Saturday, September 17, 2011

Record Summer

Summer in the Rockies

Summer in Calgary: Sharon Lutheran Church, Danish style.

Nice Hot Strong Cup of Tea Anyone? Restaurant in Red Deer Alberta...
It seems this climate change business goes both ways. In UK this summer was the worst weather-wise for 18 years, whereas here temperature records have been broken on many occasions, it has been so hot. The effects are various. In our area it is apple harvesting time, and believe it or not, many apples have been sunburnt from the 33 degrees Celsius temperatures. Sunburnt apples get a circular area of brown on one side, effectively producing a large bruise, making them unsalable. In UK the butterfly count has gone down because of the bad weather. Hopefully you will get an "Indian Summer" to compensate.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Maybe we should drop the "n" at the end of Autumn. It doesn't seem to be doing anything.
Mount Rundle near Banff Alberta

Field BC ; Needs the Taj Mahal in there somewhere don't you think?

Farm near Mara BC
It is another blue sky sunny day here in Paradise, with the light just right for taking photos, or painting for that matter. However it is a little cooler, so there won't be so many swimming in the lakes. Hanne and Barbara have just gone for a bike ride....
Here are a few more autumnal photos from last September. Oh! that word needs its "n" after all! I was quite wrong!

Thursday, September 15, 2011


There is so much news in the world. Bad news: "Four miners trapped in Swansea coal mine." Good news: "70-year old man swims the Channel." Now that's good news! There's real good hope for Alan. He isn't even 60 yet!
How do we find all the proper news we should? Most newspapers are biased one way or another. Politicians seem to be guided by big money as to what they say. At least Al Gore puts his money where his mouth is, even if he's not popular.
Even on the internet and TV news isn't foolproof.
Hope you all took your 24 hour reality check yesterday and today. Then I can remove the banner above.
" 70-year old swims the Channel "  Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA
 Our Pirocantha (Firethorn)
Fall in Enderby on the Shushwap River
Today it is cloudy for the first time for ages. We will have to admit: Summer is nearly over. As with H, our conkers ( Horse-chestnuts ) are ripe and spiky, our fire-bush is turning red, the pirocantha bushes have orange berries, and the first day of Fall (Autumn) looms.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


A visit to Oliver to view the remains of the school fire. Still a few bits of smouldering timber. An acrid choking stench in the air. Chunks of half-burnt roof tar littered over the beautiful grass of the adjoining park. The older portion of the school from 1948 is all a pile of rubble; the new parts, gym, science center, library, and cafeteria are all intact, as they were fireproof. No news yet as to cause, but the experts are looking into it. A few more days and plans for the 500 students will be in place....

Remains of old school
Oliver Apples
A piece of good news. Frank Venables' grandson was in the auditorium two weeks ago, and discovered a nice framed portrait photo of Frank kicking about there, so he brought it to his mother to look after. The family is looking forward to re-building the auditorium and re-hanging the portrait there, at some unknown date in the future !
( Older pictures from Oliver can be seen starting here.)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Connecting the Dots

Sometimes we fail to connect the dots. We have these blind spots too. Most of us go through this world following the others. Some of us discover new things and everyone benefits. I was thinking about electricity today in particular, ( discovered by a Greek in 600 B.C.) as it seems to me we are at the beginning of a new era when the ability to knock electrons off silicon and other substances with photons to make electricity is being rapidly developed, superseding eventually the burning of coal. This brings me to tomorrow's world event, "24 hours of Reality", in which we will be hourly encouraged to stop being blind to climate change being related to the burning of fossil fuels, and connect the dots and make a difference by changing from herd instinct with a reality check. "Everyone drives big six-wheeled trucks so why shouldn't I?"  Some of my friends say solar power is no good because it only shines in the daytime. There is an answer of course: how about batteries; and a world wide electric grid...?
We have already electric trains, but why not electric cars?

"I have a feeling that I've seen everything, but failed to notice the elephants" ( Anton Chekhov)

? Solar Power ? ( Window from Sharon Lutheran Church Calgary )

Blind Spots: A sunset most missed because they thought the sky was blue ( Digital Sketch)

Connected Dots
I discovered today that amber, a pine tree resin, was called in Greek "Elektron".
By rubbing amber with a silk cloth you can make a spark of electricity. Hence the origin of our word!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Oliver BC School Burns Down

Oliver Secondary School BC
At 2.00 am this morning the large Secondary School ( Senior High School in the old terminology) just south of here in Oliver started to burn down. Fire crews from all the neighboring towns were called in, but it is now all burned to the ground. It was built in 1948, and in those days a lot of wood was used in construction. So sad. About 350 students and staff have nowhere to go. The school was in the middle of renovations; they were building a new Gym and other facilities. Some speculated the fire started in a nearby dumpster or rubbish bin. We visited there last February and this is the only photo I have of part of the school.
Frank Venables ( 1899-1986) was born in Walsall England. He was amongst other things an orchardist, and more of his life history can be found here

Sunday, September 11, 2011

More Linden Flowers

Hanne at the outdoor cafe at "Frog City", Linden Gardens

These flowers seem to spiral up like fireworks!

Yesterday we attended the Summerland Fall Fair, with a pipe band, clowns, a lady on stilts, balloons, and lots of colorful flowers, vegetables and fruit competing for prizes. There were also quilts, paintings, and photographs; coffee, corn on the cob, and hotdogs. It was all very exciting. We still prefer photos from our Linden Gardens though for today's post....