Sunday, May 24, 2020

RCAF Snowbirds - Tributes - Kamloops, BC

Captain Jennifer Casey is being laid to rest in her hometown of Halifax, NB as I write this.  My thoughts and prayers are with her family, friends as well as her Snowbird family.  

Fulton Field Airport
The City of Kamloops officially adopted the 419 Squadron of the RCAF in 1943 due to John “Moose” Fulton, a resident of Kamloops.  This long lasting connection eventually brought the CF-5 Freedom Fighter to become a monument at Fulton Field, the Kamloops Airport in 1995.

Legion tribute 
The Legion held a ceremony at the base of the CF-5 to honor Captain Jenn Casey and Captain Richard McDougall, both of whom were in the Snowbird accident May 17, 2020.  Captain Richard McDougall remains in hospital recovering from non-threatening injuries.

Fence at Kamloops Airport
The love and support given by the people of Kamloops has been overwhelming.  The local First Nations held a Drumming Circle for Capt. Casey in this location and one for Capt. McDougall at the hospital. Although the crowds were small at ceremonies held due to the Covid 19 pandemic we are now dealing with, our hearts were there and the Snowbirds have shared their appreciation. 

So much support shown
The people of Kamloops have hung flags all over their neighborhoods in recognition of the loss we felt last week, and will feel for a very long time. This fence at the airport shows flags, personal notes and dedications sharing their support that is felt by all. 

Snowbirds at rest
The fleet of Snowbirds sit at the Fulton Field Airport awaiting the time they can be taken home.  Best wishes to Captain Richard McDougall so that he will return home soon, as well.

Forever remembered

The CF-5 was relocated to this location in 2018 and is the sight we see as we enter and exit the Kamloops airport.  Never again will we pass this that we will not think of Captain Jenn Casey. The road presently called Airport Way is being petitioned to be renamed after Captain Casey.

Her legacy will continue and carry the special thoughts that brought her idea, “Operation Inspiration” for all.  A true indication of the special woman that she was.

May Captain Jenn Casey forever Rest In Peace and continue to fly high above.

More Snowbirds and Operation Inspiration can be seen here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Canadian Snowbirds ~ Operation Inspriation ~ Kamloops

Saturday, May 16, 2020 was a day of anticipation for many as the Canadian Snowbirds were giving us a flyover.  Their original plans were cancelled this year due to the CoVid virus and this was later planned as “Operation Inspiration” to honor Canadians who are victims of the virus as well as those fighting on the front lines.  Due to weather conditions there was not an official schedule given and no celebrations planned.

Canadian Snowbirds
We’d heard the Snowbirds would appear today.  They flew right overhead so I was able to run outside when I heard them to take a few quick photos.  With cloud covered skies, their colors aren’t showing but their expertise and placement to each other is amazing to watch and always a thrill.

Kamloops Airport
We are near the airport so a trip out to see the planes after their landing was a necessity for me and my camera.  The traffic was heavy but no crowds were there as nothing had been planned with the Snowbirds at this time, they’d encouraged everyone to not gather and to remain distant.  Their mission was being accomplished only with their flyovers.

Big and small
The size of this plane that accompanied the Snowbirds is an amazing size compared to them.  This photo shows the comparison.  There are two extra Snowbirds that accompany the show should they need a replacement so this covered one may be one of those two.

Overnight stop
This year celebrates their 50th year.  They have evolved over the years to be what they are today with the name Snowbirds being given them in 1971.  In 1975 they were officially authorized to be designated the “Canadian Forces Air Demonstration Team”.

The day is done
We drove in closer to the landing strip and I took some photos thru the fencing that surrounds the airfield.  I was not very close to the planes but with a good lens and peeking between the chain links, I was able to get a better photo of the planes.

Snowbird Pilots
The pilots were starting to come into the nearby building and I noticed they were all wearing face masks for protection against the Covid, this was impressive to me.  Although I wasn’t able to get a good photo of her, I was very excited to also see a woman standing by the plane as part of the team, learning later it was Capt. Jenn Casey. 

