Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sweet Little Fellow...

or maybe you should ask Sherwin how sweet they are. He had just walked through the decks with the leaf blower cleaning off A LOT of remains of pine cones like this little one is working over.

But I happened to catch this near perfect little fellow at the end of the day within inches. He sat there like a model, not knowing he was going to hit The Blog today!!

"You know, sometimes the world 
seems like a pretty mean place."

"That's why animals are so soft and huggy."

- Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbs

Hope your Sabbath has been as lovely as ours.

Be well.

Friday, July 11, 2014


"I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made a difference that you lived at all."
- Leo Rosten

Be well.

Come With Me to the Sea... the Beautiful Sea

Last year this time we had just arrived home from a wonderful month in Europe with big smiles, tons of photos but very empty pockets so we have decided this year to look about in our own back yard...

On Tuesday this week we left home crack of dawn and were at the Fish Market in Sidney on time to get the 10 am "Alpine II" over to Sidney Island and Sidney Spit.

What a marvellously wonderful day... the sun shone, we took our own lunch and hiked all over the north end of that little island. 

So come with me for a little walk and I will show you my sea-treasures...

"I must go down to the seas again, 
to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship 
and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song 
and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, 
and a grey dawn breaking...

I loved the reflections and colour...

I must go down to the seas again, 
for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call 
that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day 
with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and blown spume, 
and sea gulls crying...

I must go down to the seas again,
to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, 
where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn 
from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream
when the long trick's over."
-John Masefield

For those who love the mountains there was always Mt. Baker, lurking on the eastern horizon, wanting to be captured in a photo...

 My 'laughing fellow-rover.'..

We were told on the boat over, that since this was a National Park that we were entering, there would be NO removal of shells, wood, rocks or any other perceived treasure...

There is more than one way to remove 'treasures' from a National Park... 

For those familiar with Sidney Island and it's lovely Spit you will know that when the tide's out there is lots of sand to enjoy. We took the morning to walk around the end of the Spit and had our lunch at the far north end but in the afternoon we chose to walk in the woods, south of the jetty where we arrived.

I have often tried to get a decent 'snap' of Sherwin on one shady walk or another here on our own island, with no success, but I am happy to have this one...

This trail reminded us of Mayne Island where we live but though we loved the added bonus of lots of white sand beach here, we were grateful for the trees and the shade of the woods for our afternoon walk.

As we ended our afternoon Sherwin led me to a spot he had seen on the map that he thought I would like to capture as my last picture.

That is the Spit we walked on earlier... but now the tide is up and there is not so much sand for walking to reach the end. But this was a lovely place to say goodbye to a beautiful day with my 'fellow-rover'.

Click here (in a few days) to Sherwin's blog where he will give you much more detail.

In the meantime, be well.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Life of Ryley . . .

June 8, a balmy Sunday afternoon, while Sherwin and Lorne Booth went golfing at CUC, Gail and I travelled northeast to their farm in Ryley, Alberta. 

Now, I have only seen Ryley in the summer months, actually, only in the month of June, so I have a rather bucolic view of the place. At this time of the year it is green, they have red barns, it is peaceful and quiet... sounds quite inviting.

They even have grain elevators... actually this one is in a farmer's yard!

Gail guided me down a hard-top road to their house, taking me past the farm where she grew up and her brother still lives.

This barn is no longer used for cattle but continues to stand as a reminder of yesteryear.

Love the old windows... and the reflections.

It was great fun to capture as much as possible the feeling of the building.

Gail can tell wonderful stories of her childhood here on this land. It reminds me somewhat of our barn in Peoria. This one seems bigger than the one we had but very similar in appearance.

It was quite dark inside but I was able to get some shots indoors too.

Lots of old treasures...

Imagine the memories held within these walls.

Oh yes, before I say good night I must show you one more photo I took down the road... Gail said, 'you have to see this fellow's artwork'.

The farmer who lives here is making a statement re: some issue in the community I believe. He expresses himself a lot like Salvador Dali.

No dull moments...

Be well.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Class of 1964

"Where the shimm'ring rays of the northern lights
Shine soft o'er prairies of snow,
And the em'rald lakes like tranquilly still,
And the winds from the northland blow.
Where the lordly mountains raise their heads
Far off where you scarce can see,
Is the school that we have learned to love.
Our CUC.

Oh CUC thy praise we sing,
True homage give to thee,
Our worthy Alma Mater dear,
Our CUC."

It was a delightful Sabbath day with our friends of the class of '64. The graduation photo that was taken in 1964 is missing a couple students and I believe there were more at this 50th reunion than the 40 in the above photo. Oops! But it was good to see them all.

We didn't realize at the time we planned this trip that Sherwin's two elder sisters were also in honoured classes. Rose on Sherwin's right, class of '59 and Dolores on his left, class of '49!

"Forever ago and yet yesterday."

The Kid In Me . . .

When someone suggests, 'Let's go to the zoo!', I am always game.

The Calgary Zoo is the zoo of my childhood, chalk-a-block with fond memories.

So we were off... we still had some hours to play with before we had to be heading north for the reunion at CUC.

Marilyn took the morning off work so we made a party of three and enjoyed an early morning walk. If you were to take the main entrance to the Zoo on the north side of the Bow River you will come to a large egg shaped sculpture at the gates...

Stand inside the egg and you will get a whole new view of the world.

It is a magical start on your way into the Zoo.

Before you get your tickets look to your left to enjoy the metal sculptures of animals escorting you in.

Where all the little 'darlings' came from, I do not know, but it seemed that all elementary classes from southern Alberta had been let out for the day at the Zoo.

So, since the competition was very thick at the penguins home, I quickly got a couple 'snaps' and we were on our way. Love the penguins.

We sauntered past this old goat moulting his winter coat...

now, isn't he attractive?

We are particularly fond of owls around here so we were happy to see this fellow. He could whip his head around Very Quickly! If I were to try that, I would have to see a therapist... as in physio.

Not a great shot of the caribou but he was hiking over to his shelter to get out of the warm sun. Wonderful set of antlers, though.

Great wooly beasts, right?

And a very handsome kitty.

Nothing quite like Alberta lilacs for colour and scent.

We walked through the aviary but the only photo worth anything was a nest. At least it sat still.

Nice roof... but I wonder what all it harbours among those reeds?

From stem to stern these rhinos were awfully cute. Of course, they were dozing and behind a fence so no threat to me.

Handsome fellow...

And a very lazy King of the Jungle, snoozing with his ladies.

Extraordinary flamingos... colouring out of this world.

I am not the only one who loves this happy elephant...

It was a warm day; what can I say, the wart-hogs were all played out from the sunshine.

And of course, we cannot miss the gorgeous tigers. They started off very aloof, over on the other side of their enclosure but before we left they romped over to say hello, rolled around on the grass and then calmly walked off again. Great beasts. They know how to play their audience.

 This fellow heard the click of my camera and looked at me very intently... 'not impressed', he said.

See what I mean about the Happy Elephant? Sweet photo.

Even the Hutteritte kids got a field trip today.

To end our trip to the zoo we had to find this dinosaur. Both Sherwin and I have somewhere in our files, photos of us as children with our photos taken in this very spot. Now this relic is at the back side of the zoo, surrounded with weeds and nobody seems to care. He no longer is the focal spot of the park.

There is more Alberta trip to come. In the meantime, be well.