a withered and crisply dried phalaenopsis orchid flower, still so beautiful

Can you believe it is almost the end of August? The days are noticeably shorter. Our record breaking hot and smoky summer is finally cooling a bit especially at night and with rain forecast for the coming weekend, we all hope our gardens will get a much-needed deep drink. Last fall’s new plantings did not survive this drought which means replacing them later on.

It’s been a summer of celebrations too: a nephew’s marriage in a beautiful wedding in a lovely setting, and a dear friend’s 75th birthday garden party on lovely Bowen Island with many artist friends present…both heartwarming occasions of reunions with family and friends.

waving a feather


still here, still hot, though we recently enjoyed three days of some rain
have had one family member visit
will have our daughters and granddaughters here soon
to attend the wedding of my nephew, their cousin
what a summer!

magnolia seedpods


Numerous seedpods like this appear under the magnolia trees every year after the gorgeous flowers finish. I’m used to seeing them underfoot on the lawn but haven’t looked at them REALLY closely, until the other day when we were sitting under the backyard tree, seeking some shade from the hot sun. I picked up a few of these underfoot and felt curious and inspired to scan them, as I often do with intriguing things I pick up.



What a wondrous surprise – the furry bases, the pattern of circles and the scale-like shapes that remind me of some ancient classical architectural features!


I am sorry to have been so silent on these pages for so long; I can’t believe I wrote only one post in June. This long-lasting heat wave has made me very sluggish, it takes all my energy keeping our garden watered. Thoughts of California-like droughts and forest fires are on our minds here in BC after our mild snowless winter and exceptionally warm and dry spring. We had something like 3 mm. rain in May and about the same in June and the long range forecast continues the same.

I have missed posting about the summer solstice as I usually do and now, today is Canada Day! Happy 148th Birthday, Canada!

this June


capturing the end of these roses cut from my garden
spring came very early after a mild winter
the garden has never been more beautiful
a record drought in May and now the first heat wave of summer
local berries are also early and now in the stores

how does your garden grow?

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.

from the garden





Recently, when pruning some shrubs in our garden, a tube-like piece of bark slipped off one branch. The curl of the bark, the almost transparent parts, its textures and colours all appealed to me and I brought it indoors to play with.

The results from the scanner were not good as there is too much depth, so I left it on the windowsill. The next day when I walked past it, I was struck by the bright sunlight on it and decided to try the camera. The extreme contrasts were challenging to work with, but I think these images capture some of the beauty and intriguing shapes and textures.

textures in March


a bunch of seeds hanging on a wall


and seeds falling on a rail


a burlap bag – what is inside?


I watch paint peel

seaside lichens




A few more photos from the rainforest by the Pacific —lots o’ lovely lichen!

I’m still busy uploading more images of my work to my ‘gallery’. It is slow going as I deal with the oldest printworks from early days before I started using documentation sheets for each piece. I have to pull out those from the flat files to measure them and note the techniques and the paper. I’m also discovering not all those early works were even captured on film. Those were the days we had to have them as slides, which were not all very good, needing much colour correction when scanning. It’s been on my long-running to-do list to catch up with those undocumented works so having this website is just the right incentive. Onward!

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

driftwood on Chesterman





Still on the westcoast of Vancouver Island, Chesterman Beach is the next one over from sheltered McKenzie Beach and is much wider and open to the wild sea storms that occur from time to time. Naturally it’s very popular with surfers – perhaps later I’ll post some images of them that my husband captured. I love this beach for the driftwood lining the shore next to the trees and private cottages. As always I’m particularly intrigued by close up details.