Monday, April 23, 2012

Opportunities & The Outdoors In My World

OUR WORLD AND THE OUTINGS we take come to mind as April flows to its conclusion. I went on several outings throughout the month gathering images that caused me to pause, reflect and simply enjoy. Among the fragments, it was not unusual to see windless sailboats grounded at low tide on overcast days at Elgin Heritage Park in Surrey. The potential to sail was there but like life sometimes depended on the right conditions and opportunities.

I often walked past this inviting seat encircled by branches of a willow tree. I have yet to sit on that bench but I envision my husband and I having a picnic lunch there one day as the weather gets warmer.

I watched birds hungrily dip into feeders meant for smaller birds ...

and wondered what caused yellowish blotches to invade these birch trees.

I smiled at this sign of love for a special dad ...

and hoped the brunette Barbie doll would find the child who left it behind.

It was odd how shadows from branches cast ink-blue reflections in the water.

During a brief visit to False Creek in Vancouver, I saw one boat ready to float but in need of someone to paddle.

From a distance I could see the rotating restaurant that looks like a UFO. There are also business offices in this unique building where my husband used to work. Fond memories of those fleeting years flooded back.

Back in Surrey at Elgin Park I heard geese squabbling. One had just finished chasing a third goose away. I couldn't distinguish between them and it was impossible to tell if the best bird won this fight.

Further down the Nicomekl River it was still too cold to dip my toes in the delicate ripples carved by a passing speedboat.

In Ocean Park I spied a work crew beyond some brambles buttressing a crumbling cliff near where a home is perched by the 1001 Steps.

Greenery was springing up everywhere as I headed down the stairs. There is a train track at the bottom of steps that gives a sense of adventure. I love the sound of a train whistle and the rumbling of wheels on the tracks.

Ironically, although the railway is in Canada, the property is owned by the American BNSF (formerly Great Northern) Railway. BNSF also has ownership of the waterfront property in the nearby Canadian border town of White Rock as well as below the 1001 Steps to the Mud Bay area in Surrey. I found no clear explanation as to how this came about. It is rumored that decades ago the Crown leased and/or possibly eventually gave the land to the US company.

Consequently, a portion of the former train station in White Rock (now a museum), its promenade and parking lots are all on land that is leased from (instead of by) BNSF at considerable cost to the little seaside community. It seems Canada fumbled the ball, White Rock is paying the price and the railway seized an opportunity in the early years.

When searching for words that begin with "O" for ABC Wednesday, I thought of my journey outdoors, opportunities taken and not, ownerships and oddities as well as the Our World Tuesday team that gives people a place and an opportunity to share their experiences and travels.

Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. I had forgotten about the railway owning "our beach" and you're sure right about Canada fumbling the ball. Who knew that one day the laissez-faire attitude along our border would be replaced by stricter rules and the need for passports in the 21st century? Will we one day be asked for our passports when we visit the museum or sit on the beach?
    Your photos are beautiful. I'm so glad I'll be out there to visit soon.

  2. Your travels and observations bring out a gently inquisitive side to your nature that is always fascinating. The "ink blue" reflections would have been missed by many, some may have thought the doll "junk" rather than going beyond it to the child who left it, and grounded sailboats and un-rowed row boats inspired a kind of pensiveness (I think). Loved your "O" words too. Just a lovely post, Penelope!

  3. Absolutely delightful sequence of shots from April. They are all charming and your narrative is always very good too.

  4. Great sequence!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  5. Wonderful post for the day and such a delightful look/visit to your lovely world! I love the little details, like "Dad" and the little doll! Hope you have a wonderful week!


  6. British Columbia is beautiful even in the rain! It's frightening that April is almost over and it's now almost May. Why don't January and February pass by that quickly? :))

  7. Trains and train tracks ... I love them and the history that goes with them. Wonderful shots and your narrative is great! Ink blue water ... wow!

  8. I appreciate the work, observations you take to put in your post of your world. Lately, I am feeling not too creative in my blog. This one photo a day for a year is taking a toll on me. Hope I can accomplish this.

  9. Beautiful shots, that's such an incredible area. I could see myself living in the Vancouver area one day, it's one of the few cities I've visited that I love.

  10. What lovely glimpses into your beautiful world.

  11. It looks like it would be a lovely place to visit!

  12. Very beautiful nature shots. I like your photo series very well.
    Greetings Karin.

  13. Oh my gosh, you have the most charming blog! I'm so glad I found you via Our World Tuesday. xx

  14. The yellow spots on the birches -I like to know that too! The blue ree reflections are very cool!

  15. Such great photos of areas well known to me! I was in White Rock last weekend and took some photos of a bunch of seagulls fighting over something! They were a scream. lol I must go down to Ocean Park one day and try the 1001 steps in preparation for my trip to Whitby (have to climb I think about 900 steps to get to the top). Have a great week,

    abcw team

  16. Love the reflection picture especially - beautiful and imaginative shots of the Coast.

  17. love the train tracks and steps, esp

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  18. The rails do have the best view in White Rock. - Margy

  19. Thanks for letting us walk alonside you. The heart for dad is so touching. I find the blue reflection amazing as well. Wonderful post

  20. I especially love the photo of the bench. The shades of green are radiant and full of vital energy of life. I want to seat and enjoy viewing the curtain of willow branches swinging in spring breeze all day long. Thanks a lot for taking me with you!
    Have a great week!

  21. I love the way you caught the beauty in the details. Especially the shadow of the tree branches. Lovely shots.

  22. I enjoyed outing with you, Penelope, while listening to your narratives. I especially like the image of the bench with the curtain of willow threads and the railway track by the waters.

  23. Enjoyed this visit to the "O"'s of April. Lovely scenes, I have never been up or down the 1001 steps but think it would make an interesting walk. I really like the blue shadows you captured.


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