Thursday, July 12, 2018

Swallowtail Distraction

I stepped outside the back door earlier today to head for the farm market, only to discover a dozen or more swallowtails (and a couple of hummingbirds) flitting all over my garden. I tried to get more than one in a shot, but that was a challenge - though with the diverse colours of  flowers in the garden, it gave me lots of fodder for a "Where's Waldo" blog post later!  I did eventually get to the market, albeit an hour or two later than anticipated.  Nature - and swallowtails - are a great distraction. 

Here's one of my favourite solo shots, on one of two butterfly bushes in my yard:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tales of Houdini and Mooch

The other day, Maggie and I went back to Parksville with Pat and the poms.  Two unexpected stories emerged from the photos.  The first story I'll call "Houdini", the second one "Mooch".


It was a beautiful day, perfect for a beach walk.  We headed out to the water, all dogs on leash.  Maggie and Cosmo raced ahead and happily pranced into the water.  Lexi was complaining bitterly because Pat didn't bring the stroller.  She does NOT think princesses should walk.

Pat's attention was focused on Maggie, who was happily barking up a storm.  She wanted to make sure everyone in Parksville and beyond knew just much she loves The Beach.


My attention was on Cosmo, as I attempted to get some action shots of him running into the sea.  But look closer at this photo - much closer. (You'll need to be looking at this on a real computer, not on one of those itty-bitty smartphone things).  Do you see a problem?

Here, I'll help you.  Do you see it now? In the background?

Lexi, aka Houdini, has just slipped her harness! 

And then....

She looks at it......

She checks it out again .....

And at that point, she took off like a bat out of h*ll, straight back to the car and the road!  THAT part I don't have on film, because it was then we realized what was going on.  I grabbed Cosmo's leash from Pat, and Pat took off like an even battier bat out of h*ll after Lexi.   I don't think either of us have ever been so scared - Lexi was racing away at top speed and paying no attention to Pat's calls.

Fortunately, a kind woman and child managed to divert Lexi's attention just before she reached the edge of the sand, giving Pat time to catch up to her,  and all was well that ended well.  Mags had both her martingale collar and her harness on, so with a bit of ingenuity and using Maggie's martingale collar as a cinch around Lexi's harness , we jury-rigged a double-clip, non-slip, you-won't-escape-this-Ms-Houdini harness for the troublemaker. 

Needless to say, Pat went shopping for a better harness the next day.


Maggie likes food.  No doubt about it.  Oh, there are some things she won't thank you for - like fruits and veggies, or anything with peanut butter (what dog doesn't like peanut butter, for gosh sakes???). But most other things, she is quite happy to help you consume.

At home, she doesn't get fed from the table.  After a meal, I do take the plate to the mat in the kitchen where she is only too happy to be the pre-wash cycle before it goes in the dishwasher.  But on an outing like a hike or a day at the beach?  Well, that's a different matter.  I will share a little of my lunch with her if she sits politely and quietly.  Apparently, though, some people are oblivious to big, pleading eyes:

Auntie Pat, is that a POTATO CHIP in your hand? 

For ME? I'm being so Po-lite! 


See if I ever talk to you again, Auntie Pat! 

Oh, wait, there's more?
I love you, Auntie Pat.   

The End. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Hey, mom!


Hehehehe!  Sometimes I crack myself up! 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Happy Birthday, Canada!

In keeping with tradition, here is my eighth annual Canada Day post, a tribute to my beloved country using some of my favourite photos from the past twelve months. Enjoy! 

Oh Canada, my Canada,
A year has passed since your last birthday,
And much has changed in the world, not all for the better.

And yet I find peace and tranquility in your embrace:
Your trees, they shelter me,

Your birds, they sing to me,

Your rivers and lakes refresh me,

Your oceans fill me with delight

Your mountains, with awe:

Your beauty astounds me.

And even when things are chaotic

And barriers stand in our way 

We try to build bridges, not walls,

And to find light at the end of the tunnel,

We study the problem,

And consult one another.

We stand together,

And try to walk side by side .

Sometimes we go out on a limb,

Or stick our neck out 

Or even cry loudly so all can hear our voice.

Our challenges can be many 

But even if we feel threatened,
And our size on the world stage is small,

We must remember that even tiny drops of dew will nourish a plant,

And one small lily pad can soon multiply to cover a whole pond.

Together, we are strong,

And we can spread our wings and soar.

Oh Canada, we shall watch over you

and stand up for what we believe.

And no matter what befalls us,
We can still find beauty in an old mill town ,

We can find comfort with friends,

We can find things to smile about. 

We are a nation of four seasons,

And many cultures,

Of incredible beauty, 

A nation of workers,

and walkers,

and I hope that our nation's children will grow up to love you, Canada, as much as I do:

We are not perfect.
Our history is riddled with misdeeds and
though we are learning to reconcile,
We still need to act with more  compassion,

To do a better job of caring for the homeless and the hungry,

The sad and the weary,

Those struggling and those who need safe harbour.

And while some might think us reserved or shy,

We are resourceful,



And kind,

And with those attributes, we can build community.

Oh Canada,

From sunrise 

To sunset, 

And all through the night,

We stand on guard for thee.

This is my Canada, 
And for all its faults,
I still believe...

I still believe...

I still believe...

I will always believe...

It is the best place on earth.

Happy Canada Day