Saturday, July 14, 2018

BACK AND FORTH

That seems to be how our summer is going.  We were back down to our son's to park for a few days while Aileen had the surgery in her other eye July 3.  That surgery also seems to have gone well.  She now has excellent distance eyesight but requires glasses for closeup which is opposite to how her vision had been before.  She bought a pair of cheap reading glasses to get her through until she can take a proper eye exam in about six weeks.
Since I had purchased a season's pass at Butchart Gardens, I made another visit there one morning.  I had wanted to go on an overcast day to do flower photos but although it was cloudy when I went, before long the sun had come out.  Then the tour buses started arriving and it was time to get out.  Actually, it was difficult getting out as the tourists were surging along the pathways more that filling the full width.  At times I just stood there waiting for a gap.  Some places are just too popular!
On Friday July 6th, which happened to be Aileen's birthday, we moved from North Saanich up to Cousin Bill's at Willow Point, near Campbell River.  With a stop for gas, another for dumping our tanks, another for lunch in a pull out along the highway then finally a longer stop for Aileen's nap and Mitzy's walk, it took us about six hours to make the drive.  Richard and Georgia drove up that evening and spent the weekend with us.
On Saturday, Richard and I did a bit of geocaching and poking about checking out possibilities for future RV rally activities.  On Sunday, Richard, Georgia and I went up to Paradise Meadows at Mt Washington and walked around a loop trail.  Sunday was Georgia's birthday and we and Bill went to Bill's son Tony and Rita's for supper.  We had a great evening visiting.  Tony and Rita joined us another evening for supper at Bill's.
Small world moment here this morning.  Rita's niece was getting married this weekend over on the west coast of Vancouver Island and she and Tony and others of her family were going there.  So Rita is related  to Aileen as Tony's mother was Aileen's cousin.  Then we heard this morning that my brother's son was going to a wedding in the same area.  It turned out to be the same wedding!  Maybe it isn't that far a stretch since Rita and I both come from large families.
I did some geocaching several days but only a few each time as some were quite difficult or impossible to find.  Yesterday, we went to Courtenay to buy a new CPAP mask for Aileen as her's started coming apart in the night and leaking.  She found a sleep apnea center in Courtenay that we will probably use in the future as they seem to be very service oriented.  Since the place in Salmon Arm we have always dealt with changed hands, the service has not been great.
 

The walkway over the highway below our son's house

I spotted this cat lazing in the evening sun on a trail near our son's.  This is what's known as backlighting in art and photography.

On another trail near our son's, I found this Calla Lily that someone had tossed over the hedge and it was growing in the ditch

Closer examination revealed this little frog tucked down out of sight

On the other side of a non-opening window upstairs in our son's house

I was able to put my camera lens right up to the glass so I could do a close up.  The spider felt safe as it seemed to know I couldn't get through the glass.  In the comments below, my son has identified this guy as a Cross Orb-weaver (Araneus diadematus)

A man made carved out fish ladder on the Puntledge River at Nymph Falls 

Lower section of Nymph Falls

Campbell River waterfront

Subalpine Daisy at Paradise Meadows.  There were many nice flowers blooming along the walkway in Paradise Meadows

Since you're not supposed to step off the walkway, this is how you get photos like the one above.  This is a cell phone image our son took of me.  Using the small Canon SX60 with a tilting screen makes for some flexible photography.  Shoot with one hand and balance with the other!

Fringed Grass of Parnasus

Jeffrey's Shooting Stars

Paradise Meadows elevation about 3,550 feet.

A little pond in Paradise Meadows.  The plants are Buckbean.

