Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Richard and Georgia came up from Victoria last Saturday.  Richard stayed over Saturday night then went home Sunday leaving our granddaughter Georgia with us until next Saturday.  We had considered taking the motor home over to my sister Becky’s at Sproat Lake but it seems wiser to stay here at Charlie’s where things are more familiar and contained.   She would be too close to the road at Becky’s and she does have a habit of making a break once in a while.  We had a good time at the beach yesterday although she was reluctant to start with.  Finding a ready made sand castle was a bonus as it gave her something to work around.  We’re definitely finding out that it was wise to have our kids when we were young. 

Except as noted, all these shots are from the Canon SX50

When friend Bev M was here, we visited the North Island Wildlife Recovery Center.  This is Bardo the Barred Owl who was the focus of a live raptor demo.

There were a large number of turtles in the pond

Closeup detail of a duck's wing feathers

Aileen and Mitzy with friends Bev D and Bev M

Bev M and Aileen at Arbutus Point where we spent the evening.  This was shot with my Canon 6D at 5000 ISO

Rock silhouettes at Arbutus Point shot with Canon 6D at ISO 12,800

Aileen and I went to Qualicum Bay one evening and saw this sailboat in the smokey sunset light

There were several of these jellyfish along the shoreline

 Several killdeer kept playing along in front of us at Qualicum Bay

We took Georgia to one of the beaches between Parksville and Qualicum yesterday

Water,Water!  I need water!

Found it

This Great Blue Heron was catching lunch as the tide came in

This is handheld at 1200 mm with 1.95 digital zoom added

This shot is also hand held taken at 1200 mm with 4 times digital zoom.  This is as shot with no cropping.  The little Canon SX50 continues to amaze me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


We spent one night with Cousin Bill at Campbell River before moving back here to Charlie and Sheila’s.  We decided to go to Dick’s (on the wharf in Campbell River) for fish and chips for lunch and since we had arranged to visit our friend Perry in Cumberland, I went down and picked him up to join us for lunch.  The four of us had a nice visit and leisurely lunch then visited a bit more at Bill’s before we got the motor home ready for the road.  Aileen drove Perry home while I took the motor home on down to here.  I stopped for gas and propane in two different places so that’s taken care of for a while.  It had been five weeks since filling the onboard propane.  Our hot water tank is run only on propane, the stove was used extensively and the fridge was run on propane somewhat as well so that wasn’t too bad since there was still nearly a third of the propane still left in the tank.
On Sunday, Aileen and I went to visit my youngest sister Becky at her summer home at Sproat Lake near Port Alberni.  That was the first time we have been there although we’ve been invited for many years.  We just never got around to it.  There were quite a few of Becky and Norman’s extended family there so we had a nice time visiting.  I also enjoyed a couple dips in the lake as the water was the perfect temperature.
Our friend Bev from Penticton arrived here yesterday for three nights.  It is nice having her visit here as we usually only see her if we go to Penticton.   She is on respite from caring for her mother and is enjoying some peaceful downtime.  Sheila has her Cousin Linda visiting this week from Calgary so there are two guest rooms occupied in the house.   I showed some photos to the group last night by hooking my computer to the big screen TV in the house.  Bev is here with us until Friday then a few days later we will have our granddaughter Georgia for most of a week, I think.  We will be looking for some activities to keep her busy.
 I’m starting to consider our trip south this fall trying to come up with a different route and scenery but it is getting harder since we have taken most of the main roads through the western states already over the years.   The trip south is usually the photo highlight of our winter as we have the opportunity to see some fascinating places at their peak of fall colour with perhaps some snow in the high country as a backdrop.  So far I have only progressed to the point of waiting for inspiration.  Perhaps I will try to blend some previous highlights together.  We had such a fabulous experience last year in the Eastern Sierras of California but I don’t like to do the same two years in a row.  Time will tell as I’ll put something together before we cross the border mid October.

