Manning Park Birds

10 05 2016

I was up at Manning Park this past weekend with my Scouts. It was the warmest May weekend I’ve ever spent!  A few feathered friends made an appearance.

1. Female Brown-Headed Cowbird

Female Brown-headed cowbird (Molothrus ater)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Steller’s Jay (Our BC provincial bird!)

Steller’s jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Male Barrow’s Goldeneye

Male Barrow’s goldeneye (Bucephala islandica)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. The Ubiquitous Grey Jay or Whiskey Jack

Grey jay (Perisoreus canadensis)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. My personal favourite bird of the weekend – Audubon’s Warbler

Audubon’s warbler
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There are also a bunch of landscape and a couple of starscape attempts in the album, if you’re interested:

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy!

Manning Park Beauty

10 05 2016

I was up at Manning Park this past weekend with my Scouts. It was the warmest May weekend I’ve ever spent! Some spectacular scenery – as usual.

1. Morning Mist coming off the lake

Weekend at Manning Park
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

2. Mount Frosty, near the American Border

Weekend at Manning Park
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

3. Postcard moment

Weekend at Manning Park
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

4. A little Columbian Ground Squirrel

Columbian ground squirrel (Urocitellus columbianus)
by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

5. Starscape with Jupiter and a Satellite

by Brian Hampson, on Flickr

There are also a bunch of bird photos in the complete album, if you’re interested:

Thanks for taking the time to enjoy!

Winter Camping at Manning Park with the 40th Marpole Scouts

31 01 2012

Camp Scouts Winter Manning Park Marpole

The Scout section was out camping at Manning Park last weekend.   (pictures: )


We arrived on Friday to find 50 Army Cadets and all their associated leaders busy moving into Lone Duck 2 (with all the gear that the military brings with them) and 3 Scout groups already settled into Lone Duck 1.  The parking lot was like Highway 1 at rush hour… you couldn’t move anywhere!


We unloaded and chose the area we were going to camp….  The meadow area was undisturbed, except for a little detail.  There were about 4-5 feet of snow on the ground!   We dug and dug and dug, until around midnight we were all finally in our tents, cozy, with the outside world at about -8C.


Saturday morning was chilly and a light snow kept falling.


By late Saturday afternoon, the weather had warmed up and it was now rain.  Yeach.  We persevered, and all the Scouts did a great job at handling the weather.  It was tough.  Dinner was a welcome, warm addition. 


We spent a bit of the evening in the shelter talking to some of the other scouts, but then called it a night at 2100 – we were all bagged. 


It rained A LOT on Saturday night, with some real winds whipping it around all night long.  By Sunday morning, all the snow was gone from the trees.  We had a good breakfast, a scout’s own and due to the logistical problem of our planned departure time (the cadets had two buses that were going to be in the parking lot at noon!) we opted to load up and get out of dodge without having lunch.   A wise decision. 


All in all, I’m really glad we didn’t go the weekend before – the dangerous roads just were too much, although  I WOULD have liked it if it had been a bit colder and stayed SNOWY the whole weekend while we were at camp.  C’est la vie, I suppose!



Camping at Manning Park with the Scouts

1 02 2010

I haven’t posted about our Scout camp at Manning Park for a couple of reasons.  Unfortunately I still can’t really post about all the fun we had that weekend. Hopefully that will soon come to an end and you’ll get to hear all the interesting times that we had while there.  In the mean time, I have a few pictures from our camp.  There are many others, but you know you me – I’m going to start with the Birds 🙂

1) Sitting in the tree – considering coming down

2) Moments later this guy would be down eating from a hand.

3) Is a bird in the hand really worth two in the bush?

4) Looking for food

5) Escaping with the goods

6) Not everyone was so happy with them landing 😉

7) One of our Venturers posing with a new found friend

I’ll have some pictures of actual camp life up later, but the birds are always high on my list. I hope you enjoyed them!

Manning Park – Columbian Ground Squirrels

1 09 2009

Columbian Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus columbianus)
Manning Park Resort Lodge
Manning Provinical Park, BC, Canada

The area around Manning Park resort Lodge has a healthy colony of Columbian Ground Squirrels.  These little critters are quite acclimatized to people and I saw a few come right up and take food from a tourist (BAD tourist!).  These guys live in little complexes of burrows in the higher alpine areas.  They are quite the sight to watch as they scurry from one hole to the other, prairie dogging periodically.

