Blowing Bubbles.

I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air, they fly so high, nearly reach the sky……(John Vellette & Jaan “Kenbrovin”) well, not really me but a lady down at our water front in Nanaimo. Not your average bubbles, but big, ever shape changing , bubbles.

As they came floating by us, twisting and turning, I found that due to their translucent nature, that auto focus was not going to work. So, manual focus to the rescue.DSC_0567

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And staying with our twisted theme, but nothing to do with bubbles, this creation was also at the water front park. Wood, in all shapes and sizes gets washed up on shore every year, just waiting for some creative soul to come along.

So, if you are walking around with your camera, get it out of the bag, be ready to put it to work, you never know just what will come floating by. Cheers.DSC_0556

Twisted

 

Wandering Vancouver Island – Kinsol Trestle.

Since the weather here has warmed up significantly, we decided to take a short, 76k road trip to view the Kinsol Trestle, located in the Cowichan valley,  and now part  of the Trans Canada Trail.

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Kinsol Trestle.

The trestle spans the Koksilah River. It is 187m long, and rises to a height of 44m, one of the largest in North America. Now for a bit of not to boring but condensed history.

Orginally built by the Canadian Northern Pacific Railway in 1911, it was needed to connect Victoria to Nootka Sound to transport old growth timber. The actual construction was undertaken by local farmers and loggers. The CNoPR  was take over by the Canadian National Railway in 1918 who oversaw  completion of the trestle by 1920. Last train to cross the trestle was in 1979, and the trestle was abandoned one year later. DSC_0110DSC_0109

The CNR gave up ownership on Vancouver Island in the 1980s, and the rail line was given over to the Ministry of Transportation. Due to the fact that the trestle sat unused , it’s deterioration  in the following years rendered it’s use prohibitive by hikers on the rail trail. It seemed unlikely at that point in time that the trestle would be able to be restored to use.

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After Much debate for and against restoration, an agreement was reached to preserve the trestle for it’s historical and tourism value. A feasibility study was conducted as to the work needed to restore it to use. It was estimated that 5.7 million would be needed. The provincial government kicked in 4.1 million and the rest was raised by local fund raising. The restoration was started in 2010, and the trestle opened to the public in 2011.DSC_0111

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Original cement piers at the base.
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Koksilah River.

DSC_0108The Kinsol Trestle has proven to be a very worthwhile addition to the Trans Canada Trail as seen by the number of people who visit it each year. Whether hiking, biking or on horseback, the trestle is available to all those who love the great outdoors. Cheers.

Unlikely

A Few Lines to Giggle, Grin or Groan at….

Here is my approach to this weeks photo challenge, “lines”.

I can’t seem to get limericks out of my head. The words just seem to creep into my brain, begging to be explored.

So here are a few lines,  grin or groan as you will, I am addicted.

 

My feet are running, my nose is not,

It’s all stuffed up and filled with snot.

I wheeze and blow,

But one thing I know,

Being knighted on Friday as Sir Dripsalot.

 

Toodle  Loo and Oogle Too were in a heated race,

Waddling down the road at a not so torrid pace.

Along came a hole,

Which swallowed them whole,

Said Loo to Too, I think we have fallen from grace.

 

There once lived a frog by the name of Bart,

He would moan and groan and hone his art.

The ladies he longed to do,

Alas, he was weak in the woo,

When mounting a croak, all he could do was fart.

 

Until my next time I give in to this silliness,  cheers.

Lines

My Favourite Place?

I find myself having some difficulty in selecting one place to call my favourite. After sifting through many pictures and memories, I still didn’t feel that I was  any closer to nailing down a favourite. Until…..

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Would my favourite place require travelling by plane?
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Newfoundland. Would it start here?
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The snows of winter makes for an inviting adventure, but…..
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This is so relaxing, it could be my favourite………..

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So many places, so little time. I have had the opportunity to travel this country from shore to shore. You can turn your world upside down looking, but…………

No matter how attractive or enticing a place is, there is simply no place like home. It is that place where you “are”, both emotionally and physically.DSC_0614

And my own back yard.DSC_0988

It doesn’t matter whether I am seeking mountains or the sea, I am here, and they are only a glance away. And the best part, I don’t have to do it alone. I have come home to  my favourite place. Cheers.DSC_0383

“When the uniqueness of a place sings to us like a melody, then we will know, at last, what it means to be at home”

Paul Gruchow, American author and conservationist.