This tiny little frog on the rose bush is only about an inch long

Still some beautiful roses blooming here

Friday, August 15, 2014


Today was moving day for us as it was time to depart the north island.  Of course since it was moving day, it rained.  No rain for weeks but pull up the jacks and start moving and look out.  We had a leisurely pack up and departure.  We visited with John this morning while packing up then Aileen zipped into town to say goodbye to Anne and Donna at their workplaces.  I topped up tire pressures at the gas station.  The north island was still dry when we left but we hit heavy rain just before Eve River then it was off and on showers the rest of the way.  We are south of Campbell River at Bill's tonight and tomorrow we'll move down to Charlie and Sheila's for a while.
Yesterday was a quieter day for us.  My cousin Chris and her grandson Brody joined us for lunch at the motor home and we had a great visit.  She bought a Canon SX50 the same as mine so I was able to share some of what I have learned so far about the camera.  In the afternoon, while Aileen had her nap, I went to Port McNeill and had a quick visit with my cousin Donna.  Later, John, his grand kids and I went down to the wharf to have a look at a different type of ship than is normally found in these waters.  We got there just as it was departing, so we were lucky.  I noticed it was going to go past our campsite so when I got home, I alerted Aileen and Anne and they joined me at the beach to watch.  I don't usually post a lot of photos of the same subject but am making an exception today as this boat looks different from all angles.

Click on the picture to enlarge


It's putting along on its two 375 hp Cummins diesel engines

While I was shooting the boat, this Marbled Murrelet kept bobbing up in front of me.  According to my Stokes Field Guide, it is already in winter plumage but it was only August 14!

For the open water, the boat has Detroit Diesel turbines creating 16,800 hp giving it the ability to exceed 60 knots and cruise at 45.  Pretty good for a boat that is 119 feet long!  This was shot at the equivalent of 920 mm then cropped a bit.

  We walked out to the spit last night for the final time and watched Nephew Dennis and his daughter Niki fishing.  Note the Pink Salmon (that's their name!) jumping in the background. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Bryony loves to jump

John and I were geocaching on our quads along Hoomak Lake when I spotted this scene

While we were waiting to catch the Sointula ferry yesterday this young crow was demanding a meal

So, his momma came along and fed him

We walked down a nice trail to Octopus Bay on the back side of Malcolm Island yesterday and I took this very long range shot of a fish boat after Sockeye Salmon.  You can just see part of the net to the right side

A peeky view over to Sointula from Piggy Point

This old cedar stump is now a nurse to several hemlock trees

Boathouses along the waterfront at Sointula

At the museum

An old shed along the main street


Kelp draped over crossbars under the ferry dock

Sointula's main street at 6:30 on Wednesday evening, not too busy

View from the ferry as we depart Sointula

Saturday, August 9, 2014


A few days ago, my brother in law John and I walked in to Songhees Lake from Georgie Lake to retrieve a distant geocache.  The trail was pretty good for being quite old and not maintained.  It was about 8 kms return.

Some creativity was involved in the trail building

Sundew plant which is a type of fly catcher.  The bug on the left was one of the unfortunates.

There were lots of Gentian flowers blooming along the Georgie Lake shoreline and on damp parts of the trail to Songhees Lake

The boys resting at Cluxewe campsite.  They are taking a break from eating Anne's flowers.

Some late evening fishermen

John and Anne and Aileen and I went to Malcolm Island yesterday and had a great trip.  We drove around the quiet island roads, did some geocaching, had lunch on the beach and walked a few trails.  We took the 10:25 ferry over and the 7:10 one home.  Apart from the town of Sointula, the rest of the island is very rural with pockets of civilization scattered mostly to the east end of the island.

Amazing what someone with some imagination can do with some old shovels

This monster old growth Western Red Cedar tree is called the Tree of Life by the locals and there was a nice trail taking us there.

From left myself, Aileen and Mitzy, John and Bryony and Anne

That's Port McNeill on Vancouver Island.  Last weekend, we were ATVing on that mountain in the center, approaching the two peaks from different roads.

Approaching Sointula

A large bird carving along the roadside

Mitchell Bay boathouse

Departing Sointula