Thursday, November 27, 2008

Skywatch Friday - Sunset on the River

A couple of weeks ago, I drove out to Wellington Point along the south arm of the Fraser River. I did a post about it for "That's My World Tuesday" and you can see the entire post here. Between 4 and 4:30 pm, I watched as the sun began to fall in the west and as the layers of clouds surrounded its orb, its light continued to break through causing reflections in the river. Here are just a couple of shots I got that day. Hope you enjoy them. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone, and thanks to the great team that hosts Skywatch Friday. To see other participants' photos or to join in, simply click on the link over to the right on my side bar.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

ABC Wednesday - S is for Signs and Seagulls

If you follow my Pedalogue blog, you'll recall that I went over to the Sunshine Coast for 3 days two weeks ago. While there, I saw a lot of signs. Some had strange names or silly things on them and some were quite Striking, so I thought I'd save them for our S-day. Here are just a few that I hope will give you a smile. Of course be Sure to click on the photos to enlarge them. And then at the end, enjoy the video of Seagulls on the Davis Bay Pier.

Monday, November 24, 2008

That's My World - English Bay

Sunday afternoon, Josie and I drove to downtown Vancouver and had lunch at the Boathouse facing English Bay. It's quite something to have a beach in the downtown area of a city and this beach has stunning views of freighters anchored out in the bay and of sailboats casually gliding over the still waters. At least on Sunday there was hardly any breeze. As you can see, we have palm trees in our "Lotusland" and, like most major cities, the hot dog vendors were out in full force because of the sunny and mild weather. As usual, click on the photos to enlarge.

As I scanned the surroundings, I noticed a condo with a tree growing out of its roof. It's bare now, but in other seasons, I imagine it would be a fantastic place to sit under its spreading branches while enjoying the seaside views.

Because there wasn't much of a breeze, not too many sailboats were out, but there were some diehards trying to prolong the season.

A few clouds rolled in, hiding the sun for a while, but I took this shot of several freighters moored out on the bay off the tip of Stanley Park beneath the vari-coloured sky.

The sun continued to attempt to shine through the clouds as it moved west towards the horizon. Today it has dawned clear again but colder. There was a touch of frost on the rooftops, but that doesn't matter much because the sky is a brilliant blue and there's no wind.

To view other participants' photos of "That's My World Tuesday," or to simply take a look at their photos, just click on the link on my sidebar. Thanks to the group who got this going!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

MM - Fort Langley, B.C.

Fort Langley is the exact location where, a century and a half ago, a huge fur trade organization called the Hudson's Bay Company established a small post to trade with the First Nations of the West. Coast. The enterprise grew, evolved, and influenced history, leading to the creation of the colony of British Columbia.
Furs were shipped to Europe via Cape Horn, produce was traded to the Russians in Alaska, local cranberries found their way to California, and Fraser River salmon was enjoyed as far away as Hawaii. In 1858, rumours of gold on the Fraser River caused a massive influx of Americans to the area. Fearing annexation by the United States, British Columbia was proclaimed a Crown Colony on this site by James Douglas on November 19, 1858. Above are some of the buildings within the fort. Below is a photo of old furs still hanging in one of the buildings, a photo of the the building where barrels are made to this day, and some of the barrels. You can actually watch the workers (in traditional garb of the 1850s) make the barrels.

To see other participants' Monochrome Monday shots or to participate, simply click on the link on my sidebar. Thanks to Aileni at Loose Ends for hosting this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

St. Andrews, Scotland

Here I am 10 years ago at St. Andrew's Golf Course in Scotland on a grey and windy day. Sort of suits today and my mood. But it does bring back good memories of a two-week vacation in England and Scotland with my then 21-year-old daughter. Click to enlarge and you can almost see the bird flying over.

Happy Friday everyone! To see other participants' contributions, simply click on Skywatch Fridays on my sidebar.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wellington Point, BC

Be sure to click on the photos to see them in larger format. You'll be glad you did.
Yesterday, around 3:00 pm, I drove out to Arthur Drive to see if the snow geese were still in one of the farmer's fields. Alas, they'd gone so I decided to drive out to the waterfowl refuge to see if they were over there. On the way, I stopped at Wellington Point, a spot on the south arm of the Fraser River where you can see hunters boating over to the reeds and rushes to shoot ducks. There are wonderful views of the river, a pier to launch small boats, and picnic tables.

The first thing I did was carefully tiptoe down the boat launch to get a shot of the wharf. I had to be careful because it was wet, slippery, and full of holes. I did NOT want to fall in the water!

Then I climbed up on the wharf and took several shots. In this first one, you can see how busy the area is with boats lining up along the shore at the various businesses.

I watched as a family launched their small boat and the father seemed to be giving his son instructions with regard to the hunt they were going on. Notice they have their black lab dog with them. He'll be jumping in the water to retrieve the ducks they shoot.

Just as they headed out, another boat full of hunters arrived back at the little boat launch area and a few minutes later, I heard shots ring out. I'm not sure if I should be thinking, "poor ducks" or "yummy good dinner coming."

The light started to fade a bit but I did get this shot of a seagull perched up on a pole on the wharf. He seemed to be surveying the situation and probably was glad he's a seagull and not a duck.

I thought I better get going if I was going to get any photos of the snow geese, so headed off there. When I arrived, I was happy to see that the parking area was full so I thought I'd get some great shots. But - No snow geese!!! Drat! So I decided to go back and head to another spot along the river where last year about this time of year I'd managed a great shot of the sun through some black clouds.
But first, I stopped to take a photo of Canoe Pass, a well-known float home area along the river. I like how still the water looks and how I caught the reflections of the houses in the river.

Also, along the way, I took this shot of an old barn.

I lucked out with the sunset. This was taken at approximately 4:05 pm, November 16/08 with my Samsung Digimax V700. I love how it looks.

So there you have another peek into My World one cool November afternoon along the river. I'm looking forward to visiting you all to see your world. To view more "That's My World Tuesday" participants, just click on the link on my sidebar.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Monochrome Monday - Seagulls

Click to enlarge and see the detail.

If you've been following my other blog, The Pedalogue, you'll know that I recently spent three days on the lower Sunshine Coast. Our last day there dawned grey and rainy but I did manage to go out onto Davis Pier to catch some photos of the seagulls that hang around there. There must have been at least a hundred gulls sitting on the ledge of the pier, and as I approached, they'd fly off to another area to sit. These were the brave ones that remained until the last possible moment before taking off. I like how this looks in black and white as it reminds me of the day's rather drab colour.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt - Ruin(ed)

Click on photos to enlarge them.
I haven't done what I consider a lot of travelling, compared to some people, but in my mind one the best places to see ruins is in Sicily.
One of our first stops was at Segesta where we had to take a bus to the top of the "mountain" to view the ruins. Above are the remains of the amphitheater and the view from there is amazing. I posted photos of the view and other things on my last ABC Wednesday "S is for Sicily" post. Feel free to pop over to take a look.

Our next stop was at Selinunte where we viewed more ruins of Greek temples.

We continued on to Agrigento and strolled around the Valley of the Temples that is located outside of the modern city. I like the shot (below) of one of the ruins because you can see the modern city in the background.

Another stop was at Villa Romana at Piazza Armeria. Here is a shot of the marble toilets, considered quite modern at the time, that the women used.

Finally, I've included my photo of the Teatro Greco in Taormina. We spent a long time here, even climbing way up to the top and behind the seats. The view of the Mediterranean was stunning and you can see Mount Etna across the way. We actually saw fire and smoke coming out the top of famous volcano and it erupted the night we were there.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Skywatch Friday - Escape

Click to enlarge.
Last Sunday, November 9th, I took the Langdale ferry out of Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. It was a completely grey and dreary day when I left, but just after the ferry departed, I saw a break in the sky. Standing on the outer deck, I caught this photo of the blue sky appearing out of the grey and felt completely uplifted at the sight. The next three days bode well for good weather.
For more photos and stories about my three days on the Sunshine Coast, see my other blog, The Pedalogue. I hope you'll feel free to comment there, too. Happy Friday, everyone!

Monday, November 10, 2008

That's My World Tuesday

My regular readers know that I live in a village south of the city of Vancouver, almost on the border to the state of Washington. The village is considered a sort of "bedroom community" because most people who live here commute to work in neighbouring cities like Richmond, Surrey, or Vancouver. Around the residential area lie lots of farmland, though, and it's a very enjoyable trek of about 5 minutes to drive out to see old barns, cattle, horses, goats, rural mailboxes standing like drunken soldiers at the side of the road and the coal trains as they sidle on down the track to Roberts Bank Port. If you'd like to see a video of the train click here. Anyway, here are a few shots I thought I'd share with today from a couple of weeks ago on a brilliant sunny fall day just 5 minutes from my house, which is in the residential area.

It's all so quiet, peaceful and picturesque until suddenly looming out of the distance are a few monster houses! In the midst of this pastoral scene, these structures are ugly and to my eyes a blight on the landscape. I sure hope they don't eventually take over the entire area.