Favorite Place

Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens.

No stay in Puerto Vallarta is complete without a visit to their botanical gardens. We have been annual visitors and never disappointed.

Founded in 2004 and open to the public in 2005, it is situated about a 45 minute bus ride into the Sierra Madre Mountains on a winding road. The Gardens is situated on 64 acres at an altitude of 1300 feet above sea level.

The Gardens was selected by the Canadian Garden Tourism Council in 2013 as one of the top ten gardens in North America worthy of a visit, it lived up to that reputation.

Abundant in greenery, many flowers, trails and a top notch open air restaurant, it is very easy to spend the better part of the day. With so much to take in, it can seem at first a bit daunting to get a grasp on all that it has to offer. It doesn’t take long to get lost in the beauty all around you.

Armed with insect repellant and our cameras, we set out. For the first time since purchasing, I took the opportunity to try out new lens extenders; these allow you to get great close up shots. A bit of focusing problems at first, but when I switched over to manual focus, (read, trial and error) I liked what I saw. With 3 separate pieces at 12mm, 20mm and 30mm, they can be used singularly or in combination. These are attached next to the camera body and the barrel mounted to that. Some of the pictures that follow were taken with the 20mm lens in place, camera hand held. A tripod (it was at home) and a remote release are essential for this kind of shooting. Next time.

The pictures below are just a small portion of the 100s that were taken. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them. Cheers.DSC_0089

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When the flowers bloom, the bees come uninvited.      Ramakrishna
Grasp

A Bust and a Blow.

On our trek last summer from Ontario to Vancouver Island, we opted to travel through the upper United States. Our intension was to check out various attractions along our route. One of our must do stops along the way was Yellowstone National Park. DSC_0689

As you can see, we had a cool, wet cloudy day, but that did not slow us down.

And now for a bit of history. Formed over 10 million years ago, Yellowstone was created by volcanic activity, and the resulting caldera contains the largest super volcano on the continent. The park covers the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, for a total of some 3500 square miles.

The geothermal activity still continues today, with old faithful being the big drawing card. For us, this old blow horse was a bit of a bust. It went off on schedule, but being a cool day, so much steam was created, and it was difficult to see the actual geyser. DSC_0923

 The rest of our walk did not disappoint. The geothermal activity painted a picture that was eerie and out of this world. At times the steam was so thick that my wife, who was ahead of me, took on a rather ghost like appearance.

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Out of This World

“Where flowers bloom, so does hope.”

Lady Bird Johnson.

I love a Parade.

 

This song was written in 1931 by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler and appeared in the 1932 film of the same name.

Parades can and do take many forms. They do not always include people. Ducks and geese are sometimes seen parading about, but their faces are all the same, and they do not respond well to the music. So we will stick with people, they do it best.

Last year Puerto Vallarta hosted the Folkloric Dance Festival. Dance troupes from Mexico, Chile, Peru and Columbia competed.  But before that started, they put on a parade, and it was a dandy.

In keeping with this weeks photo challenge, the pics that follow are just a small sample of the colour and the talent that we were treated to. DSC_0279

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A Face in the Crowd

How Sweet it is.

This brilliant eye catcher is known as the primavera tree. It is very prominent in Puerto Vallarta at this time of year, even though it is not a native species to this countryDSC_0018

These large trees are actually native to South America, and is the national flower of Brazil and Venezuela. Once the blooms are finished, leaves will emerge, usually in the rainy season.

Their sweet fragrance attracts both bees and hummingbirds, and the large flowers, 1-3″, are pollinated by visiting bats. The wood is also prized for it’s few knots and very straight grain.DSC_0077DSC_0073DSC_0081

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When I saw the word for this weeks photo challenge, the title for this blog just popped into my head. The phrase really does not have anything to do with flowers ,but was uttered by Jackie Gleason in the 1963 movie Papa’s Delicate Condition.

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Bougainvillea
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Mexican Honey Suckle

 Next week we plan a trip to the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens. This seems to have become an annual event, but one that never disappoints. Pictures to follow. Until then, cheers.

And now for a totally different kind of sweet. A child’s delight, and a dentists nightmare.IMG_1612

Sweet