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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Cherry Blossoms and Cattle Rustlin' ;)

Yes, the first cherry blossoms have popped open on my tree ~ so exciting, even though a bit drippy in the rain. Nevertheless, it is a harbinger of springy things to come!
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Also, when I was weeding the rose garden (see, I've been busy), I noticed birds going in and out of the birdhouse on top of the washing line pole. That was particularly exciting, although they were flitting around so much it was hard to get a photograph.

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A week or so ago, I took off again down island and returned via a newly paved loop which I had never been on before ~ an adventure. I've combined two maps to show where the loop is at the southern part of the island (red route).

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There was even some snow left along the edges ...

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Today, I had plans to plant some pansies in order to brighten up the window boxes, however, instead, I went off on a tangent. By the way, if ever I had a horse, Tangent would be its name. I digress...the real reason I didn't get anything I had planned done today was because of the Cattle Rustlin' I was involved in last night. Now you might think that is plumb loco, but if you really knew me, you would understand that sometimes a creative thought becomes impossible to ignore.


A male friend who lives on a farm turned 65 yesterday. A few days ago, an idea started perking in my head ~ about cattle rustling and cowpokes. Before long, I had printed off 65 cows, and skewered them with kebab sticks (hence, cowpokes). I needed an accomplice who is of a similar ilk, so I phoned a friend,

"Howdy Pardner," I twanged. "Interested in a little Cattle Rustlin'?"

"Sure thing," she drawled..."Count me in!" 

We donned cattle rustlin' gear, making sure that our bandannas were firmly tied in place so that only our eyes were peering out, and off we went, listening to the following song, Cowpoke, which I had burned to a CD.


With much merriment, but discreetly, we scouted around to make sure no one was home. We hoped he and his wife would be out for a birthday dinner. Luck was with us! Gathering the rustling paper cowpokes, we quickly snuck around,  sticking those cowpokes all over the front lawn ... and then made a hasty getaway.

Here's a slideshow ~ imagine 'Cowpoke' playing in the background.
My sidekick ~



Today, I had a brilliant idea (ahem) to put the photos together with some music on Powerpoint. Well, let's put it this way...the hours passed on by, the pansies panted patiently and finally, I reached my Powepoint goal ~ it was no easy task, without going into all the details. My plan is to copy some CD's of it and send it to the people involved ... The Wanted Poster in particular ;)  You see, even though I set it up, I'm nowhere in the picture...haha.  Oh...back to reality ...

Meanwhile, down at the beach, the birds are still enjoying the herring spawning season ~

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So there you have it ~ numerous reasons why time gallops by ~ while my poor blog (and pansies) get left in the dust.

Yippee-i-yay :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mid March

I wasn't home long, when off I went again! This time I drove to Victoria because it was my youngest son's birthday. I decided to stay for a few days, hence my absence from the blog ~ although I did have wifi and my laptop with me. We had a great time, and managed to get together with other family members as well. 

Before I left home I took a couple of photos in the garden ~  buzzing crocus and budding apricot branches.



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Also, before I left, I visited 'where the river meets the sea', and took these photos: I think the seabird is a sandpiper.






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When in Victoria, I visited the park and this time took some bird seed. Before long, I had an entourage of quacking feathers:

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The spring flowers were coming along well ~




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These were pretty:


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Various trunks got in the picture:




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There were a few serious photographers in the park, but I got quite a kick out this scene for some reason:

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One more photo ~ a trio I saw sitting on a bench near a shopping mall ~ I think somehow the Alice in Wonderland 3-D characters were so lifelike, they escaped from the screen... Otherwise I have no explanation ~

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Since returning home, I have started Spring Cleaning ~ and believe me, no one wants to see photos of that process! Hopefully I'll get a lot done before the weather calls me outside into the garden.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Time is on the March!

First of all, my apologies for disappearing! My short vacation to Seattle turned into a long vacation from Blogland! Well, I am back, and here's what's been happening ...


