Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Bolt from the Blue

Such was Hanne when I met her 18 years ago.
The first use of the expression was supposedly by one Thomas Carlyle in 1837 when he was writing about the French Revolution period. He wrote " Arrest, sudden like a bolt out of the blue, has hit strange victims".
 I discovered today that lightning can come out of a thundercloud and travel as much as 25 miles before striking the ground, seeming to come out of a blue sky! And why is the sky blue? Something to do with the earth's atmosphere particles bending the white light from the sun, separating the smallest wavelength of light out, that being blue. In the evening or morning, the angle of the sun changes, then the longest wavelength shows, red. If you go out beyond the earth's atmosphere, the sky is black, e.g. if you stood on the moon.
The Ogre of Munson Mountain?

Approaches to Munson Mountain ( "digital painting" )
There are 16 million thunder and lightning storms annually, and in the U.S., 55 people are killed every year. The safest place is inside a walled building or metal car, stay inside until 30 minutes after the rain stops.
Today the sky here is blue, there are no clouds, and the air is still. It is expected to go up to 32 degrees Celsius. So we will be on the look out for bolts, not sheets or forks.....

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bjarke Ingels

Yesterday I went for a nice bike ride with my friend Paris whilst Hanne was at Spanish Conversation and Ellen was home clipping her poodle Elise. Today though we want to share with you a remarkable life of achievement in the form of the 35 year-old Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. My friend Tim in Leicester brought him to our attention. Like nearly all modern architects he designs sustainable low carbon "green" buildings. His latest contract is for Copenhagen's new incinerator for converting garbage into energy. It also doubles as a ski-hill would you believe. We are not quite sure where the snow will come from yet, but you may be able to discover that! You can find out more here.
Ski slope or Incinerator?
There is a good 18-minute video of his achievements too. But you need 18 minutes....
But we both found his lecture absolutely fascinating!
A smoke ring is emitted for every tonne of carbon dioxide produced !! (see picture above).
It is due for completion in 2016.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Scooter Picnic

ACL Picnickers

More ACL Picnickers

Proof that Paul can set table!
The powers that be organized a "Scooter Picnic" for Athens Creek residents for lunchtime yesterday. Eight signed up; six showed up; one went to Vancouver instead, and one got lost and returned home for regular lunch. Not bad. For those that showed up, the food was fantastic! Our chef had prepared three or four different sandwiches, upper class English style with no crusts; potted meat and cucumber triangles, egg sandwich circles, and cheese paste squares, plus pickles and cheese cubes. For dessert we had freshly picked local cherries, cherry sauce pastries, and Turkish Delight! We had evidence in the photo that Paul could set table ( we will let his wife know ). Paul our maintenance manager brought the drinks and Jill our secretary brought the food. We went on our bikes...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


'Tis the time of year for outdoor events. One in the Okanagan that has been going for over a hundred years is the IPE or Interior Provincial Exhibition ( and Stampede ) held in Armstrong at the end of August every year. We used to live in Armstrong just up from the Exhibition Grounds and could hear the loudspeakers from our garden. The attendance is up to 14,000 for this five day event.

 In July 2009 we were honored by the attendance at the Exhibition Grounds of the National Royal Canadian Mounted Police's "Musical Ride".

Oh, by the way, did you know that Amazon's Kindle now sells 105 digital books for its
E-reader for every 100 it sells in printed form?
RCMP Musical Ride

Peruvian Horses on Display

Local Pipe Band Entertaining

Local Photographer Takes a Chat Break.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Arawana Walk

We showed our friends Ellen and Paris a new walk yesterday from Smethurst Rd KVR parking to Arawana Station. We waited for the train to take us back but it never came. It was perfect for walking, around 15 degrees C, we were lucky because in the afternoon it rained quite heavily. The cherry orchardists are concerned here because cherries can split if they get wet, so they will have to get their helicopters out again tomorrow to dry them off ! It only costs eight to fifteen hundred dollars an hour !! Talking about trees, did you know that a law was passed in 1981 in China decreeing that every person in the land has to plant and tend three trees a year, from age 11 to age 60? What a lot of trees! In fact, in 2008 they planted two and a half times as many trees as the rest of the world did! Unfortunately they are cutting down tropical forests to grow palm oil so it kind of negates the beneficial effect somewhat...
Meanwhile for reasons only known to journalists the name Anders Behring Breivik has unfortunately become world famous......
Hanne offering you Stolen Apricots! KVR Trail near Arawana.

Arawana Railway Station on the Kettle Valley Railway Trail

Water Spout , Lee Creek Waterfall

KVR Trail at Smethurst Rd.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Falls Walk

Young Fisherman
We took our walk by the Okanagan River at OK Falls yesterday on a perfect summer's day. We discovered lots of Canada Geese, a sea of Baby's Breath, many fish in the river, and not a few fishermen. Why don't girls fish? There was a strange absence of wind and clouds. We met a very young German Shepherd on the bridge, He and his proud owners allowed us to take his portrait. Hanne insisted on taking mine too. We saw a sandpiper, a kingbird, and heard yellow warblers  and peewits....


Good Morning Young Man!

Michael with Gypsophila paniculata ( A local weed )
The temperature hovered around 25 Celsius, but reached 32 by 4p.m. That is why we walk in the morning!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Then and Now

I photographed a striking bush of yellow flowers on Munson Mountain in June, then yesterday we saw it covered in fluffy seeds. What a dramatic change! We think it might be a species of Rabbit Brush.
There are lots of "Butter and Eggs" or common toadflax about all summer here. They have an orange patch inside the yellow toad's mouth shaped flower, hence the name. They are quite attractive.
? Rabbit Brush in flower. 17 June 2011

In Seed. 22 July 2011
Thank you Pat for visiting our blog. We discovered you are an avid scrap-booker. We trust you are into digital scrap-booking and found a website for you...
Butter and Eggs