Time For Something Fresh

Well I finally found a little time, and I had a few new pictures sitting here, so I thought I should freshen up this page a little. Plus the other day while I was sitting on my balcony, shaking my head at that snow I showed you some pictures of a while back, I was suddenly disturbed by every bird in the neighborhood simultaneously going crazy, flying in bizarre patterns of confusion, and squawking to beat the band. When I looked up it was plain to see that they were in a panic over something, but it was too far away for me to make it out clearly.

I went inside and got my camera with the telephoto on it, and when I came back out, I was able to figure out just what was happening. Apparently, the snow in the mountains must have been much worse than what we had down here, and their regular prey must have been holding up out of the elements, and thus, out of sight, because a flock of eagles had come down to the lowlands, most likely in search of a quick meal (read pigeon, or raven, or seagull, or even small dog or cat). Come to think of it, considering the number of those birds in that hunting party, you could probably add a small child to that list – these eagles get large in these parts, and they are formidable hunters.

At first I thought there was 4-5 eagles in the group, and since they were quite the distance away, I couldn’t say for certain. But just as the hunting birds were leaving, a large number of their intended dinner decided to roost on the crane across the laneway from my place, and the eagles took one final, sad look at their missed lunch as they made a pass over the crane on their way out of the area. At that time I was able to snap a picture much closer up, and I counted 8 eagles in the pack. So there is a couple of those pictures below, as well as a few shots I took when I went for a walk on one of the nicer days we’ve had since then. We’re back to just above freezing temps. at night again, but the nicer days are becoming more frequent, and it does seem like Spring is in the air, with the Magnolia trees in my back yard area already breaking out in blooms.

So I hope your Spring weather is coming a little faster than mine is, and I hope everyone is keeping well, happy, and safe. We’ll see you all next time. God Bless.

Time For Something Fresh

Freaky February

Well, by now I’m pretty certain that you are all aware just how anxious I’ve been this year to see the start of Spring. Usually I’m pretty patient when it comes to the seasons and things, but this year has been different for some reason that I just can’t put my finger on. So when we finally started  getting some warmer, dryer weather this past month, I was quite happy, because it’s a pretty sure thing around these parts that if you can make it through to the middle of February or so, you can count the worst of it over. And on top of all that, it was a remarkably good winter to begin with, having, here by the shore at least (the inland parts always get hit harder of course), no snow at all, and if I remember correctly, not even any frost to speak of. The geraniums on my balcony stayed in bloom, and healthy, throughout the entire season. That is, until this week…when winter arrived in full force.

Now I’m not talking one day, or two. I don’t even mean a single night of unexpected frost. What I do mean is that last week we began having nice enough days, sunny and warm, but we should have known something was up, because we were also finally getting consecutive nights of frost – enough of them in a row that my geraniums are now without a single living bloom, and the plants themselves are pretty upset with me. And now, today, here in the rainforest,…well, take a look…

…now, I may not be the brightest light-bulb in the drawer, but even I’m pretty sure that that IS NOT RAIN. smiley_ideaOoh well, what can you do? There’s certainly no sense complaining, and the good thing is that it never last’s long out here. Besides, It’s not every day that I get to try and capture snowflakes in my pictures, so there’s that too. I also know that we here on the coast are not the only ones getting hit with these strange weather patterns that are becoming so common lately, and even here in BC, if you go a little further inland, or up into the mountains, this can cause, for the people in those places, problems far more serious than my dead geraniums. So I want you to know that I’m not really that concerned about a few dead flowers. I am, however, very concerned about flesh-and-blood people. So if any of you are in an area where these weather patterns are being experienced, please try and keep safe, and know that should you find yourself getting caught up in one of these messes, there are people who aside from helping out in whatever immediate and practical way they can, are also keeping you in their prayers. And with that,  everybody have a great week-end.

