Monday, September 12, 2011

Fort Langley on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11

I was up early yesterday morning, excited to be preparing for an adventure day with Bill and Black Jack, acutely aware of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and thinking of three-year-old Kienan Hebert.  The news that he had been returned safely to his home gave a jolt of happiness that touched pretty well every thought for the rest of the day.  

Supper the evening before at Jericho Sailing Club with Bill, and with good friend, Jock, had been bathed in a soft light that heightened my appreciation for all that makes life good for me.    
 My big lens caught the moon, almost full.. 
and Jock's photos, taken with his smaller lens, portrayed the way it hung between masts,
 over sails,
 gently dominating the landscape.

My big lens blended the sunset into a solid block of orange sky, not quite the image my eyes were picking up, but one that stood strong as a reminder to treasure the good stuff.  
 When we got into the truck on Sunday morning, Bill and I had no idea where we were going.  I read bits aloud from a book of suggested trips, and though Fort Langley wasn't mentioned, my reading triggered that thought, and Bill ran with it.  I knew right away that we were in for a great day.  We arrived at the museum way before it opened, and decided to walk the Fort to Fort trail.
 Mist hung over the Fraser River,
but sun was breaking through quickly.
 I've never seen such dense spider webs, and liked the way the sun caught some of the layers.
 Bill spotted this one, perhaps the only single-layer one.
 We both thought it was particularly beautiful.
 I think jays are supposed to be quite a common bird, but for some reason, I've only seen a few around Vancouver, so it was a pleasure to see quite of few of them in Langley.  It was difficult to catch this one.  He flitted very quickly from branch to branch,
 but with a little help from Bill, I managed to pick up some of his blurred but still lovely blues.
 We heard Kingfishers all around us, and I was thrilled to catch this fellow as he left his perch.
 No time to identify this beauty, but I will never forget our pleasure in seeing him or her.  
 Bill helped to steady me as I stood on the first rung of a wooden fence.  The antennae in this shot stood out quite well against the leafy background.
In this one, the fuzzy hairs along the middle caught the light.
 It seems to me the theme colour for the past few days has been orange.  This dragonfly was taken on Friday at the school picnic at Ambleside Beach.  I had hoped to identify it before posting, but I think I am finally beginning to learn that waiting to get everything right sometimes means missed opportunities.  So, here is my unidentified, but very lovely orange dragonfly. 

This jay was perched near the top of a very tall tree.
Our walk took us along the river, sometimes on open paths, sometimes on forested ones, and here, came out at a lovely country road.  To our right, we could see farmland and sunflowers.
 I loved the wooden fences and trellises. 
 On the other side of the road was a wagon filled with colourful vegetables. 
 There was a tin box nearby,
 and a board listing the prices of each item.  There is something heartening about an honour system that appears to work very well. 
The sun was becoming intense by this time, and we decided to head back towards the town.  Black Jack stood on the road, staring at the farm, trying to show us she would have preferred to spend more time exploring the area.  However, we convinced her to return with us, and were glad we did as she was very thirsty by the time she reached the truck.  
 This picture of yet another kingfisher was poor, but brings back a happy memory of Bill standing behind me, trying to direct my eyes past trees, and through a V shape in some branches.  When I finally spied the bird, and managed to get my camera to (sort of) capture it, I was thrilled.
 Little birds were all around, but this was the only one I managed to photograph.  It was very tiny - maybe chick-a-dee size, but again, unidentified.
 Another kingfisher!  I've never seen so many.
 The intensity in its eyes as it spotted something in the water, was impressive.
I tried to follow its path, and caught one more blurry shot, just before..
 it hit the water.
 Back on its perch, it struggled for a long time.. 
 with its (again unidentified) catch.
 Some sort of beetle?
 With the sun now sending relentless rays of heat, we were pleased to find a shady spot in the garden of Bedford House Restaurant.  The kind staff brought water for Black Jack, and the excellent chef prepared a meal that we won't soon forget.  We both decided we will soon want to return to Fort Langley and Bedford House.
 Although we had originally planned to take in the National Historic Site, we realized after eating lunch that a short walk around the garden, 
 and by the railroad, was about as much investigating as we were prepared to do that day.
We talked a bit about the work that went into the ties, some of them now made of cement, and others still of wood, but we decided to leave the museum for another adventure day.
 The enjoyment of Fort Langley, my happiness for Kienan, and my sadness for all those who lost loved ones in 9/11 worked together to bring quite an array of emotions throughout the day.  Foremost, though, was a pervading sense that every good moment savoured is one retained.  I think that is all we can do to drive away the negative forces and to keep our hearts strong.  


  1. Your photo tour of the Fort Langley area brings back many happy memories of days I spent there, walking that same trail and admiring the many birds and beautiful setting.
    I, too, feel joyous at Kienan's safe return - what a wonderful symbol of hope on a memorable day of sorrow.

  2. Beautiful thoughts and photos. We breathed a sigh of relief when the little boy was returned home too. The unidentified bird is, I think, a Kingfisher. The pictures of the butterfly are amazing, I think it is drinking water from the leaf it is perked on.

  3. Glad Bill was there to steady you on that wooden fence so you could take the picture, Carol. Also, the shot of the bluejay on a branch of a large (cedar?) tree starting to turn yellow with autumn is picture postcard perfect. And the intensity of that focused hungry bird made me glad I wasn’t in its sights. Loved the single spider web and early morning Fraser River captures. I noticed the moon when I went to the store last night without my camera. Even if I had it, though, it would never have turned out as magnificent as the picture you captured. :)

  4. A beautiful post Carol. I especially loved the spider webs. Hope all is well! Cristina