Bugging Out

All photos taken during our July 5, 2021 walk in Tucker’s Field/Bunchberry Meadows.

Our bug jackets may make us seem like we are insectaphobes, but there are plenty of photogenic insects along the hike that add to our enjoyment.

Bugging Out ©

Dragonflies hover,

Butterflies flitter.

Two nature Lovers,

Our time we fritter.

Sharing – 2 Northwestern Frittilary butterflies/1 flower
This dragonfly looks like a tiny helicopter hovering over the horse pasture
Canadian Yellow Swallowtail butterfly (wings folded) on spruce branch
Aphrodite Frittilary butterfly
Blue Eyed Darner Dragonfly
Can you spot the grasshopper in the grass?
Blue Eyed Darner Dragonfly
We felt sad for this worker Bumblebee. She was obviously on her last legs (wings) so to speak, worn out from all the back and forth pollen gathering. All she could do was walk along the ground.

Regarding Week 4 of the Photo Challenge

Week #4 photo in the photo challenge was of a field of lupins at Nauthalsvik Geothermal Beach in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Here is the link to the original post.

Wyldflower Wynd

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are viewing on your phone is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken during our July 5, 2021 walk in Bunchberry Meadows/Tucker’s Field.

After our week long heat wave, we were worried that the wildflowers in Bunchberry/Tuckers may have taken a beating. Our fears proved to be unfounded as one wild flower variety’s season melded into the next. It seems there was always something in bloom here during spring and summer.

Wyldflower Wynd ©

Out for a stroll along Wyldflower Wynd,

knowing not what new treasures we’d find.

Pink Alberta roses still in bloom,

filling the air with their fine perfume.

Orange tiger lilies, quite the surprise,

then yellow flowers, tiny in size.

Along trail edge, mushrooms translucent,

dainty canopies like tiny tents.

Royal purple thistles, bristling tall,

red wild raspberries, few and quite small.

Delicate blue blooms, like tiny stars,

scattered along path, both near and far.

White flower clump like bridal bouquet,

beautiful wild daisies swing and sway.

Pink roses replaced by red rose hips,

huge white puff balls with feathery tips.

Flowers may fade and green leaves turn gold,

But Wyldflower Wynd never gets old.

Making the Rounds

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are viewing on your phone is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken during our 23 km bike ride on July 3, 2021.

Our spell of hot weather was all but over and we were eager to do a longer cycle ride. We set off on our usual rural route, but quickly realized that while it was cooler, the NW winds gusting to 45 k/h (28 m/h) would be a problem on our return trip, even on an E-bike. At RR 234, we agreed to change our route and return home via SH625. A wise choice, as it turns out. Battling the wind resulted in us working up a sweat, something we did not wish to do after 7 straight days above +30.

Along 625, we spotted rural life in progress and paused numerous times to capture the sights.

Making the Rounds ©

At every turn,

there are many sights to see

as we make the rounds.

Typical June rural scene. All that heat had certainly sped up the haying process. From cut to bale in less than a week.
Round bales and round bins.
Great wall of round bales from last year, new round hay bales and round bins
Hay bales, just laying a-round.
Round the corner and what did we see?
Bovine herd just grazing round the pasture
Local want ads on round hydro pole
Each hay bale weighs around 454-545 kg (1,000 to 1,200 pounds.
New born calves just laying around.
Stop before going round the corner.
Now that the hay has been baled, it won’t be long before the farmer rounds them up into rows to get them out of the way for the fall hay crop.

Red-tailed hawk soaring on the thermals, trying to round up his next meal.

Hay windrows still lying around the fields.

Hay bales around the farm equipment.

Canola fields in bloom surround Beaumont.

There must be around 5,000 trees in this tree farm.
Canola blooms starting around a week earlier than usual this year.

This old barn has been around a long time.

Our round trip took us around 90 minutes to complete., allowing for photo stops.

#44 – the Years are Zooming By

Fall is our favourite time of year, it is often sunny and mild, with warm breezes, most of the biting bugs are gone and the outdoor world is so colourful. We got engaged in the fall, we got married in the fall and 44 years later, we still enjoy the fall, as we remember our history together.

Sister L and brother L from New Brunswick always give thoughtful anniversary gifts. This year, they proposed a Zoom conversation celebration. Time and date, menu and beverages agreed upon, we eagerly awaited the day. Knowing how much thought they would put into this gift, we made sure to set the scene properly at our end, formal clothes (at least at Zoom height), a nice table setting and candles. Laughter and conversation flowed, along with the bubbles.

Distance and Covid circumstance make celebrating special occasions a bit more difficult, but we have only to try harder to overcome those difficulties to make the time special. That is the meaning of life.

FALLing in Love ©

From across the room, I met your gaze,

long golden hair shining in sun’s rays.

I wonder aloud “Now who is that”?

Walking by my desk, you stop to chat.

Weeks quickly flew by with work busy,

at Christmas party, you danced with me.

Gazing deep into your eyes so blue,

it was at that moment that I knew

that you were the only one for me.

Now to turn me and you into we.

After courtship, we were soon engaged,

one year later, our wedding was staged.

In mid September, I do’s were said

and mere moments later, we were wed.

Each year since in September weather

I’m so happy we are together.

Happy Anniversary to my Patty

First Dance – whose long blond hair was I talking about?
Wedding Day
Walking in the fall 1982
Still walking in the fall in 2021

Hell’s Inferno

All photos taken on July 24, 2021 in Kamloops, B.C.

We arrived at the Holiday Inn Express in Kamloops around 6:00 PM. I checked in, while the ladies got the luggage sorted at the car. When I came back out, the sky was an eerie orange and the sun was a menacing red.

But, I had luggage to tote and kept my photo aspirations on the back burner, for a while. When I went back out for one last item, I could not resist taking a few shots. I knew that two major fires and a few smaller ones were burning nearby, but the sight unfolding looked truly horrible. We would be glad to wend our way back East tomorrow.

From a distance, the scene does not look that bad.
On closer inspection, the early evening sun is partly obscured by rising smoke plumes.
Pulling back, the smoke plumes almost look like clouds.
The sun, still high in the sky appears to be consumed by the smoke
One last shot before heading into the “fresher” air of the hotel – the sun looks like a new planet being born out of fire

Scenes Through a Dirty Windshield #5 – Vancouver to Kamloops via the “Smokequahalla”

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken on July 24, 2021.

Our parking meter and visiting time both expired at 2:00 P.M. We said our goodbyes and headed back on the road, bound for Kamloops for the night.

Our path out of Vancouver went via Hastings Street and then over the Port Mann Bridge and onto the Transcanada Highway, bound for Hope. On the way, we caught a perfect view of Mount Baker.

We gassed up at Bridal Falls and continued on our way to Hope, where we would turn North on the Coquihalla Highway #5. This highway, originally opened as a toll road on May 16, 1986. The tolls continued until 2005, when the construction and maintenance cost were at last fully funded. The distance between Hope and Kamloops using this route is 203 km. Many portions of this road have a 120 k/h (75 m/h) speed limit, so the time between points is 1 hour and 56 minutes, rather than the 3 hours and 9 minutes it would take via Highway 1 or the almost 6 hours it would take to go via the Okanagan.

Signs warned about restricted vision on the highway due to forest fire smoke, so we wondered what delays that would bring, At the Southern end, the skies were clear and we rolled on to the Britton Creek rest stop (first slide). After that point, we could see the smoke levels increasing and start to feel the smoke’s effects on our throats and eyes.

We zoomed onward, up and down the passes and into and out of smoke zones. In places, we could see fire fighting ground crews setting up.

In other places, helicopters spun up and down overhead, loading their buckets from the nearby lakes in an attempt to douse the flames.

One last summit into the smoke and we were down into Kamloops. Forecast for tonight—-dark and smoky.

The West End – Vancouver

All photos taken July 14, 2021.

Our kids live in Vancouver’s West End, which we have gotten to know pretty well since 2010. We did not realize how much we had missed it, unto we walked back through the neighbourhood. It is a mixture of luxuriant greenery and flowers, as well as glass highrises and older character homes. Hope to be back there soon.

