Saturday, May 28, 2011

Viking Day

Yesterday after the meetings we had a Viking Evening. Besides a lovely evening meal, life became complicated as in amongst us were Vikings dressed in Viking clothes, armed with swords, and wearing helmets. They were even eating Viking food out of rough bowls or baskets. Every so often they would capture someone and threaten to slit his throat if we didn't buy him back. I believe it is called blackmail, but it was an unusual fund-raising strategy I must admit.A pretty girl would be captured and auctioned off as a slave. Her husband would sometimes buy her! They even sold off one of their own Viking girls as a consort for the evening.We had a good laugh at our table when one old Danish bachelor sat with a Viking girl on his knee!
By the way, a Viking is any seaman or warrior who took part in an expedition overseas, usually to find better farming land, between about 800 and 1100 AD, from somewhere in Scandinavia..

Friday, May 27, 2011

Danish Meeting Day

We are sitting in the Danish Club in downtown Calgary, waiting for the annual meetings to begin. In the background is a Danish folksong playing,flags everywhere, plates and oil paintings on the walls,and registration is taking place,sipping coffee, and gossiping as people catch up on their news from all over the country.It is warm and cosy inside, raining outside, but tomorrow sun is forecast.We have just delivered a watercolor to be auctioned off in aid of the Danish Canadian National Museum at this evening's gala dinner in "The Tivoli Room" This iPad is very clever. It knows where it is, the address, even the postal code for where I am sitting!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

On The Move

We are on the move! Today we left Salmon Arm and drove to Calgary,about seven hundred km, starting in pouring rain, and ending in pouring rain, it was so wet in the hotel parking lot we should have had wellingtons on. I would have shown you a photo of a sculpture with lilacs but I left the camera in the car and I'm not going out in the lake again to fetch it...
Tomorrow we have Danish Canadian Federation meetings, and outings, and rain is forecast again...Nevertheless we had an extremely enjoyable day driving through the Rocky Mountains, and meeting old friends again at the Danish Canadian Club...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Blossoms

Just when we thought blossom time was over, yet more blossoms keep appearing!
Choke Cherry Flowers
Dogwood Flowers

Acacia leaves
Horse Chestnut Flowers

We were walking by the river today, which is in full Spring flood, and saw these, the Dogwood and the Choke Cherry; then in the Park, just had to photograph the Horse Chestnut and this yellow leaved tree, which I call Honey Locust Acacia, but not sure of the name. Just about all the trees are now in full leaf, and the grass is summer-long. Our Oregon Grape is turning its yellow flowers into berries, so is no longer yellow.
Whilst by the river, we saw a pair of Orioles chasing each other, a goldfinch feeding, and heard a catbird singing; and met some tourists from Spain fully kitted out with bird-watching equipment, on their way to seeing all the birds in the whole of British Columbia. Hanne was able to speak to them in Spanish.....back at home, our rose bush is covered in new pink blooms.

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Buildings

Inside the New Penticton Swimming Pool opening in June

The New OUTMA SQILX'W Cultural School in Penticton 

The Cultural Room, ( seen through a glass window hence the weird reflections.)
Times are changing. In many parts of the world architects are designing ecologically friendly buildings, and here in Penticton we were privileged to be shown around a few of them on Saturday, as part of our Meadowlark Festival. We saw several houses with new systems of heating and cooling, using for example water underground, "geothermal" systems, and rolling doors on opposite sides of a room to allow air circulation, and under floor water-cooling to counter day-time solar heating. Basements seem to be disappearing, and houses getting smaller. One house had flat roofs coated in white super-reflective material. Another had walls made of straw...We next saw the new 7000-square foot Okanagan College, with plants growing on the roof, (to use up carbon-dioxide, and release oxygen,) and solar-powered heating and cooling. It seems that air-conditioners will soon be gone. The college building will open in a week or so and increase enrollment from 300 to 800. We need apparently to use only 2% of the earth's surface to be self sufficient power-wise, using the sun's light, and that is less than all the roof-tops of our buildings! Denmark's government now has planned for Denmark to be free of fossil fuel dependency by 2050. The Danish island of Samsø is already independent, using windmills for electricity, and no vehicles use gasoline any more there.
We were shown a brand new school on the First Nations reserve, opened a month ago, and a new swimming pool in Penticton to be opened next month. More photos of our trip around our area, in (of all things) a School Bus, can be found here.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Marron Lake

Marron Lake

Wild Violets

Our first view of wild Morel Mushrooms
I am behind again with our posts. This time, it is because the annual Meadowlark Festival is in full voice and flight. It celebrates all the good things like nature, conservation, photography, art, and all things green and eco-sensitive in our area. We first went on a bird-watching expedition at Marron Lake, where we heard, and some of us saw some new birds. It doesn't seem to matter where you are at this time of year, a Meadow Lark is singing. There was one that greeted us as we stepped out of our car at Marron Lake, there was one singing outside our door this morning, when I went out to smell the rain at about 7.00 a.m. These are a few photos I took near the lake, and more can be seen here.