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

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

Caught in a Time Warp.

Last week we took a trip to a small town about 80k from Puerto Vallarta via taxi and bus. A town virtually untouched by time. A town rich in history. A history that goes back over 300 years. So journey along  as we discover, in words and pictures a town caught  up in time. The town of San Sebastian Del Oeste, Mexico.DSC_0992

Getting there from the coast is a steady climb on winding roads (and a detour) until you reach an elevation of 4850 feet above sea level. Shortly after we got there we took a 9k taxi ride to the top of one of the road accessible mountains outside of town. After we hiked to the top of “La Bufa”, my altimeter peaked out at 8228 feet. This picture was taken from that sight.

Founded by Spaniards in the early 1600s, it was soon to prove a rich gold and silver source for the town, and Spain. The town has gone through several name changes over the centuries. More than likely influenced by the powers in place at the moment. It was first dubbed Real San Sebastian, then just San Sebastian, and finally in 1983, its current name.

At its peak, the town boasted over 30 gold and silver mines. Declared a city in 1812, it had a population of over 20,000. After the 1910 military revolution, production was halted, though mining activity had already declined steadily during the 19th century.The last mine closed in 1921. Today the town is mainly a tourist attraction, with a population of around 1000. This is where we come in.

Enough with the words. Enjoy the pictures. If you stand in just the right part of town, you will find yourself being transported back in time.

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Thank you for letting me be your tour guide. There are hundreds more pictures, but time and space are the restriction. The town’s people, and the town itself beckons you to come.  I will be back. Cheers.
Tour Guide

Down the Hatch.

Pelicans are rather entertaining creatures. One of the few animals that is almost a caricature of itself.

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Down on the beach in Puerto Vallarta this week while downing a cold one, we were entertained by a flock of pelicans on a feeding frenzy.

Having a front row seat, our cameras went into overtime. What follows is but a small sample of the pics that were taken.

This fellow was having difficulty swallowing a rather awkward piece from a cleaned fish. Their beak, over a foot long has smooth edges, but once the food is in the pouch, the tongue is controlled by a number of muscles that allow the pelican to manipulate the food. This one struggled for over 10 minutes before flying off.

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Since our photo challenge this week deals with variations, I could not help but to add this fellow to the collection. Cheers.

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The “Stone Eater.”

Variations on a Theme

That Weathered Look.

While strolling around Puerto Vallarta in Mexico, it is easy to come across dwellings that have braved the elements over the decades. Most do better than others, but not if it is wood.

The preferred building materials here are steel and concrete. Wood is subject to the ravishes of wind, salt and insects, termites in particular. Come to think about it, some of the locals here look like they have had their fair share of battles with the environment. But that is a story for another blog.

These two pictures were taken last year while on our winter escape. I think they capture the essence of the photo challenge rather nicely.

Cheers.

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Weathered

Everything Changes.

Nothing stays the same. Now that probably is a good thing, in most instances. There are some things that do not change for the better. But I do not want to go there today. Not in the mood to rant.

I love how nature can transform herself. It is a slow process that can take hundreds of years or even centuries. Our photo challenge this week is transformation. I hope what follows captures this process, in some small way.

Used to be a tree, did't you
Used to be a tree, didn’t you?
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Years of decay has played its part.
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These figures were sculpted from sand.
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This junco helps transform what is just a knarley branch to the perfect perch.

Transformation