Captain Jennifer Casey
Little did anyone know their Kamloops visit would end as it did on May 17, 2020.  It is with heavy heart that I write this.  Captain Jennifer Casey was the PR for the Snowbirds and aspired to become a pilot herself one day.  The morning following these photos being taken, there was a crash near our home that has shaken the whole country.

May Captain Jennifer Casey RIP as her family, friends, coworkers and all of Canada mourn her death.



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Kamloops Country Roads

There was a time when Sunday drives were the normal family outing.  Times have changed for us, family has grown and we are retired so we have that option every day of the week.  It has changed for all ages for many reasons.  The work week turned into seven days a week with store openings so there just wasn’t the family day like there once had been. 

Today has changed even more with the pandemic that has immersed itself into our world and changed everything once again.  We are now restricted as to our outings but with much caution.  We have taken the opportunity to go for a Sunday drive to find some places that forget what goes on in the world.

Kamloops voodoos
These Hoodoos that line the South Thompson are an interesting way of being reminded that they’ve evolved over thousands of years yet are still standing, big and strong.  They are most common in dry places and being we are semi-arid hoodoos are seen in several places around Kamloops.

Old corral
It has been many years since this fencing was put here and is amazing how it still stands against time.  The construction is rustic but it did what it needed to do.  Cattle would be brought down from the range and closed into the corral then would walk through this narrow walkway to the waiting truck.

Blooming begins
The hills are now green and there are some trees in blossom stages so although we are well into Spring time, we are just now getting some signs that it has arrived.  I’ve been anxious to come out on a nice sunny day to get some encouraging photos that spring really has arrived.  Still not quite there, IMHO.

Low level South Thompson
The South Thompson River comes down from Shuswap Lake and is now waiting for the spring runoff to fill it to the brim.  These sandbars cover a lot of ground when the river is at a winter low but before long this river will be running at a much higher level that we’d want before it settles down to summer levels. 

South Thompson cove
This makes for a nice little cove but that island down there will be under water within days.  With the temperature warming up, the snow in high levels is melting and will be adding to the river levels.  The sunshine didn’t last long today but on a nice sunny day, this looks like it could be a nice place to visit while cruising up the river in a boat.

Curious horses
We’d notice this beautiful buckskin horse up ahead behind a fence.  Once we got there, there was a clearance in the trees at the fence and we saw three of them so I had to get out and get closer for a visit.  The buckskin came first and reached out for a pat and the other two joined him.  I was so happy to get some pets with them that I was a bit distracted for picture taking.  Within a few moments, they were on their way, running towards a whistle, or so it seemed.  Trees in the way for photos then.

Going shopping
We hadn’t driven far from the horse visit when we saw two chickens coming down the road towards us!  This is a country road, not a lot of traffic but still a bit dangerous for them and not something we’d expect to see.  I got out of the truck and once they saw me, they came running towards me!  That’s a first! LOL.  I had to get photos but a video would have been better.  I shuttled them back across the road to let some cars go by and a third chicken joined us.  It appeared that no one was home at the main house but the chicken house was full of chickens who were now following me on their side of the fence.  I was able to calmly send the 3 escaped chickens up the bank towards their home before getting back in the truck.  I think they were out shopping for food, it was lunch time for them.

Deer and llamas
A country road drive would not be right without seeing some deer.  There were seven of them quite a ways off the road in a big field enjoying it all to themselves.  Deer are not looking for pats or food so they weren’t wanting to see me come any closer than the road.  There were no fawns in sight.             The llama were quite a ways off the road, too, and although they showed a bit of curiosity while they watched me taking their picture, they made no effort to come for a visit.  They were maintaining social distancing, as we are having to do during this pandemic.  Clever llamas.

Feedlot buffet
Lunch was served buffet style and the cattle were not practicing social distancing, they had ‘missed the memo’.  All things seem to be normal for these ones, so we aren’t complaining to anyone!  Just enjoying the day and the many sights it offers.

