Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Gates & Their Differing Traits

GATES ARE inviting for different reasons. They can be decorative or humble and appear impenetrable, broken or ominous. The photographs I took of gates and found when searching for a word beginning with the letter "G" unlocked my imagination and reminded me of how fascinated I am with these conflicting constructs that function both as barriers and passageways.

Some gates give hints like this peek-boo view of Meg's Place, a Bed & Breakfast at Crescent Beach that catches my eye whenever I walk by. Other gates are solid so no one can peer through.

I have always been curious about the gates I encounter. Each gate is like a cover of book from which the plot of the story inside, fairly or not, will be judged. Each gate is the introduction to a mystery.

Some gates swing open and some slide. All gates lead to somewhere on the other side, including Bill Gates, born with the perfect name to foreshadow his role in opening communications through technology world-wide.

Some gates are stunningly glamorous like this famed gold-painted gate at the Palace of Versailles that I, along with thousands of other tourists, couldn't resist photographing during a visit to France.

Some gates stand alone in quiet dignity.

Perhaps only special people are allowed to venture inside this gate.

Some gates are locked like this one tucked away in New Westminster at Antique Alley in BC.

Some gates are wide open but with a warning sign like the one at 1001 Steps in Ocean Park.

Some gates squeak and groan as if in agony. Some barely make a whisper. Some have complicated latches while others swing open with relative ease.

Despite their differing traits and eccentricities each gate holds a key to the opposite side of the same place.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "G" for gates. If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Too Smooth For Sailing

THE WIND KICKED and howled during the night in southwestern BC and the morning found our lawn furniture had been flung about. It is hard to believe on days like these that the breeze, not so long ago, was a soft whisper on the cheek and life was too smooth for sailing.

Copyright by Penenlope Puddlisms

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shining A Spotlight On BC Fairies

FAIRIES HAVE CAPTURED the imagination of kids and grownups throughout the ages and I am no exception, particularly since it is time to find a word that begins with the letter "F" for ABC Wednesday.

I took this picture of a drawing my daughter did years ago. It is easy to become enchanted with the notion of tiny winged creatures mysteriously flitting about unseen and spreading a little goodwill magic onto the harsh realities of life.

In addition to Penelope Puddle drawings, my daughter created an abundance of fairy drawings which we eventually copyrighted as BC Fairies. Some found their way into my art cards. Some of the fairies have names rooted in the fictional origins I created for them.

At a glance the fairies are easily mistaken for miniature birds, dragonflies or butterflies. They have flown from all parts of the globe, risking the ravages of weather and distance, to settle in the rainforests of coastal British Columbia. The little litterbugs love to scribble notes that they usually scatter outdoors. Some fairies have narrowly missed being seen inside the homes of unsuspecting humans in need of an uplifting message.

BC Fairies might look small and frail but their individual traits make them largely invincible. The names, interpretations and origins of seven fairies are: Elsa, Noble, Germany; Muriel, Shining Sea, Ireland; Abril, Open, France; Halla, Unexpected Gift, Africa; Alegria, Cheerful, Spain; Tori, Bird, Japan; Zola, Peace On Earth, Italy

I like how some dictionaries mention a goddess/fairy connection:

Main Entry: Fairy
Pronunciation: 'far-E, 'fer-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural fair·ies
Etymology: from Latin Fata, goddess of fate

My brand of fairies have unique characteristics of their own. In addition to the name BC Fairies being suggestive of the large coastal transportation fleet known as BC Ferries, here are a few key points:

1 a : BC Fairies believe humans possess inner wings which when tapped into enables them to do surprising things of magical proportions b : notable BC Fairies are seven mystic creatures from different parts of the globe who settled in the enchanted West Coast rainforests of British Columbia c : each fairy has a unique characteristic that humans also possess d: the fairies scatter messages to awaken people to their own gifts and powers ready to be unfurled

BC Fairies don’t stay still for long and I confess I need to incorporate some of their motivation into my creative life. All rights are reserved for BC Fairies but future projects will fly only as MY own wings become unfurled.

BC Fairies All Rights Reserved

Fairies and ferries showcase the letter "F" If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday at the sidebar.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Monday, February 20, 2012

Feeling Stuck In The Mud At Elgin Park

ELGIN HERITAGE PARK edges a fringe of the Nicomekl River in South Surrey. Short walks there in recent weeks provided relaxation and exercise during a difficult time. My husband was diagnosed with a focal dystonia that causes involuntary muscle spasms. This baffling neurological disorder seemingly came out of nowhere a few months ago.

Mirroring our highs and lows when promising solutions fail ... on some days the river is a muddy gray-brown floor ...

and at other times it is a serene ripple of water reflecting blue skies.

