Sunday, May 31, 2009


New growth on Western White Spruce

New growth on Douglas Fir

Tent caterpillars

New cones on Western Red Cedar

Dandelion seeds about to depart for new horizons

Mitzy sleeping in Sophie's spot - Sophie is not impressed!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


A snail Jacquie spotted in a hawthorne tree

A buck we spotted as we were leaving Kekuli Bay camp last Tuesday morning...........................................
May 28, 2009
We are in a period of beautiful weather; lots of sun but not scorching hot. We took the trailer in yesterday and had a larger regulator and the third solar panel installed. The installer claims to finally have the gauge reading within ¼ of an amp accuracy. The numbers on the gauge were pretty impressive so we hope it’s true. Next week when we hit the trail will begin to tell the tale. We’re back at Jacquie and Jim’s and plugged in for now. We’re getting spoiled!
We were invited to go out to Jim’s claim today but had too much to do here so had to decline. They said there was still lots of snow out there plus lots of water running all over from the snow that is melting. I went online and entered my prints in the PSA International Exhibition in Yellowstone. I also put quite a bit of time in on the family reunion process. This afternoon we did several errands in Salmon Arm. We keep meeting old friends all over in our town visits. Aileen had a good visit with her friend Donna yesterday. I did errands then and after lunch had a visit to both the massage therapist and the chiropractor.
May 30, 2009
Well my back is feeling okay but I’m back having leg pains. My guess is Sciatica. Glad we’re getting into the “Golden Years”! We ordered a second spare trailer tire the other day for our trip north and picked it up today. We made our last stop at the storage unit today also as they are closed Sundays then did more errands around town. Yesterday was also busy with last minute things. Mitzy had a grooming appointment and looks very spiffy in her summer styling. Aileen and I cooked supper for Bev and Kevin last night and we had good visit. We received a call yesterday afternoon inviting us to friends Del and Bill’s 54th anniversary so that’s where we spent this afternoon. It was great to see them and be able to join in their celebration.
We’ve been in this area about 7 weeks and didn’t get to see many of the people we’d hoped to. If we missed getting together with you, sorry. Today I had to do some rearranging to fit three more boxes in the outfit. Maybe we should have gone the canopy route rather than the tonneau cover so we could stack higher? We are enjoying the better visibility of no canopy though. As always, it seems there are tradeoffs. We’re still planning a Monday morning departure and looking forward to some new adventures and scenery in the north country. Thanks to friends who read the blog and either comment or email us. It’s great to hear from you.

Monday, May 25, 2009


The above two are Bitter Root flowers. They have very little stem and appear to just pop out of the ground

Balsam Root and Ponerosa Pine..................................................................................More images below


The above images were shot from The Giants Head showing the area around Summerland, BC

Leaves just out in the Poplars

Lady Slipper in Dan and Betty's garden

Ponderosa Pine Spring growth

Quail at Bev and Carole's

Some higher elevation Balsam Root south west of Penticton

Mitzy in the dandelions

The above 4 are an old barn alongside the road

Logging road above Vaseaux Lake

A doting mother and calf

The little town of Okanagan Falls............................................................................................................
I guess it’s time to do some catching up as it has been several days since the last posting. I have to say though that they have been very busy days! We drove to Summerland on Wednesday the 20th and parked on a vacant lot near our friends, Dan and Betty for two nights. We were on the top of a ridge and the views were great. The lot will probably sell for $300,000 when it gets on the market. We were able to spend some quality time with Dan and Betty and shared some picture shows. We also bought Dan’s first volume of his most interesting biography. He says he has the outline done for two more. We had shared suppers both nights. We’d stopped at the asparagus farm near Armstrong on the way and bought 9 pounds so we’ve been sharing it. I did a photo tour on my own on Thursday and saw some new and interesting country. Aileen and the girls had a good nap.
On Friday, we moved a few miles down the road to Penticton and parked in the driveway of our dear lady friends, Carole and Bev. After setting up we went to Safeway for some groceries and ran into Bev in there and found we were having a do-it-yourself Chef salad for supper. Aileen and I cooked supper the second night and we did a joint cooked supper last night. Bev works 7 days a week caring for older people so Carole was the only one who could join us on our photo/exploring tours. We went south then circled west and north on Saturday and wound up on a logging road for our picnic. Yesterday we went south along the east side of Skaha Lake then to Vaseaux Lake where we turned east and followed an ever deteriorating logging road which eventually led us to a major logging road we could take back down to the highway. We did see two baby mountain sheep early on but they didn’t stay around for the offered photo op.; we offered, they declined. We saw no one else on yesterday’s road but we did get an opportunity to give the 4x4 system some exercise. We were all three pretty pooped when we got home. Aileen took a nasty spill mid afternoon when she got her feet tangled up in a couple pieces of wood and went down with no time to put her hands out. In fact, one of them was underneath her. I had to drag the wood free before we could get her around where she was able to get up. She has a collection of sore spots today. The warmer drier weather has helped her allergies or whatever was bothering her last week but now she has something else to take its place. We’ve had mid to high 20sC since Thursday.
We stopped in Kelowna at Lens and Shutter to buy ink for my big printer and I saw they had one of the cameras I’ve been thinking of for some time. It was my first opportunity to see and hold one. After going online in the trailer which was parked across the street, looking for the best price, I went back in and they agreed to match it, so I now have a new camera. I still haven’t figured out everything on my last camera which I’ve had for 21 months and 21,000 shots and now I have to start over.
Aileen had been in contact with our selling dealer and the manufacturer of our trailer windows trying to obtain an opening window for her side of the bedroom and hadn’t had much success. We happened to drive past the manufacture on our way into Summerland (pretty good when you consider the trailer was made in Oregon) so I went in and one of the guys came out and took measurements. We picked it up Friday (custom made for us) and they gave it to us for dealer cost which was less than half of what the dealer had quoted.
We are camped at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park just south of Vernon. We have an appointment for the trailer fridge to be serviced in Vernon tomorrow then we hope to visit our good friend Natalie. On Wednesday we have an appointment to get the third solar panel installed. The panels have been working very well in this sunny weather so we hope with the third panel we can survive in less than ideal conditions. We’ve been getting up to full charge fairly early every day which never happened ever since we had the two extra batteries installed last Fall.
I think our plan is to head north next Monday. We have supper with our daughter and Kevin on Friday night. Mitzy has a grooming appointment with Bev on Friday. It will be a big change to head north where we don’t know anyone.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hello everyone. I have hopefully made it more simple to comment by changing to a new form. You should be able to just click on comments, type your coment in the box then hit post comment.


