artsy ants


Behold – a discovery of artistic works by ants in our very own yard!


Note the way the sand has been dug up from between the pavers into circular shapes.


Note in this detail all the big and tiny eggs and even tinier ants.

The story? We use some garbage cans for prunings that are unsuitable for the compost but are to be picked up by municipal trucks on their weekly rounds. For a few days two of these had been sitting on these pavers closer to the street. This afternoon our daughter Erika, who was visiting and helping me put out the various bins to the curb, noticed these upon picking the cans up. Wow, art by ants.

Looking closer we noted the sand patterns followed the patterns of the grooves on the underside of the cans, then noticed all the eggs, big and little and the tiny black pavement ants scurrying about in alarm, frantically carrying the eggs back down to their colonies under the bricks. Luckily and thankfully Erika had her iPhone to snap photos for me. Amazing and hard-working insects, are they not, though sometimes quite annoying in our gardens.

socks by Lucy




Pardon the long silence here for I have been busy with spring — much work in the garden, much work cleaning cobwebs indoors now revealed by increased sunshine giving proof of my lazy housekeeping. Having visitors is also an incentive.

I am also late in sharing my delight in a wondrous gift from THE artist of the knitting needles – Lucy of Box Elder. A little while ago, she had requested my foot dimensions so she could make me some warm slipper socks. It was like Christmas over again when opening the mail package for these are like those worn by the Finnish Santa and his elves. Red hearts are a beloved symbol in Finnish crafts, and red is my favourite colour often mixed with black, both in our home decor and my own wardrobe. Note the lovely craftmanship in the felted wool sole with silicone heart shapes for non-slippage!

My feet and I thank you, dearest Lucy, for this wondrous gift!

Big Print Project


Peter Braune of New Leaf Editions, here in Vancouver, was one of the brains behind the idea of several artists making very large prints using 4×8 foot woodblocks which were inked and steamrolled right on the street across from his shop on Granville Island last summer. Now there is a great video of the event – do watch it and enjoy!

I had heard about this fun project developing last summer but did not make it out to watch it happen. Great to see a few familiar faces as well as others I have heard of but not met personally. Wonderful work by all of them.

As a side note, New Leaf Editions is well known in the printmaking community for running the popular BIMPE biennial of mini-prints. I participated in BIMPE VI in 2010. You may be interested in looking through some of the exhibition catalogues featured on the site.

back from Victoria


All has been quiet on this blog while we were away visiting family and friends in Victoria. We had a late mini-Christmas with our daughter’s family. We caught up with their happy fat chickens and growing kittens which were keeping them close to home. One day we took the granddaughters to Miniature World which we all enjoyed very much and wondered why we had never visited it before in the many trips over many decades that we’ve made to Victoria, even when our own children were young. The grandgirls took numerous photos, as I did (but lost mine, more on that later).

We also had a nice visit with our dear friends. While the guys were out for a cycle tour, Elaine and I enjoyed a truly stunning exhibition of wildlife photography at the Royal BC Museum. No photos allowed here.

Our trip home on the evening ferry was accompanied by frequent toots of the foghorn, ever increasing as we neared the mainland. We could have used that foghorn on our foggy drive home. It was a good trip but it’s always great to be home again.

Regarding photos… I took many around our family’s home, of the lovely low fog movements over the lake, interesting details in the garden, the chickens, and many many at Miniature World. My little old camera was often acting a bit wonky. Once home I was unable to download them using two different cardreaders. There also seemed to be issues with the photo program so I tried another computer. In the end after all the fiddling I lost the photos, probably by removing the reader improperly! That’s a first. My computer and software are ageing, updates are leaving it behind, sigh. We have some work to do there. Naturally I’m disappointed at the loss of photo material ideal for the blog. So, since I do like to illustrate my posts, I’ve chosen the above image from the archives.

the Canuck version

Here’s a bit of fun and truly delighful art work for those of us in need of a light-hearted break in the midst of decorating, letter writing, poring over recipes and food shopping lists:

A Moose in a Maple Tree – The All Canadian 12 Days of Christmas

Screen shot 2014-12-17 at 11.32.50 AM

The song is written by Troy Townsin, illustrated by Jennifer Harrington and performed by Canadian Ska legend Chris Murray. More here.



transformation of liquid to semi-solid
a little disturbing yet fascinating
a scientist would love it
to me it is art

seasonal treats


Some fun seasonal reading and viewing with a Finnish twist:

1. Living With Finland’s Reindeer Cowboys. Stunningly beautiful photography in this short video and in the film link to be found in the fascinating article. Image above is captured from here.

2. A Pet Reindeer watches TV

3. Santa lives in Finnish Lapland – a newspaper article from a few years ago that I’ve posted before and just came across again.

Enjoy your preparations for the upcoming holidays!



a charming scene of Canada Geese parents and their six downy yellow goslings
spotted on a sightseeing tour for my Finnish cousin and friend a couple of days ago

(a note of apology to my dear readers for turning off commenting due to a massive onslaught of shoes, bags, drugs, and unmentionables… hope only for a few days)

Added 25th May: Unable to send a comment, Tom has so very kindly responded via a post on his blog Gwynt. I love his tale of an unforgettable face to face meeting with a swan.

deer, oh dear






Some of us were out this morning at violin lessons and running errands. During our last stop, a message came from home with an image of deer in our backyard!

At home, we heard about how they had come in the yard, sniffing around and feeding on berries. Younger granddaughter had been excited and gone outside the back door but they were not alarmed. The two deer rested and chewed cud on the grass most of the afternoon, keeping an eye on us quite calmly whenever we looked out or stepped out for photos. Eventually one of them finally got up to feed some more under the berry bushes. After a little affectionate snuffling and licking of each other they quietly walked into the bushes in the corner of our garden and off through the neighbourhood.

We’ve seen deer and warning signs in areas farther from us for all the years we’ve lived in the area. This is the first time we’ve seen them right in our neighbourhood. Such beautiful, gentle creatures, I think these may be black-tailed deer. Yet we know how damaging they can be to gardens. Oh dear!

red pepper




a double bell pepper! a pregnant pepper?