A Splash of Color

Just thought I would drop in a couple new pictures here that missed getting in with the last batch. I liked the colors, and the flowers remind me that Spring is once again approaching these Western Canadian shores and soon I’ll be able to get some serious planting done on this balcony of mine where I spend so much of my time when I’m at home. In the meantime, everyone take care, stay healthy (it has been a pretty good flu season with no major outbreaks that I’ve heard about at least), and keep safe. If you can manage to get extremely wealthy while you’re doing all that, feel free to do so. God bless each and every one of you.

Purple Blossoms
Purple Blossoms
White Blossom
White Blossom

A Splash of Color

Craving Summer

Well, as this rain has settled in once again (still far better than that slushy snow we had last year), it has finally reached that point of persistence where it has me craving the brighter days of summer, although at this point, I’d settle for a couple cool Spring evenings; just no more rain for a day or two. Anyway, whenever that happens, I just reach into my laptop (figuratively speaking of course), and pull out a picture or two that serves to remind me that those warmer days are in fact approaching quite rapidly, and will soon enough be upon us. So since I took the time to warm my own heart and soul up, how could I refuse but to share that experience with all my favorite folks? So here you go, these are they that worked for me, and perhaps one or two will help to chase away any Winter blues any of you might be feeling also. I certainly do hope so, and I wish you all the best as:

Outside my window, the rain is beating the time,

to the song in my heart, where the Son of God shines,

as the sun that is hidden by those clouds up above

is not needed when my heart is warmed, by the free gift of God’s Love.

Busy Little Bee
Busy Little Bee
It's Gonna Take More Bees
It’s Gonna Take More Bees
A Burst Of Warmth To Chase Away The Rain
A Burst Of Warmth To Chase Away The Rain
The Colors Of Summer
The Colors Of Summer
Definitely Summer Seagulls
Definitely Summer Seagulls

 

 

Craving Summer

Central Park 2018

Since my January bus-pass had become effective, I thought I would give it a little work-out, and take a run out to Central Park in Burnaby on New Year’s Day; just to make sure it was still there. The last time I was out that way was last summer, and on that occasion, just as I began my afternoon hike, this sensitive little nose of mine had picked up the unmistakable aroma of burning wood. Knowing that there are no campfires allowed in Central Park outside the picnic area (and there only in BBQ’s), I eventually managed to follow the smell of the smoke back to its source.

Chasing the smoke had involved leaving the trail I was on, and crossing a couple others, before plunging back into the denser bush once again. Though you are never too far from a trail in the park, they wind sufficiently, and the park is certainly large enough, that it is possible to lose your bearings for a bit. To put it bluntly, and with a certain amount of embarrassment, I was a little bit lost when I finally came up on what was definitely an abandoned campfire that someone had tried to put out, but not well enough, and it had now, by burning into the thick mossy undergrowth of the rain-forest floor, escaped its boundaries. This, over whatever amount of time had elapsed until I got there, had now produced an area about 20-25 ft. in diameter, where smoke was literally coming up out of the ground, and in some places at least, the ground was too hot for me to walk on in my runners. Ever more dramatic looking were the two small trees about 4-5 ft. apart that were now burning from the ground up to a height of about 2 1/2 to 3ft. up their trunks.

Since I refuse to carry a cell-phone, and my efforts at trying to beat out the flames with a small little rag that I found on the ground were doing no good, I finally had to leave the area (no one was responding to my shouts for assistance), searching around the trails until I found a lady who lent me the use of her cell-phone on which I called the Burnaby Fire Dept. The problem then was that the lady was too busy to help me herself, and the Fire Dept needed someone to meet them at the entrance to the park. I was able to do that, but then I had to find the fire area again! Needless to say, after a few wrong turns, I was successful in getting the firefighters with their portable water sources, axes, and other various equipment into the proper place. They promptly thanked me, and even more promptly sent me away, saying the area was unsafe for someone dressed as I was – really?

They must have done their job, however, because I was able to get some pictures of what still resembles the Central Park I’ve come to know and love, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you here today. And don’t mind the cheeky little squirrel, he was just mad that I forgot to bring my bag of peanuts. Other than all that, I hope your New Year has gotten off to a good start, and that it just keeps on getting better. Everybody please try and stay healthy, happy and safe.

Central Park 2018

Some Of The Older Shots

I was looking through some of my computer photo albums from 2014-15 this morning, which was a time before I got the camera I now use. Since Vancouver is presently sitting in somewhat of a cold-snap, I decided to stay in, and use a few of those old pictures I was looking at to make a new post. (I also find that I’m somewhat irritated with the mainstream press as they help their more corrupt Democrat candidates, try to convince the world that Jill Stein from the Green Party is now a Russian agent. I happen to both like, and respect Dr. Stein.)  So since posting pictures is something that I find to be quite soothing to my soul, and because I was quite happy to see that the pictures from back then actually do a good job of holding their own against those that I now take with the much better equipment, I picked out a few to show you. Then I realized that the similarity in the quality of the pictures from then, and those from now, might also just mean that my photography skills are not improving at all. Thus, before I completely depress myself, I think I’ll just post these darn pictures, and wish you folks all a Merry Christmas.

Alright, this is just not my day! I got all the way down to here, before I discovered why the old pictures look almost as good as the new…they were taken with the same camera. That’s why I’m using red ink, it matches my face. It seems I got this camera further back then I thought I did, but as soon as I clicked on one of the pictures where it appeared on my page after publication, it showed up in the larger form, along with all the details about what camera was used, as well as the other settings. Oh well, I’ve done dumber things, I just can’t remember when. So just ignore everything I said above the pictures, except for the fact that I still think Jill Stein is awesome. And while we’re here, you can add a great big Happy New Year to that Merry Christmas I wished you earlier. Take care and stay safe.

