Sunday, 5 December 2021

Blue And Gold

    Yesterday when we walked the landing strip at the airfield, the snow had pretty much disappeared, leaving a winter palette of gold and blue.  The sun is getting lower on the horizon as it moves closer to the Winter Solstice, but it was still creating a nice highlight on the field that runs through the lower third of this scene.  I sure like the colors in this photo.

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Saturday, 4 December 2021

Cat Extractor

    Our cat Lucifer loves my wife’s office.  There is a space heater going so it is always nice an toasty, and the office chair has a soft pillow on the seat, perfect for snoozing and so that is where she sleeps whenever she can.  This frustrates my wife every time she wants to use her office, because she is too tenderhearted (and scared) to disturb Lucifer, pick her up, and take her out of her chair.

    This is where I come in.  I am called at least once a day to, “Extract the cat.” 

    I walk into the office pick up Lucy, who shows her displeasure with a complaining meow.  I carry her up to my office and put her down on a pile of big padded envelopes under my desk.  There she curls up and resumes her sleep, while on the desk above her I paint and then write this blog.

    You might think that because I am always called on to play the “heavy” in situations with Lucifer, that she would hold some resentment toward me, but really it is just the opposite.  I seem to be “her guy.”  She is more kindly and affectionate toward me than she is to my wife, who always gives her treats and tries not to disturb her even though the situation often calls for it.  It is strange.

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Friday, 3 December 2021

Finally a Blue Sky (And Even a Grouse)

    I think I must suffer from a slight case of SAD, (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  When we get a string of overcast, low light days, like we have been experiencing for a week or so now, I find myself very unmotivated and it is hard for me to get at things.  Even though I almost always have my camera with me, it is just extra weight, because I just can’t find anything inspiring to photograph.

    Yesterday the sun was showing itself again, and the sky was a beautiful blue.   It gave me a lot more energy and as I was walking Kona around the pond, I experienced another treat; a Ruffed Grouse who was scratching around close to the trail, flew up when Kona approached.  It landed in a nearby tree and perched there, allowing me to unleash my camera from it’s carrying case and take a photo.  It was a nice image, seeing the grouse against that blue sky.

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Wednesday, 1 December 2021

M.C. Escher

    I have always loved optical illusions and when I started going to university I discovered two artists that played with tricking what the eye was seeing.  One was Salvador Dali, who of course is famous for his painting of the melting clock (Persistence of Memory), but I always like his paintings with images that seem to change as you looked at them (

    Another artist that caught my fancy at the time was the Dutch graphic artist, M. C. Escher.  I was so impressed with his drawings that I bought my first art book:  The Graphic Work of M.C. Escher, which I still have.  Escher’s works are fascinating.   Objects intertwine and things that appear normal at first glance, are shown to be impossible with the second.  

    When we traveled in Europe and went to The Hague, we discovered that they had an Escher Museum there.  It was a real treat to visit the museum, see his prints, and learn more about his life.  You can view his works at:

    In one section of the museum there was a small room with very distorted walls and ceiling.  Two people could go into the room, one on one side in the narrow side and the other further in the back on the other side and get their photo taken.  The distortion in the walls made one person a shrimp, and the other a giant.  Below is our photo.


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Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Lava Flow

    In 1991 when we traveled to Hawaii for the solar eclipse, Kilauea, the island’s active volcano was erupting.  It was not one of those exploding volcanos that was hurling molten lava high into the air, it was more of a leaky eruption where lava was running down the slope toward the ocean.  We drove to Volcano National Park to take a look.  

    Of course we couldn’t go right up to where the fresh molten lava was flowing, but we could walk out on the black, hardened lava to see some of the what it had done.  The lava had run over part of the residential area and destroyed a community.  We did see the remains of some structure (above) that had been razed by the flowing inferno. 

    There was probably still hot lava flowing beneath the hardened crust in places where we walked ,because once we followed it to the ocean shoreline, we could see steam, caused by the molten lava, where it was pouring against the sea water.  If you look closely at the photo below you can see a small section of orange which is molten lava.

    I find volcanos fascinating and I was gratified to see a tiny bit of Kilauea in action.

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Monday, 29 November 2021

1991: Seeing A Solar Eclipse

    Early in 1991 we heard that there was going to be an eclipse of the sun in Hawaii and since we had relatives and some past friends from McBride that lived there, we contacted them to arrange a visit.  Our friends lived on the Big Island of Hawaii, which seemed to be the best place for viewing the astronomical event.

    The Big Island, has a wet, jungly side, and a dry desert-like side, and luckily Richard and Diane lived on the dry side at Kona.  They put us up at their home which was located on a long slope with a view of the Pacific.  We spent a couple of days visiting and catching up on what had been happening in their lives since leaving McBride.  They took us sailing in the Pacific in their sailboat. 

    There were of course, thousands of tourists that had traveled to Hawaii to see the eclipse, spreading themselves across the island.  The weather forecast for the event was not good, it predicted rain and cloud over most of the Big Island, However, Richard knew of a perfect place to view the eclipse, telling us, “It is never cloudy there.”

    The eclipse was scheduled to happen 7:30 in the early morning, so we had to start out in the dark in order to get to Richard’s destination.  As the morning began light was slow in coming, because of heavy clouds that blanketed the sky,  We were very frustrated in seeing all of the dark clouds, fearing we would miss eclipse.  As the eclipse began (behind the clouds) the landscape began to get darker, and soon it was like night.

    Luckily, those thick clouds did have a bit of mercy on us, and just as the eclipse was about full, the clouds parted enough to give us glimpses of the event.  We were so relieved and appreciative.  I’m sure Richard was particularly relieved after bringing us to this spot.  

    Above is a photo I took of what we saw.  I think a majority of the other people who had traveled to Hawaii to see it, didn’t get to see anything but cloud and rain.  

    Soon, after daylight returned, I took the photo below of the group of people who had also gathered at “Richard’s” spot to view the eclipse.   Below that is a photo of Richard and Diane, our friends and hosts, all smiles and relieved, after getting to actually see the eclipse.

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Sunday, 28 November 2021


    It is a grim looking day outside and as is usual on such days, I am finding it hard to be motivated about anything, but all I have to do is look south to the lower part of BC to see how fortunate the Robson Valley is to be getting just some rain showers.  The Lower Mainland is still trying to get out from under  unprecedented flooded homes and fields, while two more atmospheric rivers are bearing down on them. 

    Last week’s deluge severed all highway and rail links between Vancouver and the rest of BC, when mud slides and debris flows in the mountains, washed away huge sections of the highways and bridges.  It will be several months before the major travel arteries can be put back together and the incoming downpours forecast for this coming week will no doubt create more damage.  After seeing some of the washouts on news broadcast, I suspect that some rural residents will never get road access back to their homes.

    BC has suffered from extreme heat, extreme forest fires, and now extreme flooding this year.  This follows record breaking forest fires in the province over the last two years.  We even had a mudslide locally last year that destroyed two homes.  The amplified weather that was predicted as the world’s climate changes is suddenly right in the face of the citizens of BC.  

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