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London Heritage Farm in Richmond, BC

The London Farmhouse at London Heritage Farm in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

London Farmhouse (1898) at London Heritage Farm in Richmond (Purchase)

On the first full day of Summer in 2022 I found myself in Richmond, BC after a quick visit with Peter West Carey at Garry Point Park. It was a bit early for good light at Garry Point, and so I did what I usually do in such situations, drive around and explore. I first came across Finn Slough which I had never photographed before. I’d heard of London Heritage Farm, but only had a vague idea of its location. When I drove past just by luck I stopped for a visit. I do like heritage buildings, especially on farms.

The London Farmhouse was completed in 1898 by Charles Edwin London. In 1921 London’s eldest daughter, Lucy, purchased the farm and owned it until 1948. The farm primarily produced milk and various produce items. The city of Richmond purchased the London Farmhouse and land in 1978 before converting the site to a park and heritage site. The London Farmhouse has been fully restored with furnishings and other items from that era of farming and living in Richmond. The photograph above shows the front door of the London Farmhouse as seen from the Gazebo in the nearby picnic area. The grounds around the house also contain gardens and a restored barn with a display of old farm equipment.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

English Gardens at London Heritage Farm in Richmond (Purchase)

Walking to the east side of the farmhouse, there is an old style English garden with many flowers in bloom (in June, at least). The photo above shows Peonies in full bloom, as well as some other plants including Pinks, Iris, Astrantia, and a Japanese Maple. I also noticed Lady’s Mantle, Foxglove, Calla Lilies, Iris, Snapdragons, and Roses in bloom at the gardens. In the background of the above photo is a small garden shed which holds tools that the volunteers use in the gardens and a small greenhouse.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

Peony in the English Gardens at London Heritage Farm (Purchase)

Some of the brighter coloured flowers in the London Farm gardens were these Peony flowers. This photo also shows the Lady’s Mantle (bottom left) and Astrantia, middle right. The building in the background is referred to as “The Workshop” on the farm maps.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

Restored Spragg Family Barn at London Heritage Farm (Purchase)

This small barn is referred to as the restored “Spragg Family Barn” in most of the information I’ve found about London Heritage Farm. I couldn’t find any other details about it, but I presume it was built after the London Family no longer owned the property. A display of old farm equipment and tools including a Fordson Tractor are housed on the side of the Spragg Family Barn.

london farmhouse at london heritage farm in richmond

Ripening Red Currants at London Heritage Farm (Purchase)

These Red Currant berries were ripening on the vine along the edge of the English gardens with some other small fruit bushes. Initially I confused these Currants with Gooseberries. You can tell a Currant bush from a Gooseberry bush as there are no thorns on Currants. Also, the fruit on a Gooseberry is individually attached along the main stem, not in groups as seen in these Red Currants.

For more photographs of the City of Richmond visit my Richmond Gallery.

Richmond Nature Park Trails and Wildlife

Blueberry bushes, Labrador Tea, and Salal line the Bog Forest Trail boardwalk at the Richmond Nature Park in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

richmond nature park bog forest trail

Richmond Nature Park Bog Forest Trail (Purchase)

While pondering locations to find and photograph fall foliage last autumn I visited a number of locations that were new to me, and Richmond Nature Park was among them. Fall foliage was rather hit and miss last year, and I thought that perhaps a raised bog ecosystem might offer some birch and blueberry foliage that would be a bit different than the usual Maples etc. Having no experience with Richmond Nature Park I didn’t know which trails to take, and opted for The Time Trail and Bog Forest Trail that looped around the edge of the park, mostly. Some parts of the Bog Forest Trail are raised on a wooden boardwalk as you see above. This first photograph also shows how the Salal (Gaultheria shallon) and Blueberry Bushes (Vaccinium sp.) make walking parts of these trails a bit like a journey through a colourful tunnel, with some wildlife mixed in a long the way.

douglas squirrel eating seeds at richmond nature park

Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) eating tree seeds at Richmond Nature Park (Purchase)

The Time Trail was the first trail I walked in the park and went through a portion of forest without much bog species evident. I photographed this Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) eating tree seeds in what was a popular feeding spot. I counted over 6 Douglas Squirrels in the same area at once which was nice to see as they are frequently pushed out by the larger, invasive Eastern Grey Squirrels. Seeds of coniferous trees such as the Douglas Fir (which were common along this part of the trail) are a large part of the Douglas Squirrel’s diet as well as occasional berries and mushrooms. There was some squabbling over the food in this location but it was relatively civilized banquet overall.

bog forest plants on the trail at richmond nature park

Salal and Blueberry bushes line the Bog Forest Trail at Richmond Nature Park (Purchase)

The photograph above shows the Bog Forest Trail on the western side of Richmond Nature Park with a few more open areas giving views of Birch and other tree species. There is also more Salal in these areas, giving a nice green edge to the trail.

bog forest plants on the trail at richmond nature park

A Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) foraging on a tree trunk (Purchase)

Immediately after I photographed the squirrel above I saw this Brown Creeper (Certhia americana) looking for insects and arthropods up and down the tree trunks along the Time Trail. I’ve read about Brown Creepers before, but never had seen one (they are well camouflaged against the tree bark). They don’t show up in the forest like a lot of the other birds I see often – they are climbing up tree trunks for the most part, searching for insects in the bark. Once I saw how this Creeper behaved, I moved a few trees ahead of where it was, and it eventually worked its way up the tree in front of me, and I was able to make this photo. They remind me a bit of trying to photograph Nuthatches – they never seem to sit still and are always on the move up each tree.

You can see more of my photos from Richmond Nature Park and the City of Richmond in my Richmond Gallery.

