Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Last Post

 The Pooh Bear, November 29th
 David November 29th.  I really like the light I was getting on these photos of Nov. 29th.

 The Trail across the street, with a bit of frost on the grass.
 Frosty leaves of the oak tree.
 Frosty leaves from the right and right out of the camera.
The above leaves with a bit of photoshop adjustments.  I do like how the frost shows up without photoshop, but it is kind of dark.

There are a few photos from December that are worth uploading, but I probably won't get to them for a while.  I have been going crazy with trying out new things the last few days.  I have added google analytics to my web page.  I signed up with PlayNow which is the on line lottery and casino place.  There are games to play for free.  I did manage to make $36 one day, but until I am farther ahead of that I don't think I will be playing for real money much.  I can see where it could get to be addictive.  I am also trying to learn how to use my new jAlbum software to make albums to add to my web page.  It's going to be a long time before I get that figured out. 

We had an earthquake just off the coast near Sidney Island a couple of nights ago.  I was watching tv when it happened.. I heard it and felt a nasty shaking.  It was not a big one.  We get a lot of small ones and that is just fine.  Perhaps we won't need to have a big one if the little ones can do the trick.
here is the Times Colonist article about it:

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Frost November 29

 A fine crystal forming frosty fog fell on the morning of November 29.  The old railroad spike was nice and fuzzy.
 On December 6th the sun was out again and I captured the railroad spike with a good bokeh.
 It is not too exciting in black and white. 
 The moss on the back plum tree was not showing much frost.
 This is roof moss with the leaves, colorful.
More roof moss zoomed in quite close.

I have finished the baking for the season.  The Scottish shortbread with oatmeal and brown sugar is not great.  I will make another batch without oatmeal. 

We have had a lot of rain in the last few days, and coolish temperatures. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

River Walk #3, November 22

 This was the last photo from our River Walk.  The rose hips should be good for the birds over the winter.
 Livin' off the grid in Cuthbert Holmes park.  There are a few people who live rough in this park.  I think a certain percentage of them like this lifestyle. 
 This is a riffle.  It is attractive with the golden rocks.

 More of the riffle view from the bridge.  The sign says there are salmon at work.
 A close up of the riffle.  Camera settings are the same as the one above but with the zoom the water seems to be a bit 'frozen'. 
This last part of our walk was along Swan Creek, where their group has done a lot of work to restore the waterway.  Here you see the landscape fabric that has been put down, to keep the black berries and all other invasive plants from growing.  And then they have transplanted indigenous trees, shrubs and plants through holes in the fabric.  I hope this fabric is biodegradable, or as Ian said, it will eventually have to be removed.
This is a blend of two photos.  Every year, on Christmas day, the flock of robins descend on the holly tree, and the firethorn shrub to feast on the berries.  Their feast was a bit early this year.  They were eating the berries on December 6th.  The tree is now without berries.  Red bows might look nice. 

We have had high winds and rain storms, but are now just getting a lot of rain, with cooler temperatures.  The river is full, but I have seen no salmon on the days I have checked for them. 

The moss garden is looking lush and fluffed up, but needs to be cleaned up from all the leaves that blew around.  I have put some of the mulched leaves onto the 'veggie' garden.  The whole garden needs perennials cut back and a final clean up done. 

Monday, December 07, 2015

November 22 River Walk No. 2

 Part of the split rail fence.  Not sure what the trees are, I just liked the color spaces. You can see the turbidity in the river.
 The split rail fence was added along the trail.  The helps to keep the people and dogs from trampling the river bank.  We really need some of this in our part of the river where the areas beside the trail are totally trampled to dirt, no vegetation survives, at all; not even the invasive ones.
 close up of the turbidity caused by a riffle built.  One of the stones is further downstream.
 Ian, explaining.  After our visit to the fish fence we walked along the Swan Creek where they have had a very active group of volunteers and have done sooooo much.  All the things I have shown from our walk on November 22 are from the Swan Creek group.
 The Peninsula Stream Society is an umbrella group to help all of the different area groups of volunteers get organized to accomplish some of this restoration of the lakes, streams and rivers in the Peninsula.
 Not sure what this is, but I see some eroded river bank.  Good to see the fern looking healthy.
 This is a wattle fence... I think it is called a fence. The the willows are stuck into the ground, and the horizontal ones are added.  Then the dirt is dragged/raked down to the fence.  I believe they start at the bottom, nearest the river and work their way up and back from the river.  Unfortunately these willow sticks did not grow roots  I know from just sticking little bits of my boxwood in the ground in the rainy season, that they root and grow, over the winter.  I think red twig dogwoods might work very well for this application.
Signs to make people aware of the fish habitat.  The Swan Creek people are doing a wonderful job of this area.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

