Friday, October 13, 2017

Autumn Creeping

"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." George Eliot

MOTHER NATURE is sweeping away summer and like Eliot I'm loving it. Petals are scrambling, leaves are drooping, crumbling, swirling in gusts of wind, sliding down slippery wet roads into sewers never to be seen again.

The Virginia Creeper is the first vine to transform and has the brightest blush.

A plant called burning bush is stiff competition when it comes to colour.

Bedding plants such as winter pansies, marked by butterfly wings, are replacing summer blooms.

Warm browns are softening daisies past their prime.

Stunning shades of orange are beginning to cover the ground.

Decorative pumpkins have crept into our culture and now appear everywhere.

It's an opportunity to get creative painting or carving.

Most pumpkins are orange but this white one (below) is truly a star.

Current fires in California make it all too easy to imagine life if there were no rain seeping through the veins of a parched earth after an overly hot summer. But would I love a forever-autumn and follow it around the globe like Eliot ... not likely. I'm glad southwest BC experiences all seasons to a moderate degree, although even here weather seems more extreme nowadays.

Greenery can still be found along sandy trails ... rainfall is just beginning. Earth's tilt and rotation as it circles the sun and its location to the sun are the reasons for the seasons. As a wonderstruck resident of a precisely balanced spinning top I can only hope such remarkable synchronicity never stops.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Chiming In To Make Things Better


"Live for moments you can't put into words," chimed an ornament adjacent to a railway track at Crescent Beach.

The wise advice, meant to inspire, was likely put there by locals wanting to create a serene space for passersby.

The wind-chime decoration dangling from an ornate garden arbor was barely audible as tanks with chemicals and loaded coal cars groaned and hissed, snaking along the track.

The long chain of containers blocked vehicles and walkers from going in and out of the seaside community, a real concern should there be an emergency.

It might take years for activists to convince people in power to reroute the track but meanwhile a thoughtful neighbor with an artistic touch provided seating.

Hand painted panels brought a splash of colour to the chairs. In a world filled with tragic events someone, more often than not, is trying to prevent disaster, beautify, bring comfort and make things better practically or creatively.

Able to cross the track after some twenty minutes, I spotted a strange creature holding a guitar. What could be cozier than a giant moss-covered teddy bear? This unique interpretation of wildlife wasn't alone.

A beaver drummer and bird songstress (below) completed a patriotic Canadian band. Since there was no explanation as to why the soundless musicians were there, I assumed their motionless parade was designed to delight onlookers with wordless moments and, like the train, was just passing through.


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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Yes You Can Lead A Horse To Water

ANIMAL LOVERS know that best friends aren't always human. I spent countless hours imagining my own horse as a girl. This graceful creature with soulful eyes and long swishing tail was my perfect companion and confidant, galloping us off into great adventures. Since my opportunities to ride (let alone own) a horse were limited, I could only pretend, unlike the youngsters I recently spotted at Crescent Beach. Content at their slow pace, horses and riders were mirrored in pools of water and made inky shadows on the beach floor for SHADOW SHOT SUNDAY, WEEKEND REFLECTIONS and CAMERA CRITTERS.


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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Ball Of Fire

"If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm," Frank Lane

NORMALLY you wouldn't view the sun directly but last Tuesday morning the atmosphere bordered on apocalyptic so I had to look. The orb's glow was blunted by a smoky haze that settled eerily, yet again, over Greater Vancouver, resulting from persistent forest fires in the interior of BC and nearby Washington. Air quality was poor and pungent, although not as grungy as the camera made it seem in my first two photos. Before going indoors I captured the bubbling, boiling, true blood-plasma colours of the sun for SKYWATCH.


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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Along The Chickadee Loop Trail

NO CHICKADEES posed for my camera but I heard them chirping amid the late-summer greenery when I recently walked full-circle along a Sunnyside Acres trail in South Surrey.

Chickadee Loop is one of several paths in the urban forest, a haven from city traffic buzzing at the park's perimeters. Strange shapes sculpted by nature, mushrooms, berries, moss-covered branches and stumps are decor and much more for the insects and wildlife roaming beneath the canopy of trees. According to ever-circling seasons, the leaves should soon be turning red. I'm acutely aware, however, that any sense of predictability or security is largely an illusion, particularly after catastrophic events like the floods in Texas. The oceans are rising and climate patterns are changing, becoming more extreme. The vulnerabilities are real but my thoughts fly away from disaster when I hear the birds sing. You'll have to imagine them flitting in and out of the leaves, eluding my camera while a more earthbound creature, the banana slug, was captured for OUR WORLD.


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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fish Out Of Water

AN INVITATION to join friends on a sailboat to tour local coastal waters was very much welcome. My husband and I were delighted at the chance to head out from False Creek in Vancouver into perfect sailing weather.

The moderate breeze had pushed out the smoggy curtain of pollution that settled over Greater Vancouver due to the many forest fires raging primarily in BC's interior regions over summer. The blue sky was back and there was a nice balance of cloud, sun and wind rippling shadow and light onto the ocean. (The sun spot made me think of the solar eclipse to come the following week.)

It was fun to glide under, rather than drive over, the Burrard Bridge as we traveled the relatively short distance towards Horseshoe Bay.

Vessels of all sizes were out that day, including the "pirate" ship (above) packed with tourists.

One boat seemed packed with everything except people. You'd have to do a bit of digging to find a captain who surely was buried under there somewhere.

The many freighters were lumbering giants amid smaller leisure craft.

Very much "fish out of water" when it comes to sailing, our only job was to enjoy the view.

The younger guests did some "fishing" while on board.

We all admired Lighthouse Park, a hiking spot, looking pretty from a distance.

As we drifted by the beautiful scenery our friends, the crew, were busy adjusting sails and looking after the important details of running a ship.

It looks like smooth sailing from afar but it takes work to achieve that carefree feeling.

A food fest concluded our journey. You'd have thought we discovered gold when we spotted an artistic miracle in a "rare" kernel of corn.

The smiley face expressed our own ear-to-ear grins during much of that day.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms