Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here's The Clouds, Here's The Steeple ...

A RHYME came to mind when I went by the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of St. Mary in Whalley. Looking up at the sky, familiar words rang in my head: Here's the church, here's the steeple, open the doors and see all the people.

I didn’t open the church doors, however. And the only person I saw was me taking a picture of the steeple under a cloud-filled pale blue sky reflected in the car window. As if floating in some heavenly place in the clouds, cars and buildings (click photo for detail) were also reflected.

As the poem says I hope to one day find time to step through the doors of this lovely historic church and see all the people.

There are more skies to view from around the globe at Skywatch.

This post is also linked to Weekend Reflections.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Picking Up The Pieces In Vancouver

THE AFTERMATH of the Stanley Cup game in Vancouver when the Canucks lost to Boston wasn’t pretty. Damage to property and reputation caused by crazed vandals was a costly and huge embarrassment to the city. The Apology Wall on Robson Street was a spontaneous reaction from those who watched the events unfold with horror.

The destroyers of the world are often followed by rebuilders and doers. While some burned cars and smashed storefront windows, others were quick to clean up, rebuild and tend to shattered hearts and shocked psyches. The boards covering the broken glass were soon laden with thousands of goodwill messages and love notes as if to say in a unified empathetic scribble: we are sorry and saddened about the destruction and are here to pick up the pieces.

This article will be linked to signs, signs.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dripping With Festive Spirit

THERE WAS A DEFINITE DRIZZLE and downright downpour at times on Saturday, June 18, in South Surrey, BC. The festival at Kwomais Point Park coupled with the annual Ocean Park Day celebrations at the nearby Village Center seemed to bring on the inclement weather. Life amid the drops is typical so we were not discouraged from having a good time.

The rain-washed forest gathered people from all over the neighborhood. The spatter could be heard but barely seen on the tall canopy of fresh leaves and evergreen branches surrounding the tents.

There were few umbrellas and only a few people bothered to cover their heads with hoods.

Some sat on dampened chairs. Most enjoyed the entertainment while standing.

There were screams of glee at the Village Center where children lined up and waited to sit in a seat that whirled upside down inside a Spaceball.

Some were eager to scale the mountain under a curtain of gray sky.

There was a barbecue, traditional cotton candy and popcorn. Tasty bits overflowed ...

onto the street and got soaked along with the celebratory decorations. The sun, of course, did not make even a token appearance until the following day when all the rides, activities, chairs and food had been put away.

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Wanderin' At Crescent Beach

MY HEAD TENDS TO be in the clouds when I explore local areas such as Crescent Beach in Surrey, BC. But that is not often the case for one blogger I met for the first time in person last Wednesday. Susannah from Wanderin' Weeta (With Waterfowl and Weeds), with her constant companion, Laurie, usually keeps her focus closer to the ground.

Susannah is the Sherlock Holmes of the natural world, uncovering the minute details of creatures normally undetected beneath the surface of daily life.

Her signature sandals seemed unscathed as we made our way to investigate the rocky and soggy shore during low tide at Boundary Bay.

There were mysteries to unravel beneath the slippery seaweed tangled along the spongy beach floor.

We sidestepped puddles and pools along our way trying not to trip.

This teeny sea creature at the palm of the hand has a technical name that Susannah would know. But to me (click on photo for detail) it looked like a miniature baby seal coming out of the shell.

Blue skies and cloud reflections played where the water gathered.

We spied a bridge over a moat to a sandcastle abandoned by children.

This monster cat was positioned to pounce.

A giant crab was overseeing rows of clam shells.

The scene reminded me of an army about to defend its kingdom.

With sand digging into our heels and photographs to ponder later, we took a new path in search of refreshment.

Clouds spilled on the wall of one local restaurant.

Along the side of another building ...

big "dinosaur" tree branches crept over the painted cement wall.

We stopped at Sunflower Cafe to find it was about to close for the day.

I peeked in to see Canuck t-shirts were for sale. Little did I know a riot would ensue that evening in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup hockey game.

My greeting cards for sale on the shelf were a little disheveled. It was nice to see they were being looked at now and again amid the jams and teapots.

We went to Esquires Coffee House down the road for tea and treats and chatted about our passions as bloggers and photographers. Thanks to the curious minds and joyful energy of the "Wanderin' Weeta" duo, it was an enriching experience "puddling" on a breezy afternoon at Crescent Beach.

