About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Video - my first attempt

Last week, my daughter brought her two little ones over for a visit. Noah brought his bathing suit so he could run through the sprinkler and I managed to catch a bit of his fun. He's such a funny little guy and makes us laugh! He started yelling, "Nothing can stop your power!" and I'm not sure whether he was referring to the water, to the wind, to the sprinkler or to himself. Regardless, take yourself back to childhood and enjoy the moment.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

"A picture is worth a thousand words" is a proverb that refers to the idea that complex stories can be described with just a single still image, or that an image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text. (Wikipedia)

Thought you might like to see what I've been photographing the last few weeks. What do these say to you?

ABC Wednesday - The Letter *B*

Welcome to ABC Wednesday, Round 3, brought to you by the letter B. Today I went to the Butterfly Farm in Victoria and it was amazing! The butterflies flew all around, some of them actually landing on people. The one I wanted to get a photo of was bright blue but wouldn't land long enough for me to get a shot. However, I did get a few shots of some other ones. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to get a shot of a butterfly!

There were also a few varieties of birds at the Butterfly Farm. We saw flamingos, parrots, one that was nesting that had beautiful dark green feathers and a long thin beak, along with some tiny little ones that scurried around in and out of the plants and along the stone walkways. If anyone can tell me what the green one (middle below) is called, I'd appreciate it.

Finally, last week when my visitors were here, we went to London Heritage Farm in the Steveston area. (see previous post with the slide show) There we saw bee hives and bees.

There you have my contribution to B Week. I'll try to get around to everyone soon and I wish you all a very good week.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Creative Photography #7

To see more Creative Photography go to Roger's site here.

I changed this photo into black and white and then played around with tints until I found what I liked. Hope you like it, too. The original photo is below.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

London Heritage Farm, Richmond BC

London Heritage Farm is a 4.6 acre site overlooking the south arm of the Fraser River and offers a park-like setting with lovely flower gardens, the restored Spragg family barn, old farm equipment, and chickens. The 1880's farm house has been fully restored and furnished to illustrate rural life in Richmond. Six rooms display furniture, accessories, pictures, photographs, clothing, quilts, etc. There is always something to see to bring back memories of your own childhood. On the east side of the house there are heritage style herb and flower gardens, a rose arbour, gourd house, fruit trees and the fruit garden and bee hives. In the west pasture there are 69 allotment gardens.

The house is in its original location and at the turn of the century, Richmond farmers began constructing dykes along the river to protect their farms and drain accumulated water through flood gates at low tide. In June and December each year, there was a 2-3 week period of extremely high tides when the river level was too high to utilize the flood gates. Large ponds were dug out to accumulate the water and the fill was used to make the dykes. See my black & white photo.

The lovely country style tea room seats up to 25 and serves London Farm's own blend of tea "London Lady", home made scones with jam and other sweets served on fine English bone china. We all took tea there and I was amazed to notice that at my place at the table sat a Laurentian Snowdrop teacup, saucer, and plate. When my mother became engaged to my Dad, her parents gave her a tea set of this same pattern and when I became engaged to my husband, my mother passed it on to me. I still have it to this day. Above us hung the most glorious chandelier I've ever seen!

At Christmas, the public is invited to visit the 1880's farmhouse which offers a wide variety of unique hand crafted gifts. And the house is decorated in the old fashioned tradition for the holidays. I've never been there during the Christmas season, but I think I'm going to make it a point to go this year.

I took a lot of photos of the house, both inside and out, along with the gardens and lots of macros. For now, I'd like to take you on a virtual tour of the property and I hope you enjoy it.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Photo Hunt - HANGING

I decided to post a photo showing how the Italians do their laundry. Everyone hangs it out their window to dry - the day we ended up in the small villages along the Cinque Terre must have been laundry day. There was laundry everywhere! Even personal items are hung out to dry in the wonderful warm sun with the gentle breeze helping the process along. The British usually hang their clothes outside, even on drizzly days, but if necessary they hang their clothes around the house or in the "drying room" (the closet where the hot water pipes go through). Quite different to how we in North America do our laundry.

Going Back in Time

When my visitors were horseback riding one day, I strolled around a different area of Campbell Valley Regional Park to see the old Rowlett farmstead and Lochiel School that dates back to 1924. It's a one-room schoohouse, used for historic programs that interpret early education in Langley. Teachers can take their students to the school for an interactive drama where the students become the class of 1924. The costumed interpretor in the role of "Miss Jones" takes students back in time to experience strict rules drills slate boards rote learning and many grades in one schoolroom. Obedience good manners and hard work are insisted upon - but students have a good time despite the high standards!

