Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Sign seen on our road trip.  Busy, busy, bees...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

While at sea, I found lots of red to share for Ruby Tuesday.  It seems to be a very popular color for all things marine.

Here's a fire hose with ready nozzle on our car ferry...

And a boat which had just brought some folks to the mainland to shop or go to work....

This man was enjoying a quiet cup of coffee as we floated past.. Yes, we all waved...and he waved back.

My favorite is this well-stocked little boat.  There was every gadget you could imagine for fishing and getting around at sea.  Some were pretty primitive looking, some were obviously inventions of necessity and handy materials while some were up-to-the-minute electronics.  It was like looking at the whole life story of this boat and its owner.

For more photos with a touch of red, visit Mary T.  She's a great host and is right here every Tuesday.  Have a look.  Better yet, sign in and play along.

Mellow Yellow Monday

Yellow doesn't get much mellower than this:

A perfect place to be on a lazy Friday afternoon in summer. This boat house was part of the view while we ate our dinner in Okeover Arm Park.  If you look closely, there's a 'For Sale' sign in the window.  Anyone interested?

Drowsy Monkey hosts the Mellow Yellow Monday meme right here.  It's definitely worth a visit.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Wonders - N

N is for Nature.

This post is a little late in the Sunday but after being frustrated with i'net connections, we're home again.  Ah, the luxury of having everything work properly.  And everything full-size.  The netbook is great for travel but the photos are so small.

So, on Saturday morning we set out on our boat trip.  I'm not the best sailor but we had a wonderful fresh day - lots of wind and not too much sun - and an upper deck where I could sit outside and simply watch nature slip by.  It was a marvellous holiday.

We took tons of photos of the landscape but there were also animals.  So, today it's mostly the marine life:   beginning with some little black crabs which were scuttling around on a pipe beneath a pier.  

This boat has two bald eagles which watch for it to come by their bit of land.  I don't know how they know but they do and seem to appear out of nowhere.  The captain threw some meat into the water and the eagle circled a few times so that we could admire him.  Then he swooped out of the sky, grabbed the food and took it to  a tall tree to eat in peace.  Very hard to get the right photo but I think Anne did a fine job of capturing this fellow. 

We went through a very narrow pass - Otter Pass - where it seemed that we could reach out and touch the oyster-crusted rocks beside us.

There were also some vivid purple sea stars tucked safely into the rocks.

We visited Refuge Cove on West Redonda Island where we could get out and walk around the waterfront stores.

I found a lone purple sea star clinging to a dock post.

On our return to Lund, we found a large rock (this is only a small part) which was the sun-bathing place for all these harbor seals.  They haul themselves out on the rocks and lie about soaking up the warmth.  I can't imagine how difficult it must be for them to get up on the rocks.  No difficulty getting back in the water, though.  They just slide right off and splash in.  They seem to make a game of it with some starting quite high up on the rock.

And, so this day ends and we head back to port.  I'm glad to get back on solid ground but I also enjoyed being close to the sea and the forests with the wind blowing through me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Road Trip

Today we started a long weekend road trip to Lund.  This is a small fishing village founded by Finnish immigrants on the tip of the Sechelt Peninsula northwest of Vancouver.  This part of the world is also known a theSunshine Coast - and it is, shining, that is. Summer has finally arrived.

This is where we began to be out of our known territory. We boarded the ferry from Earl's Cove to Saltery Bay.

Mountains and the sea...this is a half-hour through beautiful scenery on a small ferry where you are close to the water

One place we wanted to visit was Okeover Prov. Park. Not very large but  very significant to the first nations here for the abundance of shellfish. The cliff we're standing  on to take this  photo is actually a 4000 year-old pile of oyster, clam and mussel shells.

There were hundreds of these tiny-but very fierce-crabs in the shallow water. There was  one big one with huge claws who scuttled about defending his prime food turf. 

The camera found a mermaid wannabe sitting on a rock...isn't this a beautiful place?

A young man from New Zealand was preparing his oysters for the family dinner.  He was amazed at not having to dive for the oysters - just walk out and pick them up.

We ate our dinner at the Laughing Oyster  enjoying the beautiful view over the water.

And we had fun watching two women who reminded us very much of ourselves. They made trip after  trip from their van to moored boat with a huge load of supplies: nursery plants, cans of gasoline, coolers and what appeared to be a door.  Everything needed to survive for another week or so.

Tonight,' in the historic Lund Hotel, we will get our sleep because we have a 6 hour boat trip in Desolation Sound.  More tomorrow.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Midnight sun

The end of the month is approaching and I am working on the June challenge for Project Yarnway.  I don't feel as feverish as I usually do - must be doing something wrong.  Or it may be that I'm making socks which is so relaxing.  Of,course, I'm not done yet so I shouldn't be counting those chickens  socks, yet.

