Thursday, May 29, 2014


Before my brother Charlie and his wife Sheila left to go visit #2 son in Alberta, Sheila organized a garden party for herself and four of her cousins.  Only thing is, the party was scheduled for halfway through their Alberta trip so the hosts weren’t even here.  What with the cousins, two of Sheila’s brothers and a niece, two of Sheila’s sons and friends and us there were twenty one for supper.  I emptied their freezer of steaks from last year’s beef and grilled them while there were lots of potluck dishes brought by the guests.  It was a great feast and there was a lot of animated socializing.  Everyone declared the party a huge success, even if a little different.
Yesterday Aileen and I went to Nanaimo to join the celiac group for lunch at a Greek restaurant.  The restaurant staff went out of their way to ensure everyone requiring gluten free were served accordingly.  It took quite a bit longer to get served as the staff made everything from scratch so they were able to totally control the contents and avoid cross contamination.  They even discovered the killer chocolate cake they regularly serve was gluten free when they checked the recipe. 
I bought a spare battery for my Canon SX50 while we were in Nanaimo as it is much harder on battery use than my full frame cameras.  I imagine it is partly because of all the extra in-camera processing as well as the pixel peeping I tend to do making sure I got the image I was after

While on our morning walk yesterday, I saw this scene.  Do you see the little bit of bark hanging down with the sun shining through it? 

This is what it looks like when isolated and slightly darkened!  Handheld with SX50.

Aileen spotted these two locals while we were along Morrison Creek this morning

These four marina shots were taken last Friday with my full frame 6D camera after I'd taken the eagle shots that were in my last post  

This was taken one evening along Englishman River

These waterfall shots were taken this morning along Morrison Creek just a few kms from here

The weather conditions were ideal for this type of photography with a heavy overcast sky so there was very little contrast making for an uneven exposure.  During rainfall can also give you magical lighting when you have such green foliage and dark rocks and wet moss.

This is Triple Falls

A common answer among photographers when asked when they would take a vertical shot - right after the horizontal!

And this one shows the patient ladies in my life.  Aileen is in the far left while Mitzy is harder to spot.  She is in the bottom left.  Mitzy is usually very good at finding a comfortable spot to sit when she sees me set up my tripod.  Aileen has already spotted the toad and keeping an eye on it until I return to her.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


I was sitting at my computer the other evening when I saw this Red Breasted Sapsucker in the maple tree about twelve feet away.  He was very difficult to get a good shot of as it was getting dark and he wouldn't sit still

I went with Aileen and friend Bev D went up to French Creek Marina Friday evening and spotted this semi mature Bald Eagle on top of a fish boat mast.  This is hand held at the 35 mm equivalent of 1200mm!  I was resting my camera against a metal crane lifting station and my skepticism about the capability of this Canon SX50 has been vanquished.

This is a crop from the above photo 

We drove up to Campbell River yesterday to give Cousin Bill some help with his garage sale.  Our friends Barb and Maynard and Gay and Doug also came over to help so we got to have a good visit with them as well.  They have been friends of Bill for many years and ours for a few.  This image shows some happy customers packing away their loot.

I spotted these wild yellow irises while walking Mitzy

An old garden shed in Bill's back yard

Thursday, May 22, 2014


An Iris in a front yard as we were walking past the other morning

A wild Honeysuckle along the roadside

We went to the fish market at French Creek the other morning and later took a walk along the pier

We met some cousins in Nanaimo for a long visiting lunch yesterday.  Bill came down from Campbell River while 89 year old Pat and Irene drove up from Victoria.  It was about a one and a half hour drive for both.  We were the lucky ones and were only about half an hour.  After we'd been chatting for over two hours, the waitress cheekily asked if we were ready for supper.  The restaurant was not crowded so she wasn't concerned that we were overstaying our welcome.  
All the photos are from my new Canon SX50 so you can see I'm enjoying it.  It is so light to carry that I take it whenever I go walking where I would tend to leave my large SLR behind unless I was fairly assured there would be something worthwhile to shoot.  So far, I am getting quite a few fuzzygraphs so there are more to delete than I've been used to.  At least with digital you can see right away if you've missed the shot.  I think back to the days when I shot 35mm slide film and when I went on a trip, I'd come back with 40 or more rolls of 36 exposures and you had no idea what turned out.  Sometimes, you were pleasantly surprised by how many good shots there were and other times it was heartbreaking.   I imagine some of you remember those days.
We have Charlie and Sheila's place to ourselves for a couple weeks as they have gone to Alberta to visit #2 son Wayne and Sandy.   Charlie will give Wayne some help finishing his basement while there. We have chickens, cows, a dog and a cat to keep an eye on and gardens to water, lawns to cut and the other things that go with having rural property.   

I spotted these large fungi while out geocaching a couple days ago

I spotted this spider's lair while climbing a steep mountain path on my way to a geocache

A nice Laburnum Tree on our walk yesterday

A wild rabbit on our walk yesterday morning

I felt eyes upon me as we were walking by

Not sure if this is a wild violet or a domestic one gone wild.  Found in a ditch on our walk this morning

Red Columbine

Two baby Hummingbirds in a nest at my sister's place, stopped to peek at them on our walk this morning

Monday, May 19, 2014


Aileen spent the weekend staying with her friend Bev D’s mother in Parksville while Bev went to a conference in Vancouver as a respite.  She has been looking after her mother constantly for several months and really needed a break.  Aileen took Mitzy with her and that went well.  I went there for supper Saturday evening and later took Mitzy for a long walk.  Since it was a nice evening, I was in my tee shirt and no hat.  Just about the time we got to the furthest point from the house, the skies opened up.  Mitzy and I were both soaked by the time we got home.

Yesterday, I went ATVing with my brother Charlie and his brother in law, Lorne.  Lorne and I found out we both need new rain gear as it rained a lot up on the mountain where we were and again I was soaked.  I guess my Gortex jacket and pants are just too old as they sure did leak.  

The resident calf we are entertained with here at Charlie and Sheila's

While my ATV was being serviced on Saturday, I went for a drive around some country roads north of Courtenay

I was walking along in a ditch looking for flowers when I spotted these strange looking plants.  I have identified them as Vancouver Groundcone which is a parasitic plant that feeds on other plant's roots.
This plant was a little more advanced than the other one

Lorne and Charlie at my first stopping spot for photos

Lots of snow melt in this creek coming out of Fishtale Lake

Looking down the new forest at the approaching storm

Vine Alder catkins

Looking down at the coastal flatlands where the weather was much better than we were having

That's us under that black cloud looking at the beautiful day along the coast

Friday, May 16, 2014


I bought a Canon SX50 the other day as a walk around camera for when I don't feel like carrying my bigger cameras.  This was my first shot with it.

Shot through the windshield while I was sitting at my computer

A Fairy Slipper at my brother Sam's

Charlie's nine day old calf greeted us as we stepped out the door this morning to go for our walk

I think this was a Hawthorne Tree 

A nice looking Iris on our walk

I felt some eyes upon me while walking this morning


We bought a new mattress the other day and when Aileen moved the bedding out to the dinette so we could remove the old mattress while waiting for the new one, Sophie decided to follow the bedding

A Fairy Slipper in Charlie's bush