Freaky February

My Favorite Feathered Friends

Well I knew it couldn’t hold out forever. The sun finally broke out in these parts this past week-end, and as I’m writing this now on Tuesday morning, I see that it’s back outside my window for a return visit. Never one to pass up an opportunity, or to leave my camera at home feeling lonely, I grabbed my favorite Nikon and headed out for a walk, just to see what I could find.

So after strolling here and strolling there, I ended up at one of the local parks, and guess what? (Drum roll please….) The boys (and the girls) are back in town! Yes! There in the duck-pond, swimming and diving, then climbing up on the edges of the pond to shake those little tail-feathers. Oh yes..it was quite the show. And they were so happy. They didn’t even mind the party being crashed by a couple Canada Geese trying to fool everyone into thinking they were just oversized Mallards with strange complexions. Nah! It was a good party, everyone enjoyed themselves, and I snapped a couple pictures before I left just so you folks could feel like you were there. Because your absence from the festivities was noted, and we (the ducks and I) are really hoping you can make it next year. So mark it on your calendar. But for this year, I guess a couple pictures will have to do, and that little rock figurine (a small Inukshuk) by the water that you see in one of those pictures, was specially erected just for you guys so that if you do make it to next year’s party, you’ll know you’re at the right place. There is even a picture that explains the parking method we prefer here in Vancouver after we have a beer or two (which is why I only VERY seldom imbibe alcoholic beverages). In the meantime, stay healthy, happy, and safe.

My Favorite Feathered Friends

Remaking Broken Friendships

In my regular Bible readings, I find myself these days in the Book of Ezekiel, a gentleman I’ve always found myself to be quite fond of. Most of those Prophets had tough jobs, and I’ve always appreciated anyone who works hard…at whatever they do.

Well it seems that immediately after his encounter with the Lord (or as Ezekiel himself put it, after “the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God” [Ezekiel 1:1(b) NIV]), the encounter during which Ezekiel received his commission to be a Prophet, he was taken by the Spirit to the place where some of the exiles from Jerusalem were living. This was a place down by the Kebar River (“Chebar” in some translations) in Babylon, and this was the location at which his duties for the Lord were to begin.

Before Ezekiel actively began prophesying to the people of Israel down at the Kebar River, however, the good Prophet ran into somewhat of a snag. It appears that his encounter with The Holy One of Israel had had such a profound effect on Ezekiel that in his book he conveys how upon his arrival at the Kebar River, he, “…sat among them (the exiles) for seven days — overwhelmed” (Ezekiel 3:15 NIV – parenthetical comment mine).

Now this is a Prophet we are talking about. A professional speaker, and this one, unlike a couple of the others (such as Moses) had made no complaints to God about being chosen TO speak. He was a trained priest (also unlike a couple of the others), so he had been trained to talk. But encountering God, in what has to be at least ONE of the friendliest “meet-and-greet” scenes recorded in the Bible, left this professional speaker speechless. Not just momentarily speechless either, but without words for an entire week! For seven days and seven nights Ezekiel sat there completely awed by what he had seen.

What that reading told me was that I NEVER want to meet God when He’s angry, because He wasn’t angry at Ezekiel, and look at the result of that FRIENDLY encounter. It also made me realize once again that I owe to my Lord Jesus every last ounce of gratitude that I can muster, For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled¹ to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled¹, shall we be saved through His life!” (Romans 5:10 NIV – footnotes added).