The area is a habitat rich with wildlife. The treed park and marshland is a haven for eagles and hawks as well as small birds, waterfowl and fish.

Influenced by the tidal sea and fluctuating rainfall, the river on some days reveals two posts stuck in the mud at low tide.

Sometimes there is nothing one CAN do but stand still and wait for nourishing waters to flow back in.

In the late 1800s, the waterway had practical purposes. Steamships loaded up with the various goods that were being farmed in and around the Elgin community. This included hay harvested by John Stewart, a pioneer who built a Victorian home (now a museum) on his substantial property along the river. (I took the picture above in September of last year.)

The few recreational vessels harbored there today have no choice but to wait for the water level to rise before setting off. And they must be equally mindful of when it is time to sail back.

For land lovers there are many ground paths to enjoy at the heritage park.

Silvery birch trees and brambles border some walkways.

And there are constantly changing skies over the marshlands.

Tall tangled grasses and withered bulrushes ...

have been waiting all winter to be reborn.

Wildlife preparing for spring rustle through the foliage beneath the bridge.

Chatty birds flutter from branch to branch chirping their tunes.

There is a healing aspect to the bustling sounds and breezy touches of nature.

Hope for good resolutions lifts a little higher whenever we visit the park.

To enjoy more sights from around the globe visit Our World.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Elegant Elephant Tails

THE ADORABLE elephants my daughter drew, and that I posted earlier, flew to my mind when searching for a word beginning with the letter “E”. Elephants are one of my favorite creatures on the planet. Their twirling trucks and the swoop and swirl of their bulky bodies have mass appeal. The intelligence of elephants shows when they socialize. It is clear to see they are clever in the way that they gently nurture their young and empathetically rub each other's noses while chatting.

I love elephant ears, whether the large fanning African or petite flapping Asian kind. I like having an elephant ornament around the house. Since elephants are known for wisdom, longevity and sheer elegance, (despite being plus-size), they are said to bring good luck, especially when their trunks are turned upward. There are no elephants native to my world in BC. They are seen only in zoos or in the circus and seem lost when not free to roam.

Elephants are the largest living land animals on the globe. Each over-200-pound baby is thought to be an offshoot of prehistoric mammoths. When they travel the wild with their families, I love how they wrap their trunks around the tail of the elephant ahead for safety. And I love how they stamp their footprints deep into the dust as they saunter gracefully across the horizon.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "E" for elephant. If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Love Is More Than A Box Of Chocolates

WHEN WINDOW shopping in Kitsilano recently, signs of a special day could not be ignored. The morphing of saints, mythological gods, romance and marketing were everywhere. February is the month when thoughts of love are punctuated by Valentine’s Day celebrated on the 14th of February.

Saint Valentine was a martyred priest in Rome who some legends say performed secret weddings for soldiers banned from marrying the young women they were engaged to during wartime. He would be shocked to know balloon bouquets, cupids, paper hearts, flowers and millions of boxes of chocolates are sold in his name.

Despite modern distortions, our affections have always run deep and gone beyond feelings for a partner or spouse. There is a parent’s love for a child and love for friends and even for pets. There is love of art and the beauty we see in symmetry and in nature. Sometimes it is easier to love than to be loved. Sometimes we need to love ourselves.

I am up in the air about love sometimes. There is love of money and possessions. There is love of God and country. There is love of a good joke or well-made strawberry shortcake. Love can be twisted. Love can be blind. Some who love from afar are unkind to those who are near. And it seems clear that those who love everyone can love no one in particular. Love can happen like a simple song or be complicated and hard won. Love can be boastful and glad. Unattainable love can make us feel sad, crumpled and teary-eyed. And the purest love, with no strings attached, never dies.

To view more sights from around the globe visit Our World at the sidebar.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Drapery In The Backyard

THIS DRAPED PANEL of shimmering fabric fluttered in the breeze as it shaded a backyard patio in Sechelt last summer. My word for the letter “D” is drapery and all the descriptions that it brings to mind. This once discarded, deliciously orange, delightfully delicate, drifting piece of silky material got a second chance to make a splash. The dangling curtain dressed in ruffles prettily twirled, dipped and danced on the day its demise was denied.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

This post showcases the letter "D". If you think words are fun and enjoy playing with the alphabet, visit ABC Wednesday.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sinking Sun At Kwomais Point Park

SWEET SUNSETS ABOUND world over in their differing hues. But last night we gratefully watched the sun at Kwomais Point Park melt into the sea as effortlessly as a lump of sugar dissolving in a hot cup of tea.

See more luscious skies from around the globe at Skywatch.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms