Wednesday 31 March 2021

Don’t You Know What You’re Smelling?

    Kona thinks of herself as being a great hunting dog.  Whenever we take her for a walk in the snow, she continually scans the surface looking for tracks.  Every time she finds a track, she sticks her nose in it to figure out who had made it.  That’s fair enough, but what gets me is that 90% of the tracks she sticks her nose into, are tracks that she herself has made.  I don’t know if she can’t recognize her own smell or if her hunting instinct is just so great, she can’t help but automatically react whenever she sees a hole in the snow.

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Tuesday 30 March 2021

Aspirin Cartoon

       All I have to give you today is a cartoon.  You can view my paintings at:

Monday 29 March 2021

Springtime in the Rockies

    Well, a mini-blizzard was not exactly what I had been hoping for, but that is what we got yesterday.  It was full of fury, creating whiteout conditions as the snow blew sideways.  I had been happy to see a few patches of brown grass showing through as the winter snow melted, but they are now once again buried in the white stuff.  Following behind the wind and snow came colder temperatures.  This morning it was -12C (10F).  
This kind of flip-flop in the early spring is not that unusual in the Interior of BC, but it always does feel like a betrayal as we so eagerly look for warmer weather.

You can view my paintings at:


Sunday 28 March 2021

Hovering Ice Saucer

     I noticed this bit of ice, seeming hovering above the ground, yesterday.  The ice formed when the water was about a foot higher, then when the water drained away it was left in the air, supported by the stems of plants that went through the ice.

You can view my paintings at:

Saturday 27 March 2021

Arriving Geese

     Even though the lakes are still frozen, there is the constant sound of honking as more and more geese arrive in the Robson Valley.  They are able to find some open water, like this huge “puddle” that has formed by the melting snow, on the frozen ground.

    Hearing the geese does make one think that Spring is upon us, but those warm Spring-like days have been held in abeyance by the the hesitant deterioration of winter.

You can view my paintings at:

Friday 26 March 2021

Snow on Pussy Willows

    I thought this photo of a snow and rain laden pussy willow sort of symbolized the Spring that we are experiencing.  We have been getting a bit of snow every night, but the daytime temperatures are warm enough to melt the new snow away by the evening.   Some of the wind-blown fields in the Valley are bare, but most of our property is still covered with about 7 inches (17 cm) of snow.  There are a few bare spots beginning to appear.

You can view my paintings:


Thursday 25 March 2021

Elk Cause Change of Venue

    We like to vary the location of our afternoon walks, so yesterday, since we had recently walked Jeck Road and Horseshoe Lake, we decided to walk down the tarmac at the airfield.  We got there, parked the car, and I was just about to open the door for Kona, when my wife said, “Wait, there are elk out there.”
    That pretty much scuttled our walk at the airfield.  Kona goes nuts if she sees (or smells) unexpected people or animals.  She strains at her leash and can’t be calmed.  Knowing how she would probably react to a herd of about 40 elk (not well) we decided to drive over to Horseshoe Lake and do our walk there.
    It was an unexpected large herd of elk (Wapiti) at the airfield.  They were all spread out, so I couldn’t get a photo of the entire herd.

You can view my paintings at:

Wednesday 24 March 2021

A Start On Next Winter’s Wood

     Whenever our changeable Spring weather permits, I have been going up the slope across the road to “buck up” some of the birch I cut down last year for firewood.  I had local chainsaw guru Warren Jones, get my chainsaw in good working condition again and now that it is running as it should, my task has been made a whole lot easier.

    I hate cutting down trees, but this patch of birch was starting to die on the top, so I thought I’d make use of them before rot renders them unusable.  I was surprised at how much firewood we went through this winter, even though winter was unusually mild, except for a couple of weeks in February, when the cold was brutal.

    If I can cut, split, and stack the wood now, it will have time to dry out over the Summer and will be ready when we need it in the fall.

You can view my paintings at:

Tuesday 23 March 2021

Tomato Plants Are Up

    The tiny tomato seeds I poked into the ground last week, have now metamorphosed into sprouts.  I planted both some old seeds that I had purchased a couple of year ago and some seeds that I had saved from a few of last year’s tomatoes.  Both sources had good germination, except for one variety (from the bought seeds) in which only one plant came up.

