Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Short Hike to Nairn Falls

One of our outings for last weekend was a short hike to Nairn Falls located 20 minutes north of Whistler in the Nairn Falls Provincial Park.

The falls are a mere 60 metres in height, in comparison with nearby Shannon Falls at 335 m, but they are geographically quite interesting as you may be able see in the photograph above if you click to enlarge. But I'll tell you a little bit about them anyway.

The Green River carries sand and gravel which erodes away the bedrock over time and where it moves in a circular motion it carves potholes which sometimes join together underground leaving a bridge of rock, with the water swelling to the surface farther along. All these features are here at Nairn Falls and it is a most spectacular place, with the water roiling along with great force and a lot of noise.

Here the river has turned the corner through the potholes and drops away again, churning along with great force and sending spray flying in all directions.

When we first came here years ago, there was not much in the way of a guard rail but over the years the rocks overlooking the site have been completely fenced off. Not the place to fall into the river here I think.

A most spectacular place and of great interest geologically speaking. Of course the whole region is volcanic in origin which is what makes it so beautiful.

The hike from the parking lot to the falls is a mere 1.5 km but not so easy as that might suggest. It follows the bank of the Green River but goes up hill and down dale through the thick trees which line it all the way. The banks are very steep and the river runs very fast and is also quite cold, as they warn you on the signs. There is a final upward climb to the top of the rocks overlooking the view point to the falls.

The falls are a spiritual site to the local Lil’wat Nation. Part of the trail to the falls is the traditional route used by the Lil’wat people to access the falls and Mount Currie.

A view from near the parking lot, at the beginning of the trail where you can see the river continuing on its way from Green Lake which I showed you in this post. It now flows a little more sedately here which is just as well since there are 94 campsites who would like to have more peace and quiet than you find by the falls themselves.

After that effort, it's time for a drink at the nineteenth hole of the Big Sky Golf and Country Club, * just north of Whistler and one of the many world class golf courses in the area.

The outside vine covered pergola is a very pleasant spot to sit and watch the golfers putting on the 18th green. Something I have never seen before is the continuous very fine spraying of water all around the patio which makes it a very refreshing place to sit on a very warm day. You can see the little clouds of spray at the top of the left hand support pillar.

A perfect finish to a lovely day out and about near Whistler.

* Thanks to an anonymous commenter, I have changed this to the correct golf club which I had in error as Pemberton Golf and Country Club.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Around and about at Whistler

After the solid Blogpower roundup post it's time for a more lighthearted one so let's look at some of the scenery around Whistler, BC where I spent a few days recently.

The River of Golden Dreams - don't you love that name - runs from one lake to another at Whistler and is a very popular canoeing spot. The seats in the photo above are by the river in Meadow Park, very close to my friend's cottage and we did a circular walk, starting at this spot on the Whistler Village trail. She calls this "my Dad's spot" for when he came to visit from Scotland every few years he would sit on one of these seats, early in the morning, smoking a cigarette and taking in this wonderful view.

The park is a popular place for softball games, pick up and scheduled, and who could ask for a better venue surrounded by these mountains, snow capped all year round. In fact there is skiing all year round on the very top of Blackcomb Mountain, on the Horstman Glacier.

These funny little "works of art" are suddenly appearing in the park and on the Whistler trail but there are no notices with them and my friend says she has seen nothing about it in the local newspapers Decoration for the Olympics? Who knows?

Sure enough we passed canoers, taking a break, as we crossed the river via a small bridge.

The river runs from Green Lake which is a truly beautiful spot, surrounded by mountains, and a popular spot for canoeing and fly fishing. You can rent boats and canoes there if you don't have one.

Then again it's home of Whistler Air , the premier float plane company which for 23 years has been taking tourists to view the glaciers, volcanoes, fjords and the coastal rain forest with its wildlife in nearby Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Phew, safe landing. Thanks goodness. I'm quite happy to fly in those great big aeroplanes but I'm afraid I'll have to give these small ones a miss, no matter how beautiful it would be to see this spectacular scenery from the air. Too scary for me!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Blogpower Roundup --- JMB style

Launceston Castle, Cornwall

It's a bit intimidating doing a Blogpower roundup after the sterling efforts of Ian Q_T and Matt Wardman. But to encourage others, I am going to lower the bar so that volunteers will rush forward thinking that they can do better than JMB.

Oh, there is no theme nor any particular order, so just follow the butterfly mind, with which I am equipped, as I present to you some posts which took my eye while I trolled through my BP folder in bloglines this past week, plus the one lonely nomination.

I could not resist the above image of Launceston Castle in Cornwall which the Cornish Democrat used for his post asking once again what exactly is Cornwall, a county or a duchy and why is there no definitive answer.