Close up of Buckbean

Interesting tree forms

Paradise Meadows looking across to Mt Washington ski area

Gray Jay

Bunchberry

Lots of neat old tree skeletons

Different colours of Indian Paintbrush along the road to Mt Washington





Friday, June 29, 2018

HOUSE SITTING FOR A FEW DAYS

We had Georgia with us from Wednesday after school until Sunday afternoon.  We've been taking it kind of easy since then.  We took Georgia to the Mill Bay library one day and to the Farmer's Market in Duncan on Saturday morning.  We took Mitzy for lots of walks around the campground at Bamberton Provincial Park.  I had a few visits with my sister Becky's brother in law, Joe who was also camped there. 
I got chatting with a lady who was interested in our lifestyle and she mentioned her husband retiring from the pulp mill in Prince George three years ago.  I mentioned our old friend, Bill Haviland who had helped build the mill years ago as an engineer and she knew him and Del.  They had been good friends with her parents before moving to Salmon Arm where they moved in two doors down from us.  We were great friends with them and played cards often.  Bill and I walked together, skied some and he also did some mountain hiking and back packing with me. 
On Sunday morning, we moved the motor home up to my cousin Neil and Carol's at Duncan.  They are off on a road trip visiting family and we are parked in their yard keeping an eye on things.  Not as much to do here this time as they have put most of the gardens on a timed watering system.  We are enjoying having lots of space to ourselves.
Aileen will be having her left eye cataract repaired on Tuesday so we are moving back down to Richard and Robin's on Monday to be closer.  After a week or so there we will be moving but not sure where yet.   Since I have volunteered to be a rally activities host for our next spring rally, I must spend some time in the Courtenay/Campbell River area coming up with a plan.  I need to have this in hand before September as we will be off the Island until next May or so.  Since we are only utilizing just the one campground now for our rallies, it is becoming more difficult to come up with new attractions and activities.

Driftwood on the beach near Sidney

This is out the motor home windshield.  This guy had just driven in with his super smelly and smokey Ford diesel.  That smoke is coming from his idling truck.  When he was driving, there was way more smoke polluting everything.   Just plain disgusting.  I would think he will have a pretty expensive repair bill shortly.


A squirrel in Bamberton Park

At the Duncan Farmer's Market

One section of the Duncan Farmer's Market

Forty feet from the motor home where we are house sitting


Adult Dark-eyed Junco

Four baby Dark-eyed Juncos in a lavender plant in a pot on a plastic table  where we are house sitting

Butterfly in lavender right alongside the motor home

Monday, June 18, 2018

THE WEATHER IS WARMING UP AND A BAD DAY FOR ONE GUY

Aileen's right eye continues to improve and we are still putting drops in it four times a day.  Tomorrow is moving day.  We hope to move up to Bamberton Provincial Park for five nights.  We will have Georgia with us Wednesday to Sunday while Richard is hosting a conference at the university.  From there we will be house sitting for Cousin Neil and Carol until about July 2 at which time we will move back to Richard and Robin's in preparation for Aileen's left eye surgery on July 4.  That's as far as the plans go at this time.

All photos taken with the Canon SX60

Out for a walk with Richard and his dog Winnie in a local park when I spotted this Tiger Lily

The next several flowers were taken at Butchart Gardens one morning




This is not just a young persons phenomenon

Pansies

Marigolds in front of pansies


Did you guess there were a lot of pansies?

As I was heading back to the car, I saw this butterfly that let me have two shots

Friday afternoon after we picked up Georgia from school, we were walking by the boat ramp in Sidney when we noticed a tow truck hooked to what looked like a wooden float.  When he started winching it in, a truck appeared below it.  

Apparently, the guy parked his truck up on the flat but seems to have left it in neutral.  After a while when he was down picking up driftwood, the truck rolled down the ramp.  Luckily, it didn't hit anyone or anything.  The police attended and gave him a ticket for something, probably leaving a vehicle unattended.  He makes bird houses out of driftwood that he sells at local markets and the back of the truck was full of them.  Some of them floated loose while the truck was being retrieved.  He also mentioned he had a $2,000 camera in the cab.  I think that will be useless after the salt water dunking.

Tow truck drivers have to be flexible

Here's a hot little dog trying to cool off

Two of several boat harbors in the Sidney area 


I watched this Great Blue Heron catch a little fish for lunch.  I think it would take quite a few of these to make a meal.