Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ruby Tuesday at Granville Island

For Ruby Tuesday, here's some red from the Granville Island market.  We're in Vancouver for a few days to explore the city, having left the pooches at home with a dog-sitter.  I'll be posting about our discoveries.  Today it's raining and we're heading to the art gallery to see impressionist drawings.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Along Brown Ridge

These photographs are all taken along Brown Ridge, the top of Mount Warburton Pike on Saturna Island.  We spent the day there yesterday celebrating Harry's birthday with some friends.  Here's what it looks like from the top.  This tree has quite a lot of character, don't you think?

We're walking along the ridge in the sunshine.

The trail we were walking on is nothing but an expanded goat path, pretty close to the edge at times.  A couple of the group were experiencing vertigo.  It's a long way down.  Those little white dots in the water are sailboats.

Can you see the goat paths all up and down the hill?

These are the trees above the goat path.  I think they're old growth fir. I just love the silvery grass up there at this time of year.

Back at the cabin we enjoyed the view for a while and then made dinner.  Then came the high point of the day...

the goat parade.

Brown Ridge is the home to a huge herd of feral goats.  They hang out in the gullies resting during the day and when evening comes they follow the path along the top of the ridge, heading out perhaps to do some grazing.

We couldn't believe the numbers we were seeing.  Old and young, mothers and kids.  They just kept on coming.

 After most of them had passed I went outside with my camera to try to get a little closer.  They quickly ran away up into a wooded area.

This fellow stopped to stare at me for a moment.  Then when I went back inside he headed off, followed by the last goat of all hoofing it to catch up with the herd.

It was an amazing show. We were too entranced to count them but there were well over a hundred that passed in front of the cabin.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Queen Anne's Lace

I love this wild flower that grows so prolifically in the meadows and woodlands.  The strong stems and the architectural quality of the flowers. But most of all I love the stem cups that hold the seeds.

This is looking right into the seed cup.  It's like its own little world, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meet Marla

I'd heard of Marla Olmstead, the child painter whose works sell for thousands of dollars, but I didn't know much about her until last night when we watched a documentary about her and her family.  My Kid Could Paint That follows the story from Marla's first paintings at age two, through the controversy over how much influence her father had on her work and ends without a conclusion about the origin of the works, with Marla still painting at age 6.  The film is a thoughtful look at questions about what art really is and how it's valued by collectors.  The film also addresses how society feels about child prodigies, how families deal with fame, and how the media twists things to keep the public's interest.

The crux of the controversy is whether Marla did the paintings herself or whether her dad helped her.  The media kept trying to film Marla painting but she would, like any little kid, act completely different when the cameras were on her.   In this photo she looks to me like any shy four-year-old.  She's very sweet and shy and clearly loves to paint.  

Her paintings are just like those of other children except that she continues working on them long after most children would have abandoned them.  Plus they're very large and done in quality acrylic paint.  I think they're stunning.  I admire abstract art and have tried to do it myself without much success.  It's obvious to me that Marla is a very talented girl and it doesn't matter a bit, in my opinion, if her father helps by setting up canvasses and giving her specific paint colours to work with and encouraging her to continue working at times.  Here are some of her early paintings.

I think they're gorgeous--and apparently so do many others.  Marla's around age nine now and still painting and selling her art.

Here she's working on a large flower painting.  These images come via Google Image and aren't dated but she's obviously older here.  The painting at the bottom is more sophisticated.  She's developing skills and is working more representationally.  She's a very talented little girl.  I can't decide if her family has been exploiting her or supporting her.  I only hope that she's still able to be a kid.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Truck camping!

Thought I'd share this photo from our camping trip along the river last week.  This flatbed truck delivered the already-set-up tent to one of the river campsites.  Hard to believe the need for that. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My sister's back garden

Come and explore my sister's back garden with me. With decking and plants and lovely accessories she's created a special spot to linger on a summer's afternoon.

As you come out the back door you enter a large outdoor seating area on the deck with a cedar arbour and bench between you and the pink heritage house next door.   Beyond that are stairs leading down to a lower level that's partially tucked under the old apple tree.

Here you'll find another resting spot surrounded by grasses in pots and silver lace vines twining around mirrors suspended above the deck railings for privacy.  

Where ever you look your eyes rest on beauty.  I love this pot with the apple from the tree hiding behind it.

And I also adore the metal crows atop the arbour.

From the lower level of the deck, steps take you down to the back yard area under the apple tree and along a slate path to the vegetable beds.

 There are some sweet surprises here, like the metal dragon, the doormouse and the little Chinese pot.

If you go back up to the lower level and out the other way you'll come to the side yard with more places to sit amidst the lacy vines and the ferns.

You'll also find some little treasures for the eye in this area--beautiful Lantana flowers in a pot and some of Jan's collection of frogs.  

I think her back yard should be featured in a magazine.  What do you think?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Callie in pink

Here's my niece Callie in Ruby Tuesday colours.

First sitting with Maggie in front of a pink building in the little town of Chemainus beside a giant cupcake....

and then eating a strawberry bar outside our back door.

Other ruby photos can be found here.