Our challenge is to design something to be used on a fantasy vacation.  Mine is a total fantasy - and involves snow which I don't much like at all.  A couple of years ago, my daughter went on a dog-sledding 'vacation' - I think it was actually pretty hard work.  But it also sounded like a lot of fun and if I were a few years younger might consider it but now it's only a dream.

I figured I might want a pair of warm apres-sled socks to wear while knitting after a hard day mushing the dogs.  So, I used my hand-dyed yarn which reminded me of Northern Lights and some soft sunny yellow that Teresa gave me for the trims.  There will be big knit balls on the ends of the laces...I'm not sure about the bind-off across the toe: I was hoping it would balance the garter stitch in the plackets.  The toes are short-row and I could graft the stitches for a smoother top.  What do you think?

Of course, I'm not happy unless I'm right down to the wire.  I also plan to knit a pair of fingerless mitts in case it's cold knitting at night.   They should be pretty quick knitting, though - we'll see next week.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Wotsit

I'm stealing   borrowing this idea from my friend, Angie.  Every  Wednesday, she posts a 'wotsit' photo - usually something a little mysterious - check out today's.  And you know how sometimes you just have a picture that refuses to fit into any's mine.

Interesting...but what is it?

I'm hoping she makes it into a meme some time.  What do you think?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

                                            "Barges - I would like to go with you.  
                                             I would like to sail the ocean blue".
These are lines from a song that is popular at almost all Girl Guide (and maybe Girl Scout) campfires.  I always wondered what was so attractive about a barge.  These are the kind of barges that I know about - and  I'm sure that the song must be about another kind of barge.  

I do think they are interesting and have a kind of weather-beaten beauty of their own.  I just wouldn't imagine that traveling the seven seas  on one would be all that much fun.  There are always barges like this in the water here...loaded as well as empty ones waiting for a load.  

It's  Ruby Tuesday - share the red in your world by visiting Mary T here

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday

There's always construction down by the waterfront. New apartment buildings, a hotel, trendy restaurants and a permanent farmers' market are springing up.

This crane is, however, historic.  It's part of a redevelopment of  the local shipyard lands.  They were still in operation when I moved to North Vancouver and built huge ships for work and war. The history part now is the sign and this big construction crane.  Eventually it will all be bright yellow like the arm.  They have to shroud it in plastic because the paint they use is not so good for us.  At least, that's what we were told by some of the workers. That's a working tug in the foreground.

Drowsy Monkey hosts the Mellow Yellow Monday meme right here

Sunday wonders - M

M is for Meal time.
In nature, any time is meal time.  Yesterday, the sun was shining, the air was warm and we took a walk by the seashore. 

It was barely past breakfast for us, yet the heron was waiting patiently for something tasty to swim by.  Can you see the remains of the osprey nest on the pole beside him?

Here is one of those osprey with his meal.  His arrival with the fish shattered the calm and sent a gull screeching off the pole.  The heron appeared only mildly disturbed.  Maybe that was the fish he'd been watching?

We walked through some wasteland by an industrial park.  The grass was high in the fenced off areas and the birds flew after bugs.  Maybe this was one of them?  It looks as though this one has its eye on an even smaller bug.

After our own lunch, we took a shady walk through a public garden.  Ladybugs were everywhere but this one had the most beautiful of dining rooms with  a coppery-coral rose petal for a table.

By the pond, we heard a soft splash and there was a red-eared slider turtle swimming after the water bugs.  There were also goldfish in the water but the turtle wasn't much bothered by the competition.

I believe that this blossom is astrantia, or masterwort.  Its sweetness is a delicious dessert for these ants.  In their case, dessert is the meal...I wonder what it would be like to eat the sweet course all day?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For the love of Iris

The iris blooms have finally unfurled.  These are sisters but so completely different in their look. 

The big oriental poppy looks plain compared to the neat construction and coloring of the iris.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hard at work

The garden never stops - there's action day and night.  And, sometimes, it seems that the work never ends. But we humans don't have to be at it 24/ isn't our livlihood as it is to these particular workers.

Some are always looking for food to sustain their very short lives.

Others look for food to carry back home - and they help pollinate at the same time.

And, there are the  farmers and the  garden security guards.  The ladybug is the natural predator of aphids - he's the tiny green fellow.  However, aphids are farmed by ants for their 'honeydew' food.  Clearly, there's some kind of defensive encounter going on here.  The ant did eventually walk away, though, leaving the aphid to its fate.

That's enough drama for one morning.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's a girl!

Here in North Vancouver, holly is almost a weed.  The birds love to eat the beautiful red berries from garden trees and they drop the seeds inside all over the place.  Soon, we have litters of tiny holly trees in our gardens and they must be removed.  Oh, we do want to have some left though.  At Christmas time, we're always 'pruning' the trees of friends who have some with berries.  So,  you really want to keep the females which will have the berries.  But how to tell?
The only way to know for sure  is when the mama plant produces berries and this can take years.  So, we've nurtured about 5 holly babies in different locations around the yard hoping that one would turn out to be a ma. And here she is with her first green offspring...

