Here’s a collection of my photo’s from Fall and Winter. I haven’t been doing much blogging… I guess Covid has silenced a lot of things in our lives. Everything has slowed down over the winter. It is great to see the days getting longer and the weather improving slightly.
What have you been neglecting the last 4 Covid months?
Family texts or phone calls?
Keeping in touch with your friends?
Personal grooming? It seems pointless to wear a bra if you aren’t going out anywhere. And that messy hair? No one’s going to see me looking scruffy today or tomorrow even. And a shower every other day is probably sufficient, I’m not doing anything but sitting on the couch watching NetFlix or playing Ipad puzzles and games. I do wander in to the kitchen lots, (does that count as exercise?).
Housework? Dusting and vacuuming? You remember you didn’t do those chores before Covid because you were too busy having a life and they could always wait? Now you realize that they didn’t get done because they are boring to do and watching NetFlix, playing with your IPad and opening the fridge door just takes up so much of your spare time now.
Laughing? Has the joy gone out of your soul? It’s pretty hard to be amused when we are surrounded by so much fear, doom and gloom. If and when we take the time to watch network tv or read news articles, you wonder if there is any happiness in the world right now!
Hobbies? Can you still participate and pursue your hobby?
Sports? That’s a slippery slope right now. Team sports are complicated for sure.
ME? I’ve been phoning my family and friends and more than I was a few months ago. I have a cousin who has phoned me a couple of times and we haven’t been in contact for a few years. I will admit that some days I don’t get out of my pj’s until noon and showering days can alternate. I’ve done a good job of not eating my way thru the pandemic. Funny enough the housework and dusting is still a neglected chore. I have been able to pursue my photography hobby. I have been out a few times. I’m learning new skills thru online tutorials and applying those to my photo’s. I find it very creative and satisfying. I really really really miss watching professional sports competition. Hockey in particular. I wish and hope that there is some way to bring the game back safely. Time will tell.
I have been neglecting my blog. Maybe today will be the start of more regular posts? I’m glad I don’t have to write daily for a living. That would be a tough gig.
Gotta run now, my phone is ringing!!
Flowers are my favorite thing to photograph.
Today I felt like getting close!
Well folks May is in the books!
Above is a white Rhododendron processed in Photoshop with a colored pencil filter on the flower and a oil painting filter on the background. Below is a more traditional photo of the same flower!
I finally made it over to Hornby Island with my camera after all these years of living on Vancouver Island. My sister and I were there probably 20 years ago. We did a quick trip over to Tribune Bay on Hornby, a quick stop at some pottery shops on Denman Island and called it a day.
This trip was different. Our camera club members stayed at Hornby Island Dive Lodge for 2 nights and spent 3 days photographing the Island. We photographed Ford Cove & Marina. Helliwell Provincial Park. Grassy Point. Tribune Bay. Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park. Tim Biggins Anvil. Heron Rocks. There were spots we missed of course, but these are the ones we made it to. The weather was dry and sunny, the weekend was awesome! Here are my photo’s.
This is a link to a group of photo’s on Flickr which I took while on the Pub to Pub Trail here in Campbell River. It’s called the pub to pub trail because at either end of the walk (45-60minutes) was a pub. BUT, now there are no pubs. Salmon Pt Pub burnt down recently and The Fishermans pub closed down last year. Regardless, there are scads of people out there every day enjoying the scenery. The walk takes you along the Oyster River thru Old Growth Forest and then along the Ocean where the trail ends at Salmon Pt RV Resort. The walk is mostly level, but beware of roots! I’ve seen people pushing strollers and wheelchairs, so it can be done.
We’ve been in the desert now since Christmas. We’ve been in Mesa where we visited my Uncle Al and Aunt Jean. We travelled on freeways and other state roads and seen roadrunners, coyotes, and a bobcat. Different types of cactus appear as you go up in elevation and disappear and change as you descend.
There are mountains here, more than you would expect. They have cool names: The Superstition Mountains (Mesa), Picacho Mountain (Casa Grande), Black Mountains (Oatman) and the Chocolate Mountains (Parker). There are 194 mountain ranges in the state. There are lakes created by dams along the Colorado and Salt Rivers. We’ve seen boats in marina’s along the lakes and rivers and we know there are places to fish in the summer here.
We haven’t done a huge number of tourist attractions (and there are many here). I guess we are kind of “touristed out” after all our travelling. We have been to Oatman and seen the burro’s, taken the Dolly boat ride on Canyon Lake, driven to Tortilla Flats and saw the fountain shoot over 500feet in Fountain Hills, and visited The Pima Air & Space Museum all while in Arizona. There is lots to do here and it sure is nice to be warm and dry. I miss the green and blues of Campbell River, but I don’t miss the grey winter rain. We will be home on Vancouver Island in 30 days. Hard to believe our circle is almost complete!
