Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Parliament Buildings

I am sitting in the parliament buildings in Victoria waiting for my flight to Vancouver by Helijet! Cool huh! One of the very few perks of this job!
It was a great conference. I learned alot and enjoyed being able to share with my co-workers from around the province.
I have lots of pictures and I will be posting them soon.

See ya on the mainland!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

At A Conference In Victoria

I am in Victoria for a few days for a conference. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. In the background of this picture you can see the the parliament buildings. I took this picture on my phone from inside the Keg restaurant where I am enjoying a great big steak!

See Ya in a couple of Days!

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Thursday, April 24, 2008

My day off!

Today was my day off and I had an appointment in the us. For one brief moment while eating breakfast I considered canceling.
I foolishly didn't listen to myself. As a result I spent my day with the martins. Nice people but expensive!
Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Hearing the Music

"Those Who Hear Not the Music Think the Dancers mad!"

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Are We Really Going Green or Just Talking About It?

Yesterday was Earth Day. Here in my world it is a big event. All the politicians do something for Earth Day. We gave out dogwood tree seedlings at the skytain stations. People loved it and because the dogwood tree is British Columbia's official tree it was even more fitting.
However, Earth day caused me to ponder the state of our world. The day should celebrate everything wonderful about this planet yet it seems that there is less and less that is to be celebrated. The way I see it the more we try to get people to recognize our responsibility for the condition of our planet the less successful we are. We carry on about how we should not use plastic bags any longer yet companies seem to pile more and more packaging onto their products and most of us still fill our shopping carts with it. We recognize our need to find alternate forms of fuel yet we stupidly start paying farmers to grow crops that can be used for bio fuels while 25, 000 people a day die from hunger in our world. The cost of food has increased so much that world leaders are talking about a world food shortage. Not just in third world countries, but in the western world as well. Could be a good thing as most of us are eat way too much anyhow.
However, what I think really bothers me is that there is a lot of talk about the global warming and pollution, but I honestly don't see anyone really doing much about it. Yes as individuals we try and recycle, use less, take transit, buy smaller cars, but the real polluters are the corporations and government seems unwilling or unable to make them come up with new ways of helping conserve the earths resources. Until such time as we either demand that corporations get greener or governments charge these companies enormous amounts for their pollution I doubt that much will change in my life time. So it causes me to wonder and worry what will happen in my grand chilren's life time. As most of you know I love nature and when I am snapping pictures of the beauty around me I wonder if it will be here tomorrow and the next day and the next.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Finding Spring

It seems to have been such a long winter this year. The last few weeks every time I get hopeful that spring is finally here the weather turns cold again. This last week I set out to find spring in the lower mainland.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Foot Stools with Handles?

This morning while driving back from Bellingham I decided to take the back road through the farm country. I like to look at the farm animals grazing in the fields and occasionally I spy an Eagle hovering over a grove of trees. Today I spied what I thought to be fluffy foot stools with handles in a pen beside the road. As I started to drive past I realized that the foot stools were moving and the handles were horns.
As the horns moved up this little face was staring out at me from all that hair! Now isn't this the most delightful little thing? Put a smile on my face all day long!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Would Someone Please Give Those Birds A Cheeseburger!

Where a lot of people on the West Coast spent the weekend - at the beach!

I can't believe it has been almost a week since I posted anything. I can't remember when I have gone that long with out saying anything stupid of boring or that would piss off one country or another.
This past week has been extremely busy. With my Aunt in hospital and taking extra work for my constituency I just have not had time to do much blogging. I don't expect it to get much better over the next couple of weeks.
This weekend I tried to find some time to go get out doors as the weather has finally gotten warmer... a lot warmer. In fact I took Lucy to the beach and there were so many people out there having a great time in the surf! Lucy however spent her time fishing.
This weekend saw the return of the Cheeseburger birds. For those of you who can sleep on a bed of nails or through a tornado, Cheeseburger birds are those little birds that seem to carry on and on and on early in the morning. They seem to be screaming for Cheeseburgers and they are most notable after you have been tossing and turning all night and just as the night is turning to grey they start. CHEEESEBURGER...CHEEESEBURGER!!!! They scream this incessantly till you finally get out of bed and then for the rest of the day you don't hear them anymore. Now I never figured out what they were saying till my daughter staggered into the kitchen one morning after a wakeful night muttering under her breath "where's the coffee and one won't someone give those damn birds a CHEESEBURGER! The next time I couldn't sleep sure enough the cheeseburger birds showed up. I have never seen one of these birds I have only heard them! I am not sure if they have them in other places or just in BC, but I will guarantee you anyone in BC who has a problem sleeping will be able to tell you what a cheeseburger bird is in no uncertain terms.

This is NOT a Cheeseburger bird!

It is a hawk that I managed to capture on my camera at the bird sanctuary!

Monday, April 07, 2008

The I'll Show You Mine Tag!

I don't know, but is there a tag or meme that Drowsey Monkey has not had? This time it is the "I'll Show You Mine" that is my desk top of course!
I actually did this one a few months ago, but for Drowsey I'll do it again and I change my desktop all the time. I like to put up some of the photos I take and because I take so many it changes quite often. So here it is.. drum roll please!
Yes... I know all those icons slow down my computer. Actually I just cleaned a bunch of them off so this is the clean version. Anyhow the rule of course is that I am to pass this meme on so here is who I will pass this on to:
DJ A Stellar Life
Nervus Rex
Oh and remember it is voluntary!

Do you remember when I put up the "What's with those Brits?" post about the guys in England who trek through the bush to steal birds eggs and consider this a hobby even though it is illegal. Well for all of you who didn't really believe this story, including my friend Frances who lives in Plymouth, here is a picture of one of those freaks with all his illegal stolen birds eggs!!

