Thursday, July 21, 2011

Afternoon tea in the garden

In her last week visiting Lisa and I took a day trip to the beautiful (world renowned) Butchard Gardens on Vancouver Island. It was a delightful way to spend the day, wandering around like ladies and it wouldn't have been complete without a posh afternoon tea overlooking the lawn. See that centre table in the last picture, well that was ours, the best in the house. It was so lovely to be waited on by staff who treated us like royalty (just about).

And what really topped the day off for me aside from glorious flowers, delicous food and wonderful Lisa (which really was more than enough excitement), was reading Pride and Prejudice on the bus/barge/bus trip over and back again (it takes a few hours there and a few hours back!). I really half expected Mr Darcy to walk out onto the grass at any moment. Though I have seen the BBC series of the Jane Austen classic this was my first attempt at the book. I half expected the language would be barrier to my simpleton mind but it was not at all a problem. I loved it and couldn't put it down, and the BBC series really does do it justice. Reading all about the mysterious Mr Darcy really just made me appreciate my own mysterious and charming Mr Newington. I feel a bit like a real life Lizzy (minus the annoying sisters, impossible mother and Pemberley mansion). 
BTW If you're wondering what we did with Catherine on this particular day she opted for theological books over flowers (?!?) and spent the day nerding it up at Regent and UBC.

Friday, July 15, 2011

pressed petal

I have loved poppies since I discovered such a flower existed. I love the way they come out of a small little hairy green cocoon, balanced on a precariously tall stem, like fine, crushed velvet, too delicate to touch. Here we have a plant in our backyard. It has been such a pleasant surprise after arriving in the winter to see all these joyful plants come out of hiding in the spring. This one has gigantic orange-red poppy blooms with gorgeous dark stains on the petals as though each was individually painted with the brush of a Creator God. Though it doesn't show the brilliance of the colour, I think it's even beautiful pressed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rocky Mountain High

I think Catherine, Lisa and I would all agree that one particular day stands out from our trip...
We had arrived in Jasper a day earlier and set up camp. We knew sunny weather was expected so we planned a hike, recommended to us by Robyn, up the Bald Hills. We called in at the Parks Information centre beforehand to find a proper map and any extra inside knowledge and were excited to see a notebook recording sightings of black bears, grizzlies and caribou in the area. The whole hike was 5- 6 hours return including many snack breaks, and a bit of fun in the snow - which was such a thrill! I don't feel like I'll ever tire of snow and it was a first for Lisa and Catherine to hike through it, at the very end, on the way to the summit. We were grateful for a few footprints from someone before us that we could use as stepping stones. The snow was still about 30cm thick at least in parts but the day was warm so we were fine in our shorts. This was also the day we spotted ALL of the creatures in the post a few below, a couple of which we also saw on subsequent days.

Oh and I should mention that the Hairy Marmot was the one who came up and said hello when we were near the snow. We half expected him to start talking to us like a creature out of Narnia. We didn't see any other animals on our hike other than some squirrels. Probably for the best as a Grizzly might have been a bit too much excitement and terror for us to handle. All of the other animals were quite close to the road side so we viewed them from a safe but close distance.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I love bears!

On one of my first teaching pracs I had a year one class with a boy who was absolutely nuts about bears - grizzly bears, black bears, polar bears, he was a 6 year-old-expert on everything to do with bears. I now understand why. Having seen some up close I am now absolutely in awe of these amazing creatures which on the one hand are so beautiful and sweet - this fellow was very relaxed making his way through the dandelions and feasting on flowers as he went - and also absolutely frightening. I am really looking forward to starting teaching again in September and to being surrounded by inspiring children who are in awe of the world and creation.

Crazy Canandian Creatures

These are some of the amazing animals we sighted in the wild on our Rocky Mountain adventure:

  • A pair of Hoary Marmots came right up and said hello up near the snow on Bald Hills
  • A family of Long-horned Rams sitting by Maligne Lake
  • My favourite spotting - this beautiful Black Bear who was eating dandelions 
  • A papa Elk with incredibly velvety antlers
  • A Coyote
  • A Black Bear that was brown (we never found a big brown bear - Grizzly - next time...)
  • And a funny little Columbian Ground Squirrel in Lake Louise campground