    The plants are now living under some grow lights and will stay in the flat until they get too big and then  I will transplant them into some pots.  Hopefully by that time I will be able to carry them out to the greenhouse during the day, so they can get some real sunshine and experience real life conditions.  I will keep move them back and forth between the greenhouse during the day and the house at night, until the overnight temperatures in the green house is warm enough that I can plant them out there for the summer.

You can view my paintings at:

Monday 22 March 2021

The Shaggy Dog


     Kona hasn’t had a haircut all winter and these days she is looking pretty shaggy.  Fortunately, unlike our previous dogs, Kona really likes to be brushed, so we brush her daily and are able to keep most of the tangles out.  She had had her hair cut just before we got her, so thought we’d just let her hair grow because we were curious about what she would look like with long hair.  I really like the way she looks, but I suspect we will have to give her a haircut this spring so she doesn’t get too hot during the summer.

    You can view my paintings at:

Sunday 21 March 2021

First Day of Spring, First Robins


    It seemed appropriate that on the first day of Spring, I saw the first Robins of the year.  The photo is not great, but hopefully you will see two of them hiding in the weeds.  Beside seeing the Robins we also spotted some Killdeer.  

    You can view my paintings at:

Saturday 20 March 2021

Wild Rose Painting Finished

After 92 hours of painting, I have finished “Wild Rose”.  The acrylic painting is made up of 196 squares on a 28” X 28” (71cm X 71cm) canvas.  While this painting was not as visually complex as many of my previous ones, I found it difficult because of the colors.  I was hard to get the colors I wanted by mixing the paints I had.  Because I paint from the image on my iMac, and my iMac is presently in the repair shop, I don’t think I will start a new painting immediately.  I had to paint the last 10 squares on the bottom row of this painting by looking at the image on my iPad, and that was frustrating because my iPad kept going to sleep on me as I painted,

You can view all of my other paintings by going to

Friday 19 March 2021

Cartoon: Panic Button

     Not much happening around here today, so I thought I would just dig out one of my old cartoons for you.  

Thursday 18 March 2021

New Interior Doors

A few months ago we decided to replace our inexpensive, plain, interior doors with something more interesting.  We approached Gerald, a skilled local cabinet-maker/carpenter and asked him to handcraft some doors out of local fir.  He asked us what style we wanted and we went online, looked at some doors, and decided on a “Shaker” style paneled door.  
Gerald had never made any doors in that particular style, but went to work and over the last couple of days installed them.  They more than exceeded our expectations.  Beside being warm and beautiful, they are sturdy, and substantial.  None of our previous doors had ever felt so solid or well-fit.  They have really changed the feel of of our house, like a beautiful piece of furniture.

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Wednesday 17 March 2021

Look At That Blue Sky

We’ve had two beautifully clear sunny days in a row.  What a difference that makes to my well-being.  On those kid of days I am always amazed at how blue that Robson Valley sky can be.

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Tuesday 16 March 2021

The Geese Return

 It looks like I am not the only one who is happy to see some open water.  We spotted this flock of Canada Geese hanging around one of the few open water areas on the Fraser River.  I am always amazed that the geese that arrive this early can find enough food to sustain themselves. 

You can see my paintings at

Monday 15 March 2021

Some Open Water

This morning Kona and I crunched our way through the snow to walk around the pond, something we hadn’t done for months.  When we got to the outflow, I was treated to the sight of some open water; mirror-like and reflecting the blue sky.   While the ground is still covered with a foot (30 cm) of snow, at least I was given a hint that Spring is slowly nudging its way to the forefront.

You can see my paintings at:


Sunday 14 March 2021

Maybe I’ll Try Some of This Ice

    For a change, yesterday we did our walk along the Fraser River.  We had attempted to do the walk at Koeneman Park, but the snow was too deep and soft, so we soon gave up and looked for an easier place to do a walk.  As we drove across the Fraser River Bridge we notice the the “beach” along the river had a lot of snow-free patches, so we decided to do our walk there.  It turned out to be a lot easier than Koeneman Park.