False Solomon's Seal

Wild Strawberry



Mare's Tail

Poison Ivy, I believe

Striped Coral Root

Oregon Grape


Volunteer Apple


Don't remember


Wild Cherry

Volunteer Apple buds..........................................................................................................

I managed a fairly good number of shots of the various plants and flowers that are growing along side the road close by when I went out after supper the other night. The mosquitoes nearly ate me alive though. I will include some of them with this post. They were taken within a few hundred metres of where we are parked, all along the little road called Abbington Lane.
Aileen has been having trouble with some kind of bug or allergy for the past while and yesterday was a real down day for her. We had planned on heading down the Okanagan today but the forecast yesterday was pretty grim for today so we decided to hold off another day. This will give Aileen more time to improve as well.
I did a batch of printing yesterday, getting enough prints to enter the competition at the PSA International Conference in West Yellowstone in September. If I’m attending the conference, I like to enter the print competition and hope to have some accepted so I can see them hanging with the great work of other entrants. I feel this is a good way to evaluate your own work. I’m looking forward to this conference. I have signed up for Yellowstone Park tours all five week days and there are well known presenters each night. This conference differs from previous ones in that there are very few daytime programs, but tours instead, and big name presentations every week night instead of just two or three of the evenings.
We were to town this morning and it rained quite hard for a little while. Just a few spits out here in Tappen but the sky is very black so maybe we’ll get it yet. Jim’s been seeding lawn so is hoping for some precip. to help it get started.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Balsam Root on a hillside east of Vernon

What a day for a picnic

Rick, Aileen, Jacquie and Jim

And then the sun came out

Jim panning

Got any gold?

Jim and friend Rick; see the hail coming down? ..................................................................................
The mosquitoes are beginning to welcome us as we step outdoors. The temperatures are supposed to get above 20C every day for the next six days. Perhaps Spring really is going to arrive. We took a big step back into winter on Thursday the 14th when we went to Jim’s mining claim in Monashee Pass at around 4,000 feet elevation. It was +1C when we arrived with several inches of fresh snow on the road. We had several snow and hail squalls during our visit. It was pleasant when the sun came out but pretty soon along would come another dose of winter. All the new snow melted during the day though. We had a nice campfire on the road to roast wieners for lunch and a good time was had regardless. The snow was much deeper in the bush than anticipated and not hard enough to stay on top of all the time. It was fairly unpleasant falling through more than knee deep snow. I sure wished I had taken my snowshoes; I’d had them in my hand at the storage locker a couple days earlier but didn’t expect there would be enough snow to use them. Boy was I wrong! I had one particularly bad experience where I went through and crashed my right knee into a buried stump. At least there was no lack of ice for applying to it. I left a blood trail each time that leg broke through the snow. Since Jim hadn’t been to the claim before, the object was to determine just where it was. We were finally able to match some of the roads and terrain to the aerial photo which he had drawn his boundaries on, so that part was a success. He now has a starting point to find the other 3 corners as we were able to decide pretty close where the one corner is. It was +4C when we headed down and +17C in Vernon when we drove through.
Aileen met her friend Barb Peterson for lunch yesterday and had a tour of the apartment she has purchased, but not yet moved into. I had lunch on my own then visited the chiropractor. I walked to the library later where Aileen picked me up. We played Mexican Train again last night and Aileen was the big winner. The other big news though is that I wasn’t last, but second. That was our second game this week.
I’ve been frustrated in my macro photography because the wind keeps blowing every time I take the camera out. It takes so little wind to prevent you from getting a sharp image and I don’t have the endless patience required to stand and wait.