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...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Song for Friday...still hoping

Probably the coldest, most wet spring I can ever remember.
 I am still a 'glass half full' kind of girl.
I have been listening to this band a lot lately and have fallen in love with this hymn.
Poetry in motion...

June Hymn by The Decemberists.
Here's a hymn to welcome in the day
Heralding a summer's early sway
And all the bulbs all coming in
To begin
The thrushes bleating battle with the wrens
Disrupts my reverie again

Pegging clothing on the line
Training jasmine how to vine
Up the arbor to your door
And more
You're standing on the landing with the war
You shouldered all the night before

And once upon it
The yellow bonnets
Garland all the lawn
And you were waking
And day was breaking
A panoply of song
And summer comes to Springville Hill

A barony of ivy in the trees
Expanding out its empire by degrees
And all the branches burst to bloom
In the boom
Heaven sent this cardinal maroon
To decorate our living room

And once upon it
The yellow bonnets
Garland all the lawn
And you were waking
And day was breaking
A panoply of song
And summer comes to Springville Hill

And years from now
When this old light isn't ambling anymore
Will I bring myself to write
"I give my best to Springville Hill"

And once upon it
The yellow bonnets
Garland all the lawn
And you were waking
And day was breaking
A panoply of song
And summer comes to Springville Hill
And summer comes to Springville Hill

Have a beautiful weekend all!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On the way home....

We were lucky to have a sunny day to travel back down Island.
 Here we are coming back from Denman towards Vancouver Island.
Captain Tom...
 The Vancouver Island Range is like a backbone that runs down the centre of the Island,
with the highest peak in Strathcona Park, Golden Hinde at 2,200 metres (about 7,200 feet).
We took our time, stopping to take Griffin for a few little walks, before stopping 
in at one of Vancouver Islands little secrets.
Off the main highway, off the beaten track, down a few back roads, this is what you'll find...
The prettiest English pub set out in the middle of a small farming community, in the middle of nowhere.
If you've ever watched the BBC series, Midsommer Murders, then you'll feel like you've just stepped 
onto the set of the show...
...a lovely house for the owners, a few outbuildings and this pretty little pub...
...but before we go in, you must take a stroll by the pond to visit the newest members of Yellowpoint...
These cuties belong to these gorgeous parents...
...not so ugly ducklings...
O.K, back to the business of lunch...
stroll through the sun dappled arbour...
 ...and what to my eyes appears?
(cue heavenly choir music...)
Aahh ...yes, the sign of great taste!
In the warmer months, you can sit outside, and although it SHOULD be the warmer months,
the wind was quite chill this day so we opted to warm up inside...
 Even though this pub was only built in 1969, it has the real feel of a hundred year old pub...
low ceilings, big beams...
...big fireplace, stuff all over the walls, old books...
And of course great food and drink!
I had the fantastic seafood chowder, while Tom enjoyed the bratwurst lunch plate.
It was the perfect end to our journey and although this pub is a good hour and a half drive, 
we'll go out of our way to stop again and again...

Monday, April 25, 2011

On the road - part 2...

Our destination on our mini road trip was Denman Island.
This is one of the Gulf Islands which lies between Vancouver Island and the Mainland and 
takes about 3 1/2 hours to drive there.
We had some wicked weather on the way up with hail, sleet, wind, sun, rain, rain and more rain!
This is the view from the ferry, looking back at Vancouver Island, going over to Denman...
...still lots of snow on the mountains up here.
As you drive off the ferry and up the hill, you're greeted by this historical old building...
The store dates back to 1908 and has been a gathering place to get liquor, mail letters, get gas, shoot the breeze with friends and pay high prices for convenience. 
Basically this is 'downtown Denman'.
It's a very quiet little place with a few tiny cafes, hardware store, community hall, health clinic, church and school, artist studios are scattered all over the island as well.
Believe it or not, I lived here about 31 years ago for a brief hippy spring, in a renovated barn while I was pregnant with my daughter...oh the good old days...
Here is my friend Jane Ann's house...
She and her late husband, Wes built it about 30 years ago.
It's a beautiful mix of West Coast meets English country cottage...
When I'm inside the house, all I can think of as a theme is 'A Room with a View'.
I especially love this bay window in the kitchen looking out to the gorgeous rhubarb and flower bed...
Jane Ann's dog Beau (little) and Sasha (a guest for a few weeks) contemplating life on the porch.
Griffin! Do you mind? I'm trying to take pictures!
Jane Ann out picking kale to add to our supper...
Here is my favorite chair in the whole wide world!!
I tried to fit it in my basket, but Jane Ann noticed right away!
Her house sits on the edge of a marsh, which is actually more like a small lake, so we went down to have a look and take the dogs for a stroll...
While we were down there we saw that the beavers had been hard at work...
...which gave Tom some incentive to chop up a bunch of wood for Jane Ann...
This made Jane Ann extremely happy!
"Next you can do that big fir there Tom"....
"Yeah right... maybe next year Jane Ann!"
Back up at the house, I trundled around the lovely gardens...
Down to the hen house...
Lucky little chicks, sitting under the heat lamp...
 Every time you come through the gate, you are greeted by "gobble gobble gobble"
Jane Ann has a pair of turkey''s the tom, giving me the evil eye...
Sasha, (who Jane Ann is caring for while her owner is gone off to Ireland, Iceland and Turkey),
is obsessed with the little pond...
In fact, when we went to the beach that morning, she does the same thing. Seems she thinks shes 
quite the fisherman and will stand patiently for long stretches of time just waiting...
I wonder if she knows the story of Narcissus?
Jane Ann did this workshop to make this conical, willow trellis and was explaining how to make one...
It's really strong and will be a nice added structure to the bean patch.
Here's the lads and lady posing ever so nicely for me on our walk...pause for paws...
Beau reminds me of a dust mop...
We got Griffin at the same time as Jane Ann got Beau and, I kid you not, Beau was bigger than Griffin once!
The next day we finally had some sunshine...
...which made the garden even more lovely.
Our time at Jane Ann's was too short, but very sweet...great conversation over cups of tea.
Warm ambiance at the table with good wine and delicious dinners.
I see her more than a few times a year when she comes to Victoria to see her son and daughter in law, but
the last time I was up here was 2 years ago...hopefully it won't be such a long time before I visit again.
 So long for now...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

On the road - part 1...

Our little 3 day road trip began in Victoria.
Tom got to go to the dentist while I had to walk Griffin through Beacon Hill park.
This is one of those green havens in the middle of a city.
62 acres of landscaping that is sure to impress.
I'm always in awe of people who have the vision to plan gardens and parks.
My garden has always sort of evolved and quite often not the way I've envisioned it.
Anyway, it was a lovely day to stroll through the more wild side of this park...
 There are beautiful, old trees all through the park and I especially like this area with all
of the Gary oaks. These are big gnarly trees native to this part of the world.
Fallen ones are left for birds and other small critters to make their homes...
Naturalization is paramount in this part of the park and with all the spring flowers on a sunny day,
it couldn't be more lovely...
It was one of those days, when, after a long wet winter and spring, people were out rejoicing in the warm sun.
Frisbees being tossed about...
...the kind of day that you could spend hours strolling about, lying in the grass, having an ice cream cone...
Or maybe a long cool drink of water, like this crow on a gorgeous old water fountain...