Sunday, November 29, 2009


This is an old favourite photo. In fact I have it as my desk top in black and white. I was playing with it in toning in photoshop. Then I took it to my old Paintshop Pro editer to try frames. I was also playing in a program called Virtual Studio on some other photos. The filters in the Virtual Studio are excellent. Thanks Ken and Stezzar for showing me the filters for Paintshop and the Virtual Studio.

On Friday we went out to dinner at the Wild Saffron Bistro - was delicious. I like the ambiance of that place. Then we went to see Gypsy at the McPherson Theatre. The play was excellent too. Very good actresses and actors. We had box seats which were quite comfortable with lots of leg room.

Today the Grey Cup is being played. This is the last game of the Canadian football season and it determines the champions of the football season. Its half time now and Saskatchewan is in the lead against Montreal.

Friday, November 27, 2009

hedge textures

Textures of the yew hedge, the boxwood hedge and the lichens on the plum tree caught my eye. Too bad about the twigs but I could not avoid them and don't think my photoshoping abilities are good enough to remove them without a trace.

I raked leaves, and Bill from next door mowed my bit of grass at the front, as well as picked up the leaves with the mower. The tree still has more leaves, for me to use as mulch. I dug out a few more violets from the moss garden. The ones that are still there sure do stick out like a sore thumb. I see the snowdrops have started to show leaves about 2 inches high already.

There was a thin sheet of ice on the water table this morning, so I guess it is winter even though not officially! My yellow chrysanthemum is still in bloom. It sits right by the window so is probably a few degrees warmer.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The water garden today

The water hawthorn is in bloom. This is zoomed into the digital zoom, so there is noise. Too bad about the evergreen needle caught in the leaves, but it gives you some idea of the size of the flower.

I was attempting to 'freeze' the water with long exposure in the TV mode. I really should have been in manual mode and setting both time and aperture. This is 1/6 sec at f 7.1. Using a tripod would help too.

There are at least two kinds of lichens on the plum tree.

The light came pouring down
One more for the sparkling waters series

Metrocascade has changed its format. I actually like it better this way. It makes the site into more of a news worthy read. I can still find gardening - where my blog appears, and other subjects as well. Good work, gentlemen -- it looks good.

I emptied 2 inches of water from the rain gauge today. The sun came out for a minute, but before I could jump into my boots and jacket, the sun was gone. I really do need to get more leaves off the grass again. The tree might have 1/3 of its leaves hanging on yet.

More Sparkling water

The sepia looking photo above is the original out of the camera of these sparkling water photos. I was shooting at the sun with the CS filter attached. The blue one has the wave in the corner. It is a different photo, but its original was kinda sepia, also. The sparkles are real. :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Domain Name Scams coming from China

The sparkling water turned into a cyanotype. :)

I received an email from a Chinese source that is trying to scam domain name registrants. On this web page by Joe Wein I found many more examples of this scam. Thanks Joe. I appreciate the information.

Our weather has been very grey and bits of rain. The towns that were flooding are due for another deluge, according to the weather warnings.

I am loading my travel photos to the new site. They will be moved when we go to our 'public' URL. This is the beginning of my metamorphosis to becoming invisible.

I have been reading until all hours of the night again. I finished The Frog Lake Massacre by Bill Gallaher, last nite. Its a book about the rebellion of the Metis and some of the Cree Indians in 1880s. The previous week I read The Raven's Cry which is a bit of history on the decimation of the Haida Indians by the white fur traders at their home in Haida Gwaii and along the west coast of Canada. We have lost so much in both cases. I don't know if there will ever be a solution to this corner we have painted ourselves into with the reservations and treaty payments. I wish we could assimilate them into society with no more reservations or race discrimination.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Content Cat

This cat is enjoying its own garden in the Spring of 2008. I like to see cats like this that stay within their own gardens or houses. It is a far more content cat than the 'fraidy cats I see sneaking around my garden, chasing the birds.

I have had another request to use one of my photos from on Flickr. This request is for use at a Sustainability workshop to do with the quality of life at Qualicum Beach.
It would be nice to get consideration for the use of my photo. But I suppose, when you put photos up on the internet they can be taken any time. At least they can on Flickr. Our new site will prevent the 'borrowing' of any photos. I imagine anyone can take the photos from my blog too. My photos are not really large enough for use in the printed form, but on line they could work well enough.

