Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Gets Snow Struck

MY WORLD is shivering from its coldest February in decades. Kitsilano like many areas in southwest BC was visited by snowfall last Saturday. Many streets in this quaint Vancouver community are lined with older homes. The fresh flakes added authenticity to a neighborhood known to keep Christmas and Valentine glitter alive year-round (click twice to see a heart in the photo).

My husband and I were meeting our daughter at Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant for dinner.

Strings of lights wrapped around what looked like (poles?) made to resemble palm trees jutting from the outdoor patio floor by the restaurant.

It was more enjoyable seeing the lights from inside through the window while waiting for our Mexican meal.

As we sat around a cozy table in comfortable chairs, a bench outside was getting covered in a cushion of snow.

The snow wasn’t deep to start ... but it was slick and built up quickly.

Heading out of the city, we found the pavement layered with ice and slippery. Some frozen wires were in jeopardy of falling and needed repair.

The snow continued to fall, softly glimmering like tiny stars against a background of darkening sky.

Our vehicle crawled along the streets to the freeway. Most drivers were using an abundance of caution. So our typical one-hour drive home to Surrey turned into two. The cold snap was no doubt a shock to wildlife. Just a few days earlier it seemed as if spring was firmly rooted. Birds were surveying neighborhood yards for future nests and buds were unfurling their newborn faces. Hopefully these early bloomers will survive this winter surprise.

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cloud Smudge In My World

MY WORLD often takes me to Kwomais Point Park in Ocean Park, BC. I am captivated by the subtle changes I find there. Sometimes the bay, sky and stretch of land on the horizon merge into one curtain of color. On this day a smudge of slate blue floated onto the scene.

The brooding watercolor sky was in an uncertain mood. Its cover of cloud spit out a few bristly raindrops.

Onlookers were a little on edge as to what turn the weather might take.

The noonday sun suggested a welcoming light might pierce through the veil.

It looked promising ...

very promising, indeed.

But, on this day, the bluish-gray shade pulled down over the light.

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Can You Beet This?

THEY SAY THERE IS NO POINT in crying over spilt milk but how about spilled pickled beets? As I prepared dinner last night, I admit wanting to shed a tear or two when I lost my grip and caused blood-red beet juice to splatter all over the kitchen cupboards and floor. What a mess! Luckily, the glass jar didn’t break. However, now there is a gash in the linoleum to remind me that it is not always easy to wipe away evidence of a blunder or to let go. But lamenting past mistakes is pointless and chances are there will be no new beet puddles on the floor tonight as my husband and I plan on eating out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Squirrelly Tale

THE WHITE FURRY CRITTER that showed up in my backyard in Surrey, BC, the other day was totally unexpected. Squirrels of beige, black, brown and gray have scampered swishing their tails along the climbing ivy. But this is my first sighting of the white variety. Apparently, they are more common in eastern Canada. As the video link shows, white squirrels even inspired a song and have become a mascot and claim to fame for Exeter, a small community in southwestern Ontario.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tea For Three In White Rock

MY WORLD LAST WEEK included meeting two fellow bloggers for afternoon tea at a restaurant in White Rock, BC. After hugs and greetings, we sat down at a beautifully set table that reminded me of a picnic in an elegant spring garden. Clancy’s Tea Cosy was brimming with charm. The sandwiches and pastries we ordered were delicious and the tea choices were overflowing. The good food and cheerful atmosphere matched the occasion.

Our conversation was a delightful brew of experiences shared by people who enjoy capturing the sights around them and writing about what they see. It was fun to meet Lynette from Imagination Lane in person. It was also great to see my long time friend, Kay, from An Unfittie's Guide To Adventurous Travel who happened to be visiting BC from Alberta.

Lynette surprised me with a gift of postcards showcasing her creative photographs and writings. Our two-hour visit went quickly and all too soon it was time to say our goodbyes.

Stopping to take pictures on the way home, I noticed that local artists had not neglected the upper portion of White Rock on Johnston Road. Although not photographed or painted as avidly as the scenic views at the bottom of the hill on Marine Drive, there were creative touches to enjoy along my way. The butterflies at this bus stop were a burst of color against a golden background.

A brightly painted vase caught my eye as it pressed against a store wall.

I noticed that a faded fence with peeling windsurfers had seen better days.

A tall chiseled totem with its head in the clouds ...

hovered over the street near where a bench rested.

As lofty as the totem was, it could not compete with the recently constructed and controversial highrises. The two apartment buildings stood out amid the smaller more traditional structures in their shadow.

I was glad the nearby mural, painted in the 1980s by Robert Wyland, still graced a wall of a bank on Johnston Road. The building had been considered for demolition during the debated highrise construction. The Whaling Wall is a local attraction with global connections that sets the seaside community apart. The work is one of a series of one hundred life-size marine murals spanning thirteen countries on five continents. Although it's survival seems assured, I have taken its picture on different occasions to record its existence.

Time is not static and surroundings change. Later that evening, I marveled at how accurate the White Rock banners (pictured above) were in depicting a West Coast sunset (pictured below).

My meeting with fellow bloggers confirmed that recording life's passing moments is a passion many of us share. As I wrote in an earlier post: " ... bloggers ... strive to capture their own enchantment of life whether through exploring the minute details of their neighborhoods or the enormity of distant shores. The stories they tell through prose and photos show a love of the moment and for the environment that with technology can so easily be shared. As I develop my own blog and open doors to other sites, I enter a world of awe-inspired journeys."

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.

Visit Postcards From Penelope Puddle to view more BC scenes.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Sun Glow In Ocean Park

THERE WAS NO RAIN or snow … just the sun casting shadows and a pale glow. It was a cold and cloudless afternoon last week when I took a stroll around Ocean Park in Surrey, BC. In the distance, I could see a wintry cap of white on Mt. Baker. The volcanic mountain in the United States was visible from the Canadian border region of Surrey where I stopped to take a picture.

I was glad there was no slippery snow at my feet when I turned the corner into a nearby neighborhood play area named Fun Fun Park where kids probably expect to double their fun.

But the park bench was empty and the swings looked frozen and still. A lingering chill must have kept all the children away.

The twin lambs seemed a little lonely and ...

like the miniature ponies, designed only for the tiniest of tots.

I thought of sitting on the slide but its icy blue bottom felt a bit nippy.

I ventured across the street into Kwamois Point Park where the sun strung shadows across my path.

Along the way, I noticed a few people gazing at the view of Semiahmoo and Boundary Bays.

It was nice to see the newly installed fence there.

It created a much needed barrier for onlookers of the watery scene below.

The people were standing where a deep hole had recently been dug (shown above in a previously taken photograph) in the process of building a viewing platform. Renovations to this area of the park began last September. The City of Surrey bought the property from a church group and transformed it into a public park. Otherwise, it would likely be filled with condos or houses and enjoyed by a select few. I am grateful each time I visit and hear the eagles, watch the gulls and breathe in the fresh scented air.

Explorers can find more sites from around the globe at My World.