West End Vancouver ©

West End Vancouver,

in the heart of a city,

peaceful oasis.

Family Matters

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken July 24, 2021.

One of our happiest goals on this rushed journey was to deliver a portable A/C unit to son B and daughter K, who live in Vancouver and have some face to face in person time with them for the first time, since the Covid 19 pandemic started in March 2020. They had taken our order for banh mi and French bakery goodies, found us a parking spot, walked us to the perfect shaded seat at Sunset Bay and then through their neighbourhood. We even got to see Benji, the Wonder Dog. 2 hours and 15 minutes was not long enough, but we still had miles to go before we sleep and this would have to do for now.

Family Matters ©

How long has it been since our last face to face,

way too long, my heart says, as we all embrace.

Sure, there has been Skype, Zoom, E-mail, phone, letter

but, seeing you in person’s so much better.

Tears of joy, smiles, hugs, laughter, photos, chatter,

pandemic be damned, family’s what matters.

Photo Challenge – Week #4

Christie from 1000Places and Memories has kindly nominated me to participate in this Photo Challenge for the month of August and beyond, for anyone who would like to participate. Thank you for the nomination Christie! I do not usually participate in challenges, but will accept your nomination and post for the next 4 weeks, starting today.

The challenge is to post a favourite photo each week for the month of August, and can be taken at any time. So now is the time to start digging through all your treasured photos, or post a most recent one, if you have something new to share with us.

The fun is to guess where the photo was taken, as we are supposed to post a photo without any explanation. All comments are welcome!

Today, I nominate any of my followers who would like to participate for this challenge. You can post whenever you wish, you can accept the challenge for this month, or else for the next one if you are too busy now. If you are too busy or not interested, that is OK. Feel free to share this challenge, as you see fit. Cheers.

Week #3 photo was of a cottage at the Ulster American Folk Park near Omagh, Northern Ireland. Thanks to all who tried to guess.

Here is the link to that original post.

This week’s photo

Hot Wheels

All photos taken during a brief early AM bicycle ride on June 30, 2021.

We were in the middle of an oppressive heat wave (they call it a heat bubble). It started out on the West Coast, where Victoria was up to +39 a couple of days ago and has been slowly sliding into our area. The temps from June 26 through July 2 were +30, +32, +36, +37, +37 and +31. Humidex (Feels Like) temperatures ranged between +37 and +44 C (98.6-111 F). Now, to those of you who live in hotter climates, this may not seem that hot, but keep in mind, our average highs at this time of the year are supposed to be around +22 C (71.6 F).

In any event, these hot days evolved into a routine of work and exercise in the early morning, followed by sitting in the shade or down in the basement for the rest of the day. We do not have central A/C here, but fans and a small room A/C unit ran pretty much non stop, since June 26.

We were missing our walks in the forest (there is just no point of risking heat stroke) and had taken several short bicycle rides around town to keep exercised and a bit cooler. This day, we took a short turn out into the country to see what was shaking out there. Here is what we saw.

Hot Wheels ©

Lack of exercise, making us frown,

any exertion only brought sweat.

We just wanted to get out of town,

8 AM temps, not really hot yet.

Relentless June heat weighing us down,

slow bicycle ride seemed our best bet.

Pedaling slowly North, East, South, West,

searching for any cool we could feel.

Straight into stiff breeze was the best,

today, Blowmont winds held real appeal.

My photo stops, Pat’s patience did test,

so, we headed for home on hot wheels.

The goslings are so tall – it must be the heat
These geese got a place with a pool – you can just see them disappearing into the water
Even the shade looks hot
Everything is growing fast, but heat and a lack of moisture may soon change that.
St. Vital church steeple and Beaumont from 4 km away. You can see the heat shimmers distorting the camera focus
Looking East along 505 into the morning sun, the glare made focusing difficult (for me and my camera)
My Hot Wheels
Patty waits in the shade at Beau Hills
I am sure this herd will be in the shade by Noon
No worries about hay curing in the swath here.
Hay and grain crops side by side
Patty, slow and steady….Let that fool stop and take his photos.
Grain crop is growing quickly
almost back in town
Another hay field – this one not yet cut
carpet of green
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