Thursday, August 18, 2016

Catching Up, Moving On

Reflections at Maple Bay marina

My regular readers will note I've been more and more lax about maintaining the blog.  I post photos and adventures fairly regularly on facebook, but don't seem to make it here (where posting takes much longer and is more tedious as I have to do more work to prepare the photos).  So I've been waffling about blogging at all.  But I know some of my very long term followers aren't on facebook, and I love staying connected with them by sharing my beautiful island and critters this way.  So every now and then I do a post.

Kingfisher at dusk

However, I am about to make The Big Switch to Windows 10 (from Windows XP) and to a much newer version of Microsoft Word, so I have no idea how this will impact my ability to do anything bloggish.  I do know that my best friend on my old computer, The Wizard which makes downloading and filing my photos so easy, has been killed off in the newer versions - and that makes me very nervous.  But I'm hopeful that after the initial painful adjustment, I may find some things easier to do.  Like using Blogger.  So the decision to continue or not continue is still in limbo.  I will be taking a course on Windows 10 starting next week, and hope to have a better idea by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try to get caught up a bit with some photos I really want to share here - of hikes and dogs and farm rescue and nature. I have managed to damage my knee, so I'm not doing much outdoor stuff at the moment, which should be the perfect opportunity to go through photo files from the past four months and choose some of the best before I possibly disappear from the blogosphere forever.

Sailboats and quad rowers in Maple Bay

Today's photos are some I posted on facebook last night after spending a wonderful day with my nephew and his family who were moored at the nearby Maple Bay Marina for a couple of days.

We started the day with lunch at the Shipyard Restaurant at the marina - I always enjoy a good meal there! - before heading over by car to Cowichan Bay for some sightseeing and shopping.

Picturesque Cowichan Bay
the world's best bakery

Then to Duncan for more shopping (so my nephew's family could restock provisions for the rest of their cruise), back to my place for a while to check on Ms. Mitzi (who is doing AMAZINGLY well at the moment, at age fifteen and a half), then back to the boat for a wonderful dinner while we watched sailboats and quad rowers, herons and kingfishers, as the sun set and the full moon rose.

Maple Bay
View from the boat in the marina

Same view as above,
but at dusk

A heron on the dock

Quad rowers practicing

View from the back of the boat. 

Maple Bay Marina at sunset

Sunset in Maple Bay

A light appears high on a hill.....

It is the rising of the full moon

Full moon arisen over Maple Bay.
Time to head home at the end of a wonderful day. 

That's it for today....keep checking back as I hope to get at least a half dozen more posts up in the coming two weeks. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Happy 9th Birthday, Scotch and Soda piglets!

Can the Scotch and Soda piglets I fostered for almost two years for Hearts On Noses Sanctuary really be NINE years old today??? 

Happy birthday, Whisper, Rob Roy, Tom, Lizzie, Derby, Toddy, Swizzle, Fizzy, Rickey, and Spritzer! 

It seems like just yesterday I was welcoming these little guys and gal into the world, and now they are seniors. That means that Scotch and Soda are probably around 13 or more, as they were fully grown when they came into our care, just weeks before the babies arrived, the result of a cruelty seizure. May they all have many more happy, happy years.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Oh Canada!

As has been my tradition for the past several years, I pay tribute to my country on this her 149th birthday by sharing some some of my favourite images from the past twelve months. Copyright to all photos is held by the author of this blog;  do not copy images without permission.  Sharing the link via facebook or other social media is permitted. Enjoy!

Oh Canada!

our home and native land,

True patriot love

in all of us, in every single one of us, command.

No matter who we are or where we, or our ancestors, come from,

may we all be proud of this country in which we live.

And no matter where we live or work, 

In rural communities, 

By the ocean or mountains,

Or in urban centres, 

May we celebrate your natural beauty, oh Canada!

From sunrise, 

To sunset, 

Through the dark of night, 

And the light of day,

In rain, 

And in sun,

In forests, 

And on beaches, 

whether rugged coast, 

or sandy shore,

High in the mountains

or down in the valleys, 

on trails through  your tapestry of  natural parks and protected lands, Oh Canada, 

The beauty of your trees and flowers

Of animals and birds and butterflies, 

Of creeks and lakes and marsh and field

Never fails to astound us.

And whether we're on the move, unsure where we'll end up

Or confident we are home to stay 

Whether we're flying high

Or thoroughly grounded, 

Sticking our neck out, 

or much more laid back, 

May we love this land.  It is our home.

Oh Canada, 
You are a country where little kids can dream big, 

And even when we get knocked down 

Or irritated for a while, 

We bounce right back, and welcome others to play. 

And though we might sometimes want to stick out our tongue at the world 

or hope that no one sees us, 

or face an uphill stretch, 

we carry on with pride.

For how can a nation of people crazy enough to swim in January 

not help each other to take the plunge, 

to move forward together,

to help each other out?

Whether we're serious 

or blissfully joyful,

caught up for the moment,

or even  in a flap,

We can find tranquility in nature, 

And joy in life itself

At any time of year.

Oh Canada, 
We have many artistic abilities, 

But Nature is our greatest artist of all. 

We are a nation of diversity, all shapes and sizes, 

and no matter what colour we are 

or what or whom we worship, 

We can share a cup of tea 

Or cuddle with a friend ,

For when we care about each other, all species, and our environment,

And laugh at ourselves and with others

We Canadians have something to crow about 

And we can  step into the future with courage

and dance like nobody's watching

because we have an amazing country, filled with amazing people and places and life. 

Oh Canada, 

With glowing hearts we see thee rise 

the true north strong and free

We stand on guard, Oh Canada 

we stand on guard for thee

Oh Canada,
Glorious and free!

(c) 2016, Jean Ballard