last week’s trip




Husband and I took a lovely little trip to Vancouver Island this past week to see our family. Our middle daughter with husband and our dear granddaughters had moved in November from their lake cottage to a farm in the idyllic gentle rolling valleys of Saanich, north of Victoria. Though husband had been there to help with their move, especially with their chickens and coop, this was my first visit.

Being January it did rain on and off but on our first afternoon we were lucky to have a dry spell so we could have a bit of a walk around the farm (owned by their landlords) with its extensive herb plantings, vegetables, trees and most delightful goats, one producing delicious milk, a couple of astoundingly handsome guard dogs and egg laying chickens. I wish my photos of the animals were better but they just did not stay still.

The valley below is beautiful though I was able to only capture a wee bit of it to show here as the sun was lowering in the sky. The camera did not see much action, but there will be another time! We also had short visits with two sets of friends who used to live in our neighbourhood on this side of the Salish Sea. It was a happy week away and just what we needed after that most awful and long cold over the holidays.

Added later: you may be interested in visiting Elisa’s beautiful blog: appleturnover

at the lake



As I mentioned a while ago, in early March we went to visit our family in the Victoria area after our west coast retreat. They live in a cottage next to a lovely small lake where I always take pleasure in taking a few photos. Above is a rare-at-this-time-of-year lily pad and a view of the mirror-like lakeshore.



interesting details from the woodpile, sections of a recently felled tree….
a piece of twined willow….free-ranging chickens




… and a basket of lichens by the door

rainforest creatures






Going backward a bit in time from our arrival on the west coast of Vancouver Island and my rusty sand, water and rock photos, I must share the amazing rainforest creatures we met at a rest stop within Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park in the center of the Island. As it was raining we ate lunch in our car then managed between raindrops to capture a few of these wonderful characters.

rusty rocks




The colour rust seems to have become a theme with my recent photos of sand, water and these rocks, all on Mckenzie Beach on the Pacific Rim of Vancouver Island. It’s a favourite colour and of course, I love rocks. The bottom two images of rock faces remind me of rich tapestries from the Middle Ages. Such inspiration from nature!

rust, water, rocks





some of my favourite scenes from the rocky end of McKenzie Beach

rust on sand




odd, lovely rust-toned streaks in the sand on McKenzie Beach near Tofino

We’ve been back home from our Vancouver Island trip for a few days but very busy catching up with home things, including the garden. Spring is at least a month early and too glorious not to be outside enjoying the flowers and budding leaves, even the grass needs cutting.

Now and then I find moments to go over the photos from our lovely stay and try to sort them. We have visited this area on the wild west coast so many times over some two and half decades that some images do reappear many times.

a quick wave




just a few beach scenes from the west side of Vancouver Island where we spent a few glorious days. Poor internet connection there.

Now we are in the Victoria area visiting family, and with a good connection I am able to send a quick wave and hello, dear readers! Lots of photos to come when we get home and I can use my own computer.

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

late summer ferry


over ten days ago we took a ferry trip over to Vancouver Island to visit family
the weather was glorious with brilliant sunshine
here we are just ready to leave Tswawassen on mainland BC


we were lucky to get front row seats on the enclosed sundeck
staying there for the whole journey across the Salish Sea
feeling like we were on a cruise


approaching the narrow windy Active Passage between many islands
no oncoming ferry passing us this time


leaving the Passage as we get ever closer to Swartz Bay
mesmerized by billions of sparkling diamonds and blue sky


many smaller boats on the waters delighting in the last days of summer
sealife jumping about… orcas? dolphins?…too far for photos

Now that fall is here along with much-needed rains (er, maybe too much the next few days!) keeping me indoors, I am finally sorting through the trip photos. I hope to post more of them soon.

Happy fall days ahead (or spring down-under), dear readers.

new Old Main




As mentioned before, we were visiting Kamloops last month. Besides art exhibition visits, our daughter took us for a tour of part of the lovely campus of Thompson Rivers University, sited on a mountain top overlooking the city. Knowing our interest in innovative, sustainable and energy saving architectural design, she was eager to show us the recently completed renovation and expansion of the Old Main building. Yes, we do love the modern design, the undulating roof, the numerous windows bringing in the light and the views, especially north over the city and the mountains.

This building now houses the new Faculty of Law, the first new one in Canada in thirty years. I became even more intrigued by the story behind the inspiration for the architectural design:

The design firms looked to the splendor of Mt. Peter and Paul to create an expansive design that undulates and curves, and were inspired by Mount Paul, by A. Y. Jackson. The result is a spectacular undulating roofline that mirrors the Kamloops horizon.

You can see Mounts Peter and Paul in the bottom photo. It took much searching to find Jackson’s painting – it is in the collection of the Kamloops Art Gallery, to be found on this page (scroll down and down, it is the fourth from the bottom). For copyright reasons, I hesitate placing it here. A.Y. Jackson was a Canadian artist, part of our noted Group of Seven. He took many painting expeditions all over Canada, including BC and the North.