opportunity to share their news, events, and work so I have created “SPES Saturday” where they will be contributing stories with my audience once a month.

Co-Existing with Coyotes

ere’s a common conversation in Vancouver neighbourhoods these days: “Did you see that? Was it a dog? No, I think it was a coyote!” Since they first arrived in the 1980’s from the deserts and grasslands of the Midwest United States, coyotes have successfully adapted to living in an urban environment. Vancouverites frequently spot them in parks, school grounds, golf courses and neighborhoods.

Photo by Robin Worcester

For the large coyote population that calls Vancouver home, spring is an important time of year. Breeding takes place between January and March and the female coyote will dig a den, or use a past den to rear her pups. Although you may encounter a coyote loping along your street, you’ll rarely come across their dens. They are well hidden to keep the pups safe. Ideal denning locations include secluded parts of parks and golf courses, behind blackberry bushes, and underneath abandoned buildings.

Photo by Mark T. White

The female gives birth to the pups in March and April and the coyote parents spend the next four months raising them. The average litter size is between four to seven pups, but this can vary depending on how much food is available. By the end of August the pups will be ready to start life alone. Usually one or two pups will remain in the family pack to assist with the next pup rearing season, helping to find food and train young coyotes to hunt. The rest of the surviving pups will start their lives alone in the city, searching for new territory and food sources.

Report a Den or Coyote Sighting

While coyotes are naturally afraid of people, during breeding season coyotes tend to be more territorial. Like most animals, they take the safety of their young ones very seriously and this can also make them defensive. If you come across an active den site or pups, please report it to the Stanley Park Ecology Society online or call 604-681-WILD and avoid the area.

What Else Can You Do?

There are several simple things you can do to make living around coyotes safe for you and the animals. It’s extra important at the moment because over the next couple of months, young coyotes will be learning the skills they need to survive in the city. If we aren’t careful, the young coyotes may learn to depend on people for food, rather than learning how to hunt for their own favourite foods like rats and squirrels.

Never feed coyotes: Feeding coyotes is bad for the health and safety of both coyote and community. Unfortunately when coyotes are fed, they lose their natural fear of people and will become aggressive. It is only a matter of time before aggressive coyotes behave badly and will have to be destroyed.

Keep your house and yard clean: Sometimes we feed coyotes by accident. Coyotes are generally scavengers and will take any opportunity for an easy meal.

Photo by Mark T. White

Garbage: Keep a secure lid on all your garbage, and don’t litter.

Compost or leaves: Keep compost covered and reduce food smells by adding newspaper.

Pet food: Do not feed pets or store food outside.

Tree fruit: Coyotes don’t mind a tasty fruity snack; pick your tree fruit before it falls.

Rodents: Clean up anything – including spilled bird feeder seed – that attracts rodents to your yard. Rodents attract coyotes as they make up at least 75% of a coyote diet.

For more tips on how to co-exist with coyotes, check out Stanley Park Ecology Society website.

About the Guest Author:

If you want to support a non-profit organization that makes a difference for wildlife and people in Stanley Park, please make a donation or become a member of SPES. For more information visit the Stanley Park Ecology Society website. Follow SPES on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

VIVA Vancouver Robson Redux: Entries

April 4th, 2014 @ 1:44pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Earlier this year there was a call out for design ideas for this summer’s Robson Redux that will close Robson to traffic between Howe and Hornby, engaging those who pass by.

Alfresco Vancouver #6 - Robson Square Alfresco Vancouver #6 - Robson Square2011. Photo credit: Maurice Li & Maurice Li on Flickr

Pop Rocks giant bean bags A Comfy Pillow
2012. Photo credit: Ruth and Dave & Jason Gallant on Flickr

78 entries have been received from designers and architects, including candidates from Japan and Spain. A jury will ultimately decide which project is both fitting and feasible, but the public will be able to vote for their favourite idea online and select a peoples’ choice winner. [Source: Vancouver Metro]

Robson Redux: Entries

I like concepts that combine unique design elements along with the ability to chill out, relax, and slow things down in the midst of the city’s hustle and bustle. Here is a small sample of the entries that have been revealed:

VivaRobson1 VivaRobson2
Colourain | The Rolling Hills on Robson

VivaRobson3 VivaRobson4
The Coves | Robson Crown

VivaRobson5 VivaRobson6
Urban Reef | Robson Rollax

Be sure to vote in the online gallery poll until it closes April 13, 2014. The winner will be announced on April 15th.

VIVA Vancouver is a public space program that specializes in turning road spaces into people places. Working with various community partners, the program is aimed at re-purposing road space to create temporary or semi-permanent public space. In doing so, VIVA Vancouver lays the foundation for a vibrant public space realm that fosters social connections between neighbours and encourages residents to engage in active modes of transportation like walking or cycling.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2014

April 4th, 2014 @ 11:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is now open for 2014, running from April 1st until April 30th in Washington State around La Conner and Mount Vernon.

