Thursday, December 11, 2014


I took this photo in 2010 on the way from Calgary, Alberta to Glen Ellen, California.  Mum and I stopped and watched the cattle run for a few minutes before continuing on our way.  The painting in behind was a commission, and before I added certain elements for my client, I took a lot of photos of this abstract Alberta storm sky I had created.  I spent quite a bit of time in Photoshop Elements merging the two together (mostly on separating the cows out from their photo) and I love the result. 
I've added it here as a high resolution 8.5"x14" calendar, so if you, Dear Reader, would like to right click on it and print it out for yourself, please do.
Moooorry Christmas,

Monday, December 1, 2014

Port Hardy

I know, I's been a while.  What can I say?  I've been busy!

This past weekend we went up to Port Hardy, which is at the end of Highway 19...there is no more Highway 19 after that.  We arrived later in the afternoon and it was snowing up in the mountains, but just cold in town.  We checked in to our hotel and got settled in, and realized we had a looooong night of darkness ahead of us.  Sun sets around 4:30-5pm and that's a long time until it rises again at 7am.  As we've not watched TV since we moved to the Island, we did a little channel surfing and found a hockey game.  I tried to read a book, but it's an informational book so I was quickly bored.

Anyway, Saturday started out early and we were able to switch to a room higher up in the hotel, which gave us a better view of the marina.  We headed out to the main street, walked around, found a couple places to snoop in, bought 3 books for 75 cents (yes, 75 cents - books 2, 3, and 4 of the Game of Thrones series), bought a chai and a latte, then took off driving around to see what we could see.

We went to Bear Cove and saw the huge houses up there, with lots starting at 70K (which means they have no view so we're assuming the ones with a view are $150K).  They were really nice and had just stunning views.  Then we found an estuary and walked around there - pretty neat in the morning with some ice that had broken when the tide went out from underneath it.

Still looking around at what there was to see up there, we went to Coal Harbour and found a couple birds to take photos of.  Then we stopped at a riverside walk to see what we could see and stumbled on a bald eagle having a meal.  It was so neat!  I took a lot of photos and was pretty impressed with myself.  We went back across to the other side of the estuary and found a big group of eagles to take photos of.  But the sun was going down and it was getting cold, so we headed back to the hotel.  Scott stayed at the bar to watch the game and I played around with the photos on the laptop in the room with Maggie Mae snoozing away.

We got up really early on Sunday and went back to the same spot and found even more eagles and a really wonderful sunrise.  When I had my fill of photos, and was a little frozen, I got back in the car and we went over to the riverside spot to see if there were eagles there too.  Yes, indeed.  I managed to get quite a few more shots, along with a couple eagles eating and being pestered by crows.  Both times when we drove away from this spot, and eagle flew at the car as we drove over the bridge - it was pretty neat.

On the way up and the way back, we drove along 19A where we could, and checked out all the homes on the ocean.  These people are so lucky to have that view every day, all day long.  It's not something we can afford, nor would we give up our lifestyle to swing it either.  We would be really really house poor then!  Yikes!

A great weekend, but a really long drive, so we won't be going back up there for quite some time.