Sea Otter Awareness Week

September 24-30, 2017

Spending their lives in the water, sea otters are ingenuous and fascinating creatures that use rocks as tools, and kelp as safety lines. The last week of September is an annual recognition of the sea otters as a marine keystone species ensuring healthy and balanced kelp beds in the near-shore coastal waters of the Northern Pacific Ocean. An important predator in the coast waters food chain, they spend their lives in the water in the kelp beds near shore and ensuring a healthy and balanced system.

While sea otters are rare in the waters off of southern tip of Vancouver Island, I was lucky enough to take a wilderness tour with Eagle Wing Tours earlier this year and we observed one special sea otter sunning itself with group of seals on the rocks of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve just south of Victoria, BC.

Sea otter at Race Rock Ecological Researve

Sea otters have fascinated me since I was a child and saw them at the Vancouver Aquarium, though it didn’t register how endangered they were in the wild at the time and how lucky we are they are in our waters again. The sea otter’s thick fur was highly prized and they were hunted to extinction along the BC coast by the fur trade of the 1700s and 1800s. They were reintroduced to west coast of Vancouver Island between 1969 and 1972 with a group of 89 Alaskan otters. Now numbering around 5,000 in BC, sea otters are now listed as ‘special concern’ rather than endangered, though some populations are still at grave risk. They continue to face threats from oil spills as well as changing diets of predators such as orca whales. We need to continue our efforts of conservation and awareness to ensure that these beautiful creatures continue to thrive.

As I’m not a scientist and have limited knowledge, I encourage to check out the many resources available and learn more about these special creatures.

Fall is Around the Corner

The morning air is crisp and the leaves are starting to turn. Things are getting back into routine after a busy summer of vacation fun. It’s a wonderful time to get the family together, have some fun and capture this time together forever. The beaches are quieter and the parks filled fall colours.

Book your session before the end of September and receive a $50 print credit on any order print and product order placed before October 31, 2017.

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Victoria Family Photographer Suzi Smart focuses on lifestyle photography of children and families at the beautiful beaches and parks of the Victoria and Saanich area.

Life is Better at the Beach

Life is better at the beach… and very different. From the mountain and prairie landscape of Alberta to the surf and sands of Vancouver Island – it’s been an interesting year of transitioning to our new home, new job, new school. It’s meant meeting new friends, exploring new areas and finding new adventures. It’s also meant teary faces missing friends, adventures and routines of old.

Change is always difficult but sometime during this long, dry summer of playing and camping on the beach, hiking among giant trees and exploring the hidden gems of this city, Vancouver Island and Victoria in particular has become home. A home with the sound of the surf, the smell salty air and the feel of sand in between our toes. A home with beaches of rocks and sand and parks with giant trees.

Life is better at the beach

Some things don’t change. September has always meant the ending of summer and back to routine, with children it’s even more so as the long summer days give way once more to teachers and classrooms. Though there were nerves the first couple of days, my son is happily sitting in his new class with his new best friend as I write this post.

I am happy to announce that this year it also means that I’m once again photographing children and families. With the natural beauty of the area leading itself as the perfect backdrop, I have developed my new sessions with this in mind. Please check out the different options here. Book your session before the end of September and receive a $50 print credit on any order print and product order placed before October 31, 2017.

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