Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Another hummingbird sighting

Image by Marija Gavrilova from Pixabay

While sitting on a friend's third floor condo patio (near Steveston's Britannia Shipyard), we spotted a hummingbird zooming in for a feeder hanging under the eaves.

Apparently Rocket, as it has been named, regularly swoops down from nearby trees and is none too shy when it comes to feeding time. It was a breathtaking moment and we all felt blessed to have witnessed its wildly beating wings and dab of vivid red on its throat.

Rocket circled the feeder and sampled the nectar from different trumpets before blasting off towards the water. Isn't it amazing how little it takes to lift our spirits?

Friday, July 24, 2020

Parking lot rabbits

Image from Pixabay

You'll find feral rabbits just about everywhere in Richmond. Even in the sterile and inhospitable parking lot near the airport.

May be a fast food chain nearby provides the incentive for them to make it their home.

This trio didn't run for cover when we parked. Instead they hovered nearby, perhaps hoping for some goodies to be tossed out the window. Unfortunately, we only had granola bars.

They were adorable of course, especially the baby. What struck me was how much it seemed to want to snuggle up to one of the adult rabbit and how it was repeatedly rejected and abandoned. The baby persisted however, which made me wonder what was really happening. 

Perhaps I just didn't understand the dynamics of rabbit interactions. But as I left the lot, I couldn't help but worry about the baby rabbit's welfare. Let's hope that I had misread the situation and that, in fact, it has many happy days ahead - with or without food being tossed out of parked cars.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Mindful drinking

Being an 18 year old feline with kidney disease, my cat Roi needs to keep himself well hydrated.

With his arthritis and all, I decided to serve his water in a tall plastic tumbler so he wouldn't need to bend down too much.

This is not a coca Cola ad...

Summer colours in Steveston

Click on image for high resolution display

Summer colours are here! When it comes to dressing for the season, nature can put any fashion house to shame. 

The roses in the Steveston Museum garden are in full bloom and the flower baskets in front of Steveston Seafood House were overflowing with blossoms and leaves.

Enjoy what nature has to offer you, wherever you are!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Cannery Cafe in 3D

Click on image for full resolution display

3D modeling computer programs allow you to make drawings that really pop. I experimented with Sketchup to build local landmarks literally from the ground up. 

Google Earth provided the building footprints and Sketchup offered the set of tools for transforming them into three dimensional structures. Every project was fun, even though I used the free no-frills version of Sketchup.

Here's a personal favorite, locally known as Cannery Cafe. The restaurant has gone through several iterations including Granny's Diner, which was regularly featured on Once Upon a Time - a popular TV series located in fictional town of Storybrooke, Maine.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Child's play

What to do during the socially imposed Covid19 self isolation period?

Dig out the old boxes crammed with your children's keepsakes, of course. When the lids come off and you grasp those memorabilia, precious past moments seem to stir back to life.

My child's depictions of dinosaurs, friendship, and the family pet (among other things) captured her first steps towards the amazing artist she later became. They inspired me to digitize and arrange them in delightful patterns which can be transferred onto paper and fabric for fun future projects.

What a great way to honour and celebrate a bit of your family history - and forget about our current unfortunate set of circumstances. At least for a few hours!

Wreath of love

Will we all look back on 2020 as the year that never was?

What with the Covid 19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, a tragic death in Minneapolis and the explosion of protests and conflicts thereafter, and - closer to home - the closure of cherished businesses that had formed an integral part of our community.

More than ever, I find myself searching for bright lights that will carry us forward - and through - this difficult time. I hope we will all come out of 2020 stronger, wiser, and more loving.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Pacific Spirit Regional Park - a great way to restore your balance 

For best experience, select the highest quality display setting

Have you been to Pacific Spirit Regional Park?

Located on the west side of Vancouver, Canada, this 874 hectares (or 2,160 acres) park is part of the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands. 

The Pacific Spirit park offers 73 km of walking and hiking trails that are visitor friendly. Whether you are into walking, jogging, cycling, dog walking, or just family bonding, you will find just the right trail for you.  You can find FREE street parking nearby, as well as amenities such as washrooms and garbage receptacles within the park itself.

Which is, breathtakingly beautiful...
Almost as soon as you step into the park, you will be surrounded by soothing shades of green - from the bushes on either side of the loose gravel paths to the protective canopy provided by stately trees. Now and then, you'll catch the glitter of dew drops on nodding leaves and flashes of color (yellow, white, and pink) from wild flowers. Believe me, you won't be able to resist the urge to whip out your phone to snap a photo or two.

I walked away feeling totally refreshed! And blessed that something so beautiful could be so accessible! The Pacific Spirit park is ours to enjoy and it is waiting for you! Believe me, it's a great way to feel free when life is in lockdown mode.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Pet of the Year

Cats are amazingly skilled in shaping our behaviour - from mindful eating, to slow blinking, to gentle nuzzling, they pretty much have us figured out.

This is my Steveston cat Roi and no, he didn't really appear on the cover of a popular magazine. But I believe that he - as well as all cats - deserves to be crowned pet of the year. Every year.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Backyard birdwatching

Image by Marija Gavrilova from Pixabay

For best experience, select the highest quality display setting

How do you make the best of your shrinking world?

As Covid19 spread like wildfire at the start of the pandemic, Richmond folks found themselves feeling like virtual prisoners in their own homes.

Some of us live in small boxes in the sky, some of us dwell on sprawling estates, but most of us make do with our humble single family Steveston special with its modest size backyard.

That patch of green, in fact, has become central to our happiness since the lockdown began in March. I wouldn't call us birders yet, but we do whip out the old pair of binoculars when we spy chickadees, sparrows, doves, and other species we can't identify. But the most welcome visitor would have to be the hummingbird (we have since named it "Hummy.") The beauty of its iridescent feathers and beating wings leave us utterly breathless.

We paid numerous visits to Canadian Tire to construct a broad based pole with metal extensions at the top that support two bird feeders. For Hummy, we picked a feeder kit that included the nectar mix. The birds took a few weeks to feel safe and comfortable with the setup but Hummy proved to be especially cautious and shy.

But we didn't mind waiting for the birds to come around. We figured time watching their comings and goings was time well spent. We might even continue our new pastime long after the lockdown is lifted and life is good again.