The sounds and the silence

We walk out of our kitchen door at dawn and are greeted by the whooshing blow of a humpback whale that ends in a whistle… whew!  So great.  The sounds of humpbacks blowing have become such a routine part of our acoustic scene that we are no longer surprised; we are however, always charmed.   And […]

endless summer

Signs that Fall is here are everywhere. It’s dark when I get up at 6am, the first hint of a new day on the horizon; the forest floor has turned gold and green as the cedars shed their summer cloak; honeysuckle leaves litter the boardwalks and garden ground; bright red honeysuckle berries are being plucked […]

the return of summer

The forest floor is starting to go reddish-orange around here, as the cedars shed their summer cloak, and the mornings have a distinct chill about them that comes with fog and feels like fall.  So we know the season is changing.   From what has been happening with the orcas lately, though, you’d think we were […]

when the (resident) orcas are away

It’s been rather uncanny over the years, to note how often the space left by absent resident orcas is filled by transient orcas, who somehow manage to show up and save a thin whale watching day.  It is difficult to know whether this is a real phenomenon, or an observational artifact.  One might  reasonably suppose […]

July: a long way between bites

This summer (2010) in Johnstone Strait seems “normal” in some ways, but there have been worrying aspects to what is happening too.  The first arrivals came pretty much when we expected them, early in July (3rd).  As usual, they were an “A” clan matriline, this time the A36 brothers, Plumper (A37) and Kaikash (A46).  They […]

Good Springer news – November 15th 2007

Springer has returned to Johnstone Strait, and she looks great! Almost 3 anxious months have passed since the tragic oil spill in Robson Bight, which exposed fully 25% of the Northern resident orca community to toxic diesel fumes. Springer’s family, the A4 pod, was one of the groups which spent several hours amidst a dense […]

Humpback rhapsody – October 12 2007

After being totally eliminated from Northern Vancouver Island waters in 1967, humpback whales are gradually making a return. The Coal Harbour whaling station, on Vancouver Island’s northwest coast (near Port Hardy) was the last whaling station in North America. In 1967, faced with a shortage of whales in nearby Pacific waters, the whalers travelled around […]

Springer’s 4th anniversary – July 14th 2006

Springer’s 4th anniversary July 14th, 2006 marks the 4th anniversary of Springer’s repatriation. The little orphan orca, who’s dramatic rescue and return to her family captivated the world in 2002, is now 6 years old and a fully functional member of her A4 pod and Northern Resident orca community. Springer was in her usual place […]

Echo (A55)’s 16th birthday – October 18th 2005

Today, October 18th, marks the 16th birthday of one of our favourite orcas, A55 or Echo, the oldest son of A34, Simoom, and grandson of Scimitar, A12, the matriach of the A12 matriline of the northern resident community. To know an orca’s birth date precisely is unusual, and Echo’s birthday today turned out to be […]