This tree is over 13 years old.  It was small when we bought the house and forms a part of the living fence at the front.  The part the municipality didn't cut down.  We have two others that we transplanted into the clear cut and we have hopes.  But they're not quite as mature so who knows?  We would leave them anyway because I'm not sure that the mas don't need das to help them grow the family. 

And holly makes a nice fence.  There are different shapes and stripes of leaves but all are stiff and prickly to some degree.  The photo above is from a neighbor's yard.  Our older gal with the green berries has some pretty tough-looking defense system, I think.
A flashback from being a kid:  we had a huge holly tree on one side of our yard (with berries, of course!).  One of the summer sprinkler games with the neighborhood kids was to see who could run into the tree and stay the longest.  A variation was to test how deep you could burrow into the tree.  This was a competitive sport and there were tricks to mastering it.  It was great fun but I think my skin might be thinner now.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

There's something about memes... it's Ruby Tuesday and I want to play even when I don't really have time.

This is what I'm looking at most these days...moving from desk to meetings and then back to desk again. I was kind of surprised to see that I see 'red' almost all the time and didn't even know it.

Take a look at what others have going on today at Mary T's place.  She's right here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday

The sun is shining!  It's Monday and the sun is shining!  It couldn't be any better for Mellow Yellow Monday.

The honeysuckle vine hangs over our fence and each flower brightens even a rainy day. 

The orange seems to glow like fire - or maybe the sun's surface? If you look real close, there's yellow, too.
Visit Drowsy Monkey here to see more of today's Mellow Yellow.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday wonders - L

L is for Love and Loss.

In 1975, we found a house that we could afford and that I absolutely loved.  It was my dream house...old, with a picket fence, ivy growing over the back porch and a view of the water.   We paid just under $50,000.  My husband worked very hard  to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible.  Our three kids grew up here.  

When I went looking for a photo of the house, I  could only find this one.  We'd lived there for about 5 years when it was taken and the fixing up was constant.  We did all the work ourselves: renovation was confined to bathrooms and furnaces - only what was necessary.  Re-painting the whole house was a mammoth job when it only happens out of work hours.  By the time the work was finished, it seemed  it was  time to start again. The 'old' became part of the on-going fixing, the ivy ruined the porch foundation, the view was filled in with new buildings and the picket fence couldn't hang onto it's pickets.

Now, 35 years later, the house has finally left the family.   Many of us will be dropping in on the realtor's open house this afternoon.  Me, too.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the big changes look like.  From the photos ( real estate listing here), it will be pretty good.  It's really amazing what can be done when a house is empty, you have a construction crew and deep pockets.   Oh, and the current selling price is just under a million dollars!

This is the way it looks today. After we've looked and remembered,  we're going to have a big family dinner, play with the grand kids and let it go.  It's been a long time coming.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pretty in Pink

I don't wear pink at all...just doesn't look good on me.  But I love the color.  When I was a teenager, we had lipstick called 'Sugar Pink' and a nail polish called "Pink Pearl'.  These were very pale pinks which made the lipstick much easier to get off on the trip home from school.  The nail polish was so pale as to be invisible.   Crazy the stuff you remember for so many years, isn't it?

Yesterday, during my garden photo shoot there was a lot of pink.  And every flower seemed to have a little back story.

These painted daisies are so striking.  We have pale pink and this vibrant color.  The yellow centers are incredibly vivid.  My dil, Maria, gave us these and they come up every year fighting through buttercups to triumph high above most of the other plants.  They're so leggy that we have to put a cage around them or the rain would beat them down.

Maria also gave us perennial snapdragons.  There are various pinks and a yellow but these remind me of clouds at sunrise.  I almost pulled them out because I figured we had the annual sort.  I'm glad I asked first.

This foxglove is standing sentinel by our carport.  I love the soft insides of these 'gloves' and the interesting design that the spots make.  Foxgloves grow wild here and are, to some, weeds.  We went so far as to rescue some 'kits'  from a neighbor's dirt pile a few years ago.  He thought we were nuts.  The foxgloves bloom every year and we enjoy the surprise locations that they choose. 

This rose isn't supposed to be pink.  When we bought the house, it was in the back garden and had coppery orange blooms - once.  Then it appeared to languish and I moved it to the front where it would get more of everything it needed.  But it never bloomed again.  Then, two years ago, it was under the pickup truck that crashed through that fence into our garden.  Amazingly, it survived and was shocked into giving us blooms this year - but they're a dark pink.  Anyone know why that would happen? 

Actually, I think all the plants in our garden - flowers, trees and even the veg - have a story attached to them.  That's the fun of gardening for me. 


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