Friday, August 31, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Week 53

Our recent hike in Minnekhada Park was just perfect.  Not too hot, not too cold, not too difficult, not too easy, not too long, not too short.  As we were preparing to leave in the morning, Black Jack tried her, "if I stare long enough, Bill should come through with a snack for the road" approach.  That didn't yield immediate results.. 

so she went to heavier artillery.  I'm fairly sure that was successful.  

Several King Fishers were flying near the starting point of our hike, and this one spread its lovely wings for us to admire.

"The High Knoll" was our first lookout point.  Facing south, we could see the lower marsh and the Pitt River flowing past farmland.  There are descriptions of the trail here.

It was a grey day so we couldn't see Mount Baker.  The new Port Mann Bridge can be seen (very faintly) in the distance.

This post has way more photos of me than I would normally show, but Bill has begun to rebel just a tiny bit at being the only one to have pictures taken during our outings.  (I think this is the "Low Knoll" viewpoint.)  
I do want Bill to continue to pose for me, so..  here I am.  (Lovely background.)
I finally have the camera figured out for timed settings.  After doing a few shots several months ago, I had forgotten how I did them.  I think this time, I've got it.  This photo made us laugh and laugh.  We both thought we had to stoop low for the camera to get us in the shot.

We then realized that standing up is okay.  However, we decided on a new tradition -  a stooped down shot for every new hike - a sort of "trademark" (or something) photo.

At the bottom of the trail is The Lodge, a heritage home that we hoped to visit, but it was closed.  I guess we'll make that a future destination.  There were beautiful flowers and lots of these orangey dragonflies to admire in the garden.  

We had to ask directions a few times, and once we were back in the parking lot, Bill checked out the maps that we had neglected to pick up before starting the hike.
I will show some other photos from our day in the next post, but just two more here.  This heron was at Deboville Slough where we walked that afternoon.  It seemed rare to find one in this position, almost as though it were nesting (but it is way too late in the season for that). 

We saw some Cedar Waxwings as well, and this one posed beautifully.

Back home again, and walking by English Bay the next evening, I liked the way..

the tree's shadow was reflected on a cement pillar of the Burrard Bridge.
Another walk yielded a lovely dragonfly near Granville Island.

And, on yet another evening walk (one benefit of living with a dog in the city),

Black Jack did her best to show Bill where the skunk lives.

I'm not sure if Bill was totally convinced of her skunk-finding ability, but he gave her the benefit of the doubt :)

A few days later, she proved her point, fortunately, without a spraying to punish him for doubting.  Can you see it by the hedge near the centre of the photo?

I followed it carefully, trying my best not to upset it.  The light was gone and this photo is poor but indisputable proof that a skunk lives under that hedge.  Its tail was raised.. hm..

We did another hike in new territory last weekend.   It is in West Vancouver and called Brothers Creek Loop.  It was a little longer and a little tougher than Minnekhada, and we silently whined a bit at the end of it.  (We only confess our whining episodes after we are back in the truck and headed home.)  Still, we were very happy to have done it and are already beginning to plan some future hiking adventures.  
The history of the area is described in excellent detail at this site.  The short version is that it was logged for shinglebolts between 1923 and 1926.  An incline railway, abandoned in 1926, carried logs loaded on cable cars to a mill.  The remains of the mill are seen below. 

There were many, many slim trees, I guess grown up to replace the ones logged.  I loved the way the light and shadows played among them.
The rock below shows a face with gaping mouth and winking eye.  I couldn't believe that nature would produce such obvious human traits.

These cuts, made by loggers, left a face in the trunk of what must have been a magnificent tree.  i couldn't help but wonder if it cried out in pain.  
Bill called this fungus "Mick Jagger lips."

Bill was the one to spot this old railway nail.  He put it carefully back in the spot where he found it, thinking that it had probably lain there for a great many years.

We were both curious about these red berries that formed a perfect cone shape.  No time to research, but help identifying them would sure be appreciated.
There were many beautiful growths, sometimes in live trees and sometimes in fallen logs.  I called them mushrooms but I think fungi might be a better term.

We hiked to a couple of beautiful little lakes and I will show those in the next post.  This dragonfly was by the first lake.  There were hundreds of them, buzzing like little helicopters.  This was the only one I managed to capture.  Quite the challenge when moving.

Two more shots of me and that's the end of the solo ones for this post.
This one was supposed to demonstrate my excellent sense of balance.  Not!
I loved the textures in the stem of this mushroom.
This is the bridge at a trail junction for Brothers Creek.  We had the timer set again,

and practiced our "stooped over" pose.

This was quite a lovely little waterfall, and we challenged ourselves to do the climb down to get a bit closer to it.
That's it for this post.  I'll include just one sign off photo of Black Jack enjoying a luxurious roll in David Lam Park.  Do check out "Our World Tuesday" even though my post is so late it should be called "My World Friday."  You will see lots and lots of interesting sights from around the world. Thanks for stopping by.  Your visits sure are appreciated!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Skywatch Friday, Season 6, Episode 7

I am posting just a few hours before the Skywatch Friday meme closes for the week of August 23rd, definitely on the late side, but happy just to squeak in under the wire.

The first picture was taken across the street from my apartment (David Lam Park, Vancouver, BC).  The dappled-polkadot look is one that I hadn't seen before.

These fluffy, almost transparent clouds floated in a very pale sky over Deboville Slough in Port Moody just over a week ago.

A few minutes later, we saw this bird fly into the pale sky before I could identify it and just as I was trying to get the picture. 

As we drove home, Bill suggested I take this shot to record what both of us thought was quite an amusing mistake when I read this sign as Loco Road instead of Ioco.    

The next day, the clouds were long and lean over the ferry ramp near my apartment.  

There was warm light to the east, in front of the Cambie Bridge.

Flock after flock of geese headed east, as they do every evening at sundown.

The stragglers seemed to be trying to..

find their place in the "V" formation.

We walked west and up a side street.  The long and lean clouds.. 

found their own formation behind the telephone poles and wires.
For more skies from around the world, I am sure you will enjoy the Skywatch Friday meme.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thanks, Ryan

Ryan, our Steve Nash Fitness World instructor, is going to film school to study digital design.  

He'll still be teaching a Saturday class but all of us in his Tuesday ("Below the Belt") and Thursday ("Upper Cuts") classes will miss him.  He sure is a popular fellow! 

We worked really hard for him but we also had a great time and lots of laughs along the way.  

He has a talent for finding just the right work/fun balance to keep his classes full and his "students" coming back for more.  

He also has a great ability to assess the variety of fitness levels in the class and provide options that give everyone (old or young, experienced or beginner) a chance to leave the class happy and stronger. 

We know we'll have a good time with the next instructor too, but many of us wanted to take a moment to thank Ryan for the good times and wish him well in his studies!  

He kindly allowed me to take pictures during our last Thursday class. 

Once in a while, he even gave us a moment or two to rest.

Here is textbook perfect form for The Plank.

Here we are, getting ready for a photo.  This was the test shot.

Some of the regulars missed the class.  

I think they hated saying "good-bye"  but..

we can still see Ryan as long as we have some time free for the Saturday morning class.

In the mean time, check out our fine form after some regular workouts with Ryan.

All the best in your studies, Ryan, and thanks for making fitness FUN!