Thursday, April 28, 2016


Aileen and I are keeping busy around the place here.  Aileen has been doing some gardening while I have been picking rocks, hauling firewood and playing with the backhoe.  Charlie has part of his field worked up to seed but just as we were about to start seeding, the rains came and the field became impassable.  It is getting close to dry, so if we don't get anymore rain tomorrow, we should get it planted over the weekend.
Sheila's youngest brother, Terry, had a birthday so we had a supper to honour him.  Aileen whipped up a gluten free cheesecake and a salad and Sheila provided the rest for a tasty meal.  Two of C&S' boys and their girls joined us.
Mitzy has been having some issues for the past week and has probably lost a quarter of her body weight.  She started having some type of choking spells last Friday and we took her to a vet in Nanaimo who diagnosed Reverse Sneezing and gave a mild prescription.  She has mostly been off her food since then.  Today when she seemed to be getting worse, Aileen made an appointment at the vet clinic in Courtenay, that she prefers, for tomorrow morning.  Late this afternoon, Mitzy regained her appetite and was ravenous.  She is still having some of her episodes so we will maintain the appointment.  The thought is that she has something stuck in her throat/nasal passage or some type of growth there.  We hope to have a good resolution tomorrow.

Since we had such a nice evening last night, we picked up Bev D and went for a drive to view the ocean from several spots.  First stop was the local boat harbour, French Creek.

We wrapped up the evening catching the sunset from Parksville Beach.  I thought this stump resembled a Seahorse.

As I was driving south of Parksville yesterday, heading out to do some geocaching, I spotted this roadside in pink.

I believe this is a Sabine's Gull.  They summer in the high Arctic and winter in South America so I presume this guy is just resting up before continuing his northward journey. 

This lady was admiring the view at Qualicum Beach

Charlie spotted his heifer lying in the field when he came home from work this evening and went to investigate.  Just as he got there, a little bull calf popped out.  This is her first calf and she knew exactly what to do.  She paused in her licking to show us how proud she was.  The calf at this point hadn't made it to his feet.  Shortly after he was up and nursing so that is a good sign.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


We drove up to Ladysmith this morning, unhooked the motor home at Transfer Beach then met our SKP (Escapees RV Club) Vancouver Island Chapter friends for lunch at Ricky's Grill.  It just so happened we were going by on their regular monthly lunch day so that worked out well.  It was good to see them all after our long absence.
We are now set up in our guest spot at Charlie and Sheila's in Errington.  Summer weather here today with temperatures in the high 20's Celsius but it is to be much cooler and perhaps some rain for the next few days, according to the forecast.

Not sure what type of Hummingbird this guy is but he let me get to within about twenty feet and was still sitting there when I carried on with my walk

There were a good number of Brant feeding along the shoreline on my beach walk yesterday morning

If you look closely, you will see some grass in their mouths.  They were ravenously devouring the grass and chatting the whole while, just like, well, a gaggle of geese.

This Great Blue Heron was hunting in the meadow, likely looking for snakes to dine on 

I believe these are English Bluebells gone wild

Monday, April 18, 2016


Well, just one day left in this neck of the woods.  We've had some great visiting with Richard and his family.  Since we were on our own for supper last night and I had been craving Chinese food, Aileen did some online research and came up with one that seemed to work.  She called them and the person she spoke with said no problem getting gluten free.  At the Lucky Village, she was again assured the food would be gluten free after she explained how severe her allergy was.  Well, apparently they lied, because she started having problems before bed and she was still feeling ill today.  I had totally different food off the buffet and it didn't sit well with me either.  We sure won't visit that restaurant again!
We took Aileen's cousin Pat, and his lovely wife Irene, to the Rumrunner Pub in Sidney for lunch today.  He is 92 and she 89 and still doing quite well.  We had a great visit with them.  After taking them home, we picked up Georgia from school and brought her out to the motor home.  Richard came later for supper then we went for a walk down to the beach near us.
This campground we are in, Oceanside, has been full all weekend and there are still only one or two sites open.  There was a Good Sam Club rally over the weekend and it turns out we were lucky to even get a spot. There are very few decent campgrounds in the Greater Victoria area so the supply is very limited.  At least three quarters of the sites in this park are taken up by full time residents.   
Tomorrow we are meeting Richard's step-mother-in-law for lunch then we will have supper with Richard and family.  Wednesday morning, we depart and head up Island to quieter surroundings.    

There were four of these California Quail on a rock bluff near our campsite

On a rock bluff overlooking a swamp, I spotted several wild apple trees in bloom

This is a Great Camas.  They seldom have more than two or three flowers open while the Common Camas has many blooms at once.

I spotted this male Ruffous Hummingbird down near the seashore yesterday.  This is taken from 80-100 feet away with my Canon SX50 at full magnification. 

We took a picnic lunch and went with Richard and Georgia to Robert's Bay just beyond Sidney.  After lunch we walked along the beach and peeked into the resident's yards.  These flowers were just up on the bank above the beach.

Steps down to the beach from this neat old house.  I have taken the liberty of playing a bit in Photoshop to add some impact.

We saw lots of these lizards sunning themselves in one section of the beach.  My research leads me to believe they are European Wall Lizards.  Back in 1970, a lizard farm closed and they released their remaining stock into the wild.  Apparently there are native Northern Alligator Lizards in this area but they looked less like my images.

Adult and juvenile

They really blend in to the cement wall

Mitzy, Aileen, Georgia and  Richard under what Georgia named the Reindeer Tree

With such a warm Sunday, there was a lot of boat traffic visible from the beach

This White-crowned Sparrow was singing his little heart out all morning just up from our motor home

Saturday, April 16, 2016


I took my cameras and spent the morning out at Goldstream Park just north of Victoria.  After wandering up and down Goldstream Creek, I was looking down on the creek on the access bridge when Aileen's sister and her husband stopped.  That was a bit of a surprise since they live up near the other end of Vancouver Island.  They were on their way to visit an old friend in the Victoria hospital and stopped in at Goldstream to walk their dog.
We spent the afternoon with our granddaughter Georgia.  After visiting at their house for a while, we left Richard marking exam papers and took Georgia up to Mt Tolmie to view the beautiful display of Common Camas.  After that it was Granddad's chance to take Georgia to Dairy Queen where she and I had sundaes.   Richard cooked us a nice supper later and we got to visit with Robin, too. 

Niagara Falls in Goldstream Park near Victoria, BC.  These falls are 47.5 m tall (157 ft)

A huge old Cedar tree fell across the creek creating this cascade.

Goldstream Falls

Goldstream Creek

Georgia, Aileen and Mitzy in the Camas

Common Camas

Pacific Bleeding Heart, a wildflower

Hooker's Fairybells

Pacific Dogwood

Skunk Cabbage

Western Trillium

Fairy Slipper - Calypso Bulbosa

Common Camas

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Another Spring visit to Salmon Arm has come to an end.  Income taxes done and sent away, appointments completed, several friends visited.  As usual, we have missed getting together with other friends, time gets away and runs out.  I did visit friends Ian and Wendy as Wendy saw in the blog that we were in town and about to leave.  That's how the blog is supposed to work.  I made it out geocaching a few part days and was able to combine that with some photography.  When I'm geocaching, photography trumps caches.  If I see something interesting, I will abandon the caching to pursue the photo.
We are heading down the road later this morning.  We will stay near Hope, BC tonight and have been invited to supper at my Aunt June's.  She lives in Hope.  Tomorrow we will catch the ferry to Vancouver Island and will stay near Sidney for five nights.  We will visit our son and his family and are getting together with Aileen's cousin and his wife for lunch on Monday.  Next Wednesday, we will move further up Island to my brother's.  Along the way, we will join our Escapees Chapter friends at their monthly luncheon in Ladysmith.

Close up of Balsam Root Flower

These pretty little guys are Spring Beauties

Glacier Lily

Yellow Bell

Chase, BC where the Thompson River flows out of Little Shuswap Lake.  This was "our" town from 1977 until 1993.  Aileen worked there and the kids went to school.  We lived several miles out of town in Turtle Valley.

We went to visit friends Ann and Dave the other day, who have an acreage along the river east of Sicamous.  Dave gave this little Chipmunk a peanut so he posed for me.

We watched these American Goldfinches from the table while we were having tea

Mitzy and I wandered around down at the lakeshore while Aileen was visiting friends.  This Great Blue Heron was busy having breakfast.

We watched two Osprey catch and eat their breakfast

The turtles were enjoying some sunshine

Nice to be back in the land of evergreen trees

As Mitzy and I were walking along, I looked back and saw Mitzy nose to nose with this Western Painted Turtle 

The fountain in McQuire Lake, Salmon Arm

Backlit lily pad leaf

Ring-billed Gulls and turtle

Friends, just hanging out

Red Winged Blackbird