1. reconcile(d): Make friends again. – The Gage Canadian Dictionary – (1983)

So I for one, am certainly very glad that having lost our original status of friendship with God, no thanks to the efforts of a certain serpent, and the original sins of our first parents, in a certain garden so long ago, that we can now receive that friendship once more by faith in, and the following of,  the Lord Jesus Christ.

handshk4

Remaking Broken Friendships

A Couple Follow-Ups

Well, needless to say, we here in Vancouver are truly verifying to ourselves (and to anyone in the world who may be interested) that we do indeed still live in one of the last Coastal Temperate Rainforests on the planet. It is still wet and wacky out my window, and the color-scheme is a not-so-lively gray-on-gray. As usual, my sincere prayers go out to all in the vicinity who suffer from any degree of clinical-type depression, or are troubled with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), which for those of you who aren’t quite sure, is a type of depression that has symptoms which, according to the Mayo Clinic, “start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody“. I do understand that S.A.D. can be treated quite successfully at times with something as non-invasive as “light therapy”, the act of sitting in front of the proper kind of lighting for a prescribed period each day, but still, this kind of continual dreary weather is almost guaranteed to exacerbate the symptoms connected to the types of conditions that I listed above. My own personal way of combating the effects of too much wet weather (which I don’t really dislike) or gray skies (which I DO dislike when it lasts too long) is to put as much color in front of my eyes as possible. This has nothing to do with LSD (I heard that snicker), just my photographs, and it’s the main reason I keep such ready access to them.

So since I showed you a couple single plants that I grew on my balcony last summer in my previous post, I thought I would show you the whole group of my balcony plants in a couple shots this time. So these are the “guys and the gals” that kept me company on all those nice warm summer evenings last year, while I sat on my balcony writing, or listening to tunes, or maybe even sanding down a piece of wood that I was refinishing for someone. So meet my friends, counselors, advisors, and harshest critics (you may have to click on the pictures – and see the enlarged version – if you wish to meet the smallest of the company, but that’s why I chose this particular format anyway). In the meantime, stay safe, healthy and happy, and if you see any stray sunshine, please send it my way.

A Couple Follow-Ups

A Glance Back

Since we’re still in the rainy days here, I refuse to give up the fight, so I’m taking a look back today, at just a few of the plants that adorned my balcony last summer. That was when I moved into this building, and growing season was already underway, so many of my plants got quite a late start. They did finally manage to catch up (I suspect thanks are owed, at least in part, to all that nice rich soil laced with the casts from my worm-bins), but in the beginning they did lag behind the rest of the garden, and each new bloom was a truly special pleasure for this plant-lover to see. Especially since I hadn’t had any kind of outdoor area at all to grow anything in for over 13-14 years. I only found a few of the early shots to show you today, but maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll find the folder I hid the other embarrassments  beauties in (ahem). In the meantime, I seriously hope your weather is being nicer to you than ours is to us, and I hope you are all getting well into the swing of this brand new year. Stay healthy (watch out for that flu-bug critter), as happy as you can (it drives your enemies right up the wall), and keep yourself and your loved ones safe (I let the Lord look after this one for me, but we are each entitled to our own ways, and I wish you all the best with yours). See you next time.

A Glance Back

My Lost Vision

Since I moved a while back, you may have seen me writing a few things about how much I’m enjoying the new place. A ton of extra space (a one-bedroom as opposed to a bachelor suite), a beautiful balcony to share with my plants on the warm summer evenings, and because of my senior’s discount, a lower rent than what I was paying before. But there is one thing I had to give up in the trade that I will definitely be missing, and that was the view (on really clear days only) that I had from my windows in the old building. The view wasn’t all that spectacular on regular days if the air was at all hazy, or if it was cloudy, or raining out, but on those occasional crystal-clear days…well, it was always worth the wait when I would wake up and find this sight waiting for me outside my kitchen window:

mount-baker out my old kitchen window
mount-baker out my old kitchen window
mount-baker-out-my-kitchen-window-2
mount-baker-out-my-kitchen-window-2

But such is life, and I certainly wouldn’t trade away my new place for those views, or any other. I know when the Lord has blessed me, and He’ll get no complaints from this guy. I am, however, exceedingly glad that He also provided me with a camera a while back, so that I was able to get these pictures before I changed locations.

As for all of you fine folks, I hope your winter has been a good one, and I continue to pray for your health, your happiness, and of course, your safety. And may the upcoming week be a great one.

My Lost Vision