Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Uplifting At The Bottom Of 1001 Steps

AT THE BOTTOM of 1001 Steps in Ocean Park there are rugged rocks and shiny pebbles to step over. The water shimmers from the sun that plays hide and seek amid the transforming clouds. A railway bends around the hillside to spice up the scenery and remind us of adventure and faraway places. Seagulls, mallards and other wildlife bob on the waves that ripple to the shore. Creatures duck their heads in the ocean to bathe or to catch a meal. There are moments when the horizon is mesmerizing in its vastness. Sitting at the edge of the sea and gazing into infinity brings perspective. It is refreshing to realize we contain the same powerful elements of the universe within us. Whether on the outside looking in or on the inside looking out, we are part of this magic.

Visit more places from around the globe at My World Tuesday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lucky Horseshoe Bay In BC

WHILE WAITING FOR MY BROTHER to arrive on the ferry from Langdale, I couldn’t resist taking pictures of Horseshoe Bay that is fortunate to be surrounded by natural beauty. Scenic vistas caught my eye at every turn and I was surprised at how cozy the community felt on such a mellow cloudy day. The village is like a lap encircled by forested hills and sparkling waters amid playground, shops, restaurants, floating vessels and a "beached" whale. Hope passersby sit back and enjoy the view as it was on Friday, June 18th, two days before the first day of summer. A click on the photos will enlarge them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rosy Day In The Rain

MY WALK IN THE GENTLE SHOWERS yesterday was a chance to capture some drops amid the neighborhood flowers.

Rain rested on budding blossoms and gathered on leaves and petals of ...

pale rose clusters that I photographed along the way.

One bright blossom seemed to thrive from the light sprinkling.

The hydrangea was also loving the weather.

This iris family shyly peeked through its slender leaves.

A single lupin blushed a pretty pink as I walked by.

Bunches of bells declared their presence through the grasses.

A whitewashed foxglove soaked in the air ...

that was fresh as the daisies.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Street Eye Candy

THERE IS A STREET in South Surrey lined with wildflowers thanks to a free spirit who years ago scattered seeds along the side of the road.

Walkers, drivers and folks waiting for the bus or resting on the bench are treated to the eye candy.

The showy perennial blooms are mostly lupins …

and sprays of brightly hued poppies.

Although the flowers look bleached in the morning sun ...

their true vivid colours spill down the street like jelly beans.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Lone Poppy

I WAS DRAWN TO A BRIGHT poppy at a nursery a few years ago. I purchased it to plant in my front yard. Strangely, it has not multiplied or spread out into the garden.

Each summer it dies to come back as a single bud the following year. Each spring I see its refreshed face unfurling.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Safety Takes Backseat To Cell Phone Chats

ALTHOUGH SEATBELTS have been mandatory in BC for a very long time, I do recall resisting their use. The third time I had to pay a huge fine for NOT wearing a seatbelt finally convinced me to get with the program. Nowadays most people wouldn’t dream of not strapping themselves in, convinced by fines and effective public service announcements. I imagine people who are in the habit of talking on their cell phones while driving are now going through the same process. I often see people trying to negotiate a turn while a phone is firmly pressed to their ears, despite cell phone use in cars finally being banned in BC in 2010. The need to concentrate and for protective measures in vehicles cannot be overstated. We are vulnerable in our cars and also in our buses. Although cell phone chats seem fine for passengers on buses, it would be prudent if school buses in particular were equipped with seatbelts. However, the same arguments (neck injuries, etc.) once used against seatbelts in cars are used against installing seatbelts in school buses. When tragedy strikes the question comes up but it has yet to gain momentum. The wheels roll slowly when it comes to locking in changes, even though we would all agree safety should never take a backseat. In the back of most minds we suspect that installing seatbelts on school buses is a good idea while chatting on cell phones when driving is definitely not.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Thursday, June 3, 2010

British Columbia On Edge

IT IS STUCK IN THE BACK OF many BC minds. People are vaguely aware that the Pacific Northwest is definitely not immune to a major earthquake similar to those that happened recently in faraway places.

I can’t remember the year but I do remember the fear when I was a little girl at home in Langley and a significant earthquake struck. I awoke to a thunderous roar followed by the sense of being swept up in a huge ocean wave. Those few moments were beyond frightening. I got to my mom’s bedroom just as the furniture and dishes started to rattle.

My memory is fuzzy but I think my mom told me to stand under the doorway arch. The second the shaking stopped, I ran into her arms for comfort. We waited silently … as if making a single sound would stir some underground beast. Several minutes and a few small tremors later we breathed a sigh of relief.

Looking back, the primary feeling was helplessness. It’s like a car skidding in the snow. Although you know you have to go with the flow, you might avoid a crash depending on how you steer the wheel. In an earthquake situation, where you choose to stand, crouch or run might stop a chunk of cement, wood or electrical wire from hitting you on the head. When the earth starts to rumble, a split-second decision could save your life as opposed to freezing with fear or hiding under the blankets.

BC life includes knowing we are two seconds to two hundred years from the “big one”. Experts suggest there is a likelihood that it will happen in our lifetimes.

Although we have some control over our own destinies and can buy a kit and prepare with water and a battery operated radio, there is minimal personal power should the ground beneath us dissolve. And when I hear leaders say they are fully ready for the “big one”, it makes me think of the cold war era when school kids were told to seek shelter under their desks to avoid the atomic bomb ... a minor solution to a major threat.

The outcome of whether we live or die is in our hands to some extent. But I wonder how much fate plays a role, especially when I hear of the BC family that moved in fear of earthquakes only to perish during an earthquake in another land.

A natural disaster can hit at any time. But since I can’t enjoy beautiful BC moments by pondering on the probabilities for long, I have tucked away these unsettling thoughts into the cornered webs of my mind.