Some Of The Older Shots

Taking Care When Winter Hiking

I went out this morning to buy a coping-saw, and some blades, and since I always have my camera with me when I’m out walking, I was able to snap a few shots of our mountains off in the background attired in their winter clothing. As I was doing so, it reminded me of the particular dangers that can crop up when hiking in the winter, even when a person is on very familiar ground.

If you take a look at the pictures I’ve included at the bottom of this entry, you’ll find Camel Mt., and while I was snapping these shots today, I recollected a time my wife, her step-father and I were on our way up to Camel, and those dangers I mentioned became very apparent – luckily for me, in what turned out to be a rather humorous fashion, as opposed to tragic.

We had already reached the summit of Grouse Mt., and were part of the way along the trail as it leads up Dam Mt. which sits just behind Grouse. The three of us having stopped for a bit of a breather, I had walked over to the edge of the mountain where I was occupied taking pictures of the valley below, when I heard my wife call me over to where she was standing with her step-father, several yards closer to the inside face of the mountain that we would next be ascending. I said something to the effect of, “Yeah, in a minute, I just want to get a couple more shots”, but she immediately replied with, “No, come here now.” Not really irritated or anything (yet), I again said something like, “Yeah! In a second, I just want to get these shots.” Well, the third time she made her request, there was just enough urgency in her voice that though it didn’t panic me (my wife was a very smart lady), it did let me know that I shouldn’t be ignoring her any longer; I suspected now that something was up, and as I turned to walk over to her, I half expected to see a bear about to blind-side me or something of that nature.

When I finished turning around, however, and by the time I walked over to her, I had determined that there was no immediate threat of any kind that I could see, and so now I was a little bit irritated when I asked her, “So what was so important that it couldn’t wait 5 or 10 seconds more?” She said, “Take a good look at where you were standing when I called you.” Turning around once more, I now saw what she and her step-father could see from their vantage point, that I was blind to from where I was standing. Unlike what I thought, which was that I was standing on the edge of the mountain, in actuality, I was a good three feet, or more, off the mountain, standing on a floe of packed ice and snow that was about 24-36 inches thick on average, but a little thicker in some places, and thinner in others. And that was all that was stopping my 180 pounds, plus my pack and gear, from plummeting 4000 feet down into the same valley I had been so busy photographing.

So now you know why I always warn people about the extra dangers you face if you hike the mountains in the winter, especially after a fresh snow. You may not always be on that trail you think you’re on, and on rare occasions, like the one I just mentioned that happened to me, you might not even be on the mountain you think you’re on. So keep that in mind when you find yourself out there in the wilds, and in the meantime, while we’re here in the more civilized environs, I hope everyone is getting ready for a joyous holiday season, however you may choose to celebrate it, and I hope everyone stays happy, healthy, and safe throughout. And since I never know these days when I might make another entry myself, I’ll just wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year right now.

Taking Care When Winter Hiking

The Case of Eva’s Rescued Traveller

The other day my friend Eva (the gardener) had an injured bird brought to her that apparently was unable to fly (having used up all it’s air miles on it’s last trip I suspected). At any rate, a healthy serving or two of poppy seeds, some water, a good rest, some gentle stroking of the head feathers, a little more tender loving care, and before long, the little fella (or fellaess) was taking some short, and extremely close-to-the-ground, flights around the back garden area, before it disappeared from sight somewhere. But not before yours truly snapped a few shots, and those, for a very particular reason.

You see, I didn’t think the bird was from around here (because my highly-trained ear was pretty certain it detected a slight accent in the little chirper’s song). He/she was also colored in a fashion I was quite unfamiliar with. It seems I may have been correct, because even scouring the Internet for birds of this region, I could not come up with nary a one that was dressed in that pretty distinctive combination of dusty buff grey on the head, with a yellow breast that slowly darkened to a chalky green on it’s back, with hints of very light brown at the tips of wings. And even when I, in mounting desperation, finally switched to “birds from anywhere”, I was only able to find one dressed in a similar fashion, that was also of the same general size and shape.

The only trouble with what I found was that the bird I identified, the Bell’s Vireo, was a Warbler that is on the Threatened Species List, and is usually found in the central or southern United States, or northern Mexico. So here are a couple pictures of the two birds. I took the first picture, which is the bird that Eva rescued. The second picture is of a Bell’s Vireo. I obtained the picture from the ‘net, and in the interests of fair comparison, I kept my picture as small as that picture, so no one would be biased by size.

Eva's Rescued Bird
Eva’s Rescued Bird
Bell's Vireo
Bell’s Vireo

Now even I can see that it’s not a perfect match, but then I really have no idea how much birds may vary in appearance within their own species, and as I mentioned earlier, I have so far been completely unable to come up with ANY other bird that even remotely resembles the appearance of the bird that Eva nursed back to health that day. (Of course, if I had sang to it, it would probably still be here today ; )  As for the fact that the Bell’s Vireo is not from this region, that could easily be explained if the first bird was someone’s indoor bird that had somehow escaped it’s cage and got outside somehow. But in the meantime, being the curious type of person I am, if anyone out there does know what that first bird should properly be called, I would love to here from you. Then again, I always love to here from you. Everyone take care, stay healthy, happy, and safe. See you next time.

 

The Case of Eva’s Rescued Traveller