The Neighbourhood

This is an older photo showing the area where I live. This is looking south and on the horizon is Vancouver Island, the smoke is a pulp mill near Nanaimo.  The body of water is the Strait of Georgia also known now as the Salish Sea. The narrowest strip of land is a mile wide isthmus where the town of Sechelt is located. On the left is mainland and on the right is the 22 mile (35 km) long Sechelt Peninsula All the water on this side of the isthmus is Sechelt Inlet which is 18 miles (30 km) long from the town of Sechelt to it’s mouth, the Skookumchuck Rapids.

Our house is in 120 acres of forest between the ocean and and the long white strip on the upper right of the photo. When this photo was taken the white strip was the local golf course under construction.

One final point of interest is the brown patch with log booms in front in the lower right of the photo. That land was sold and reclaimed by Target Marine who have developed a land based sturgeon farm for the production of caviar.

The photo was taken from 3215 foot (980 meter) Mount Richardson.


No Free Lunch

There has been one busy Douglas’ squirrel here working on it’s winter food supplies.  Squirrels will start gathering food in mid-summer.  They start by dropping fir cones from the tops of the trees and it can be a perilous time walking. We hear the cones bouncing off various building roofs and even the car.  The squirrels then start stripping the cones to get the seed kernel.  What is left behind are middens, piles of stripped fir cones.  Our squirrels stay active all year round and are still collecting cones and seeds.



Even though we had a bit of snow this Winter it has been mild enough that our primroses have bloomed since late October.  It is always pleasant to have a bit of colour on theses dull days.


Night Skies

Last night I got my first successful shots of Venus and the stars. These were taken with a fully open aperture and a 30 second shutter speed.  Apparently you don’t want to go any longer than 30 seconds or else the earth’s rotation becomes evident and the stars will start to elongate.  Anyway, I’m now looking forward to more experimentation.

Looking south-east with Venus near center

Looking south-east with Venus near center

Looking north with a bit of the Milky Way shining through

Looking north with a bit of the Milky Way shining through


Horse Hair Worm (Paragordius tricuspidatus)

I have been working on my septic field the last couple of days and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to see pictures of that!  Instead here is one from the archives from a couple of years ago.

I found this worm while working in the garden and couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing.  It was very thin and about 12 inches (30.5 cm) long. I ran and got my camera and managed to get one shot before it disappeared.  It was my one and only sighting.

Horse Hair Worm_watermarked

Horse Hair Worms are parasitic.   Their eggs are eaten by beetles and hatch in the beetle and will end up taking up the entire body cavity.  The beetle eventually dies of malnutrition.

Sounds like horror movie material.

Wagon Wheel Find

Up at our local garbage dump they have a building called the Share Shed.  In it are articles that have been brought to the dump but deemed to still be serviceable. These can be old books, appliances, furniture, bicycles, tools, electric scooters, etc.  Everything is sold for $1.00, no matter what it is.  When I saw this old wagon wheel I couldn’t pass it by and it now hangs on the end of my wood shed.

Wagon Wheel_watermarked