Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pearls of ...Coincidences?

The continuing travels of Eddie and Jean

In Penticton, we stayed with my sister-in-law, Bev.  Let's call her "Penticton Bev".  Penticton Bev's mother, who lives in the same building as Bev, is named Pearl.

Penticton Pearl enjoying a
picnic and a good laugh

In Vernon, we have been staying with my friend, Bev.  Vernon Bev.  Who just happens to have a cat named......Pearl!

Vernon Pearl
Adopted from Salmon Arm SPCA this spring

Two gems named Pearl, each cared for and loved by wonderful people named Bev.

At least I'm not having trouble remembering names on this trip!

Tomorrow we leave Vernon and head south west, to camp for a few days in the Fraser Canyon with our friends Ann and Ken (hmmm.....I wonder how they would feel about being called Bev and Pearl?).  There is no internet and no cell service at our campsite.  A more complete tale of our travels, and some of the hundreds of photos awaiting editing, will have to wait until some time next week.

Having a wonderful time. Wish you were here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Road trip!

By Eddie.

My mama planned to use the title  "Eddie's Excellent Adventure" to do a blog about our road trip.  I tell ya, it is not so excellent from this dog's perspective.  There are very scary things out there.  It is very terrifying to have to go up or down a set of stairs into a strange house.  Or - even worse - into a little box called an elevator and when the door opens you are somewhere else.  And there are long halls to walk down.  I belly crawl.  Sometimes my mama has to pick me up and carry me.  Sometimes she even drags me.  I does not like strange places.

I do like riding in the van though.

Me, Eddie, in the van.
We sure had to pack a lot of stuff!

And sitting by a lake.
Me at Lightening Lakes in Manning Park, BC

And watching boooo-tiful sunsets wiv my mama.

Sunset, on our way to visit
the piggies at the sanctuary.

So far we haz stayed in Abbotsford and Penticton and tonight we are in Vernon.  That is in the Okanagan in British Columbia.  It is a long drive from Crofton. Tonight we has a ground level suite and even a back yard. So I is a bit more relaxed (though I still don't like coming into strange places).  I is so relaxed I hasta go to bed now.  My mama and me are very tired.

I will post more pictures and tell you more about our adventure tomorrow or the next day.  We finally haz internet connection.

Love Eddie.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Well, that's it!

I'm almost caught up, other than a kitchen renos post, and I'm determined not to post pics until the last detail is complete.  (The kitchen design company has been signed off, but one thing I'm hiring someone else to do is still pending - he said he'd do it last week, or maybe it was even the week before, but same old story - no word from him, and it will have to wait now until after my vacation).

But the reason for this post is not to whine about kitchen renos.  It is to whine about spam.  I will be reinstating the 'prove you are not a robot' step (sorry, readers!) - thirty four comments in my inbox this morning, every one of them spam.  This is not counting the dozen or so others that went directly to spam and I don't have to look at to verify whether they are legitimate or not. Most of the ones in my indbox are marketing for things I consider offensive, and I'm just not about to let them invade my life.  So the ridiculous scrambled words are back in place.

I will never understand the mentality, rudeness and plain stupidity of spammers.  Do they really get any sales this way?  Are there really bloggers so gullible that they publish the comments and/or go to the websites and buy the merchandise?

Sigh.  Now I'm going to be in a bad mood all day.  Time to walk the dog. Or smell the roses.

Watch the partridge  crow in a pear tree.

Or pick some homegrown tomatoes.

Time to find some balance.
Maybe the spammers should do the same.

Friday, September 14, 2012


On Sunday, I went to visit one of the island folk who foster for Hearts on Noses Mini Pig Sanctuary.  I had something to return to Kimberly, and she tipped me off to some new, non-porcine, critters at her place so I packed the big camera and tripod.

I'm still sorting through the 148 photos.  How can I decide which to post when the subject matter is this cute?

Of course, they don't stay still for long.  After all, it's a big world out there and there's so much to see and do.

Off we go!

They have to learn to share,

And help with the gardening,

And explore the world around them

Whatdaya think is in there?

And dive into their pool,
I think ya gotta turn around, silly!

And get to know the other critters who live here.
Hello?  Hello?

A grown-up cousin

And wildlife wandering by!

And even try the piggies' patience by checking out the piggy water dish:

Whaddaya s'pse this is for?

Well, I think it's pretty obvious.....

Iz a swimmin' pool!!

Fortunately, Sophie-Lyn and Piggy-Sue thought it was all pretty funny:

Heh heh heh heh heh 

They's pretty silly birds, aren't they, Mama Kimberly?

The little ducklings are Muscovy crosses, about two weeks old.  Their mother died, probably from a broken neck, when she flew into a metal farm gate.  She had been sitting on eggs for a couple of weeks, so Kimberly took the orphaned eggs and incubated them until they hatched, and has been handraising them ever since.

Of course, they have now imprinted on Kimberly and are quite convinced she is their mama.

She's leaving us!  Hurry!  Hurry!

And, for all intents and purposes, she is.

Welcome to the world, little duckies.  You don't know how very lucky you are to have found a home with Kimberly.

Or maybe you do.