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beautiful Vancouver Turns Ugly

THEY HAD ALL THE SUPPORT a hockey team could dream of. Flags, t-shirts and other paraphernalia were flying off the shelves. Expectations were sky high so the disappointment at the Vancouver Canuck’s losing the Stanley Cup game last night to Boston was crushingly low. But the disgusting behavior of people on the streets was a much more monumental disappointment.

Who are the people who acted like vandals and hoodlums setting fires and looting? Most did not bother to disguise their sickening behavior and one spectator stated she knew personally that some came prepared to create the havoc. Win or lose ... a riot seemed inevitable.

Hopefully, the rioters will be held accountable for their shameful acts. Many faces were recognizable and captured with cameras. The presumably drunk and hysterical youth became criminals and a massive embarrassment to Vancouver and all Canuck fans who know how to lose with dignity. It was sad to see the beautiful City of Vancouver suddenly turn so ugly.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yes Means No To HST

THERE ARE SIGNS OF POLITICAL shenanigans in my world. It is taxing to keep up with BC Liberal Government maneuverings when it comes to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) put into effect on July 1, 2010, without public consultation.

Premier Gordon Campbell, during his election campaign, clearly stated he would not implement the combined tax of 7% Provincial (PST) and 5% Federal (GST) that taxes goods and services previously exempt. He changed his mind soon after getting re-elected.

The unexpected HST would likely have received grumbling but little action from the public were it not for Bill Vander Zalm, a former Premier who came out of retirement to fight the tax.

Gordon Campbell eventually resigned leaving the interim Leader of the Party to finesse the situation. Forced to include the public in their decision, the BC Liberals will mail some 3.5 million forms to voters using taxpayer dollars. People must deliver their ballots in person to limited locations, making voting inconvenient for working people and difficult for many housebound elderly. Taxpayers are also funding expensive Government ads promoting the HST.

The wording of the Referendum seems designed to confuse. People expect to vote NO to the tax but should vote YES to "extinguish" the tax, if they want to abolish it. People opposing the HST put out signs to warn the public about potential confusion. A June 9th article at by Dermod Travis cites an instance when 54% of the ballots were incorrectly cast due to word manipulation.

In addition to word-twisting, the public is being tempted by an HST tax reduction to 10% by 2014. If this turns out like the broken promise not to implement the tax in the first place, it will likely never happen. Of course, a rebate for all the money the BC public has spent throughout the year paying the HST will not be on the table, IF the HST is voted down.

Postscript: Ballot packages can be returned by mail providing they are received by Elections BC, a Service BC Centre, or an Elections BC Collection Centre before 4:30 p.m., Friday, July 22, 2011. However, people might need to deliver their ballots in person, if the potential postal strike occurs within this timeframe. If BC Liberals had not moved up the date for the HST Referendum from Sept. 24th to June 13th the looming strike would not be an issue.

This article linked to signs, signs.

Postscript, Aug. 26, 2011: The referendum resulted in 54.73 per cent of voters rejecting the HST.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, June 13, 2011

What's That Buzz In My World?

I NOTICED BLACKBERRY blossoms attracted hungry visitors on my recent walk through Ocean Park in Surrey, BC. This pollen seeking insect hovered at the heart of each small flower for its meal.

By its lean and not too fuzzy body I assumed it was not a bee but a wasp.

There was not a single bug to bother the showy red poppy or the pink.

Its thin petals fluttered like crepe paper in the light spring breeze.

As I often do, I soon discovered the path to Kwomais Point Park.

The sun glowed on evergreen branches by Sandford Hall on the grounds.

There was a rusty tin can near the back door. Although I didn't look inside, I guessed it contained cigarette butts.

I have seen butts in the heavily treed area and wondered if smokers realize it only takes a small spark to set ablaze the highly combustible shrubbery.

I discovered a cut tree along the way that provided spontaneous places to sit.

There were ferns throughout the forest floor.

This yellow flower looked like a wild honeysuckle.

Blossoms decorated some trees.

I reached the point overlooking Boundary Bay and sat under its spell.

This is the bench where my friend Kay from An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel might join me for a picnic when she visits.

I was surrounded by sights and sounds I could not capture. Dragonflies, seagulls, eagles and bees all busily went about their business as I, the awestruck spectator, soaked in their magic.

Postscript: Sadly, while there is serenity in my world at the moment, it is not the case everywhere. I am adding a link to my blogging friend Marja’s site. She writes about her experiences in and around Christchurch, New Zealand, where there was an earthquake aftershock today. The situation remains tense.

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms