Monday, December 22, 2008

My World Tuesday - Winter Wonderland

Hi everyone! I've missed a couple of Tuesdays because love is in my life again after so many years. But I wanted to share with you the fact that Lotusland (aka Vancouver, Canada) is going to have a white Christmas this year. This is a very rare occurrence because of our normally temperate climate. However, we've been overwhelmed with snow for the last week or so and the forecast is for more snow on Christmas Eve and continuing cold temperatures. On Friday, L and I went walking in a winter wonderland along the river. No one else was around and we could hear our footsteps crunching in the frozen snow. I took my camera and managed to catch a few really good shots of the sun's reflection on some icy spots. We also saw signs that rabbits, birds, and other forest creatures had been out and about during the day. The sky was turning red and ducks were floating in the river as we turned around to head back to the warmth of the car. Lotusland is lovely covered in white, but I sure am looking forward to returning to our usual grey skies and drizzle. It's a lot easier to shovel rain than it is to shovel snow. In the meantime, please enjoy the following photos and be sure to click to enlarge. Also, may I wish each and every one of you the very best of Christmases and a very Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

TMWTuesday - Snow Geese in Ladner

More than 25,000 snow geese from Wrangel Island, Russia, within the Arctic Circle, arrive in Ladner every year around this time. These snow geese are a breathtaking attraction viewed by locals and visitors who come from around the world to see and record this spectacle. As I was driving along Arthur Drive on my way to neighbouring Tsawwassen this morning, I passed fields of snow geese feeding on morsels in the boggy farmland. Quickly turning into the spot where farmers sell corn on the cob from the backs of their trucks in the summer, I hopped out to take a few shots. The noise was deafening as they squawked, probably telling each other to fill up in readiness for the oncoming flight south. Soon the skies will be full of these giant birds as they continue on their Pacific Flyway migration. As usual, click photos to enlarge. To see other TMW photos or to participate, simply click on the link on my sidebar. And thanks to the great group of people who host That's My World Tuesdays.

Monday, December 1, 2008

MM - Fort Langley Railway Tracks

The historic village of Fort Langley was built as a small fur trading post in 1827, leading to the creation of the colony of British Columbia. Historically, the functional Fort Langley had a relatively short life. From beginning to end it lasted some 60 years. The original structure was built by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1827. Due to circumstances resulting from an agreement with the Russian American (Fur) Company more emphasis was placed on the farming operation and the Fort was rebuilt 4 kilometers upstream (east) in 1839. Shortly thereafter it burned down and was rebuilt again in 1840.
Subsequently, Fort Langley entered a period of dramatic growth in economic activity that confirmed its importance politically and geographically. The establishment of the 49th parallel as the international boundary with the US added to its official lustre. Activity in Fort Langley reach its peak with the Gold Rush of 1858. For all intents and purposes all prospectors would depart from Fort Langley on their trek to find fortune. To deal with the potential social and political upheavals caused by this great influx of American adventurers, the British Parliament decided to provide for a crown colony on the Pacific Mainland with James Douglas as the first Governor of British Columbia. Fort Langley was the location of this proclamation on November 19, 1858.
Over the next 30 years, 3 factors contributed to the decline of the community and "the Fort" itself. River traffic was extended to Fort Hope and Fort Yale. The capital of the colony was established at New Westminster (later moved to Victoria). Competition developed for goods and services provided by the Hudson's Bay Company. These factors combined to lower the Fort's stature significantly. By 1886 Fort Langley ceased operations as a company post.
In 1923 Fort Langley was declared a site of national historic importance. In 1955 it was established as a National Historic Park. Restoration was begun for the celebration of the centennial of the Colony of British Columbia. The Fort Langley of today and the community around it provide a welcome respite from the strains and stresses of the "big city", for those who are so inclined. (from here)
I took this photo last February when D#2 and I spent a day in Fort Langley. I go out there about 2 or 3 times a year because it's a really nice drive (about 45 minutes) and I enjoy going to Planet Java, a 50's style restaurant, for lunch or at least a coffee. Also, I like strolling the main street to browse in the shops and perhaps take a peek into the town's huge antique store. I like how this photo looks in black & white as it sort of gives an old-time feeling. Click to enlarge.

Have a great week everyone! If you'd like to see other participants' photos or if you'd like to join in with Monochrome Mondays, just click on the link on my sidebar.