another demolition


the house on our south side was demolished last week, not so long since the January 2012 demolition on our north side


it feels so disturbing, so sad to see this happening everywhere; this was a good home for one single family since the 1950’s


the yard had some lovely rhododendrons though overgrown with too many trees and invasive ivy, all now cut and ripped out


including two giant cedars, here with some interesting icicle like rips on the stumps


how many tree rings can you count on this twenty-six inch diameter stump?

our home feels a bit exposed but there is now so much light and views for us neighbours around the property

(all photos taken by my husband with his iPhone)

Added later: Oh, how could I forget: the noise and the pounding? As I sit at this computer in this room on the south side, right next to the ‘zone’, I suddenly notice all the art work on this wall has gone higgeldy-piggeldy. A mini-earthquake.

happy chickens


on our recent visit to our daughter’s family on the Island
we were introduced to their chickens, incubated, hatched and now almost fully grown


daughter designed and built the chicken coop
with much advice on construction design and predator proofing from her father


they are different varieties, each has a name and responds to calls and hugs like any pets
always on the move, they are colourful, inquisitive, smart and friendly


they love their free ranging time under supervision by the granddaughters
watch out for hovering hawks, sneaky minks and hungry raccoons!


soon there will be eggs….

if interested, you might like to visit our daughter’s blog to learn more about their adventures in raising these delightful feathered creatures

radical Canada Day


Happy Canada Day! Happy 147th Birthday, Canada!

I love my adopted country. But I weep for the way it is being degraded.

Thus David Suzuki’s profound message about Canada today speaks for me. Please read.

on Howe Sound



A couple of days ago, on Monday, we went out to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, where there is a ferry terminal servicing the islands and the Sunshine Coast. One of our favourite seafood restaurants, where we had lunch (in honour of my birthday), overlooks the marina and the ferries going back and forth. The top photo is taken from my seat inside, showing the large Nanaimo ferry. The smaller ferry in the next image travels back and forth to nearby Bowen Island.



Looking back from the marina to the village, and up the mountainside to admire the fog lingering on the treetops.

Though it was cloudy but not raining, we made a spur of the moment decision to take a drive up Howe Sound as far as Porteau Cove. This was our first time on the new Sea-to-Sky highway that goes up to Whistler, all rebuilt for the Winter Olympics of 2010. Quite an engineering feat on these steep mountainsides overlooking the Sound and on up through the Coast Mountain range.


Silly me, I had forgotten to recharge my camera batteries beforehand so I was unable to take any more photos after H.B. Husband took a couple with his phone camera – above is the better one taken looking south from Porteau Cove. I wish you could have seen the numerous cormorants, seagulls and blue herons sitting in rows on the concrete walls by the pier.

I was struck by how very fresh the air was here, so unlike in the past when it was often foul from paper mills. Apparently the water is also much improved and a variety of sea life is returning. This is sacred territory to the Squamish First Nations, and so rich in their stories which we read about with great interest at an expansive storyboard next to a viewpoint over the Sound. We must get to Whistler one day to visit the stunning new Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

It was a heartwarming, magical and beautiful afternoon. We are so blessed to live in this gorgeous part of the world, and we hope it stays this way for future generations, not destroyed by the powerful oil interests currently fighting for increased access to our coast.

fossil hunting 3


Pareiasaurs: reptile, herbivore, possibly an early relation to turtles

Alligator: Alberta, Canada

A few more photos from that most memorable long ago visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta. If you missed them, please see Part 1 and Part 2 for the background.

fossil hunting 2





More photos from that long ago visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta. Unlike most of the photos I’d taken there, two here captured some information – the third photo shows a nothosaur, and the last one a part of a bobastrania. I will have to look them up.

For me, the shapes, lines and textures of these fossils, most fossils, are visually very entrancing and intriguing. The knowledge that these are the remains of very ancient living creatures captured forever in rock touches something in my soul and makes me feel very small.

Added a few hours later: Evidence of earliest animals found in Newfoundland – a fascinating discovery in an already amazing fossil site! There is also a mention of BC’s Burgess Shale fossil site. If I recall correctly the Newfoundland site was featured in one of the episodes of the Geologic Journey series shown on CBC.

fossil hunting





I came across an envelope of photographs, yes, the print kind, taken in the amazing Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta in 1999. I had written about this exciting trip a few years ago, along with some photos – please visit. Except for the second one, these are ammonites. I’ll post a few more images in the days to come.

I loved revisiting the Museum’s site and you may too, including some information about the fossils in the Burgess Shale and the Devonian Reef. Did you know parts of Alberta used to be covered by a tropical sea?

I found this creepy photo from the visit here. And you may recall my series of photos taken at Vancouver’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum last year with these photos of fossils.

P.S. See a cross-section of an ammonite here and here. I picked this up as a souvenir in Prague ten years ago!







Two days ago we became quite distracted by the demolition of a house next door, spending much of the day watching… no, gawking out the window and taking photographs. We were most impressed by the skill of the operator of that excavator and how quickly it was done, loaded onto numerous trucks and hauled away.

We knew this was coming since the property had changed hands and the buyer is having a very much larger home built in its place. Still, it was sad to see a decent home torn down, one that had housed several families over the years. We knew three in the time we’ve lived here and liked most the last family with young girls.

Most appalling, however, was that the building materials – roofing, window glass, timbers, gyproc, insulation, wiring and much more – were not separated for recycling, that is, were not put through a process of deconstruction which I think is required practice today. Truck after truck just hauled it all away quite some distance to some dump presumably.

Sad, at so many levels.

the beauty of pollination


A friend sent me the link to this exquisitely beautiful time lapse video.

At the end I learned that it comes from a TED talks presentation by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg:

Pollination: it’s vital to life on Earth, but largely unseen by the human eye. Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg shows us the intricate world of pollen and pollinators with gorgeous high-speed images from his film “Wings of Life,” inspired by the vanishing of one of nature’s primary pollinators, the honeybee.

Enjoy his short but beautiful and inspiring talk and video.

(The photo above is mine.)

green globe


from the kitchen… a world in a vegetable…