Thursday, May 31, 2007

Stanley Park - Changed Forever By Nature

Ever since April when I went to Stanley Park to do the MS Walk (yes I really am that far behind in my life) I have been thinking about the devastation that the November 2006 storms had upon this beautiful park. If I had been shown pictures of parts of the park today I would never have recognized it as Stanley Park. I did not have time to take a complete look around the park, but seeing the damage that was done at Prospect Point was jaw dropping. The picture you see above is where my friend Frances parked when they were here from England last summer. Then there was nothing but forest in front of the car and now it looks like a logging site. It was an emotional jolt for me and I have thought about it often.
I have always delighted in nature and find it a calming influence in my life. Nature - trees, flowers a gurgling brook and the sound of birds singing always make me think of peaceful things and peaceful times. Most of my pictures and posts on here reflect that and yet this too is of nature. Nature at her most powerful and destructive. It makes me realize that we humans are very much just like nature. We have the ability to be a powerful force for good, but we also have the ability to be just a strong a force for destruction.

The tree the tempest with a crash of wood Throws down in front of us is not to bar Our passage to our journey's end for good, But just to ask us who we think we are.
Robert Frost (1874-1863); On a Tree Fallen Across the Road
I thought this an appropriate quote for this blog!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Just A Dog"

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog," or, "that's a lot of money for just a dog."

They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog."

Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."

Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog," but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."

"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.

"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.

Because of "just a dog", I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog", but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a man or woman."

So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog" just smile... because they "just don't understand."
Written by an unknown Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. From the Therapy Dog Inc. News Magazine

Monday, May 14, 2007

Georgia Rule

Saturday night I went to see the movie Georgia Rule . This movie stars Jane Fonda, Lindsy Lohan and Felicity Huffman. Jane Fonda, was the primary motivator for me to see this move. I have been a great fan of hers for most of my life and her career. Georgia Rule looked like a southern comedy. The movie is about three generations of women all of whom are a little messed up and dysfunctional. There is Georgia, (Jane Fonda) a very strict seemingly unemotional woman. Her daughter Lily (Felicity Huffman) a recovering alcoholic and Rachel (Lindsy Lohan) a rebellious, drug using mixed up teenager who lies to control, to confuse and to shock people.
Having seen the trailers for this movie and expecting some chick flick kind of movie I was very surprised when the movie quickly took a dark turn with Rachel the mixed up teenager sexually acting out and then revealing that her step father had been molesting her since she was twelve. Her behavior, at times angry and independent, at others weepy and needy exhibited the emotional dysfunction and acting out that is tragically very typical of sexual abuse victims. At one point Rachel herself becomes the abuser. Finally the audience is made aware that Rachel's abuser has stolen more than her innocence, he has robbed her of her ability to know who to trust.
The trailer I saw never revealed the real plot of this movie and watching it I found myself wondering why the director Garry Marshall and writer Mark Andrus would choose a comedy to expose people to the reality of the damage of child abuse. I wasn't sure if I was torn by feeling that this was in some way offensive and by the feeling that this was a very clever way to get people to faced the reality of the damage that child abuse does to it's victims and it's victims family. I also wondered how many in the audience got the message of this movie. While I enjoyed this move, for me this movie turned out to be more disturbing than funny.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Because I feel that in the heavens above
The angels, whispering one to another
Can find among their burning terms of love
None so Devotional as that of "Mother"
Edgar Allen Poe

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Kawkawa Lake

The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.
- Edwin Way Teale

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Gambier Island

On Easter weekend, Lucy and I were fortunate enough to be asked by my friends, Bob & Brenda, to go to their house on Gambier for the weekend. I grew up just 15 minutes boat ride from this Island, but was only on it two or three times in my entire life!
Lucy and I took the water taxi over and it was Lucy's first time on a boat. At first she was a little hesitant about climbing on board, but once on board she settled down at my feet and occasionally poked her head up to look out the windows.

Once on Gambier however she was in her element and so was I. No motorized bikes or vehicles are allowed on the Sea Ranch where we were staying. The place was so quiet you could hear the birds singing and the Blue Jays were gorgeous.
Once I realized that there were hiking trails all over the island and no bears and rarely a cougar Lucy and I took off to explore. We hiked as much of the trails as we could every day. Lucy happily running through the trees free as she could be!
On the last day we came across a deer quietly grazing on the ridge above where we were. Lucy had no idea she was there, but it clear that she knew we were there.

There are a lot of deer on this island and they are a dwarf breed that does not get very big so it is difficult to know how old this doe may be, but I am betting that there was a fawn or two somewhere nearby.
The weekend ,the best I have had in many years, was over before we knew it. It reminded me so much of my youth growing up in Gibsons, surrounded by water and trees and nature I can hardly wait to go back again.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Eagles in Cougar Canyon

The warm weather and little rain means that the trails in the canyon have started to dry out and Lucy and I have resumed our daily walks there. For the last two years my friend Chris has been telling me that the eagles have a nest in this huge tree, but I have rarely seen them. So this year I decided to take my camera every time I went and make a point of checking the tree. There are only a few spaces along the path that the tree can be seen from. Today I got lucky and managed to get these pictures of the young eagle. Some days there are two eagles sitting there one very large one and this little one. I find it so thrilling to see these lovely birds. There is something about eagles that I find mesmerizing and I am not sure what it is. I used to think that Blue Heron's were my favorite birds. They always make me smile, but eagles fascinate me and make me want to find places where they are so I can watch them.
There are many eagles on Gambier Island I am told by my friend who has a cabin there. They come to eat the salmon as they spawn up the creek. The Sea Ranch, where my friends house is, buys a flock of lambs every spring and raise them. Last year a lamb died and two eagles devoured it in one day leaving nothing but a lump of wool! I can't imagine that their beaks are that strong, but I have seen them take a large salmon right out of the water and fly away with it!
These birds are so amazing I cannot imagine that people would want to harm them, yet that is exactly what is happening to these beautiful creatures. There is such a huge market for their feathers and talons, even though it is illegal, people shoot them and sell their parts. The fines and sentences are not harsh enough to prevent this heinous act. For me nature is so beautiful and so precious that I cannot imagine wanting to harm any of it.