Can you believe this?!?! I just don't understand.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Where Does The Weekend Go?

It seems to me that the weekends go by in a blink of an eye! I try ever weekend to get outside inhale nature. I try to cram as much of it inside me to last through a whole week. Miss Lucy and I headed to the valley this Saturday even though the weather was not that good. I am working several different jobs again and so when I get a whole day to myself I just need to walk in the woods and let Miss Lucy have a swim and a good run. Of course I have to take my camera and catch what I can to bring home with me to make it till the next time I am able to run away for a day or two.
This weekend in the valley I spotted a lot of Eagles. I am not sure if they are returning to their nesting for breeding or if the Fraser River has an abundance of food right now. Unfortunately all the eagles were too high in the air to get good pictures of , but I loved this shot of the underside of this eagle soaring over my head.
I have discovered that if you look for nature you spot it everywhere! My daughter really could care less if she ever sees a bird in her life. Having lived most of her life in the city birds to her mean pigeons and crows neither of which does she like. To me birds mean chickadees and blue jays and woodpeckers and blue herons of course the magnificent eagles. My daughter never seems to see the birds or much of any other wild animals and is amazed that I can spot these wild things almost everywhere I go. For me they are a life line to sanity and peace. Some day I am going to get to live in the country away from the bustle, noise and pollution of the city. Even if it means living in a tent. Can't be so hard... after all Chiwid managed to live outdoors for 50 years!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Chiwid of the Chilcotin

While browsing a copy of BC Magazine I came across an article about a native woman by the name of Chiwid. She was born in the Chilcotin in 1903 to a Tsilhquot'in woman and a white man. Her name Chiwid in Tsilhqot' means chickadee. It is said that she was a raving beauty with long shiny black hair and she married a Tsihquot'in horse trainer and legendary rider who was known for his meaness and he often beat her. Sometime in 1932 or 33 he injured her so badly by lashing her with a logging chain that she had to be taken to hospital. When she recovered she moved outdoors to begin her life as a nomad.
My belief upon reading to that point in the story was that this woman was like a lot of other native women of their time. They were strong women who often were abused in their relationships and determined to live on their own moving from place to place hence the term nomad. However, with Chiwid, there was a great deal more to the story.
Chiwid lived alone with few possessions not even a tent nor sleeping bag and without shoes for her feet or a coat for the cold Chilcotin winters. All she had was a stocking cap, black cotton stockings, moccasins, a skirt she made herself and a tattered men's sports coat which was given and one blanket! She did own a rifle, two old frying pans, a few pots, a knife, fork and spoon and a double-handled axe. She took, from her marriage, a share of the family cows and pastured them in wild meadows. In winter she fed them with hand cut hay from the grasslands. She did apparently have some horses, but they were unable to survive the harsh conditions she lived under.
To survive and feed herself she hunted moose and deer, snared squirrels and birds to roast over her fire. She caught fish, dug up wild potatoes and picked berries drying them for winter. She traded squirrel pelts for sugar, flour and tea at the Tatla Lake store and in 1959 her life go a little better when she got a small pension from the government which was held for her at the store.
She was an amazing woman in many ways, but what astounded people of that day was her ability to withstand the cold. People tell of watching her casually take off her moccasins in the middle of winter and dump the snow out before replacing them on her feet. In the deepest winters where the snow was many feet high and the temperatures would drop to -40 she could be seen huddled beneath a small tarpaulin beside her campfire. People who tried to take her in say that she did not like to be in the warmth and would retreat back outside finding comfort in the cold.
While married to her abusive husband Chiwid had two children. When they were old enough they were sent to a mission residential school in Williams Lake. Years after Chiwid began her nomadic life she gave birth to a third daughter - Mary Jane. This daughter lived in the forest with her until she was school age and then she too was sent to the residential school in Williams Lake
Chiwid, it was said, was a woman of few words, but had a luminous smile as you can see in the picture I scanned from the magazine. Even in her mid-60s you can see the incredible beauty she radiated from within as well as without.
Native elders have said that they believe the way she kept warm and alive was through dreaming of being some type of animal probably a coyote. The natives believe that is how she stayed warm.
Some time in the 1980's after almost 50 winters in the outdoors, blind and unable to hunt any longer, she moved to the Stone Reserve to live with friends who cared for her. She died in 1986 at the age of 83.
The province of British Columbia is rich with stories like these. Real people who over came hardship, survived in unusual circumstances and became legend. I love to read about them. This story in particular intrigued me and made me wish that I could have met this beautiful coyote woman.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Those Are Some Third Graders!

A group of third graders in Waycross Georgia plotted to attack their teacher because she scolded one of them for standing on a chair. Police said that the students brought abroken steak knife, handcuffs, duct tape and other items.
Now when I was a kid we did a lot of things to our teachers. We put tacks on their chairs and the boys set stink bombs off in the science labs. One of our favorite tricks was to disappear during excursions to the woods for science lectures leaving one scared city teacher to frantically search for us while we made our way through the bush to the back of the local mall and bought ourselves soft drinks before leisurely making our way back to the school. Another time a group of us pooled our money to purchase an extra large bottle of Scope mouthwash to leave on the desk of a particularly disliked teacher who had bad breath causing him to give us an entire hours lecture on the reasons for some people to have halitosis leaving most of us in fits of laughter, but knives and handcuffs... never crossed our minds!
WTF were these kids thinking and where do they learn this stuff? To make things even more puzzling the police say that all in all these are generally pretty good kids!! I would hate to see what a BAD grade three kid is like.