Sunday, May 26, 2013

Beading and a Hidden Park

Found myself an entertaining hobby of late - beading. I've even sold a few of the pieces I've completed. I stumbled upon some simple plain wooden beads when visiting my sister in Ottawa. And *had* to have them. I didn't have a clue what I was going to do with them but I bought an assortment, dragged them home with me, wondering what I was going to do with them.
I'm hoping to settle on specific materials I will use and be able to say that they're all recycled/re-purposed or natural. I'm not completely 'natural' yet, but so far I'm working with wood, glass and cotton-line.

Glass bead key chains made for a work friend.
Wooden bead bracelet 1.
Wooden bead bracelet 2.
Metal bead bracelet.
Spring has sprung and making room for summer and everything is blooming. The local Cottonwood trees are shedding and the cotton flakes that are piling up on lawns are starting to look like tiny snow drifts.

Cottonwood flakes.
Cottonwood flakes. They look so soft.
Poppies in full bloom.

Tried taking shots of the May 24th full moon and ended up getting this total mistake that looks kind of eerie but cool.

Popped out for another 'Sunday Drive' with my buddy to take pictures. Specifically -upon his request- pictures of where the Brunette River enters the Fraser River here in New Westminster. Turns out there's this amazing pathway that is about a seven minute drive away from here and is called "Sapperton Landing".

Looking toward the Patullo bridge from where the two rivers merge.
Abandoned picnic table/bench in the silty water.
Blue Heron fishing for his next meal.
Mossy coating.
Straight ahead the Brunette river meets the Fraser river.
Condemned dock with deflated 'bumper' tire.
Decommissioned building on 'the Landing'.

How did they get down there to do their graffiti?
Well maintained bridge over the water.
First drops of a brief rain.
Raindrops on (what I believe are) holly leaves.
Random trees were 'felled' along the path and left to 'return to the earth'.
I thought the blade marks were interesting.
Beautiful split rail fences line the path.
The power of mother nature. A tree root growing through the asphalt like it wasn't even there. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Surrey Lake Park

Looking for a way to keep me distracted before a dreaded graveyard shift, my driving buddy suggested we take a short drive out to a park in Surrey he'd just found on "Google Earth". So, with me behind the wheel, we headed off to "Surrey Lake Park". It's in the 152nd & 72nd area of the city.

We were both amazed at the beauty and tranquility of the place. It's not the biggest park by any means. But such a breath-taking spot in a very unassuming spot.

Surrey Lake is actually a man-made lake. The park was open in 2002 and although artificially created, the lake is home to a variety of amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds and mammals. Depending on the time of year, chum, coho salmon and steelhead can be found in the lake.

Like any lakes and wetlands, Surrey Lake Park attracts a broad variety of water birds such as Great Blue Herons, Marsh Wrens and King Fishers.

The forested area along the loop trail, is home to 'forest-dwelling' birds that can be found in abundance. Black-cap Chickadees, Spotted Towhees, Cedar Waxwings and Pileated Woodpeckers are just a few of the birds that call this park home.

The lake also holds other benefits besides habitat, it helps with flood control and provided opportunities for recreation. Depending on the time of year and precipitation levels, the lake can vary in size between 10 and 20 acres.

Trail Round Trip: Approx. 1.5 km; allow 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Directions: The park must be approached heading north on 152 Street. Between 72 Avenue & 76 Avenue. Keep an eye open for the sign for Surrey Lake Park on the east side of the street. Enter directly into the parking lot.

Surrey Lake.
A chain link fence keeps the riff-raff off the adjacent golf course but isn't very good at keeping the balls in. Foooooore.
Berries on the brink of blooming all along the paths.
Level, wide and well maintained paths meander through the park for everyone to enjoy.
A bald eagle swooped past overhead heading for its nest.
I'm told this is called 'horse tail'.
A few more days of sun and this little guy - and the million others along the path - will be bursting with sweet goodness!
Reflections on the water feeding into the wetlands and lake.

This little jewel is definitely on my 'visit-more-than-once' list of places to go. Maybe before my next graveyard shift. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

We're going to call it River's Bend Park

My driving buddy Tim recently learned of a newly designated 12-acre park area in Surrey. So with a vague idea of where it was, we hopped in the buggy and headed south - crossed over the Patullo, found the new 'Perimetre Road' (which is beautiful to travel on, by the way) and made it out the park without too much trouble. If you're familiar with it - t's where you line up to take the ferry across to Barnston Island.

NOTE TO SELF: get over to Barnston Island one sunny weekend and see what goes on there - to my knowledge it is all farmland. If I go across, I'll post some shots of what I see.

So this new park runs along "Parsons Channel". The land was bought by the City of Surrey and it includes two "fish-bearing" creeks and has clearings that overlook the river.
It is a key section of the "Experience the Fraser" project and will be part of a thriving park system along the river."

More than 43 per cent of the 550 kilometres of planned trails for "Experience the Fraser" are already open or in use, mostly in existing parks or along dykes.
The ultimate vision is for twin trails - called "The Canyon to Coast Trail" - to run along both sides of the river throughout the Lower Mainland, with these riverside trails running from Hope all the way to the Salish Sea.

a run-down launch
inviting paths run along the river
shadow dappled path
towering cottonwood
looming giants
salmon berries are already starting to ripen
trickling creek
heading back to the car

Steveston and my two cats

Most people know I have two cats. A seventeen year old Himalayan cross named Dakota and a *big* six year old ginger named Pixel. They are endless hours of joy and entertainment.  Without further ado, a couple of 'snaps' of  'the kids'......
a macro of Pixel's eyeball
and what I lovingly like to refer to a 'mug shot' of Dakota
oh, and like clock-work, the moon filled up again
yet more neighbourhood feral cats - they're brother and sister

A day in Steveston My buddies and I met at the Nanaimo skytrain station on a brilliantly sunny Saturday, stopped at "Cora's" for breakfast and motored out to Steveston, BC to wander around and enjoy the day. What a great little village Steveston is! I would move there if I had a car.

Steveston is named for Manoah Steves who arrived with his family in the late 1880s from Moncton, NB. Manoah and his family were the first white family to settle in the area. By the 1890s salmon-canning was so much part of the life of Steveston that it was also known as "Salmonopolis"

Japanese Canadians formed a large part of Steveston's population. Their internment during World War II was a serious blow to the community though some of the internees returned when they were allowed and a sizeable Japanese Canadian community still exists.

We browsed and wandered the village. I bought more sweets than I should have. We stopped in at a local bakery for fresh bread and treated ourselves to great local fish 'n' chips at Dave's Fish and Chips, 460 Moncton St. And we had a little bit of an adventure in the compound of the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum, 12138 4th Ave.
Wandering around I snapped away and captured some of the things we saw while we were there.

a little show called "Once Upon a Time" is currently shot in Steveston
Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold's 'store front'
Steveston is a fishing 'village'
back view of a gulf georgia cannery museum building
silvery driftwood
a humble attempt at beautification
a rogue urchin making a break for it
Saturday morning shopping
nature will take a tenacious hold anywhere
colourful modes of transportation
pretty shaded picket fence
Damien's Belgian Waffles, 3891 Chatham St, Steveston
I mentioned needing a vehicle to move to Steveston . . .
Steveston is a pretty little village considering how popular it is. It has tonnes of things to see which means you just have to keep returning to discover a little more each time you're there. Not to mention there are plenty of dogs to meet too.

double-timing it back up the ramp, passing right by the "no pets on sales dock please" signage.