Friday, June 27, 2014


A wild Tiger Lily taken on our walk one morning

Mitzy waiting at the seashore the other night

Took this while I was grilling supper the other evening

An Arbutus tree at Arbutus Point


Nice sandstone beach at Arbutus Point

Reflection as taken

Reflection rotated, notice Aileen is in there

Aileen on the right with her friend Bev D and Mitzy

Arbutus Point which was one of my Mom's favourite places to go with her art group

Sunset at Arbutus Point

Qualicum Beach yesterday morning looking east

Qualicum Beach looking west

Monday, June 23, 2014


My brother Charlie and I took our ATVs and rode the Chef Creek area somewhat north of here on Saturday.  We spent nine hours away from the truck and put on just over 90 kms.  We had pretty decent weather and from up at the higher elevations got some nice views.  From one spot, we could see the ocean along the east coast of Vancouver Island and looking the other way could see the Alberni Canal which comes in from the open Pacific on the west coast.
Yesterday, we drove up to Courtenay to meet Aileen's sister Anne and husband John.  We had a picnic lunch on a side road off the Mt Washington road so the dogs weren't left in the vehicles. The afternoon was spent visiting and some geocaching.  The girls had lots to catch up on as it was about a year since we last connected.  We set up camp in the shady part of the Dairy Queen parking lot in Courtenay for supper.  Aileen had enough left from lunch to provide her meal while the rest of us got some take out.  We all had dessert from the DQ before heading our separate ways.  John and Anne had a three hour drive home with Anne having to go to work in the morning.

Spreading Stonecrop up on a rocky ridge near the high point of our ATV travels

Stonecrop in flower

Spreading Phlox

A momma Willow Grouse.  She had chicks in the bush that she was talking to

There was a clump of Foxglove alongside the logging road and several of them had an oversize flower at the top of the stem that opened upward and was three inches or more across.  Normally the trumpet shaped flowers point downward.

Bunchberry aka Dwarf Dogwood

Looking out over the islands.  First is part of Denman then all of Hornby.  The far one with the large rock quarry is Texada with the BC mainland beyond and the Coast Mtns with their snowcapped peaks.  If you look closely off the right end of Denman, you can just make out the lighthouse on Chrome Island.  This shot was taken at 38mm with my Canon Rebel.

This shot of Chrome Island was taken with my Canon SX50 at a little over 1800mm handheld.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


It's daisy season around here 

The greeting committee as we came in the driveway from our walk the other morning

I spotted these daring young fellows while up on Little Mtn the other evening

Yes, it is dangerous.  Several people have died over the years. 

I went down to the Parksville street market Tuesday evening and there was a good crowd and lots of booths selling all sorts of stuff I didn't need

Yesterday, I went ATVing with a new friend, Ernie, who I met on the Alberni ride a couple weeks ago.  Away up the mountain we stumbled on this mountain bike course.  In the above photo, the bikers would be coming toward us.  Note the last upturn projects them onto the vertical wall then down onto the nearest ramp.

This is looking from the opposite direction with the vertical wall farthest away from us

Haven't figured out what this is yet but it is like a mold and is about 3 inches across.  Closest I can come is that it is a type of Slime Mold.  

A late blooming Fairy Slipper up on the mountain

We are keeping busy around here.  Aileen keeps up with the gardening while I do some lawn mowing.  I've been out and about with my cameras and finding a few geocaches.  A couple the other evening were down at the bottom of the high bank along the ocean but in separate locations.  Both were a strenuous access and gave me a cardio workout as well as jelly legs.  I went to Ladysmith with Charlie one day looking for a cargo box for the back of his ATV.   He dropped  me off to meet up with Aileen and friend Bev in Nanaimo on the way home.  I spent the afternoon with them.  The ladies both managed to find a pair of walking shoes and we had lunch at the Guilt Free Gluten Free deli store.   Lots of tasty food there!  We dropped Bev at the hospital to visit her mother for a while then headed home after picking her up.   Aileen was in for her second appointment at the dentist regarding her crown.  I think there is one more appointment.  That is one of the reasons for us hanging out here so long.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Charlie and I decided to go ride our ATVs regardless of the weather forecast.  Just before we turned off the highway, we spotted this weather phenomenon.  It was like a shaft coming out of the clouds, not arced like a rainbow.  Anyone have a name for it?  

We didn't get very far before we had to don our rain gear.  I'm glad to report my new rain wear kept me totally dry.  This is some active logging.  I don't know if this is the second or third time this area has been logged but it regrows fairly quickly. 

This is a few days old Willow Grouse chick

And this is Momma

We rode by some pretty creeks today

We were up a seldom used road and got to see this pair of deer.

This doe and fawn were across the creek from our road and posed long enough to get this shot

We were at the end of an abandoned logging road when I spotted this pair of shoes that had obviously been there for quite some time.

This is Esary Lake, our turn around point for today.  We spoke with a man and his young son who were fishing and he called it Lost Lake.  On Google Earth, it is called Esary.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I went ATVing with the Alberni club last Saturday and when we drove out on a river bar to stop for lunch, two fawns went skittering across.  One disappeared but this one posed for a few shots.

Finally, one of the guys spotted the other out in the open and had almost stepped on it.  He thought it was dead and was about to touch when I told him not to.  I could see that it was breathing.  It had just flung itself down in a natural instinctive move that really worked.  After we moved away, it waited a while then hopped up and disappeared.   It was fun getting out with the group but the nice weather we'd had made for terrible dust.

Yesterday, Aileen and I took friend Bev D over to Denman Island and we spotted this little family.  We had a great day over there exploring many of the back roads.  Most places we could stop for photos and not worry about traffic.  I found a few geocaches too just to make it interesting.

Wild Iris, which along with the rest of the shots, was taken on Denman Island

Red-naped Sapsucker

These two Bald Eagles were a pair.  I used my Canon SX50 on the tripod for this one and the two second self timer.   This was shot at the equivalent of 1800 mm as I took the optical zoom out to 1200 then used the digital zoom to go more.  This camera continues amaze me! 

This one was handheld but resting on the top of a chain link fence and shot at the maximum optical zoom of 1200 mm.

I had pre-visualized this shot using my Canon 6D and three separate exposures blended together to make an HDR image

This is Chrome Island Lighthouse off the bottom end of Denman Island.  It was something over a kilometre walk each way.   Right here is also where I got the sapsucker and eagle shots.

We had a little shower while we were waiting for the ferry to take us back to Vancouver Island

Looking across to Vancouver Island, time to go home.