On the morning I arrived in Victoria on the way to Seattle, I headed to the park to check out how Spring was coming along! Need I say more? By the way, squirrels seem to find yellow crocus petals delicious. Who knew? I wonder if this squirrel is any relation to a certain cat that enjoys consuming rose petals ;)





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The jaunt to Seattle was perfect. Under clear blue skies, we skimmed over still waters to Seattle on the Clipper. After an evening catching up on the Olympic coverage on TV and a good night's sleep (not sleepless in Seattle after all), we were ready to check out Pike Place Market! As we were enjoying our delicious breakfast which was included with our hotel stay, we checked over the map and planned our route. Bonus: Riding Metro Transit is free between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily in Downtown Seattle.


First I stopped at Walgreen's and picked up a jar of Cera Ve cream that Nikki had recommended, which is not available in Canada! Thanks Nikki!


The Crumpet Shop! We picked up a couple of packages of these famous crumpets to take home before heading into the market. It was 10:15 a.m. by this time. Such a colourful place and because it was February, there were not crowds of people, although it did feel like summer!

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Now where were those flying fish? Here is a youtube video from the web to show you what a hullabaloo goes on in the fish market. Not my video, but I do have a couple of photos!


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After a lucky escape from the flying fish, we enjoyed a walk through the market, then strolled to the waterfront where we just sat on a bench and soaked up the view and some sun. It was glorious.






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We hiked up the hill to the Westlake Center Mall station to catch the monorail which was built in 1962 for the Seattle's World Fair...here's a brief history of the Seattle Center Monorail.
The Seattle Center Monorail is the nation's first full-scale commercial monorail system which provides a fun, quick and convenient link from downtown Seattle to Seattle Center.

Each trip takes two minutes to travel the 1 mile route.

The Seattle Center Monorail is a favorite part of the Seattle skyline and the Seattle Center, home of the Space Needle, Pacific Science Center, the Experience Music Project and a host of theatrical and cultural experiences.



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Back to the hotel we went for a rest ~ well, my friend had a rest, and I decided to walk back down to the waterfront again and along the various quays. It was too beautiful to stay indoors! After walking for about an hour or so, I hopped on the waterfront bus which delivered me back to the hotel door. It was time for supper and back to the hotel to watch some more of the fantastic Olympics!

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Speaking of the Olympics, I became totally hooked while we were in Seattle and really enjoyed watching the rest of the games once I got home. I particularly enjoyed figure skating AND hockey. I'm telling you ...the game between Russia and Canada was so suspenseful, and then the US and Canada game was even more so! I watched that one by myself and you'd think I was on the ice with all the moves I was making! When the US tied the game 2-2 with less than 30 seconds left, I stopped breathing, as I'm sure the rest of Canada did. Fortunately, Sidney Crosby scored the overtime goal giving Canada the gold medal. They were the most thrilling hockey games I have ever watched. I did feel compassion for Ryan Miller, the terrific US goalie because he had played so extremely well and looked so downcast when the goal went by him.


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For the most part the weather has been very mild and clear, in fact it's been the warmest winter in 12 years, I think. The other day I went for a walk on the beach and the sand went for miles, the tide was so far out. It was beautiful. One person was walking barefoot! As I was heading back to the shore, the sun lit up a lovely silver strip. I decided to walk across it to get to the shore. Yoiks! Quicksand! That's what it seemed to be as my shoe disappeared and gloop globbed up to my ankle. You see, that's the kind of tricks life plays on you (or me, anyway). Everything's beautiful, an eagle flies overhead, and I disappear into the gumbo. That's why my sense of humour stays intact. It was kind of funny :)






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It is the annual Brant Wildlife festival time again ~ although it certainly doesn't seem like a year has gone by since the last one, and the one before that...etc.
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The festival started because of a small goose called the Black Brant. It migrates from California and Mexico to Alaska and stops off in Parskville/Qualicum Beach to rest and feed. As many as 20,000 Brant may be found along the shore at peak times at the end of March.

The Brant symbolizes our interconnectedness with nature and highlights how important nature is to our quality of life. From fresh air and clean water to places for spiritual renewal, nature provides us with many gifts.

The herring season has just finished, and the echoes of barking seals/sealions can be heard amidst the squawking seabirds enjoying the bounty.

Hearing that the rains (and possible snow flurries...WHAT?) may be on the horizon, I cut the front and back lawns yesterday to tidy it up just in case! Good timing, because this morning was windy and cold...but the wind blew all the clouds away, and it turned out to be a beauty of a day.

That's it for now!