From wikipedia:
The Columbian Ground Squirrel is found in the North-western United States and South Western Canada (Eliot 1991). Specifically, they are found in parts of Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington in the United States. In Canada, they are found largely in British Columbia and on the western edges of Alberta.

The images below were all shot with the Canon 50D and 100-400L (mostly at 400mm)





Aren’t they just the cutest thing? Basically LARGE rats with good PR 😉


Camping at Manning Park – in a Different Light

31 08 2009

We camped up at Buckhorn Camp, in Manning Park, on the trail to Three Brothers Mountain, this weekend.  Generally good weather… some fun photo ops. Here’s one:

30 second exposure – F8 ISO 100. 1/2 hour after sunset.
Two people IN the tent, painting the interior with LED headlamps, and one outside the tent painting the ground around the base to give it some "ground to sit on".

Hope you like it. It was fun to make!

For the 360 degree panorama from Three Brothers Mountain: (courtesy of Mrs D)

Winter Camping with the Scouts – Manning Park

11 12 2007

Lightning Lake, Manning Provincial Park , BC Canada

Last weekend (Dec 7-9, 2007) we went camping with the Scouts at the Lightning Lake Winter campsite, Manning Provinical Park in BC.  We were about 30 in number, including 3 leaders and 18 Scouts and Venturers from the 40th Marpole Scouts as well as 10 Scouts and Venturers from the 28th Kitsilano Scouts.

40th Marpole and 28th Kitsilano Scout Groups at Lightning Lake

On the Friday night when we arrived it was pretty cold.  The kids set up their tents and got their things organized.  It was cold.  Very cold.  One of the scouts had his birthday so his parents had sent up a birthday cake.  By the time we got to eating the cake it was more of an ice cream cake… Just what you need at -14C 🙂  By the time we got to the point where we were boiling up “hot water bottles” for their sleeping bags it was almost midnight.  We finished boiling up the last bottle at about 0130! 

Sidebar 1:  We require our scouts to buy and use only the 1L wide mouth nalgene bottles which just so happen to be the type of bottle that MEC pulled from their shelves the other day due to fears of bisphenol A.  This allows us to pour boiling hot water into bottles without melting them or burning the hands of the holder.  The plastic is slightly insulating and makes a great slow dissipation of heat.  These bottles are tough and also can handle the duress imposed upon them as the water freezes later that next day.

Sidebar 2: The old plunger pump style of coleman stoves and lanterns:

SUCK in cold weather.  Since we do at least 2 cold weather camps a year, we’re going to start using more MSR stoves and look for lanterns that work on a similar fuel delivery system to the MSR.  At -15, the LAST thing you want is to not be able to light a stove or lantern because you can’t maintain a seal on your fuel pump 😦  If you have any suggestions for lanterns, please add them in the comments!


The next morning it was BITTERLY cold.  Turns out it had gone down to about -18C overnight.  So, on top of the usual sleepy kids, we had a bunch of kidsicles too.  They were cold.  They had to get warm energy in themselves soon, and get moving.  It’s a funny cycle though.  When you’re cold you just want to sit still – which makes you colder… and around it goes.  We got them to get their breakfast going and boil more water to have hot liquid to drink.  In the cold everything takes a long time, and this was no exception.  Breakfast finished in about 1.5 hours.

After breakfast we headed out to the parking lot area and played ball tag as well as had distance competitions for throwing “snowballs” (actually icy snow chunks).  By the time we finished everyone had warmed up a bit more, and the sun was finally coming over the mountains at about 1000.  It was time for a hike.  Lightning lake is quite a large lake with a couple of large bays which makes the lake size look deceptively small when you look at it from the “right” angle.  We headed out along the shore walking through mostly broken snow.  We were able to identify tracks of rabbits, hares, raven, squirrels and possibly a small cat (cougar/bobcat?) We could tell it was a wild carnivore of some sort since its scat had a lot of fur in it, possibly from squirrels or mice.  We walked all the way down to the rainbow bridge (which is where we took the picture you see above), and then returned back to the campsite to get lunch going.  The kids had all kinds of different things for lunch while we, the leaders, had chunky chicken noodle soup.  That warmed the soul 😀  Of course lunch and its associated machinations required about 1.5 hours again.