    While we mostly stayed on the sandy bits, a few times Kona ventured down to the edge of the river.  I mentioned in a previous blog that Kona had begun making a habit of chewing chunks of ice.  The photo shows her about to bite off a piece of the ice beside the river.

You can view my paintings at:

Saturday 13 March 2021

A Patch of Green

    The other day, after a night where the temperature dropped below freezing, the snow that still covers the ground froze enough to allow me to walk on its surface instead of plunging through with each step.  Since that was the case, I decided to walk Kona on our loop trail, that we had abandoned because of all of the snow.  
    I have mentioned before how hungry I get for color during the months of white and grey winter.  On our walk I came upon a patch of green moss amongst all the dreary subdued grays that surrounded me.  What a treat it was just to see something that seemed vibrant and alive.  Here are some shots.

                                                                                     Although I can’t presently update my website, you can still see my paintings at:

Friday 12 March 2021

A Start To Gardening

     Even though there is still snow on the ground, if you want a garden in the Interior of BC, you have to start germinating some of the seeds now.  I always grow a variety of tomatoes and peppers in my unheated greenhouse and if I want to have bedding plants big enough to plant when the greenhouse does heat up, I have to plant the seeds, then keep the young plants under a grow light inside the house until they can be transplanted.

    The photo show me filling “flats” with potting soil that has been stored in the greenhouse all winter.  I brought the flats inside and will plant the seeds once the soil has warmed up to our house temperature.  The tomato plants usually take a bit more of than a week to pop out of the ground, the pepper seeds take a lot longer, more than two weeks.  

    A lot of the seeds I plant are seeds that I have saved from plants I grew in previous years.  After I plant the seeds it is always a nervous time for me, because I never know how many will come up. 

Thursday 11 March 2021

The Hole Left By My Computer

        I managed to live the bulk of my life without ever touching a computer.  However, back in the 1990’s I did touch one, then touched another, and soon found I was depending more and more on computers.  I began relying on the things in an ever increasing range of activities.   I was using computers at the Forest Service to make maps, I became dependent on emails for communications, and soon I was using computers for my photography hobby and the cartoons I made for the paper.   

        All of my stacks music in the form of vinyl records, cassette tapes, and CD’s began to gather dust as I went digital and replaced them with music on my computer.  Even when I began to paint, I used my iMac to design the image and to show the image as I painted it.  Of course, my website, blogging, and other writing were also done on the computer.

    As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, my iMac began to fail.  I knew that the old 2006 computer, like all things, would eventually die, and I lived in fear every time I thought about that eventuality.  I do have access to other computer technology that will allow me to limp forward as I do “work-arounds” to get those things done, but the major problem created by losing the iMac is that, even if I buy a new one, several of the old software programs I depend heavily upon, will not run on the new machines, and I have yet to find replacements that will do what I want to do.

    There is still some hope for my iMac.  I took it down to Vincent who runs MacTech in McBride to check it out, and he figures it is the aging hard drive that if giving up.  He is researching some options and I sure hope he is able to come up with something.

    Steve Bannon and Trump might like disruption, but I don’t.  I sure hope Vincent can fix my old workhorse.

Wednesday 10 March 2021

A Twelve Hour Car Service


    I am having a bad day.  My mainstay computer crashed this morning so I am trying to use my iPad to do this blog.

    Yesterday I had to take our Subaru up to Prince George for a big service.  I left McBride at 7:00.  Luckily Highway 16 was clear of snow so the drive only took 2.5 hours.  Beside the normal service I wanted the technicians to investigate the "Door Open" warning light problem I have been having ever since our cold weather problem.

    The dashboard "Door Open" warning light comes on, as does the lights on the side mirrors, and the car's interior light.  Since the weather warmed up, those lights now go back off, before they stayed on, causing me to disconnect the car battery every night so I wouldn't drain it overnight.

    Once up in PG I handed my car over to the Subaru Service department and took a seat in the customer lounge.  I opened up my iPad and started checking my regular internet sites.  I had originally thought I would have to spend very long hours with not a lot to do in Prince, but luckily my friends, the Milnes had also planned a trip up to the Big City, and they picked me up so I could do some shopping with them.

