Sunday, May 30, 2010

Out West 2

Oops, forgot the pictures in the other camera.

Out West 2

Out West

A few pictures from the trip out west we just got back from.

2010-05 Out West

As usual, we enjoyed more than just climbing :-)
As usual, we camped at the Waterworld RV Park in Penticton because it's the closest to the climbing at Skaha bluffs. But the "waterworld" is long gone, and the land has been sold, so I'm not sure how many more years we'll be able to stay here

    Sask. Govt. Spends $1.5 million to Kill 71,000 Coyotes

    Hey, it's not like we have anything better to spend our taxpayer money on, why not do a little ecocide. 

    via 71,000 coyotes killed--what does this mean for birds?

    Saturday, May 29, 2010

    Sunday, May 23, 2010


    Cloud puffs flowing by in a clear blue sky. A pigeon silhouetted against that sky. Warm evening sunlight flooding a courtyard. A breeze tossing the newly green leaves on the trees. A table by the window. A glass of wine. Music. A good book. Mountains peeking through between the buildings. Fresh snow lingering on the peaks. Smile.

    Saturday, May 22, 2010


    "Let us walk as free people and feel our steps growing lighter as we walk. Let us appreciate every step we take." - Thich Nhat Hanh via The Art of Meditation by Matthieu Ricard

    20 km of walking through the forest. Splashes of orange and yellow lichen on the rocks. Vibrant green moss. Snow capped mountains. A night under the trees, sung to sleep by a babbling brook. The warmth of the sun after a cold dawn. Unexpected flakes of snow falling from low clouds.

    And now a latte at the Wild Flour Bakery Cafe to top off the hike from Canmore to Banff. Life is good.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Turn Around

    "The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It’s so easy to make it complex. The solution for a lot of the world’s problems may be to turn around and take a forward step. You can’t just keep trying to make a flawed system work." - Yvon Chouinard (via Signal vs. Noise)

    This is from a documentary called 180 South. Check out the trailers (be patient if the links don't work right away).

    Also, linked from here, check out the Tin Shed

    Saturday, May 15, 2010

    Mouse-Capades 2

    I got up this morning, put the kettle on for tea, and opened the blinds to see if any birds were at the bird feeder. And what do I see? A mouse inside the bird feeder!

    The question is whether it's the same mouse who managed to navigate from the river several blocks back to my house, or a new one. I suspect it's my old friend returned since I've only ever seen the one mouse around.

    I ran downstairs, grabbed a cloth bag, this time big enough to fit over the feeder, and headed outside. I almost missed him. As I approached the tree he started down the trunk. But he made the wrong choice when he saw me and returned to the shelter of the bird feeder.

    I pulled the bag up around the feeder and tapped on it to get him out. Sure enough he jumped out, right into the bag. But I almost lost him because he ran straight up the inside of the bag heading for freedom. It was a good try but I shook him back to the bottom and closed the top of the bag.

    This time I took him for a bike ride across the bridge to Sutherland beach. Hopefully that'll be sufficient to prevent him from finding his way back to the free food.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010


    For some time we've had a mouse visiting our bird feeder (see Recurring Mouse). And not just visiting, but hanging out inside the feeder. At first, we could see his tracks in the snow heading off towards the neighbors house. But then he must have decided to shorten his commute and the tracks started leading to our house. And then I started hearing him inside the wall. Not good. Only one solitary mouse so far but I was afraid where there was one, others would follow.

    I could have hung the bird feeder away from the trunk of the tree so he couldn't reach it, but the birds throw so much seed on the ground he'd still have a constant supply of food.

    So I bought a couple of live traps and put them on his route between the house and the bird feeder. I baited them with cheese. Mice can't resist cheese, right? Wrong. The traps kept getting triggered but never caught anything. So I switched to peanut butter. Still no luck.

    I looked out the window last evening and there he was, inside the bird feeder, munching away. I grabbed a pillow case and headed out there. I figured I could pull the pillow case right over the bird feeder so when he jumped out I'd have him trapped. But the pillow case wasn't big enough to fit over the whole bird feeder. The poor mouse was running around inside the bird feeder. I felt bad for stressing him out. Usually he goes out the back of the bird feeder and runs down the trunk, so I had the pillow case over the back of the feeder. But he was too smart to fall for that. In desperation he jumped straight out the front of the feeder - right at my chest. This is one fearless mouse! He hit my chest, I jumped, and he took off, up inside the wall of our house. Round one goes to the mouse.

    But in the end I guess he couldn't resist the peanut butter and when I came home from work today he was in one of the traps. I carried him a couple of blocks down to the river bank and let him go. Hopefully it's far enough away that he won't find his way back. It'll be a tough adjustment after having all the food you can eat. I wish him well, as long as he's not inside the walls of my house!

    Saturday, May 08, 2010

    More West Coast Photos

    Photos from rest of my recent trip - from the train, Vancouver (Granville Island), Portland (zoo, Japanese gardens, Chinese gardens), and Astoria.

    2010-04 West Coast

    Sunday, May 02, 2010


    My big excitement for the day (keep in mind this is relative to cleaning the turtle tank) was calling 911 to report a (small) fire.

    I was biking on the bike path by Preston and I noticed some smoke coming from the trees ahead. I thought it might be some kids with a fire, and that might be how it started, but there was no one there and the fire was about 10 feet across with open flames.

    I went into the trees to make sure there wasn't anybody passed out or anything. Then I used my iPhone to call 911.

    I wasn't sure about calling 911 since it wasn't exactly an emergency but it was the easiest. My call was handled politely and efficiently and I was handed over to the fire department. The only difficulty was explaining where it was. I would have thought they could get some kind of location from my cell phone but it didn't seem like it since they had to ask whether I meant the south or north end of Preston.

    A few minutes later I could hear a siren. I wasn't sure if they'd come straight to the right spot but they drove directly to me, going the wrong way on the one-way road.

    A police car showed up right away as well. I didn't recognize him - don't know as many of the patrol people now that Shelley is a big wig.

    With all the rain we've had the last few days I don't think there was much danger of the fire spreading. If things had been as dry as they sometimes get it would have been more exciting. However, it was in a narrow strip of trees between the road and a plowed field with nowhere really to go.

    I actually got to use the phone part of my iPhone for a change :-) But the application of technology is still lagging - theoretically I should have been able to give them an exact GPS location. And even send them live video of the fire and its surroundings so they could judge the situation. Of course, even I don't take advantage of the technology - I didn't even think to take a picture to go with this blog post.

    [posted via BlogPress on my iPhone from Broadway Roastery]

    Oregon Coast Trail

    Photos from my recent hike on the Oregon Coast Trail.

    the main web site for the trail

    and the maps covering the section I did (from Fort Stevens State Park to Garibaldi)