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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, January 14, 2011

Song for Friday...if only...

If only I had the voice of an angel!
Luckily EmmyLou Harris does.
No one can sing a sad Townes VanZandt song like her.
This song takes me back to long, dark nights in the country,
sipping wine with an old, dear friend who's gone now.
She was Emmy Lou's biggest fans.
This ones for you Jay.
Something to roll you gently into the weekend...
have a great one, all.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day at the museum...

Sunday was the day I took the nieces and nephews to the museum in the city.
This museum is world renown...apparentley, rated # 4 in the world!
Unfortuneatly it's a bit costly to take 4 kids and myself, but for one week of the year, you can pay by donation.
...but first it was lunch in Chinatown, courtesy of my brother, better known as 'Uncle Dan'.
 He lives on the mainland but footed the bill for a Christmas present to the kids.
So we figured he should somehow come along...
 
He 'sat' at the head of the table!
After we had our fill of chop suey and almond chicken, it was off to the main event...
It was here where our adventure began.
This month, the feature exhibit is all about the museums collection of natural history artifacts which are mostly stored away in the attics and basements, being numbered too many to have out all at once...
There were moose and big horn sheep and bears...
Skulls and bats and bugs...
Butterflies and birds eggs...
Weird things in jars!...
There was "look at this!" and "WOW! that's cool!" and fingers pointing in all directions...
We went back in time...
Climbed mountains...
Walked along the sea shore...
Visited a marsh...
Panned for gold...
Said hi to the barnyard animals...
Went to see how salmon was canned...
Went to the picture show...
Waited for a train...
Walked around the old town...
Learned about the First Peoples...
Stepped into some history...
Took a trip on a ship...
Examined LOTS of birds...
Learned pretty much the history of B.C, AND made it home in time for dinner!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Book review...


I received this book for Christmas and just finished it this morning.
A remarkable journey based on the true story of a boy and his lifelong relationship with an elephant.
Circus people, shipwrecks, jungles of India and New York city all come together to tell of the adventures and sometimes heart wrenching periods in their lives.
The devotion they had to each other was deeper than most people will ever know.
Grown out of kindness and respect for each other, this book was hard to put down and scary to pick up.
Perhaps the stories are slightly embellished but still makes for an amazing tale of love and survival.
I rarely cry while reading a book but this was one of those exceptions.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Another world!

Yesterday I took a trip out to the east side of the Island to spend the day with my folks.
To celebrate my birthday, they took me to the Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney.
I've been wanting to go here for quite some time and was thrilled to finally get the chance.
This is the first thing you see when you walk in the front doors...beautiful stained glass work...
And then you go through these 'Jules Vern' looking doors to a simulated dive down deep into the ocean...
When you step out the other side, you're in a world of aliens!
I've seen these in the ocean and washed up on the beach, but never this close up and personal...
But the ones that I couldn't get enough of were these beauties...
 These are truly out of this world...
 So photogenic! You can see where Sci-Fi ideas come from...
I think these are the most unusual creatures on the planet...
 The aquarium itself isn't very large but the quality of the exhibits is astonishing...
 Floor to ceiling screens project images that make you feel as if you're floating down there in the kelp forests...
Tanks of fish from these parts greet you at every turn...
People travel to the tropics for colourful sea life but what many don't know is that even in the coldest of waters, life is a myriad of hues...
The sea anemones are another favorite...
The ocean flowers!
They look like something from the flower shop where I work!
Dr Suess must have had some influence from the deep sea creatures...
I was also enamored by something quite spectacular...
This is called a Basket Star...they are a type of star fish found in very deep waters here and the cool thing about them is that each arm grows a branch and in turn that branch grows another branch and so on and so on...hence the crazy maze of 'arms'.
Some fish are just so pretty...
...while other are just plain prehistoric like this Wolf eel...
He also looks a little sad since he just lost his mate a while back.
There was one tank that was set up so that if you climbed up underneath, you could have a fish-eye-view of things...there I am looking out!
And here's what my folks look like to the fish...
I was having flashbacks of the old "The Incredible Mr Limpet" movie with Don Knotts!
Up on dry land they have some spectacular skeletons for a close up view of whales and seals...
Although they are a different species, you can't help but notice that in some ways we're built the same...
Exploring the tide pools up close...
It was a fine day exploring this intriguing world beneath us...
Off to the pub now for lunch and a Guiness!