It was a beautiful sunny day when I strolled the grounds of the farm and schoolhouse with hardly anyone around. I was able to sit under the spreading branches of a few of the solitary trees and just take in the moment. I highly recommend that if you're in the area, you stop in for a look. I hope you enjoy this virtual tour. You can also click on the screen to open up a new page to see the photos in a larger size, but you'll have to click each one to open it up.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Taking a Risk

One cannot refuse to eat just because there is a chance of being choked. --- Love is a great risk, but not loving is of greater risk - even though you may have been hurt badly before - a great love will come to you soon and you must be ready to accept it.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I read this today because next Monday I'm going to Victoria to visit someone that I met a few months ago. I was supposed to meet him over a year ago, but circumstances intervened and I had to cancel. Then we got together for lunch when he was in town on his way to another nearby city and we got along famously. He phoned many times and then suddenly, nothing. Turns out he was very sick and had to be hospitalized. But now we're meeting up again to spend the day and I'm a bit excited. Even if he's not "the one" I know that I'm at least finally open to the possibility of new love. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Creative Photography #6

My entry for Creative Photography #6 - a flower I saw at London Heritage Farm gardens. I played with the contrast to try to make it look more like a painting than a simple photo.

Here's the original:

To see photos from other participants, click here.


And AWAY we go! We're now on Round 3 of ABC Wednesday, courtesy of Denise Nesbitt at Mrs. Nesbitt's Place. It's ACTUALLY my second go-round as I began at the letter B during Round 2. It's a lot of fun to challenge yourself with not only photographs of something that begins with the weekly letter, but also to write a narrative to go along with the photos. I did have an idea to do something different, but since I just went UP one of our local mountains (Grouse Mountain) with my UK visitors on Sunday, I just "had" to post about our ADVENTURE ABOVE the city.

Grouse Mountain was named by the first recorded hikers to reach the summit in October 1894. In those days, climbing Grouse Mountain was a three or four day epic journey - there was no bridge across Burrard Inlet and no road to the base. The hardy group of hikers slogged through snow, scrambled over rock and up through the dense forest. Along the way, they hunted a Blue Grouse and honoured the plentiful game bird by calling the Peak "Grouse Mountain".

The mountain is also the location of a very popular hiking trail known as the Grouse Grind. It's an extremely steep and mountainous trail that climbs 2,800 ft over a distance of 1.8 miles. The trail is known for being notoriously grueling for its hikers because of its steepness and mountainous terrain . It is popular among outdoor enthusiasts in Greater Vancouver, and hikers will often time themselves to see how quickly they reach the top. The Average time is approximately 90 minutes, although hikers who are physically fit can finish it in 45 minutes.

(Be sure to click on the photos to see them in a larger format.)

We opted instead to use the famous Grouse Mountain Skyride that took us high above towering Douglas firs. We had breathtaking views of the city of Vancouver, the sparkling Pacific Ocean, the Gulf Islands, and a few leftover snowy peaks.

A mile up the mountain, we disembarked to begin the next stage of our ADVENTURE. The first thing I noticed was the new zipline. It's not very long right now, but there are plans to enlarge its route through the area. I was wishing I could give it a go, but decided it'd be a bit foolish considering the condition of my poor aching back. I was also wishing that one of my friends would try it out, but they didn't so we watched lots of young people scream as they let go and zipped to the end.

Next, we went off to see the lumberjack show, which was incredible. Those guys are extremely talented! They raced up bare 60-foot poles, rolled logs to try to throw their opponents in the water, and one fellow even went up one of the poles and did a bunch of tricks up there. (e.g. stood on his head!!!) After that, we strolled further on into the mountain to see the Birds in Motion show. The handlers used an owl, a hawk, and a falcon to demonstrate the birds' abilities. While watching, we were treated to an incredible view of Mount Baker over in Washington State.

The new Grizzly Bear Habitat is incredible. This home to orphaned grizzly bears, grey wolves and a host of other species is a research, education, and conservation centre. You MUST click on the link to view a short 3-minute video showing this huge habitat, the two cubs that currently live in it (Grinder and Coola) and about the work being done here.

Strolling along the pathways we saw many gigantic statues depicting the local wildlife and the customs/traditions of Vancouverites. There were lumberjacks, sports figures, bears, and eagles along with totem poles and other native art forms. Cathy and I posed with the hockey player while Don and Jane posed with the basketball player. There's also a lacrosse player. I had to show you these to demonstrate how ASTRONOMICAL they are!

Here we have a grizzly and eagle catching a fish.

Here are hikers (left) and lumberjacks (right).

When we went into the Spirit Gallery gift shop, both Jane and I were attacked by a grizzly bear! He got his sharp claws around Jane's neck and wouldn't let go, but I managed to talk him into scratching my head instead.

After walking around enjoying the shows and the scenery for several hours, we then went for dinner at "Altitudes," one of the four restaurants on the mountain. We had a table overlooking the city and Burrard Inlet, which flows into Georgia Strait, which in turn flows into the Pacific Ocean. We watched the sun set behind the mountains and the lights of the city come on below us. Descending the mountain via the Skyride was even better than ascending as the city was alive with sparkling lights. The weather was great that day and we didn't even need the light jackets we'd brought with us. For more information about what else you can do on Grouse Mountain during the winter go to http://www.grousemountain.com/Winter/ and for information about what you can do in the summer go to http://www.grousemountain.com/Summer/

If any of you come to Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is an ADVENTURE you will never forget!