It’s hard to believe that it’s time to leave Florida now.
Bye bye beach fishing for pompano, black drum, red drum, whitings and blue runners. I’m going to miss waiting for you to hit my line.
Bye bye white squeaky sand beaches that stretch for miles and miles.
Bye bye to all the “southerners” (real and transplanted), we loved how friendly you were, what courteous drivers you are and how polite everyone is.
We are making a bee-line to Mesa, Arizona so that we can spend Christmas with my Aunt and Uncle. We spent 6 weeks in Texas a few years ago, we were in Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Austin so will basically make a couple of pit stops on our way north and west to Arizona.
First stop was Biloxi, Mississippi. It is a beautiful small city that has been hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and is still recovering. I saw lots of damaged piers and empty lots along the sea shore and beach highway. I found The Old Brick House and gravitated towards this MASSIVE oak tree in the back yard. It was amazing. Majestic. Historic in it’s own way. How old it must be. Who used you for shade? Who climbed on you? What conversations took place under your limbs, leaves and branches?
I parked down by the Visitors Centre, walked the beach, strolled thru Lighthouse Park and listened to the kids playing on the swings. Watched the traffic on the Beach Highway negotiate around the Lighthouse that was there long before the road was built.
After leaving Biloxi we pointed the nose of the truck towards San Antonio and we were off.
We overnighted in Beaux Bridge, Louisianna and went for dinner at Crawfish USA. We ate everything “Cajun” on the menu: oysters, catfish, crawfish, frog legs, crab, shrimp, bread pudding. I also stopped at the market there and bought cracklins and supplies to make gumbo.
Next evening we landed in Beaumont, Texas. Didn’t think we were going to make it there safely as we drove thru a thunderstorm that wiped out our visibility and slowed freeway speeds from 75MPH to 45MPG. I left permanent imprints of my hands and fingernails on the steering wheel. Not much fun. It continued to rain thru the night with temperatures in the 40’s F.
Get ready to be entertained: Now remember it’s been pelting rain and lightening and thundering for the last hour. 2 ladies in a 4 door truck pulling a 30ft travel trailer pulled in beside us. Lady #1 is unhooking the trailer, putting down jacks etc. It’s still raining lightly. Lady #2 opens the door of the truck and this BIG DOG jumps out of the truck, takes 4 steps thru the puddle and jumps back in the truck.
Lady #2 Opens back passenger door (bpd)
Dog jumps in to front passenger seat.
Lady #2 closes bpd – opens fpd.
Dog jumps in to back passenger seat.
Lady closes fpd and opens bpd
Dog jumps in to front passenger seat
Lady outsmarts the dog (finally) by leaving BOTH doors open.
Dog jumps over to the drivers side of the truck.
Dog 1 – Lady 0.
Lady #1 arrives to help with dog extraction.
Dog bounces back and forth a few more times until he gets too close to Lady #1 who yards him out of the truck by his collar for the win!!
It continued to rain thru the night with temperatures in the 40’s F. We got up in the morning and continued our trek towards San Antonio. We drove thru rain all day, but not as heavy as the day before and successfully negotiated 7 lanes of traffic thru Houston, stopped in Schulenberg, Texas for the night. We were only 100 miles to San Antonio but we are in no hurry to get there (The Riverwalk isn’t going anywhere..) As we approached San Antonio we got caught up in a 2 hour traffic jam because a car-hauler broke in half and scattered cars all over the highway.
Not everyone has the patience to sit in traffic for that long. We saw a young Texan who looked like he decided to drive thru a ditch / median and on to an adjacent highway. Well, he ditched his truck in the weeds and caused lots of damage to his front end. Not sure how he’s going to explain that to his insurance company! The temperatures remained cool and well I might as well use the word COLD – it freakn snowed in the late evening. YES! SNOWED!. Very unusual, but it does happen occasionally.
We’ve been to San Antonio before so we didn’t visit the Alamo this time, but we did go down to the Riverwalk in the evening and took the Christmas Light Tour on one of the boats that go back and forth on the Riverwalk. Very festive.
We have 2 more days of driving to get to Carlsbad, New Mexico. We will break the trip in half with an overnight stay in Fort Stockton, Texas. This is one big State, that’s for certain. We already miss the southern hospitality. Texans are not near as friendly as their neighbours to the south and they certainly drive more aggressively too. I feel like I’m back in red-neck country.
We visited Carlsbad Caverns more than 20 years ago and we were so impressed by it that we decided to stop in for another visit on this trip. When we walked in I was impressed and in awe all over again. It is amazing, beautiful, the size of the caverns, the different formations, your eyes travel around, up and over. You have to go there, you just have to add it to your list of things to see if you are in that corner of New Mexico. You won’t be disappointed.
Next stop: Mesa, Arizona. Get to spend time with the relatives.. YAY!!