    We went to a garden store, a deli, and to Costco, so I was able to do a bit of shopping with them, before they dropped me back off at Subaru.  I then spent a few hours on the iPad working on some writing I was doing.  Eventually the car service was finished and I could start the drive back home.  I picked up a Beyond Meat burger and headed home.  

    Darkness was beginning to fall halfway through my return trip and I began to notice that every time I hit a frost-heave on the highway, or made a turn to the right on a curve, my "Door Open" warning light came on, as did the mirror lights and the interior light.  I also noticed that when this happened the Cruise Control shut off too.  All the lights that came on turned back off quickly, but I had to continually reset the  Cruise Control.

     These things were all quite noticeable while driving in the dark.  It was frustrating because there are an awful lot of frost-heaves and right turns on Highway 16.  The technicians at Subaru checked the door light button, but could find no problem, so it looks like we will have to live with it for as long as we have the car.

    I finally got back home at 7:00:  It was a long 12 hours.


Monday 8 March 2021

World's Best Mother Turns 100

    See the adventurous girl standing on the Indian trail tree?   That farm girl later became my mother, and the mother of my two sisters and two brothers.   She along with my father, who passed away in 1999, sacrificed a lot for us 5 kids.  They provided for us, nourished us, protected us, educated us, and gave us a warm and stable home-life and wonderful childhoods.  

    Today, International Women’s Day, is Mom’s 100th birthday.  Mom, who had always been very self-reliant, now lives in a care home and unfortunately, because of COVID, we are not allowed to join her in celebration of her 100th Birthday, but a family Zoom-call has been arranged and that will have to suffice.

    I have of course, other photos of Mom, but the one above has always been my favorite.

    Happy Birthday Mom, we love you.

You can see my paintings:

Sunday 7 March 2021

From Mice To Ice

    For a long period of time, Kona dedicated a lot of time during her walks, to trying to find mice in the snow and while she occasionally still dives into the snow looking for mice, lately it seems, she is more interested in finding and eating the ice balls that are left on the side of the road by snow plows.

      Some time ago, we discovered that Kona loved crunching on ice cubes, and we feed them to her figuring they were a pretty healthy treat.  I guess she then figured out she could find them on her own while on a walk.

You can take a look at my paintings:


Saturday 6 March 2021

Our Dog Is A Rat

    It is our tradition to make ourselves a pizza every Friday night.  We kept up with that tradition last night.  I was sitting in front of  the television eating and enjoying the second of my three slices, when the iPhone in my pocket began to ring.  I don’t use my cell phone very often and not many people know my number, so I still go into a bit of a panic, when I get a call on it.

    In my panic, as I was trying to dig the phone out of my pocket, I quickly set my plate of pizza slices down on the couch beside me, so that I would have a better chance of freeing the phone from my pant’s pocket.  It was Matthew on the phone, asking a question about one of my paintings that he is reproducing for a poster.  

    To answer his question, I had to walk upstairs to look at the painting.

    When I came back down and walked into the living room, it took me a nanosecond to figure out what Kona was doing.  She was up on the couch, her face in the plate I had laid there, downing one of my pizza slices.  I quickly commanded her to cease and desist, which she did, then I grabbed the plate with the still remaining pizza slice (luckily uneaten) and placed it up on the table where Kona couldn’t get at it. 

    I quickly ended my conversation with Matthew, and walked back toward the couch.  As the photo shows, Kona was still there, cleaning up the few crumbs of pizza that had fallen from the plate.  What a rat.

You can view my paintings at:


Friday 5 March 2021

Should I Worry or Not?

    I have been noticing this spot of unfrozen standing water, that has melted through the snow, for a while now.  I’m not sure if I should be worrying about it or not.  It is situated just below my greenhouse, and if this water is the result of burst pipes in my greenhouse, then I need to worry, because it won’t be much fun to stop the flow and fix the problem.  

