Thursday, May 27, 2010

Remembering a stranger...

Just this past Monday [Victoria Day in Canada], my son and I decided to get out and enjoy a break from the rain by taking a stroll in our Cloverdale neighborhood. As in the past, we ended up at our local cemetery. Why? Well, originally, we went to see the Killdeer. We had observed a pair nesting near the cemetery entrance only days before. See previous post HERE

When we arrived, the pair was no where to be seen. It was silent, infact. The eggs that blanketed the nest were gone. Did they hatch since our last visit only 4 days prior?

I looked for signs of hatching...egg shells...anything. Nothing. I carefully scavenged the area surrounding the nest. Nothing. Only the organized mulch remained.

Disappointed, Joshua and I decided to continue on to the cemetery at Surrey Centre. This cemetery is home to Christ Church, the oldest church in Surrey [founded in 1882].

We walked through the cemetery for a while, taking notice of the fresh flowers left grave side by loved ones. Since the weekend was a long one, it appeared as though many got out to visit those at rest.

he tree branches were dotted with mini wind chimes adorned with butterflies...their chimes making gentle music in the afternoon critters were paying their respects...

For the most part, the landscape was pristine, except where this one beautiful monument stood. I stopped to take a few scenic photos of the grave stones and monuments when I noticed an area that was overgrown with weeds.
In the middle, was a monument that I was oddly drawn to, like a moth to a flame [to quote Janet Jackson...]

In this photo, you can just see the overgrowth where the monument rests [just to the bottom/right]

The monument...

My son began to read the inscription, which was written to honor Jennie Dailey, a 22 year old woman that passed away 100 years ago, Feb 9, 1910. Also, buried with her, was her son of 8 days.

My son turned to me, with sadness in his eyes, and said, "
What if she has been forgotten, her and her baby? Maybe her family is gone. Who will visit her? Who will remember her? Can we remember her?"

"Remember a stranger?", I replied.

I was touched by his sentiment. My son is 8 years of age.

"If we're going to remember this woman, from 100 years ago, then I think we should get to know her, don't you?"

That evening, we went home, and with a little research on the Internet, found information about Jennie Dailey [Nee Axworth]. She was born in Langley, British Columbia in 1888, marrying Henry Dailey in June of 1908. She was 20, and he, 21 years her senior. Two years later, on February 9, 1910, Jennie died giving birth to their first child. The son, Henry Jr, joined his mother, 8 days later.

This photo was taken on Jennie's wedding day, June 9th, 1908, and is courtesy of the Dailey family of Fort Langley, B.C.

Two years later, on May 7, 1912, Henry Johnson Dailey, beloved husband of Jennie Dailey, passed away. His monument is simple and rather unassuming. Not grand at all and in a different area of the cemetery.

Unfortunately, I was unable to turn up much information on Henry Johnson Dailey.

I know that all of this is not unique; that many of you may have experienced the same wonder or maybe looked no further than the inscription on the surface. Why I felt drawn to her grave side, on this day, I'm not sure. What compelled me to find out more? Why am I writing this? I don't know the answer, right now, but I do know that we did not see the Killdeer on this day. I do know that we walked away from this cemetery with something more. A feeling.

Remembering a stranger, 100 years later....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Killdeer: Act 1, Scene 1...

Today, my son and I took a shortcut through our local cemetery, enroute to the Elementary School playground. As we walked past a small cleared dirt lot, I noticed something scurrying in and out of the small patches of grass and buttercups. It was a Killdeer...

"Oh please. Tell me they're not stopping..."

"Gahh....they are! They're stopping!"

"Hmm, they're getting a little too close..and that lady looks crah-zee..."

"Time for me to distract them away from my nest..."

"Ow ow wing! My wing! Ow...."

"I seemed to have tripped over one of these....umm....blades of grass. Yeah, that's the ticket..."

"Ow ow......"

"Hmm, they buying this?..."

Suddenly, she got up and scurried over to the paved pathway. We followed.

"Hey, Pssst...over here! The playground is THIS way, people!"

Killdeer nest on open ground, often on gravel. They may use a slight depression in the gravel to hold the eggs, but they do not line it at all. Since there is no structure to stand out from its surroundings, a Killdeer nest blends marvelously into the background. The speckled eggs themselves look like stones.

The "Broken Wing Act" is done in an effort to lead predators away from the nest.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 10, 2010

Family Day at the Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Today was "Family Day" out at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, on Westham Island. Two families of Canada Geese came by to say "Hello"...

It was a very warm Spring day so the Goslings were trying, in vain, to catch some shade cast from the tall grass...

Too many Goslings means slim pickins' for shade. I took advantage of their wandering... grabbing a look at each...

So very precious!

I was so pleased that they stopped by....

See you next time...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Slim Pickins'...

Last week, Robbie and I took a photo walk around Elgin Heritage Park. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've observed many shorebirds at this location, including Black-bellied Plovers, Dunlins, Yellowlegs and Dowitchers. This time, however, it was another story...

We started off by heading right to the shoreline, via the familiar wooden bridge...

As usual, there were many Red-winged Blackbirds out in the marsh, like this beautiful female...

..and this handsome male...

Oddly, once we reached the shore, only Green-winged Teals were foraging in the mud. There were one or two Canada Geese, as well, but the Dunlins, Plovers, and other shorebirds were nowhere to be seen.

Midway down the path, I noticed a cute little critter munching away on a patch of dandelion leaves...

This Wild Rabbit sat quietly, observing us for a few minutes, before hopping away into the brush. This is actually the first rabbit I have seen in quite some time [years, actually] and this one appeared to be quite healthy.

After doing the loop along the shoreline, Robbie and I decided to head to the pond, which is situated in the center of the park. Surely there would be Dowitchers there, right?


Near the opposite edge of the pond, was a single bird, enjoying the peaceful tranquility...just him and his reflection. He looked rather pensive...

Although the trees and shrubs were filled with a variety of songbirds, most of them proved too elusive. The American Robins were out, however...

...along with the Song Sparrows...

...and the occasional Brown-headed Cowbird...

We noted several calls we hadn't heard before but sadly failed to locate their source. Frustrating. We even heard the Yellow-rumped Warblers I had seen here before, but we just couldn't catch up to one...this time.

In spite of missing the birds we came to see, I enjoyed walking the many winding paths of the Heritage Park, with my good friend, Robbie, while listening to natures' soundtrack !
I could not think of a better way to spend my morning!

Besides, I have faith! We'll get our birds next time!