Skagit Tulip Festival
Our photos from Tulip Town, 2011

You can drive to various tulip, daffodil and iris fields and events or do a cycling tour. There are dozens of locations for activities with Tulip Town (15002 Bradshaw Road) and RoozenGaarde (15867 Beaver Marsh Road) being hubs.

Tulip Town and RoozenGaarde

RoozenGaarde will be open from 9:00am to 7:00pm daily through the end of April. Right now the early spring blooming tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs are coloring the garden at 15867 Beaver Marsh Rd. in Mount Vernon.

Tulip Town is opening early this spring, ready to greet visitors starting at 9:00am through the end of April. The growers at Tulip Town report they have early varieties blooming to greet visitors at 15002 Bradshaw Rd. in Mount Vernon.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Skagit Tulip Festival
Our photos from Tulip Town, 2011

Tulip Festival Info

There are several special events throughout the month, art shows, and even local museums, breweries, and wineries join in the fun with specials. Mount Vernon and La Conner are about 100km south of Vancouver and 90km north of Seattle just off the I-5.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Our photos from Tulip Town, 2011

Follow the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on Facebook and Twitter for more information and stop on by later this month to see all of the beautiful tulips in bloom.

Tulips of the Valley Festival Agassiz 2014

April 4th, 2014 @ 10:44am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

The Tulips of the Valley Festival in Agassiz is a Fraser Valley spectacle that many wait all year to enjoy. Millions of colourful flowers spot the landscape, with the impressive snow-capped Mount Cheam looking on.

Agassiz, BC

Tulips of the Valley Festival

The Tulips of the Valley Festival begins Thursday, April 17, 2014 and will only last about two weeks, until all of the blooms are gone.

Wednesdays through Fridays 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Saturdays and Sundays 10:00am to 5:00pm
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays
Easter Weekend 10:00am to 5:00pm, Friday April 18th through Monday April 21st

3971 Lougheed Highway, Agassiz, BC
This year the fields are a 1km walk from the parking area. For safety reasons, everyone (including bus tours) needs to be dropped off at the parking area. Very limited handicap parking available. If you are unable to walk that distance than it would be best to visit on weekdays as handicap parking will more likely be available.

Adults $3; seniors $2.50; kids 12 and under are free. Groups of 10+ are $2.50 per adult.

Parking rates do apply. All proceeds for parking are going to the Seabird Travel Club allowing families the opportunity to travel when otherwise unable. Cars $5; small buses $10; large buses $15.

40 Acres of Tulips

Fresh Cut Tulips
Located at 1694 Tranmer Road in Agassiz, the tulip stand is open daily from dusk to dawn.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

April 4th, 2014 @ 9:14am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

You may get a bit soggy if you head out and snap photos this weekend but if you leave the house be sure to reference the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival neighbourhood map. Inside and away from the rain you can enjoy the Vancouver South African Film Festival, the magic of Camilo, roller derby, Major League Soccer, and more around the city.

Things to do in Vancouver This Weekend

Photo credit: Karen Lee Colangelo on Flickr

Friday, April 4, 2014
Blue Jays Home Opener Viewing Party
Camilo the Magician on Tour at Granville Island
Carousel Theatre Presents: Wondrous Tales of Old Japan
Landsdowne Carnival, Richmond

Saturday, April 5, 2014
Vancouver South African Film Festival
Canadian Tire Home, Auto, and Outdoor Show
Vancouver Retro Gaming Expo
Pillowfight at the Vancouver Art Gallery
The Squamish Women’s Used Clothing Sale
Enchanted Garden Spring Pottery Sale at Trout Lake Community Centre
Verses Festival of Words
Spring Showers Artisan Fair
Fleetwood Family Fun Run
Start Your Garden with Heritage Seeds
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Colorado at BC Place
Downtown Bus Service Open House: West End Community Centre
Camilo the Magician on Tour at Granville Island
Terminal City Rollergirls Season Opener
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: Plein-Air Blossom Painting
Dinner Party YVR
Jazz at the Pat
Firehall Arts Centre Presents: Proud
Galloway’s Burnaby: Top Detox Superfoods
Carousel Theatre Presents: Wondrous Tales of Old Japan
Landsdowne Carnival, Richmond

Sunday, April 6, 2014
Vancouver South African Film Festival
Brockton Point’s Secrets: a Stanley Park Historical Walking Tour
Dialogue on Dramaturgy
Vancouver Foodster Culinary Scavenger Hunt
Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Days at VanDusen
Galloway’s Burnaby: Fabulous Flax with Chef Alana Peckham
Galloway’s Richmond: Cleansing Spring Soups with Andrea Potter
Enchanted Garden Spring Pottery Sale at Trout Lake Community Centre
Verses Festival of Words
Carousel Theatre Presents: Wondrous Tales of Old Japan
Landsdowne Carnival, Richmond
Firehall Arts Centre Presents: Proud

View the full monthly event list to plan ahead at any time. Follow me on Twitter and Facebook for frequent updates about local events and community happenings.