After lunch came the big challenge of the day:  start a small sustainable fire from natural surroundings which will continue to burn for 10 minutes with no interference from the firelighters.  There were some excellent attempts and one fire even burned for 9:50 before dying into a smoldering heap.  They had a great time with the challenge even though it was quite difficult.  Fire lighting is a skill that they need to work on still.  One that may possibly save their lives in the future.

 28th kitsilano Scouts fire lighting

The sunset was around 1430.  This is one of the joys of camping in a  mountain valley in the winter – not much sunlight.  The stars overhead were fantastic and made a beautiful blanket of white in the black moonless sky.  I don’t think too many kids noticed them though.  They were busy “being cold”.

Lessons about cold:

  1. If you keep your gloves off your hands will get cold
  2. If you keep your gloves on when they are wet your hands will get cold
  3. If you keep your gloves on and do nothing with your hands they will get cold
  4. Repeat above 3 replacing gloves with boots and hands with feet
  5. If you stand around and hope you’ll get warmer, you won’t.  MOVE.
  6. If you don’t eat enough you won’t have enough calories – COLD
  7. If you don’t drink enough you won’t have enough water to help your body metabolize your calorie intake – COLD
  8. If you listen to your Scout leaders you have a WAY better chance of staying warm.

Dinner was a massive undertaking.  By now most juices had frozen solid, olive oil had turned into olive butter, eggs were hard calcium covered rocks, and water bottles were full of ice.  It took some determination to get dinner ready and eaten without freezing or having frozen food.  They did it.   Sure, the place looked a bit like a hurricane had blown through but they did it.  After the 2+ hour affair called dinner it was time for the event to which ALL scouts were looking forward – campfire!  We piled it high!  We had a palette of old pine 2x4s and some hemlock and fir.  We built a beauty of a fire and we roasted ourselves around it.  While warming up we sang Christmas songs and talked about gifts from Christmases past – the good, the bad and the ugly. There sure are some odd gifts out there!  I reminded them that at Christmas time everyone talks about kindness and charity, but that as Scouts they should have kindness and charity in their hearts at all times – not just Christmas.  As scouts we should always be cheerful and kind, considerate and clean, looking for ways to better the world.  Christmas is when the rest of them do it.  We do it all year ’round.

At about 2100 we played a wide game that had them running around through the woods and playing and yelling like kids enjoy doing.  It was definitely warmer than it had been on Friday night.  By 2200 we had finished our game and headed over to the lakeshore to look up at the sky.  For almost all these youth this will be the most stars in the sky that they may ever see.  It was beautiful.  Orion, Ursa major, the milky way, mars.  They shone bright but were also surrounded by millions of lesser stars that you don’t see when you’re in the city.  Next, we began to boil up water bottles again for those that wished them.  After all was said and done we managed to get to sleep by 2330 on Saturday night.  It was REALLY quiet.  They were obviously tired.

Sunday morning was the mad rush to leave.  We woke at 0730 again but this time to the sound of snow falling.  It was falling pretty heavily and would likely start to cause us some problems if it continued at that rate.  The Scouts and Venturers packed up their gear in their tents and then got up and went through the breakfast game again.  One day they’ll become a well oiled team, but in the meantime we continue to be serenaded by shouts of “Hey – what ARE you doing?” and “Why are you doing that?”  Ah – teamwork.

At 1120 I drove out to the lodge to meet the school bus which was to pick us up.  He arrived a bit late (1150). Apparently the highway between Vancouver and Abbotsford had been closed due to too much black ice and over 15 cars in the ditch.  They reopened it later, but it was enough to make him late to come get us.

We finally pulled out of Manning Park at around 1300 and were back in Vancouver by 1600.  I was tired but happy that I’d had a good camp out with the Scouts again.

I hope to have one of the youths’ camp logs posted soon.


%d bloggers like this: