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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Friday, June 4, 2010

Song for Friday...from the heart.

 There are some songs that were always there in your life...
They are part of the soundtrack of your wandering...
They sit deep down, rooted in your soul...
Always there.
You know the words.
You can pick out the tune in the distance...
Through the noise and the clatter.

There have been numerous versions of this song. Done by the late, the great, the young, the old, the classic and the alternative.
It's been many a finale at folk festivals.
Sung at weddings and funerals.
Many think it to be a Scottish traditional song but it was actually written by Belfast native William McPeake and recorded in 1957.
I think this is one of my favorite takes on it. Kate Rusby has kept it simple but at the same time it builds ever so intensely with the gorgeous baritone harmonies of John Hudson and Eddi Reader.
Accompanied by some photos I took in Ireland last year.
Enjoy. Sing along.


  

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Towards the light....

This morning I took advantage of a dry day and Griffin and I went out to Shirley, specifically the Sheringham Point lighthouse...I parked a ways back and we walked down the narrow, winding road.
Hoping to see a bear or two but they were all in the bush having salmon berry breakfasts.
I used to come down here quite a bit but it's been a few years now and things have changed a lot.
As we got closer, the road looked different and there has been a new developement paved into the forest.
I could just see the top of the lighthouse in the distance....
As I got closer I realized that there is chain link fencing with locked gates all around the area.
Technically the Canadian Coast Gaurd owns the property but is working on a deal with the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Preservation Society to open it up for the public. It would become a historical park.
There was always a bit of fencing around it but years ago someone had cut a crawl through hole in it and you could walk through the meadow up to the Light.
I did find a new way in and then.....this!
Luckily there is a small trail around the fence and I was in with the veiw I used to know...
I suppose it's mainly to keep the vandals and *#@holes out...
This Light was built in 1912 to guide sailors away from the rocks below...
It doesn't look too rough here, but in the dead of night when the easterly's are blowing in...well...thats why its called the Graveyard of the Pacific around the west coast.
22 metres high...
Apparently the only lighthouse ON Vancouver Island...
The light flashes every 15 seconds.

This marker was put up to specify the boundry between Canada and the U.S or something to that effect...
You see across the water is Washington state...
There were lots of wildflowers blooming along the way...
and this old narly apple tree up around where the lighthouse keepers house would have been...long gone now.
So here's hoping that one day this will be a bit more accessible with some of the story behind such an important part of marine history written up on plaques.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The buzz...

Yesterday it was all about the honeybees.
It was officially Honeybee Awareness Day in B.C and we went off to the honey farm up the road.
Bob Liptrot and Dana LeComte own and operate the Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery.
'Purveyor of Fine Honeybee Products'.
 Bob has been in the honey business for 40+ years and yesterday had a special event on their farm for the public, to get their attention about the plight of the honeybee.
Maybe you don't realize how important these creatures are.
Think about it this way...
"1 of every 3 mouthfuls of food we eat , bees are responsible for".
This fact, from Bob, should make you stand up and take notice.
These extremely hard working creatures are in serious decline.
In the past 3 years over 50 billion honeybees have died and studies have yet to discover what exactly is the problem. 
Now the government wants to lift a quarantine which helped keep pests and diseases from other bees in check.
Meanwhile Tugwell Creek farm is doing their part to give the bees a fighting chance.
Yesterday they donated 100 per cent of their vintage Mead tasting sessions to research the problems facing honey farmers across the country.
First off was a tour down into the extraction room where Bob explained the process of getting the honey from hive to tank...
 Clearly, he loves his work!
...and the bees love Bob!
Then it was down the garden path to one of the areas where he keeps some of his colonies...
 Honeybees are docile...they are herbivores and  and are just trying to do their thing...
This one posing perfectly with the logo of the farm on one of the hives...
Did you know they have five eyes?
 Lots of wild bumblebees like Tugwell Creek too...
As well as the resident 3 stooges, Curly, Larry and Moe.

and a few big woolly sheep, hanging out in the meadow.

After our tour of the beehives it was off to try some mead...
Mead is an ancient drink, like wine, but made from honey...
We drank some of the vintage batch from handmade dark chocolate cups...YUM!
My friend Wysti, who works here, was helping with the tastings...
This one was my favorite and came home with us...
Look at that gorgeous honey...so sweet and tasty...
Wysti and I playing beekeeper!

Bees bees everywhere...

One of the volunteers showing us the insides of the hive...
How beautiful is that?!
So next time you take a bite of something that grew from a plant, thank the humble honeybee and do your part to keep them alive...plant flowers and trees, don't use pesticides,  keep bees(you can do it in your backyard) and support your local independent honey farmer...
bring home some honey...drink some mead with dinner.
Visit the farm when you come to Sooke.