Friday, October 16, 2020

 Inviting outdoor patios in Steveston




Music: https://www.bensound.com

Covid19 has changed the way we dine out.

To reassure patron's concerns, many restaurants had scrambled to provide outdoor seating. Especially this past summer, when dining alfresco became of prime importance for staying in business.

There were varying degrees of success, of course, depending on real estate availability. Some restaurants hastily dragged out a couple of tables and chairs onto cramped sidewalks; others erected structures designed specifically to comply with the mandated health and safety protocols.

When it comes adding outdoor space that combines practicality and curb appeal, I thought two Japanese restaurants really aced it.

The G-Men at Steveston Ramen Shop decided to set up outdoor high-backed wooden booths facing scenic Bayview Street where guests could enjoy delicious meals with plenty of barriers between them, the servers, and the other patrons. Strings of lights were added to enhance the festive air and blend seamlessly with the mini lanterns dancing next to the main entrance.

Ichiro Japanese Restaurant has always had strong curb appeal with their umbrella, upright lantern, cushioned benches, and green bushes tightly packed in wooden planters along Second Avenue. In addition,  the restaurant opted to set up a lovely patio that faces Chatham Street and stretches almost the entire length of the building. Tables and chairs were placed behind a decorative fence made of bamboo poles, panels, and rectangular planters bursting with flowering plants. The whole atmosphere has real wow factor that really draws you in. 

I hope you had the opportunity to enjoy these neighbourhood patio gardens!

Music: https://www.bensound.com


Thursday, October 15, 2020

 October 2020 fall colours - Vancouver, BC




To watch this video in full screen, go to YouTube

Although Steveston is home, you don't really get that fall feeling. Our corner of Lulu Island offers none of the breathtaking seasonal colours. To view and appreciate autumn foliage shifting from green to yellow, to red, then brown, I headed out to Vancouver. Just thirty minutes from home.

To be sure, we are not really into the super spectacular seasonal display yet. But, in a few weeks, nature will shake her cloak of many colours. How precious will these spectacles be, especially when we know that very soon, all those leaves will tremble off the branches, get swept away by cold October breeze. And if we're lucky, we might just get caught in the shower of falling leaves as we walk, drive, or ride our bicycles.

So until the chilly rains arrive and render those glorious leaves soggy and sad at our feet, let's go out and make the most of this brilliant season.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

 A foggy day in Steveston


Music: https://www.bensound.com

You know fall has arrived when locals walk about the village in toques, jackets, and - lately -the Covid19-mandated face masks.

On October 7, I laced up my runners and headed down to Steveston Landing. It was just past 4:00 PM and I could hear the intermittent low mournful foghorn sounds warning ships as they maneuver through the thickly blanketed harbour.

Yes, the chilly weather is upon us once more, but that doesn't mean that our village is any less picturesque. Here's a short video for those of you who ventured out that day - and especially for those of you who didn't.


Monday, September 21, 2020

 The neighbourhood crow - friend or foe?





Yes, the crows are back - and pecking hard at patches of damaged grass around Steveston.

Initially I had considered them to be the main offenders responsible for digging and scattering clumps of soil all over the lawn.

Instead I learned that, if anything, crows, raccoons, and skunks act as agents of pest control. They feed on larvae of European chafers that feed on grass roots - thus preventing them from reproducing and wreaking further destruction. 

Of course this doesn't help homeowners' effort to keep their lawns healthy and their properties attractive. And it is so disheartening to wake up in the morning and find that the area of damage in front of your house has grown overnight.

Fortunately there are things they can do. Here's a Vancouver Sun article that explains this infestation and what can be done about it. The City of Richmond also publishes a page on the European Chafer beetles on their website that provides helpful tips on keeping them under control.

 So next time you see a couple of crows tossing clumps of grass with their beaks, don't be so hard on them. Although it might not look that way, they are really on your side.