Thursday, July 29, 2010

Granville Island Market

Emily Carr School of Art is down on Granville Island market so we are down there every day.  I just thought I'd share some photos of the gorgeous produce, flowers and baked goods that are on exhibit in abundance there.  A feast for the all the senses.  

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sweet pea shadow

I love the shadows on these sweet pea blossoms.  Something about evening sun on flowers is just so dramatic and beautiful.  It's another Shadow Shot Sunday and this is my entry.

I'm heading over to Vancouver tomorrow for a four-day art course with a friend.  It will be a welcome change from the cleaning and painting I've been doing to our little downstairs suite.  We've been getting it ready for a new tenant who moves in tomorrow.   The art course is "Creative and Architectural Drawing" and I have no clue what it will be like.  I'll let you know.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summery roses

These photos were all taken of a stunning bouquet that my sister picked from her garden for a birthday party.  I just couldn't stop photographing them.  The profusion of summery colours had me in a trance.  I hope their beauty will brighten your day.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Daze

In the Arctic and the Scandinavian countries, I'm told there's a frenzy of activity and celebration during the long days of summer.  People stay up all night to get as much out of the late evening and early morning light as they possibly can.  I'm kind of feeling like that this month.  There are so many festivals and parties and barbeques going on in these few warm weeks that I'm having trouble keeping up the pace.

This last weekend was an example.  Thursday evening we went to Taste (previously described here), Friday I visited my brother on Saturna, Saturday I went to the Moss Street paint-in with a friend.  The paint-in is a really cool event. An entire residential street is closed so over 100 artists can set up their easels and paint and show their work.  Above a few of the artists that were exhibiting.

On Sunday there was a baby shower in the morning and a barbeque and birthday party at my sisters.  I'm in a daze!  Whatever happened to the lazy days of summer?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturna shadows

Saturna is one of the islands in Georgia Strait and a place I go whenever I can, especially in the summer to hang out at my brother's cabin.  Yesterday I spent the day there with him and my neice Callie, age 7.  The day was brilliantly sunny and I managed to get quite a few shadow shots.  I'm posting them tonight in time for Shadow Shot Sunday over at Hey Harriet's blog.  Take a look there to find other shadow photos from all over the world.

This first one is the shadow of the morning sun on the side of the ferry that took me over to the island.

Here it's about 10:30 and the rutted road to the cabin is still shadowed by the tall fir trees.

After lunch we drove over to the beach at East point.  The sandstone below the old lighthouse creates amazing shadows.

Now it's evening and the sun is setting behind the trees and creating shadows and sunlit areas on the woodshed behind the cabin.

Here's the view from the front of the cabin.  My brother has his telescope focused on some killer whales in the ocean at the bottom of the cliff.  That's the shadow of the ubiquitous photographer at the bottom right of the photo.

It was a lovely day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Do these people look like they're enjoying themselves?

There's nothing like a glass of wine and some special appetizers to make a summer evening special.  That's what we experienced last night with our friends Linette and Mark.  Well actually it was more than a glass of wine--there were about 100 varieties available to taste. 

We went to the Crystal Gardens to experience Taste--a festival of food and wine.  I'd never been to one of these events before and it was both interesting and fun.  It was like a huge cocktail party and everyone seemed to be enjoying the ambience.  I don't know who these people are but it looked like they were enjoying themselves too.


Here are some of the chefs preparing their special presentations. Often the food was paired with wines or prepared with wines or spirits.   

I restrained myself and tasted only one type of wine, Pinot Gris, and it's interesting to see how different the wines from one type of grape can be.  I found one made at Cowichan Bay just north of here that I really liked.  Now we have an excuse to drive up there one day to visit the winery at Rocky Creek.   

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Breakfast at Ginger's

This video was sent to me by one of my dog friends.  I don't know why but it just cracks me up, especially when I think of how she managed to create it.  I love the part where she smooths down her ears.  Some people just have too much time on their hands.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Music Festival in Courtenay

This is our second year in a row at this excellent music festival.  The weather was hot, the music was varied and wonderful, and the people were all having a sweet, mellow time.    I didn't take many photos since my battery ran out but there are enough here to give you a flavour of our music fest weekend.  Above is the evening sky at the Friday night concert.

These were taken during the day on Saturday.  This the path beside the woodland stage early Saturday morning before the performances began.

Here is the main stage, where people set up blankets for the evening performance.  It's already getting hot.

But there are paths leading into the woods and down to the river to cool off.

I love these roving dancers, here dressed in raven costumes.  There are many of these impromptu performances taking place at this festival.

This blurry shot was taken in a barn where a group called The Gertrudes (from Ontario, and they were great!) was performing.  I like the energy of the colours even if the photo's out of focus.

And finally a picture of one of the recycling bins.  Recycling is a big deal at this festival.  The volunteers at these areas were so enthusiastic about minimizing garbage.  Just about everything was recycled.

If you've never been to a music festival, I highly recommend it.  They are attended by gentle people of all ages and cultures and it's a great way to spend a summer weekend.  My post from last year's festival gives more details about what to expect. I think they take place all over Canada and the USA in the summer time.

Monday, July 12, 2010


We spent the weekend with our friends who live in the Comox valley here on Vancouver Island.  They've recently built a house in the woods on a sandy cape that juts out into the Georgia Strait.  It's a lovely spot beside a marsh that's a bird sanctuary and it's replete with other wildlife as well--notably deer.  There are two resident does, each with fawns that live in the woods nearby.  Paul feeds them a mix of oats and barley and they've become very tame.   Even the occasional barking of our two dogs didn't deter them from visiting this morning.

These are the twin fawns from one of the mothers browsing on the sand bank in front of the house.

And this is last year's fawn, now a yearling, who follows the mother and fawns around.

The mother totally ignores this one--trying to get him to fend for himself I guess.

I'll post some photos from our wonderful weekend folk music experience tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This never happens

It's hot here.  And there's no breeze.  Last night it was hard to sleep.  But--something wonderful happened tonight.  I got to sit outside on my patio with candles burning on the tables and lights twinkling in the arbour and the plum tree as the sky turned from blue to purple to black.  This is very rare for Victoria.  Usually the evenings are breezy even if the day has been warm.  But tonight it's still.  And it's absolutely lovely. 

Here's what my arbour looked like this evening.  And these are candles hanging in my tree. 

Isn't it pretty?  I've been sitting out there for a while enjoying a little glass of white wine and the coolness and the beauty.  Too bad Harry's already gone to bed! 

Ah well.  Beauty doesn't need to be shared to be appreciated.  Now that I've had some time in this loveliness I can retire to my airless bedroom.  I hope you're surviving the summer heat if that's what you're experiencing.  And don't forget to appreciate the beauty of a still evening.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tibetan praying wasps

My friend Heather discovered this wasps nest in her garland of Tibetan prayer flags.  Actually the builders are bald-faced hornets, a variety of insect that can sting repeatedly if irritated.  Not knowing whether these hornets were peacefully praying or not, she arranged for the nest to be removed.

Isn't it interesting the way they prayer flags have been woven right into the nest?

Oddly enough, last summer Heather found a wasps nest built around a decorative bird house. You can see last year's photograph of it here.  It seems that the wasps in her yard have a definite interest in beautiful artistic things.  Or maybe it's just the colour blue?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer's arrival

Summer arrived on Sunday evening just in time for my patio party.  All afternoon the clouds threatened rain but just as the guests began coming to the door the sun came out. It was cool but pleasant enough to sit outside and chat.

We've had two days in a row of parties since my son Jamie came over from Vancouver to celebrate his 22nd birthday on Monday.  Here we are enjoying dinner at the picnic table on the grass.  We even had to wear our sunhats!

Of course the dogs love it when we eat outside.  They're always on standby waiting for something to drop in front of them.  The Sheltie under the table is my sister's dog Zoe. And that's Geordie looking his most appealing behind the bouquet of flowers.

The forecast is for sunny warm weather for the rest of this week.  I think we can safely say that summer is here.