music, friends, art…


It has been quiet here on the blog while life has been exciting some days, sometimes leaving me too tired for words (partly due to a cold as well). So just a list as to what has been going on:

• MUSIC: we were gifted at Christmas with tickets to a Vancouver Symphony concert on the 16th, featuring pianist Freddy Kempf. It was marvelous, we really enjoyed his powerful rendition of Tchaikovsky. Beethoven is always a favourite and was well done but we were not so impressed with the new-to-us Polish composer Górecki’s work (especially the third part that sounded like a lot of noise to me).

• FRIENDS: A wonderful visit from old friends we’ve not seen in well over a decade, who live in Ontario. The guys have known each other since they were seven year old tykes and all of us were former Winnipegers, educated at the same university and married there. So much to catch up on and to reconnect.

• ART: We visited the exhibition of the Audain Art collection at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Loved it all especially the older West Coast First Nations carvings, as well as their modern work, and all the well-known BC artists from Emily Carr to the present, plus some Mexican art. How ever does this amazing arts philanthropist fit all this work, many very large, in his home? Some good photos here, and Michael Audain in his own words and as The Philanthropist (interesting!).

• CONSTRUCTION ZONE: very distracted, fascinated and having mixed feelings by the demolition and excavation next door, and soon to begin construction of a new home.

• WILDLIFE: saw a coyote walking down our street – a nice reminder that we live on the edge of mountain wilderness. And, as I stood on our deck one day to look over the construction site next door, Crow joined me on the power line above me, quite calm when I turned my camera on him. Wonder what he was thinking.

• AURORA time: check out the latest comments at blue snow.

• OLD FINNISH JEWELRY – please visit the interesting update to that old post.

• MORE ART: last but not least – looking forward to our exhibition, opening next week! Welcome!

raccoons’ morning bath



It is 8:00 am and I am sitting at my computer preparing a blog post when at the corner of my eye by the window I see some movement outside in the backyard. Lo! a family of raccoons having their morning bath in the kiddie pool. I squeal in excitement calling husband and daughter to the window as I grab the camera. How delightful, a momma and four healthy looking kids.

We have not seen raccoons in our neighbourhood this year, in fact last time may have been three years ago. They must be coming back again, joining the regular skunk family visitors that walk along our back shrub border every evening. Too bad our granddaughters are away for a few days but these photos are especially for them. Enjoy!

another hand print – part 2

The story about the hand print on the snowblower keeps getting more interesting. If you have not already read that post and the comments especially from Richard and my reply, may I suggest doing so, then come back here.


This morning our daughter Anita (Richard’s partner) emailed me some photos that she took of the other side of the snowblower (above left) as well as one of the side I already posted (above right). Here is what she wrote (slightly edited to fit my photo layout):

Since you missed them when you photographed the hand print, here are the other decorations on the Park City snowblower, replicating petroglyphs like the ones we saw in Moab, which Richard says are all over the red rock mesas of eastern Utah.

I particularly like the turtle and the bison. The bison, below, and the above right photo are the side of the chute that you photographed (both sides have a hand print), and it’s definitely harder to make out the drawings with all the rust on that side. Not graffiti, either – Richard said someone would have decorated the chute intentionally when it was first put into operation. Pretty cool.


My response in part:
I had not realized that Richard was not joking when he wrote about them on my blog. Are the images ‘painted’ (pictographic), or scratched or carved deeply into the metal (petroglyphic)? I’m sorry I missed them. I love the Kokopelli figure!


Again, Anita, in part:
They are painted rather than carved. They are copies of petroglyphs, and yes, the figure is similar to the one called Kokopelli that is so popular in Moab and other areas.

Richard had to chuckle when he heard you thought he was joking! But then you hadn’t seen the more clearly painted side of the snowblower chute. Neither had I, and it’s been sitting there for a year.

What a story, eh! And goes to show that even my eagle eyes and camera don’t always see everything! Thanks for sharing these photos and stories, Anita and Richard, and I hope you hang on to these images.

avian excitement


photos by husband with the better camera and zoom lens

Yesterday’s exciting entertainment for the granddaughters was to observe an avian visitor enter our solarium through an open door. We ourselves were behind closed sliding doors watching the poor stressed little hummingbird repeatedly bat itself against roof glass and windows, trying desperately to find its way back out. Occasionally it rested on windowsills, on the candle on the chandelier and most often on the wire of the parrot mobile! How sorry we felt for the little beauty in its stress. Why could it not see its way out the open door? Eventually, by carefully opening the interior door a little, perhaps the resulting cross draft helped to send it on its way to freedom, thankfully.

We really must get that screen door for we’ve had several hummingbirds and even a squirrel come in over the years, and not all survived the stress.

Winter Story and Game 2010

I’m very late pointing you to our now ten year old granddaughter Lael’s Winter Story 2010, a family holiday tradition since 2003.
Her five year old sister Niamh also presents Foggy Windows – a Winter Game.
Can you tell how proud we are of our creative family? If you’ve not seen the earlier stories, please do check them out on the blog. Enjoy!

lunar eclipse at winter solstice

Photograph by Heribert Proepper, AP

Tonight or actually in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, if you are lucky with the weather and live in the northern hemisphere, you can celebrate the Winter Solstice in grand fashion with a full lunar eclipse occurring at the same time, a most rare event. We will not be one of the lucky ones as it is cloudy here. If it had only been last night when it was clear.

I enjoyed these links about this unusual cosmic event:
-at CBC News
-at Quirks and Quarks, including this video
-at National Geographic (source of the image above)
Spacedex has information on viewing times and places, here it is for BC
– and finally, this wonderful post on Winter Solstice in Newgrange.

I wonder if wintry Stonehenge will be busy this year, especially at this unusually mystical and magical, and hopefully, auspicious time.
So, Happy Solstice and Happy Lunar Eclipse. Onward to lighter days ahead!

eBook readers


This Bizarro cartoon is especially for Joe who just wrote about his new eBook reader. It’s also for blog friends Barrett and Hattie and other proud owners of eBook readers. The first time I saw and held one was when we met Barrett in London last year and he proudly showed us his brand new Sony Reader. I’ve had this now-yellowed clipping on our fridge for quite some time and was about to throw it away in a cleaning spree. I knew it was waiting for an opportunity to share smiles. Enjoy!


Another new word for me!

It is Friday the 13th and though I’m not a sufferer of this ‘ailment’ I found this article about its history very interesting.

scent of rain


While doing some photography, I’m suddenly captivated by a scent in the air, forgotten for a while but oh so familiar. The scent of rain awakens a flood of memories of cooling summer showers. Only some time later do I see a few drops on the skylights.

The discovery of a new word for this phenomena, petrichor, delights me. I’m not sure though that this really applies to just a few sprinkles. Perhaps there’s been more rain not too far away from whence the scent drifted here.

More please, for the sun is out again and the scent is gone. The sky has a dirty whitish cast to it, probably caused by smoke from distant forest fires. We need lots of rain here in BC for we have numerous forest fires, mostly caused by lightning in tinder dry forests. And I’m getting tired of watering the garden.

inside to outside


I’ve been quiet here as I’m busy with family as well as all the watering and gardening to keep up in this continuing warm and dry weather.

So today, I’d like to just quickly share something a friend sent me (thanks, D). Watch a drawing in action of a skeleton that comes to life, you will be amazed. I actually posted this almost five years ago but it’s well worth a revisit. Reminds me of life drawing classes of long ago. Enjoy!