    At present, I can’t really get into my greenhouse because of the ice and snow that is blocking the door.  I have looked in though the glass though, and haven’t been able to see any water inside,  but the water fixtures are hidden by my raised planting bench, so not seeing water in the greenhouse doesn’t really prove anything.

    The other possible cause of all this water is that it is just part of all of the underground flow that was making me mad all summer and fall.  That huge water-flow t ran along one edge of my garden, which is adjacent to the greenhouse, and what I am seeing is in line with that flow so that might be the cause. 

    I won’t really know until I can get rid of all the ice blocking the greenhouse door so I can go inside to check.  In a way, checking is something I am afraid to do, because I hate messing with the water system in the greenhouse, and besides, at this point it really isn’t urgent.

    Keep you fingers crossed for me.


You can see my paintings at:

Thursday 4 March 2021

Fox Traveling Through

    This morning as I was putting my bowl of oats onto the table, my eye caught a movement in the window and I looked up just in time to see what I at first thought was a coyote walking along our picket fence.  I abandoned my breakfast and ran for the camera as the fox rounded the house, and when I finally got the camera out of its case and turned on, I located the critter walking up to the driveway.  As I began videoing it, I realized from its thick fur and fluffy tail, that it wasn’t a coyote, but a fox.

    I filmed the fox as it walked up the driveway then up a pile of snow beside the driveway, before  disappearing behind the shop. 

    I don’t see foxes very often, but certainly they are around.  I have read that they like to exist in the areas close to people, because that gives them some protection from coyotes, who tend to stay further away from people.

    My first encounter with a fox was at night.  I had just walked out to the woodpile to get some wood an as I stood there, with an armful of wood, I saw a fox, following some scent in the snow, walking right toward me.  It was so concentrated in the scent it was following, it didn’t seem to realize was standing there.  It just got closer and closer.

    Finally I cleared my throat, so it would be aware of my presence.  The fox glanced up at me, but without seeming very perturbed, then it just turned and with out any panic, proceeded off in another direction.

Take a look at my paintings:


Wednesday 3 March 2021

My Mini-Show at the Museum

    As you no doubt know, I paint every day.  I have a lot of paintings in my house that no one sees, and that is not very motivating for a painter.  Luckily, I will be having 6 of my paintings on display now at the Valley Museum in McBride.  The museum is having an exhibition about agriculture in the Robson Valley and to augment that exhibition, I will have some of my paintings of garden produce hanging on a wall.

    Of course with the virus, the museum has not been flooded with visitors, but a few do come in every day, so there will be some eyeballs on my work, (more than will see them at my house).  I am calling my mini-show “Locally Grown”.  The photo shows the paintings leaning against the wall, as I was about to take them to the museum.

If you can't make it to the museum, you can still see all my paintings at:


Tuesday 2 March 2021

KaBoom; Crashing Snow

    Over time, snow has been building up on my roof.  Then when milder temperatures arrived, like a glacier the snow began slowly moving downslope.   When it got to the edge of the roof, it started arching out into the air.  Of course eventually so much was out in the air that the ice/snow mass behind it could no longer support its weight and it broke; crashing onto the roof below.  You can see the big pile by the branch that is laying on the snow.

    When the snow/ice broke loose and hit the roof below, there was a loud kaboom which reverberated through the whole house.  Kona was so freaked out by the noise, she hurried back to the the security(?) of the carport door, where she stayed for an hour.

    No harm was done by the crash, but it sure informed us about how much snow can weigh.

 You can view my paintings at:

Monday 1 March 2021

Lucy In The Bed With Blankets

    I generally take a nap at noon every day.  Often our cat Lucifer quietly sneaks up onto the bed and snuggles up along my back as I nap.  When I wake, she is still there, and often as to not disturb her, I just slowly flip the blanket off of me and onto her.  (That is when I took this shot.)

    Lucy loves to be under the blankets, so she stays there.  Sometimes I come into the bedroom later and discovered that she has worked her completely under the covers so she is totally hidden from view, sleeping in her warm womb of blankets.   A few times I will come into the bedroom for something, sit down on the bed,  bumping the blankets, unaware that she is still underneath them.  

    When I put the cover over her she will often stay there for several hours snoozing.

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