I had a good afternoon out in the garden. I have raked and swept up the leaves. I put some of the leaves on to the rectangular flower beds at the front. The tree still has about half of its leaves, so there will be more leaves to add to the perennials blanket. After I finished the leaves I started digging violets out of the moss /Japanese garden. With the wet soil and my digging tool, the violets roots come out fairly easily. I got about half of the area weeded when it started to rain. I am really pleased with the way this moss garden is coming along, despite the violets. I just need to keep after them and they will be soon in check. I let them grow in the strip along the driveway, and in the strip along Parmar's sidewalk. There are also some along a short path in the front garden. I keep these clipped but am thinking of getting rid of them totally.

There has been flooding in Duncan apparently. I did not see the news, so shall try to find it on the internet. I believe the "A" channel was doing the reporting. We had slightly over one half an inch of rain in the rain gauge over yesterday. Most of that rain happened over nite. Our Colquitz river is high but we are not flooding.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stormy weather

We have been having some big storms in the last two weeks with lots of rain. Last nite when we went out to dinner at the Dunlop House the wind was howling and it was raining. We had a very nice dinner with lamb the main entre.

The ferries were shut down most of the day, due to high winds and there have been more power outages. Fortunately, our power was ok.

I put on my rain jacket, took my camera and went for a walk up the block to check the water level in the Colquitz River. The river is over its banks in places, but not quite up to the level of the bridge on Loenholm. On Gerda the river is running swiftly and over its banks a bit. We are not in danger of flooding, unless we get quite a lot more rain. I have not looked for the amount of rain we have received, nor looked at the forecasts. Also, in our recent weather, there was an earthquake off the Queen Charlotte Islands a few days ago... all recorded else where.. We often get small earthquakes in this area. Of course, they predict that we are due for a big one.

At about 5:00 am I was wide awake so I used the time to finish transfering the trip information and the post card addresses into my new travel logue book. I will proably finish the space in the latest book in December if or when we go down the Oregon Coast with our friends to do the birthday celebrations. Terrible time of year to do this, we really should move the time for this trip. So, I spent the rest of my day in a very relaxing manner, after getting back to sleep at about 7:00. Life is good !

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Knotty Leaf

This leaf is shot with the macro setting on my Canon S3 IS. I liked the knothole in the deck railing. The railing is actaully weathered wood, no blue stain. It just came out that way with a bit of 'curves' in photoshop.

It has been raining like crazy the last 3 days. I have emptied 2.5 plus, out of the rain gauge.

Today, on the prompting of an internet friend, I downloaded the latest version of Skype. There is a new feature where you can share screen views. It uses audio also. So, I hooked up my headphones for this exercise. I was scared to death of 1) ruining my skype and 2) doing voice. It all went really well, though! Amazing how you can teach an old dog new tricks. I really rather liked this except the headphones are a bit uncomfortable, and I have to crawl under my desk to plug them into the computer. But was fun.

This is going to make it much easier to exchange information regarding the new site. But only one person at a time gets to show the screen... both can talk, of course.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Over wintering wasps

This wasp nest was knocked down from somewhere on the garage door when it was opened recently. It seems this is the way wasps spend the winter. I think these might be queen wasps that come out in the spring, mate and start reproducing. I really must research this now that I have seen this. Perhaps, if we do not want too many wasps around we should seek out these nests and destroy them. But, I am not sure we should do this. Last year there were very few bees around in my garden. When the thyme circle is in bloom there are usually hoards of honey bees feeding. This past summer I could count the bees, there were so few of them. I must research whether or not wasps pollinate flowers, also. There are many different kinds of wasps and bees, also.

Last week James and Barbara brought one of their cars over to store in our garage where the torpedo Model T was stored. James has our Model T and is working on the restoration. I noticed the wasp nest when out in the back garage talking to them and so assumed that the nest was knocked down at that time, as I had not seen it before.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Enjoying the Garden from inside

The newest vase and the autumn leaves in the living room.

