Saturday, September 29, 2012

Butterfly Houses and Jerseys Galore

There isn't much of a theme to this post, just what's been up the past few days.

I spent part of last Sunday afternoon at the Bishop Wild Bird Sanctuary in Coldstream, for no other reason that they were hosting a special event and I was tired of cleaning house and garden. It was a hot day - we've been unseasonable warm for weeks now - and I soon lost interest in the event.

I did find one item that tickled my fancy - a butterfly house in their butterfly garden.

A butterfly house. Useful or not, it's a lovely piece of garden art.

From Coldstream, I took the long way home on the east side of the valley, up Pottery Road, then north to Hartnell and Dixon Dam roads.

There were several forest fires in the extended region (down in Washington State, up to the Cariboo and Tweedmuir Park) lending a blue hazy gauze to the Southern Interior.

The north end of Okanagan Lake seen in the distance from the top of Hartnell Road.
Every day during my commute, I witness the gradual encroachment of housing at the top of the Foothills subdivision. The route I was traveling this day came onto Silver Star Road, so I turned up Phoenix and sought the top of the current development.

I can see why people pay the big bucks - the view is spectacular, even on an overcast day.

Looking over Vernon from the top of Foothills subdivision:
Kalamalka Lake on the left, Okanagan Lake on the right,
the Commonage in between.

Just to the right of the above photo, looking to Turtle Mountain and The Rise.
Soon there will be houses filling the area in the foreground.

Look up at Foothills subdivision (at the intersection of L&A Road and Dedecker):
the previous two photos were taken from
beside the houses right at the treeline, just right of centre. 

It is of course apple season ... and plums, oh the plums ... and pears - my soul for a red Bartlett!

Yesterday was Sports Jersey Day in Vernon, sponsored by the Morning Star. People were encouraged to wear their favorite sports jerseys to work for a $2 donation to the KidSports fund.

The Morning Star is a sports-crazed place so there was no shortage of participation: hockey (local & NHL), football, lacrosse, baseball, basketball ... vintage, collector and game day wear.

Carol (seated) front office and Classified Dept manager, with Sue,
one of our sales people and a big sports fan of all genres.

Roger, reporter extraordinaire, modelling one of four jerseys he wore throughout the day-
this one for the Armstrong Shamrocks Lacrosse team.

Sean and Lisa, my just-behind-me workmates.
You can tell they are a sober, serious bunch.
Lisa's Vernon Viper's jersey was a special Breast Cancer game jersey.
I think Sean's doing a shot block, not jazz hands .... just saying.

Kristen and Graeme showing international flair.
Did you notice everyone seemed a little excited in these photo? Hmm. I realize it is the end of a long week and there's a full moon on Saturday, but there's a fine line between enthusiastic and manic, my friends.

Some of the Hometown crew, source of inspiration for the day and fully involved.

Vernon Hyundai got into the spirit - seems to be a lot of basketball fans here.
The woman in the Raptors shirt is with KidSport Foundation.

Some of the staff at Service BC.
A fitting end to Sports Jersey Day was time at the Vernon Curling Club taking in a few draws at the Prestige Inn cash spiel. This is a World Curling Tour event so pretty high calibre playing, many international teams and Canadian/World champions.

Yes, curling season is underway. The true mark of autumn!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Smells Like ...

So, two co-workers have this air freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror in their respective vehicles ....

... and all I want to know is, what does it smell like?

Stale beer?

Just asking.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Places to Go, People to Be

Summer is winding down. It's been a whirlwind the past few weeks. Much to do, much to see.

Brian and Cheryl came to visit on the last weekend in August. Always fun when we're together.

Cheryl at the Little Straw Bistro.

Brian, ditto. Had to fuel up for the rigorous wine tasting afternoon ahead of us.

 Ongoing work in the garden, although I enjoy it so much that 'work' is perhaps the wrong word. Focus lately has been on the rose garden. Since the photo below was taken, the timber border has been completed and the wood chips laid. This photo was to show the process.

Newspaper mulching in progress in the rose garden;
thick layer of wood chips overtop the water-soaked newsprint.

The goal - beautiful roses.

I have only once planted sunflower seeds in the garden. The birds have done the rest of the 'planting' and sometimes with better success than me!

Not to be outdone by the rose garden, volunteer sunflowers in the veg garden show off.
Bryan's 6 ft tall, to give you some perspective.

Places to go, people to see. On Sunday, I drove towards the south Peace to visit my son and his family as well as several friends.

Bryan was also headed north for several weeks of work, so we drove tandem. Had a late evening around a bonfire with neighbours the day before so decided to stop early and spend the night in Hinton - where we'd be parting company and taking different routes, me to Grande Prairie and he to Valleyview.

Hinton, looking west to where we were.

Bryan took my bike to Valleyview, for transportation while there and then to
Randy for a beauty treatment in his autobody shop sometime this winter.

 Left Hinton early on Monday morning. A perfect driving day. In fact, the entire week was perfect both weather-wise and otherwise.

Highway 40, early Monday morning, looking back where I'd come from.

Yes, Rosie, these are long, long empty roads. But believe it or not, the bush is full of people: oilfield activity, logging, campers.

Looking ahead to where I'm going - Grande Prairie somewhere ahead of me.
Lots of time for thinking and contemplation.

 And this was the reason for the 1000 km drive north! We had a lovely play day at Pipestone Creek Park along the Wapiti River, south of Wembley (west of Grande Prairie .... just search Google maps!)

Krista, Marlon and Abbygayle.

Collecting rocks along the Wapiti River.

There are lots of fossils in the immediate area but I don't think
they'll find anything in this particular formation.

The fall colours are just appearing.
Such a beautiful time to be in the north country.

We couldn't have asked for a nicer day.

Even a playground in Pipestone Creek Park - great family get-away spot.

Looking west over the northern prairie, towards Beaverlodge, atop Saskatoon Mountain.
Once upon a time, there was a DEW Line (Dept. National Defence) station up here.

We canned peaches and pears and cherries and ate and made a plum kuchen and ate and flew kites and watched movies and ate and went to playschool and did some shopping .... and Grandma was quite tired but very content.

Left Grande Prairie on Friday and headed to Valleyview. Had quick visits with Betty and Fay and Kathy and Don and Renee and Roland. Oh yes, and Bryan! Popped over to High Prairie to see Karen and Randy with a brief stop at Cailliau's to see Fay and Roland's new house (OK, they've had it almost 2 years now), and then supper with Gail (Bryan made BBQ salmon and his now-famous sweet potatoes with saut├ęd leeks and blue cheese).

Whooh. Said goodbye to Bryan and headed down the Highway to Airdrie, stopping at Condor to see Maggie, then my brother and sister-in-law at the farm. Monday morning, some shopping and a longer visit with Auntie Elsie and Uncle Richard, some errands at Dad's house (he's off on a trip through the Maritimes) and back to the farm for a supper visit.

Back through the mountains on Tuesday, home mid-afternoon having driven over 2500 km. All worth it.

I've been reminded how beautiful the Peace country is and why I left; how beautiful the prairies are and why I left; how beautiful my present home is and why I'm there. 20 years on the prairies, a year overseas, 28 years in the north country ... who knows where I'll be in another 20 years!