Walking Through Steveston and Imperial Landing

Fishing boats tied up at the docks at Scotch Pond near Steveston in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. Photographed from the trails in Garry Point Park.

fishing boats scotch pond garry point park

Fishing boats docked in the Scotch Pond mooring at Garry Point Park (Purchase)

Last fall I made a short trip down to Richmond, BC to walk around the historic Steveston area. I started by walking the Garry Point Park trails which give good views of the fishing boats entering Steveston Harbour as well as the surrounding vistas to the north and west. On the north side of Garry Point Park I made several photographs, mostly at Scotch Pond, a small inlet where several fishing boats were moored. Scotch Pond is connected to the mouth of the Fraser River by a small channel allowing boats to come and go. The water was quite calm on the day I was there which lead to some nice reflections from the fishing boats in the photograph above.

This was my first trip to Steveston in many years, and I need to go back soon to photograph more of the historic nature of the area, including buildings like the Gulf of Georgia Cannery which is a National Historic Site. On this evening I walked through town and by the Cannery but didn’t make any photographs. I headed east along Steveston Harbour (part of the Fraser River) and made a number of photographs during some great sunset and later light in a section of town called Imperial Landing. The photograph below is the bridge along the main boardwalk trail at Imperial Landing Park.

bridge at imperial landing park in steveston

Bridge at Imperial Landing Park in Steveston (Purchase)

After sunset the sky had a nice purple tinge to it, and since I like reflections of almost anything, I photographed the above waterfront condos at Imperial Landing from the Imperial Landing Dock.

waterfront condos in steveston

Waterfront Condos at Imperial Landing in Steveston (Purchase)

The Imperial landing Docks are pictured below, with the last bit of sunset light reflecting off Steveston Harbour in the Fraser River. You can also see the fishing trawlers tied up along the Steveston Harbour docks on the right, and even the mountains of Vancouver Island in the distance.

sunset steveston harbour imperial landing docks

Sunset at the Imperial Landing Docks and Steveston Harbour (Purchase)

For more photographs from Richmond please visit my Richmond Gallery.

Snow Geese (Anser caerulescens) Migration at Fraser River Delta

A flock of Snow Geese (Anser caerulescens) take flight from a farmers field in Tsawwassen, British Columbia, Canada.

snow geese flock flying in delta bc

Snow Geese Taking Flight (Purchase)

Snow Geese (Anser caerulescens) were one species I was interested in photographing with my new Canon 100-400mm lens, and so I made 3 day trips to photograph them. The first one was to Ladner and Tsawwassen in Delta, BC. I didn’t really have a good idea as to where to find them, so I drove around Westham Island first, and saw zero Snow Geese. I then drove around Ladner looking at the various fields and saw zero Snow Geese. I decided to head to Tsawwassen, and when I was on my way down there I didn’t see Snow Geese – I heard them. I got out of the car and a large flock flew out of a field, likely stirred up by a passing bird of prey. They circled their field for a minute and then flew off. This was not a photo opportunity but at least I’d seen some at last! When I reached Tsawwassen I found another field with geese in it, and this time they stayed put for a moment. I made the second photo here at that time. The geese were feeding on the various roots and seeds of the cover crop in the field, and there were many comings and goings. Eventually a Hawk passed by and the entire flock took to the sky – and I made the first photograph above. It seems fairly clear that most of the opportunity to photograph these birds will be either a bunch of fairly relaxed birds in a field, or a bedlam of cacophony as they all vocalize their displeasure at having to leave the same field. They are not quiet when doing so!

snow geese landing in a farmers field

Snow Geese Landing in Farm Field (Purchase)

Snow Geese breed on the Arctic tundra – and many of these migrating down west coast of North America will have come from breeding grounds such as Wrangel Island in Russia. Over 100,000 pairs breed on that island alone – one indicator the Snow Goose population is doing very well. The Fraser River Delta and the farm fields in Delta and Richmond, as well as local wetlands, are a good source of food for the geese as they migrate south. They will also make a stop here on the way back north to breed in the spring.

snow geese flock resting at iona beach

A Flock Rests at Iona Beach (Purchase)

On my second trip to photograph Snow Geese I had little success and saw zero Snow Geese. I drove all around the south Delta area and what was really odd was I didn’t even spot a Great Blue Heron – a fairly common species to see in the farm fields and along the roadside ditches. Just not a good day for birding I guess! The next trip I made I headed to Richmond to visit Iona Beach Regional Park – a place I had never been. There were several hundred Snow Geese along the shoreline of Iona Beach, and they were not disturbed by a human nearby. The photograph above shows a flock of geese resting along the shore. Most of the geese were in a flock, a few looked to be broken off into small family groups of 3-6 geese (like the pair in the photo below), and there were a few that seemed to be relatively independent.

a pair of snow geese at iona beach

Pair of Snow Geese at Iona Beach (Purchase)

From Iona Beach Regional Park I drove south and visited Terra Nova Rural Park and walked along the West Dyke Trail – both places I had not been before. I’d heard there were a lot of geese here, and there were, but not really close enough to photograph. There was a lot of wildlife around though, so I think this will be another good spot to revisit in the future. When I last visited Steveston in Richmond I noticed these odd, wooden contraptions placed periodically along the shoreline. There were more near the north end of the dyke trail, and so I decided to look them up later. Turns out they are old radar reflectors – though I’m not sure if they have any use at this time, or were used by ships or aircraft. Richmond doesn’t really have much in the way of topography to bounce a radar signal off of, so I guess this was a method of getting around that. This one did add a bit of interest to the photograph below as a large flock of geese flew in from the fields nearby (I could hear them coming for many minutes) and landed in the water.

snow geese flying at the fraser river delta in richmond

The Fraser River Delta in Richmond (Purchase)

For more of my photographs of animals visit my Animals and Wildlife Gallery.