The newest vase with floral arrangement, no flash used.

my newest vase with floral arrangement using flash

I spent a few minutes yesterday, walking around my garden. I have a sprig of the Artemisia, Powis Castle, and one flower head from the sedum for the arrangement in my newest vase. I rather like how the photo of the vase in the livingroom has turned out. Our liquid amber tree that is in front of our living room window is very colorful right now. We are getting light frost over night. The leaves from the tree are beginning to fall and look lovely on the green of the grass path beneath it. I will need to get out and rake the leaves, though, as it is not good for the grass to leave the fallen leaves. :-)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Victoria Harbour Ferry

The Victoria Harbour Ferry. Another photo from June last year. It is a real treat to go for a ride on one of these little ferries. They are surprisingly stable.
The Tea Ceremony and the Japanese maple tree phiotos are from June 21, 2008 when the Takata Japanese Gardens were opened at Glendale Gardens. I have also added one of the videos I took at that time, to the bottom of this blog.

Japanese Maple

I uploaded the video of the Japanese drummers to my youtube today. I spent far too much time looking for a video editor and trying to make one go. My windows movie maker has stopped working. Along with numerous other things Windows related. Sure wish I could run Linux. I am not getting windows 7 because that would mean I would need a whole new computer. On days like this, I think I might just go back to reading books and gardening. But I did get some of my own stuff done today, so I guess that is a plus. The car stuff on my web page has the sub page finished with a start on the list of car events... in three parts. I am quite happy with how that is turning out. My web page is very old and no one goes there. I am glad of that, as it is more for my own records and enjoyment, than anything.

Yesterday I went for a phlobotomy and was out of there in record time. Later in the evening we went to the Dunlop house with Jim and Sheila to enjoy a scrumptious wine paired seafood dinner.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Views from the Coho

The photos are taken from the deck of the Coho as it returned to Victoria from Port Angeles. We walked on so I had a view of the Inner Harbor that I don't see when we drive onto the ferry.

We went to Port Angeles on Friday. Dan and Irene picked us up at the ferry and we went to their home for dinner. Early the next morning we went out to a big breakfast at the Oak Table. Then we carried on to the Bremerton Swap Meet. On the way we had to wait at the Hood Canal bridge, as it was retracted to allow boats to pass through. It was pouring rain at the swap meet, of course. We did not find any real memorable items to bring home. We left the swap and went to the Red Lobster in Silverdale for scrumptious seafood. We were all in need of a nap when we got back to their house. I managed to stay awake until 8:30 and had to crash. Irene made us a big brunch next morning including using her own home grown Yukon Gold Potatoes. Was very good. Thanks Dan and Irene for all. We arrived home about 4:00 on Sunday.

The rain gauge had 1.5 inches in it when I emptied it yesterday. Today, I cleaned up the filter in the pond again.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The blue bridge is up in the air

I have not been keeping up to the latest news with regard to the make over or new installation of this bridge. It's a landmark in Victoria. Apparently it needs to be upgraded or replaced. Likewise, I have not been keeping up to date on the carrying of the olympic's torch around the Island. Also, we are to have a visit to our city from Prince Charles and what's her name. It will be another feeding frenzy for the media, I suppose. In my mind, this person has no real influence on anything in the world. Would you care what he says?

I was out in my garden for 3 hours today. The front is looking pretty good. I removed a few weeds and a couple of bamboo runners. The leaves from the Liquid Amber tree are still mostly green and will need attention in a week or two. In the back I cleaned up the path and have the leaves off the paths and off of the moss garden. There are quite a few violets in the moss garden. The next day I am out there I will be cleaning up these violets. It all looks not too bad. If I keep the weeds in check there is very little maintenance otherwise. I will be slowly renovating the borders over the next while, too. I plan to have pinks along the grass side of the bed along by the old sidewalk, so will be transplanting bits of the ones I have to this area.

The new site is looking better and better. They are getting more and more things done and bugs fixed. I uploaded a photo to photo net just to see how things are there now. Nothing has really changed.

I will have the 'car tours' sub page on my wen page finished, with the 3 album pages linked, but none of the albums done. Its a start on the car stuff, though. Next I want to do up the album for the painted vases. The slide show done with Power Points is pretty cool, but it doesn't really work with my old fashioned page. So, I think I will just stick to the adobe photo albums for now.