Wednesday, September 29, 2010


This is Ace the Cat. 

Ace has the longest legs and longest tail of any cat I have ever known.  He's a brindled tabby (I think that's the right term), which is pretty unusual Up Here.  He reminds me of an Egyptian cat statue

More correctly, it's Senor Ace, el gato, because Ace is Mexcian.  As a tiny, tiny starving and scraggly kitten, Ace begged for food and help from Linda (McCluskey) as she was passing an Ace Hardware store in Cancun, Mexico.  She couldn't walk away and kitten was immediately adopted, loved and cared for and was named Ace for obvious reasons.  

He's an Illegal, I'm afraid.  He doesn't work much these days, not since he became blind in one eye, due to a nasty altercation with a feral cat.  Mostly he patrols the yard a few times a day.  His ears are somewhat shredded too, from other fights.  Hopefully he doesn't always come out on the losing end of these events.  (Between us in case anyone thinks I'm infering something above, I don't think Mexicans or illegal immigrants are lazy - in fact, quite the opposite.  Those people work very hard at jobs the rest of us won't do.)  

In a month or so, Ace will be returning to his country of birth as he does every Winter.  He doesn't like the cold weather much.  This week with all the rain and chilly air, he headed directly to his mat in front of the wood fire as soon as he got back into the house. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tug Boats and Barges

Who doesn't love a tugboat towing a huge barge? 

For more about tugs and barges, go here

Cape Mudge Lighthouse

Another dark and dreary photo of something on Quadra Island.  This time the lighthouse at Cape Mudge, on the southern tip of the island - the entrance to the Discovery Passage. 

There is some very treacherous water in this area:  rocks, reefs and turbulent tides, as well as the stormy weather conditions mostly in the Fall and Winter

Cape Mudge has seen its share of shipwrecks, including the 'Cottage City' which went down, on January 26, 1911, thirteen years after the light station was established. Lightkeeper John Davidson, a fiercely independent Scotsman, was pumping his hand fog horn in blinding snow and heavy fog, when the 'Cottage City', unable to get a bearing on Cape Mudge crashed onto a rocky reef two miles south of the light.

Davidson guided the lifeboats to safety by waving a white flag on the beach. The snow was so deep the passengers, including the fourteen women and a four-year-old child on the first lifeboat, had to hike along the beach, after landing in a sheltered cove, to reach the warmth of the lighthouse. Davidson and his wife gave the passengers hot food and put them up for the night, with some housed in the lantern room, until a steamer picked them up the next day.
My sister, Carol, on the driftwood-strewn beach

Monday, September 27, 2010

On The Beach

Seriously, this is On The Beach, Linda McCluskey's B&B situated, yes, on the beach below their house.

I'm not staying the B&B; I'm up top in the McCluskey's beautiful house.  My sis & bro-in-law are house and cat sitting for their friends.

Native Carvings

Quadra is absolutely crawling with artists, creating all kinds of lovely things using every type of medium.  Roads are littered with Artist Studios.  Love places like this.  Every June there is the Quadra Island Studio Tour.  

On a drive around the populated part of the island, I took some photos of whatever native carving art we came across.  Some of it was at the  Wei Wai Kai Nation at the Cape Mudge Band village.

Totem pole being carved

A war canoe

 A gathering place for story-telling

A very ancient totem pole

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Quadra Island

The weather has been much less than perfect - in fact, yesterday was gale force winds; it was a nasty November storm in September. 

This was the view out the windows (rain-streaked windows)

And, the local forecast is for strong to gale force winds tonight and tomorrow. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tide's out at Rathtrevor Beach

Rathtrevor Beach is 2-3 kilometers south of Parksville, Vancouver Island.  The ocean recedes almost a kilometer at low tide.

Some of the things I found in the sand and tide pools

These snails were absolutely everywhere, very tiny to 2 cm in length.

A stately juvenile Great Blue Heron, standing on one leg.

Nephew #3

Well, look who's here - not here-here, as in where I physically am - here with us on this blog.  Yay.  Grand-nephew, actually.  Henry.  Found this photo on his Dad's Facebook page this morning and immediately lifted it. 

Looks like you are going somewhere, kid.  Do I detect a little unhappiness, a little tear in the eye?  It'll be fine, I'm sure.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shummy - my other nephew

The many faces of a dog who doesn't like having a camera aimed at him.  Shummy is a miniature American Husky.  He owns my friend Lasha.  They live in Kelowna.

Oh, all right, I'll look at you. Satisfied?

In The Kootenays

'The Kootenays' are not a mountain range - or at least not one named The Kootenays.  It's more or less the drainage area of the Kootenay River, which includes the central Rockies, the Purcell and the Selkirk ranges.  The Kootenay Pass (el. 1775 m) is the highest year-round pass in Canada. 

This was the Trib's first visit to the mountains.  He loved it.  (zoom-zoom)

Now we are at the top of a long, grinding incline.  There's a pretty little lake

and a cute little log cabin

and big parking lots on both sides of the highway with signs that read (click on pic to enlarge)

because coming up is a 9% grade descent and these guys are gonna be hauling-ass big time.

This is the sort of place where one sees multiple runaway lanes.  One grimaces and wonders what it would be like to have to use one - but all are a little grassy and overgrown...until one whips around a downhill curve and there, there is a runaway lane that has freshly plowed tracks that go straight up for a long way.  Wow.  One is glad one wasn't around for that event.  (One is also glad this paragraph is over).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

West of Fernie

This farm is between the town of Fernie and the road to the ski hill.  When I was a skier (so very, very long ago) coming to Fernie to ski the powder, this meadow would be covered in 4+ feet of snow.  There were two horses at the farm then and they loved to make trails in the freshly fallen snow. 

The Frank Slide

On April 29, 1903 at 4:10 a.m., the east face of Turtle Mountain (30 million cubic metres of limestone) crashed down on the small coal mining town of Frank, AB.  The slide covered about three square kilometers of the valley.  Between 70-90 people were killed, some miners were trapped underground but dug themselves out.  

Info of the slide is here and here

Click on photos to enlarge.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Anyone know......(corrected)

the name of this mountain?  I always called it The Chief, but apparently Chief Mountain is in Montana.  This one is near Blairmore, AB. 

Correction:  This is Crowsnest Mountain.  For its history, go here