Now which BP post should I choose to highlight the huge news of the week for the UK people? Miss Wagstaff, a Welsh blogger, uses a billiards/pool analogy in Reds cleared. Brown pocketed. Not many balls left on the table to announce the resounding defeat of the Labour candidate by the SNP in the Glasgow East bye-election, a seat held by Labour for more than 60 years.

Tom Paine certainly gives his forthright opinion of Al Gore in The Englishman on "Saint Al. How many others hold this opinion I wonder: Al Gore may just be the most dangerous man alive. Strong words indeed, do read the rest.

In a very pertinent post, Gracchi considers Friendship and the Internet and the difficulties of using only the written word when in real life we rely so much on physical signals and clues to aid in communication. He concludes: internet friends ........ are harder to understand simply because the keyboard is not as subtle an instrument as the human face. Excellent post Gracchi.

While on the topic of friendship, Crushed takes the opportunity of a birthday celebration, Happy Birthday, Chimney Sweep! to highlight the longtime relationship he has with his two closest friends.

Colin Campbell shares memories of the misery outdoors in Scotland in July prompted by reading the Midge Report in Midge Ure (gone) to be Scottish Tourism Ambassador. The forecast might read like this: Extremely itchy with some light scratches. Long term outlook (wait for winter) Good.

I was truly amazed to read the Pub Philosopher's post Are black people being banned from bars in Beijing? Only during the Olympics you understand, well maybe not, as one of his links leads to an article about racism in general in China.

Thunderdragon is a serious Conservative political blogger but every now and again a more lighthearted subject shows up on his blog as it did in Newspaper Typos in which he give us some interesting examples. Lard Thatcher?

Heather Yaxley in Communicating Road Measures is Confusing muses about the partial adoption of metrification in the UK, especially the fact that they never converted to the metric system for distance and speed measurement. It makes for a very confusing system indeed. When we in Canada adopted the metric system in 1970, later than the UK, we pretty well went the whole hog with a few exceptions. 50 km equals 30 miles and 4 litres equals one gallon. One metre is 40 inches while 10cm equals 4 inches. 20 degrees Celsius equals 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Not so difficult really, even for an old lady like me. I can even do the calculation F-32 = 9/5 C, not in my head of course, but then you can get a widget to do it, you know.

Brrr! Frost on the eucalypts

Speaking of temperature, Chervil is in the midst of winter Down Under and in Frost in my Garden she shows us that Australia, her part at least, is not always the land of warmth and sunshine. Minus 8 degrees Celsius? That would be very cold for Vancouver and we have central heating which she does not. Keep well wrapped up Chervil.

Calum Carr in Lightweight Posts -- But not This One tells of some incidents which did not make him the most popular guest in his hotel during his recent vacation at Oban, that very beautiful little port in Scotland, "Gateway to the Isles", which I remember very well from my trip there in 1960. Probably a few changes in 48 years I would think, well maybe not.

Mutley, while promising an interesting read in his post with the titillating title Sex Post!!, somehow seems to spend most of the time discussing the cabbage soup diet. No wonder you have to resort to internet dating Mutley!

Jeremy Jacobs celebrated his birthday this past week, on the same day as Louise Brown the first test tube baby. 30 years of being in the limelight....... Hard to believe it's that long ago. On the other hand it seems as if it has always been an available option, since it is so common now. Jeremy is not telling which birthday he was celebrating. We would never tell, Jeremy.

Ever the crusader, Matt Wardman takes up the cause of the cartoonist Dave Walker who received a cease and desist letter threatening legal action unless he removed 75 posts from his Cartoon Church blog. Matt is keeping an eye on the situation with his post Press Room for the Dave Walker / SPCK case which he will continue to update.

George, feeling very sorry for himself

You did not think I would do a roundup without George, did you? Well Liz blogged about George getting neutered this week in At the Vets'. But did it stop him roaming? Answer: It doesn't Bode Well. But He's still gorgeous.

In Little C: The Duck Whisperer Ruthie tells of how her 3 yr old son became the Pied Piper of the Local Marsh as he persuaded a goodly number of ducks to follow him on his tricycle ride. Sceptical? There are photos over there to prove it, you know.

The Fake Consultant this week highlighted in his post entitled On Extraordinary Awards, Or, Wounded Troops, Wounded Again how the US Department of Veterans Affairs is trying to illegally revoke disability awards that veterans would otherwise be granted. He sees the fingerprints of George Bush, who nominally "supports the troops", all over this latest manoeuvre to deny awards already granted to veterans.

The Norfolk Blogger gives advice to parents for the end of the school year in Gifts for teachers - What NOT to buy. Nope, a mug with World's Greatest Teacher is just not that original folks. He does have other suggestions however.

Recently returned to the Blogpower fold, Conservative blogger Andrew Allison, in his post A three-mile round trip to get your bin emptied, highlights the extent to which some councils have no concern for the convenience of their constituents. And he can't even blame it on Labour!

Remember last week's roundup discussed the more than 6000 speed cameras located in the UK? Well this week BP's newest member, No Clue, highlights the latest service to avoid getting caught by same in "Beat jams, avoid fines and relax this summer!" sez TomTom. The "clever people" always come up with some way to get around these things, so why do they bother installing them. By the way, quiet as the grave at No Clue now.

Log Cabin at Whistler, BC

Lastly, since I am not at all reticent about including one of my own posts, in Canadian Log Cabin -- Real and Virtual I compare my rented Canadian log cabin in Second Life with the real thing, the very upscale ones I found in Whistler, BC, where the Alpine Events of the 2010 Winter Olympics will take place.

There, that should keep you busy for the rest of your Sunday. Sorry, it just grew like Topsy. Enjoy!

Crossposted at Defending the Blog and Nobody Important.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt --- Hanging


Hanging baskets full of flowers are what sprang immediately to mind for this theme. I have lots of such photos in my archives but these are from yesterday, when I had lunch at this outdoor restaurant on the pier at Steveston Village (link to one of my posts on Steveston) on a beautiful sunny day, surrounded by flowers, after walking with my Thursday Walking Group on the nearby dyke.

We ate at this restaurant, nine of us in all

Steveston has been gussied up to attract the tourists and has some interesting small stores but it is a beloved spot for the locals too. One of my group bought a whole fresh salmon right from a fishing boat at the wharf below us.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Canadian Log Cabin -- Real and Virtual

I'm still trying to find time to organize my photos from my sojourn in Whistler this past weekend but in the interim I hope you find this somewhat interesting.

Whistler abounds in very expensive log cabins which nestle among the trees or have sweeping views of the surrounding mountains. Since I rent a Canadian log cabin in Second Life from fellow Blogpower member, Tom Paine, I thought you might be interested to see the contrast. First of all may I present a photo of my virtual log cabin, which I understand Tom actually bought from a Canadian builder in Second Life. There are three situated side by side at the waterfront location, with mine being the centre one. I have a spectacular view of the Linden ocean and a nearby lighthouse, with a dock below at which are moored one of Tom's luxury yachts which he rents out and several other interesting craft including a yellow submarine.

Yes, that is me on my front deck. I'll show you the inside
another time

However let's get down to the real thing, well the luxury real thing. These particular examples are taken from the houses which surround the very upscale Nicklaus North Golf Course where the rates to play are currently $189 per round. However if you buy one of houses in the development you have free membership in the golf course, which has a very beautiful setting and was designed of course by Jack Nicklaus. Currently there are two homes for sale there which are priced at $2,800,000 and $2,999,000. However the ones below are not on offer.

This gorgeous log cabin faces one of the beautiful greens on the golf course, to the right of where I was standing when I took this photo. This is just one angle of the cabin which is very large.

Its next door neighbour fronts the same hole on the course. This one is much smaller and is similar in shape to my own rented "virtual" log cabin, with the large windows in the upper floor.

This one is across the road from the other two but strictly speaking is a combination of a log cabin on the lower floor with a more traditional cedar siding construction for the upper floor, although it does have the big logs for the central beams above.

If you would like to have a Canadian log cabin in your real life you might like to look here. They are shipped worldwide. If you would like to have a virtual one in Second Life and be my neighbour there is currently one available but for how long I cannot say.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blogpower Roundup --- The Civil Liberties Edition

What could be more symbolic of Big Brother watching you than a speed camera? This image has been used by Matt Wardman of the Wardman Wire in his roundup at the Blogpower site of members' posts in recent weeks with the theme of Civil Liberties issues. While many of the highlighted post affect his country there are some included from other countries as well.

On the topic of speed cameras Matt found that there were more than 6000 fixed speed camera employed in the UK, with an unknown number of mobile units. As Matt says:

So … enjoy your camera freedom while it lasts, Cobber. Or move here if you want to experience your future now.

I'm sure you will be interested in this roundup and if the highlighted issues don't affect you in your part of the world, be very grateful indeed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Morpheus wherefore art thou?

Well Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams in my mind, not sleep however, that was Hypnos, but apparently he is also a character in the SciFi film the Matrix. Not only that but Morpheus is a free file sharing program and don't forget the Morpheus Photo Morpher Software. Ah the wonders of the internet when you type a single word into google.

The point is that Morpheus, the god of dreams, has deserted me. Normally I am a night owl and retire quite late. No problem because I tend to sleep late, although not too late. But there is a problem you see because recently I am unable to sleep late.

This one is parked right in front of our house

They are replacing the water pipes in our area which is rather strange since the development is only thirty five years old. Although they have finished in our part of the street, they park some of their equipment outside our house and every morning at 7 am they fire up these huge monsters right outside our bedroom window.

This one is parked across the street from our house

Not only that but they have broken the water main twice in one week so they have to repair that late into the night hours. The noise assault is getting rather wearing, day and night. I do hope they are finished soon but the notice seems to say that the project will continue until August 29th!

Now sleep deprivation can adversely affect brain function you know. Well at least I will have an excuse now. Roll on August 29th!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Saturday Photo Hunt --- What is that?


Now there are two ways to look at this theme. Number one is I know what it is but do you? Can you guess? For example:

Yes it is art, but useful. Guitar Gong, by Lyle Hamer, made of steel and maple burl wood and a recycled pressure vessel. Taken at the Contemporary Craft in British Columbia exhibit at the Vancouver Museum.

Number two is I have no idea what this is, it's driving me crazy and after nine months I still don't know. Yes I know it's a painting but who painted it? I thought it was a Picasso and I would easily find it on the web so took no note of it. Do you think I can find it? Since then I have changed my methods when photographing art in museums, photo one of the subject, photo two of the plaque with it. Problem solved.

Painting by unknown artist, to me anyway, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I still think it is a Picasso.

I'm out of town until Monday but will return visits then.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whistler -- Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics?

Somehow I thought that the 2010 Winter Olympics were to be held at Whistler, BC. Oh yes, the skating and hockey venues are in Vancouver it's true. The hockey arena is on the UBC campus, right next to the gym where I go three times a week and I have watched its construction for a couple of years now. But obviously I was mistaken because the official site is called Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and here's the logo on all the T shirts to prove it. An inukshuk of course.

Well of course all the big skiing areas are at Whistler so those things will be held there, the downhill races, the slaloms, ski jumping, etc. I see the WhistlerBlackcomb Ski Resort advertises itself as the Official Alpine Skiing Venue for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Anyway, I'll be off to Whistler for a few days to check out how the preparations are going there and taking advantage of the wonderful hiking and recreational opportunities that the area has to offer. We'll be staying with friends who have a ski cabin there and I'll be taking lots of photos for it surely is a magnificent place. Here's a teaser for you. Yes it is that beautiful at Whistler.

My Saturday Photo hunt is set up to autopost -gotta love that new feature of Blogger - so I will be playing and I will return all visits sooner or later. How can I survive without the internet for four days? Behave while I'm gone!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Stanley Park Miniature Railway

My daughter and her family have departed for their home after two weeks with us and life is gradually settling back into the slower pace that the "old scientist"and I usually enjoy. My five year old granddaughter is a delight to us, even though she came into my life much later than most grandmothers achieve that status.

Vancouver has many wonderful things to do with children and one of the nicest is to ride the Stanley Park Miniature Railway.

The ticket booth

For ten minutes the little train winds around over a mile and a quarter of 20" track through a lightly wooded 6 acre area in the park which was opened up after Hurricane Frieda in 1962, allowing the railway to be constructed.

The station itself with the train on the right hand side
beyond the fence

Last summer when my granddaughter visited us the city of Vancouver outdoor workers were on strike and she missed out, although she has been several times on the railway at Christmas time when it is transformed into fairyland.

Yes, we took the red train. There are three sets of cars and four different engines. Often there are two running at the same time on different parts of the track.

It is a beautiful setting and it was a lovely day so the train was full although we did not have to wait long, as one does for the Bright Nights Christmas train or the decorated Halloween Ghost train where you have to line up for ages, even though the tickets have a half hour window.

One of the extra trains, in a layby. They are all kept in tip top condition and I'm sure the drivers have a lot of fun navigating the route. I have no idea how they are powered and information online is scarce. Mostly, here are the hours and this is the fare.

An open area that the train passes through with some rustic decoration. No they did not cut down that tree. The trees in Stanley Park are sacred to the Vancouverites, but the windstorms have no respect for them. The last two years have been devastating to the 1000 acre park and the more trees that fall, the more that are likely to fall because they no longer have each other's protection. In one storm alone in December 2006 over 3000 trees were damaged, over 40% of the forest, which while primarily second and third growth trees is maintained with great care by the city.

In front of the stump you can see an inukshuk, a cairn of stones, although more rightly this one should be called an inunnguaq, since it takes the shape of a man. This has become ubiquitous in this part of the world since it was adopted as the symbol for the 2010 Winter Olympics which will take place in Whistler and Vancouver.

Several mountain sheep watch as the train goes by their pen. A common occurrence and not worth turning one's head says the female, while the male wonders if he has to do something about this intruder.

Somebody I know enjoys this ride very much and she is very anxious to get underway. Luckily we did not have to wait long before we were away.