November 22 River Walk

 The Pixie orchid developed 2 blossoms, over the past 6 weeks.  It is now just about finished.  It is a miniature  cattleya with a very nice light fragrance.  The other orchid developed 2 more blossoms.  It is one of my $12 phal. orchids from the grocery store that keep on blooming.  I had trouble uploading these photos to my blog and so tried to move this photo after reloading it.  Hope it works, as I cannot see the preview right now.
 The Peninsula Streams Society leader, Ian arranged a walk with our group to see the fish fence where they trap the migrating fish to allow them to do a fish count. This is the fence and the bridge that leads past the fence where it is installed.  This also traps a lot of debris that they need to rake off the fence and dispose of it on the downside of the stream, except for any plastics, etc. 
 This is a debris trap in the cleaning pond beside the river.  This is for runoff from the streets.  There are cattails in this pond.  It feeds by gravity into the river.  The cattails clean the water. 
 A sign on the side of the fish counting trap.

 An Autumn scene, beside the Colquitz River in the Cuthbert Holmes Park.
A look inside the fish trap.  Unfortunately there were no fish to be seen.  The count of migrating salmon is very low this year.  Chris, the man who gave us a very informative talk said there was some speculation that the low migration of salmon this year, might be due to the blob of warm water off our west coast this year.  We certainly need more biologists and ecologists employed to monitor and assist with the restoration of our streams, rivers and waterways  all over the island and along the coast. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Colquitz River Restoration November 15 walk

 This is the sunset over the ocean and inner harbor on Sunday evening.  I only had my little Sony with me at the time.  The sunset was spectacular and awesome.
 A long zoom at this glob that I, at first thought was plastic.  Apparently this is caused by turbidity in the water.  More about turbidity here.
 This appears to be a natural riffle caused by a fallen tree, I think.  Riffle description: 
a. A rocky shoal or sandbar lying just below the surface of a waterway.
b. A stretch of choppy water caused by such a shoal or sandbar; a rapid.
c. A wave or ripple in such water.
This is the view looking at the top and we see the turbulence as the water falls over the log.  The riffles add oxygen to the water.  The natural vegetation falling in the water decays and feeds the smaller creatures that the fish eat.
 More of the Colquitz River from our walk on November 15, 2015, 
This measuring stake is in the river seen from the little bridge on Loenholm Road, at Wilkinson Road.  The Durrance creek flows into the Colquitz river at this point.  I am not sure who is doing this work, but they have also cleaned garbage out of the river in this area, and created some stone riffles.  The river is running quite high after the recent rains.  We did not see any fish on our walk on this day.  Last Sunday, the 22nd we went to the fish fence and listened to a lot of good information from Chris, as well as few others.  They cleaned out the fence and checked for fish.  Unfortunately, there were none to be seen.  The salmon run is very low this year.  More photos of the sunday walk to follow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The water garden in early November

 this is the stepping stones that go around the fig tree and lead into the rest of the back garden.
 the view of the renovated pond area.  I have the willows off the deck and placed around the pond. 
The mossy rocks around the waterfall.  Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees at the back and have been skimmed off the water, now.  The moss is coming along nicely on the waterfall rocks. 

 Zoomed in on the water hawthorn in bloom. 
 The fig tree was loaded with figs.  We had over 100 of them to eat.
 Playing with the different settings on my camera last summer.  The black and white.
I have no idea how I got this one, but that is how it looked right out of the camera.  Just a bit of saturation added. 

I moved the orange trees into the house today.  We are getting cooler nights and days, now.  The trees need fertilizing.  The leaves are all yellow.  They are suppose to be an ever green citric tree.  

Saturday, November 07, 2015

November Colors

 The wisteria golden leaves in the western red cedar on November 3. 
 The leaves are beginning to fall  off of the front tree on November 3.  There are still quite a lot of leaves on the tree now, and many more on the ground that need to be raked and mulched with the mower. 
 The front tree, shooting from the street.
 More photos from our trip last summer.  The van in front of the buildings with the little church at the top of the hills at Lebret, Sask.
 Close up of the Lebret Church with the stations of the cross.
 A view of the Qu'appelle valley from Fort Qu'appelle.
This old stone building along the railroad tracks looks well kept up and yet it appears vacant.    The land around it is in a full bloom canola crop.