PS:  For those of you who enjoyed the post a few days ago bout Carol and Bill's and Black Jack's visit, you can now read Carol's take on it, and see her photos on her blog here.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Grace Road Park

Hi! It's me again!  After blogging very sporadically for the past several months, I seem to be blogging every day now.  That's partly because I have a backlog of photos from last week when my Camera Wizard apparently went on vacation.  And it's partly because I'm going on vacation myself next week and really want to get these posts up because I know I'll have tons more photos when I return.  But mostly it's because I'm procrastinating on some tasks I need to do (a grant proposal, a family project, a column to write) but can't quite get my head around.  I'm waiting for the creative juices to flow, the neurons to fire, the people waiting for the stuff to yell at me.   And so I edit my photos and I blog. If you haven't been here for a few days, you have a lot of catching up to do! :)

Three years ago I picked up a glossy brochure about Grace Road Park, just a short ten minute drive northwest of Crofton.  For some reason, I never went there. Two years ago,  I ventured close by while searching for a lost dog, but faced with no signage and long lonely paths, I felt uncomfortable going further on my own. On Saturday, my friend Margaret and I decided it was high time we checked it out. We downloaded information from the North Cowichan website and off we went.

(For local readers:  The directions and description on the North Cowichan website are somewhat confusing, as additional gates have been added well before reaching the ones described on the website.  It may be that the first set of gates will be re-opened when fire season ends, but they were also there when I checked it out in the spring two years ago, so I think the municipality's info is just out of date. There is no signage; nor are there any facilities at this park. ) 

We met behind Russell's Market, Margaret on her scooter and Eddie and I in the van.  Margaret was about to get in the van when traffic was halted by a large flock of birds.  At first glance, we thought they were turkeys - but they ran like quail (VERY large quail!) and had the same little feather sticking from the tops of their heads.  If they were quail, they take the record for the biggest ones on the planet - and better watch out come Thanksgiving! They don't look so big in this photo, but the adults were about 2 feet tall and plenty round.

Birdies out of the way, we headed up Mt. Sicker Road.  The website describes two entrances to the park - Grace Rd and Cranko Road.  They don't tell you that there is no road sign for Grace Road.  We think it is the paved road near the hydro right-of-way, but there is also a gravel road with the signature yellow gate across it on the east side  before  the right-of-way too.

So, lacking further direction, we continued to Cranko Road, which is marked.  We turned as directed and travelled a little ways down until we came to the yellow gate across a gravel/dirt road.  We parked the car and off we went. There are no signs telling you it is a park, no maps, no trailhead post.  Just start walking.

The road forks after a short distance, but a log across the left  fork suggested to us we should keep to the right. Soon we passed by a field of cows enjoying the morning sun.

One was particularly friendly or curious and came right over to say hi!  Eddie was thankfully still on leash - he did not think much of this very big dog and got quite excited!

A small path on the left provided a rather precarious vantage point for looking down at the canyon - it was a long way down, and a very small, unprotected spot from which to look.  Margaret and Eddie stayed on the road.

Look down.  Look waaaaay down. 

We continued on and then came to the power lines and two more yellow gates, one to the right and one to the left. .  This appears to have been the parking lot mentioned in the online park information, though theearlier set of gates prevents vehicle access to it long before it becomes visible.

Again, no directional signs, but we headed on towards the river.  At this point, we were down along the shoreline, with very high cliffs towering above us on the other side.  I think this is Copper Canyon, which I have only accessed from forestry roads above Chemainus Lake.  We didn't find  the "Boy Scout Day Use area mentioned in the website, nor Banon Waterfall - though it is possible the waterfall had just dried up from lack of rain and runoff.  The river was very shallow, clear, and sandy - a perfect spot for wading about and cooling off in hot weather.  I suspect such would NOT be the case in the spring, or even after a rainy fall. But on a warm day in September, the sunlight and the crystal clear water made for some beautiful reflections:

It was lovely walking along the shoreline, sometimes on sand, sometimes on rock, often on little trails through   the trees.  Best of all,  there were none of the expected signs of teen parties, campers, litter, or other signs of a human presence.

Eddie said the water was to his liking.  With no encouragement at all, he started paddling around in it.  However, after a few times of paddling then looking back at me and finally running up to me and performing a very nice 'sit', I realized what was going on.  A few days previous, Gail had bribed him into the water at Crofton Lake with treats, and rewarded him with treats for going in.  That too-smart-for-his-own-good boy had put two and two together and figured he should get a treat each time he goes into water.  Of course I obliged.  He kept up the game until the treats ran out, and then he decided it was time to head home.

Splish Splash!

Is she watching me?

I get a treat for that, right?

Do I have to come get it myself?

Get treat, repeat, get treat, repeat.....

I'm a quick learner!

Other than the turkey-quail and the cows, we didn't see any wildlife except for birds, like this young varied thrush:

And a Red-striped  Ribbon snake (a member of the garter snake family):

But if you decide to go this time of year, do watch for bears (especially around the blackberry bushes) and cougars.  Both are known to inhabit this area. Sing a song, talk to a friend, make a noise and they shouldn't bother you.

We had a lovely walk, on a lovely day, and discovered a beautifully peaceful place to play with a dog, cool our feet, share a picnic, or read a good book.  We'll be going back there for certain.

P.S.  I have disabled that silly "prove you are not a robot" test to make adding a comment easier.  I may have to reinstate it if the spam gets too annoying (so far, only two in twenty four hours), but we'll try it this way.  So comment away - it's not hard.  Don't worry about registering with Google or those other things if you don't want to - you can use 'anonymous' and then just put your name after your comment  (or not, if you prefer to remain anonymous).  As before, your comment will not be visible until I read it first and 'approve' it.