Urban Wildlife: Finding the Hidden Gems

After five months away from home we finally returned in early April. We had  spent time in time Victoria, B.C., Michigan and Arizona. Friends and family,  pickleball and golf and of course my photography have kept Ellen and I very busy. It was a great time. Home again, we are busy readjusting to a less transient life. With that are my plans to be more regular in publishing articles of my photographic thoughts and adventures to my blog.

“Do I have a favorite place to photograph?” That was the question I recently asked myself. Certainly the west coast of British Columbia is at the top of my list. I have enjoyed photographing the Grand Canyon in Arizona, The Big Sur in Northern California and the Sonoran Desert also in Arizona. But these locations are just too far away.

“What about close to home?” The answer came in a Facebook post from a friend who commented about an image I made of a Great Blue Heron. She mentioned a small wetland area in the midst of apartment buildings and offices in the Okanagan Mission area of Kelowna, B.C. that had a resident Great Blue Heron.

The area is called the Fascieux Creek Wetland. I paid a visit, unfortunately without my camera, two weeks ago. Lo and behold there was the Blue Heron. I captured a few shots with my iPhone but most important I had found a hidden gem to photograph.

I’ve been back two or three times since. Turtles sunning on a log, muskrats diving amongst the reeds, ducklings learning the ways of their new home and vibrant songbirds were evident at most of the stops I made.

The residents of the Fascieux Creek Wetland are used to people passing by. So they were not alarmed when I parked myself quite close to the creek’s edge. Ideally located with my Nikon d7200 with its 1.5 cropped sensor and a 70 to 300 mm lens I’m able to reach in to isolate my subjects quite well.

The lesson I’ve learned here is that there are many locations close to home that are ripe for repeat visits to capture interesting nature and landscape images. Now all I have to do is determine when the Great Blue Heron will next visit the Fascieux Creek Wetland.

Closely watched by a Fascieux Creek Wetland muskrat.

Closely watched by a Fascieux Creek Wetland muskrat.

This entry was posted in Education, My Work.


  1. Brenda Larson April 28, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

    He often sits in the big dead tree – well camouflaged. Great muskrat shot. It is a fascinating nature spot in the middle of town.

    • Stu Dale April 29, 2016 at 8:28 am #

      Thanks! It is so easy to get to this spot of nature. I will check out the heron’s tree location. Early morning or evening might prove interesting.

  2. Florian April 29, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    I once had a project called “the neighbourhood”.
    Shot in my neighbourhood. The story was that
    neighbourhoods as we know them change and
    there were some diptychs as “neighbourhoods of images”.
    It starts at your doorstep to see everyday surroundings with
    different eyes. 🙂

    • Stu Dale April 29, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

      Thanks for that thought Florian. Great idea to start a project. The four seasons of this little wetland would be interesting.

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