Pritchard Bridge

The country road drive has come to an end and we cross over the Pritchard Bridge to get onto the highway to go back home.  This bridge was built in the early 1900 and spans the South Thompson River.  It is a one lane bridge, although a bit wider and higher in the center to allow boats to go under.

Our Sunday drive offered some sunshine, some great Kamloops hoodoos, farm animals and plenty of calm.  Those chickens strutting down the road was the chuckle of our day!

Times can be made to enjoy and we must make the most of what we have. 

Friday, April 3, 2020

Snowy Spring Day ~ Kamloops, BC

We are spending our last day of self-quarantine that follows our travels this year, by watching the snow cover our springtime yard.  Keith has worked hard to get the yard all ready for springtime, I’d been looking forward to those warm sunny days with flowers budding to get some new photos of our springtime but noooooo……… we are getting snow instead!!

Snow covered patio
The snow began as tiny dry floating flakes about 7:30am this morning.  Rain/snow had been forecast for the area but that would normally mean snow on much higher elevations.  I think the weatherman may be surprised by this snow, too.


Whootie and Blowfish are inside all winter and come out once the weather improves.  The look on their faces shows that it may have been too early!  Whootie calls out, “whoo whoooo’s idea was this?”

Lunchtime table
The wind has also been blowing so the snow is also on the covered deck!  Most of the cushions were removed when this all began, some just have to ride it out!  This is a great lunchtime spot when the weather is nice……which is not in the forseeable future…. We are waiting!!

Bunny
Bunny has been waiting for Easter to arrive to hide some eggs for us.  Not only do we have to delay our egg hunt due to isolation times, but poor Bunny needs to go back into hiding.  “I ‘bun’ waiting for the eggs!”, cries Bunny.

Poor Wren
During nicer weather, Wren normally nests in the wishing well but due to unforseen circumstances, she didn’t get the nest made and now poor thing sits frozen to the ground!  She’s calling out “wren is this going to end?”.  Sigh………. wish I could tell her.

Springtime
The pond pump is still working so has kept the water without ice for those in need of drinks.  We often get visiting birds but today seems to have no traffic at all.  The bistro set is ready for morning coffee visits, the old bike has pots waiting for spring flowers and the bench is waiting for passersby but on this April day it looks like we may have missed a couple of 2020 seasons, spring and summer may never come.

Ichabod and Shirley
Ichabod and his wife Shirley hang out here all summer.  I sure hope I got her name right, she is very shy as you can see, so she won’t confirm her name.  I find it safe to just call her Mrs. Crane.  I think she prefers that anyway.  Ichabod is looking skyward trying to decide if they should take flight.  I heard him whisper to her “surely, we don’t have to live like this” or was it “Shirley, we don’t have to live like this”?

Penn and Gwen
So then I come back inside and what do I see but Penn and Gwen standing at the door waiting to get out!  They’ve seen Maggie do this a zillion times and it works for her, the door opens.  Penn and Gwen are looking for their friends, the ‘penquins’.  They don’t realize there are no others in the neighborhood, in spite of this weather and I sure don't want to be the one to tell them, it would break their hearts.

Sully on arrival then snowy spring day
Poor Sully was pretty upset that he was forgotten on the first publication of our yard family.  He's been Sull-king for days so I thought best to fix that problem and eliminate family squabbles.

Maggie

Now Maggie does know how to spend her winter days.  Get your business done before the snow comes and relax and enjoy the rest of your day.  I guess this is the lesson we shall all have to abide by, Maggie’s lesson.  Relax and enjoy the rest of your day!

As you can tell, Keith and I have done well during our self-quarantine time……. normal people……….all alone…… still sane and healthy!  LOL  Do not worry about us, everyone out there is in self-isolation, too, which we begin tomorrow.  So much more freedom…not….. but at least we know we won't go craaaazy if we can go out.  Too late??  LOL   

On a serious note, if we maintain the isolation time, we will all be back to norm soon, we sure hope!

Stay healthy, well and safe everyone!  Keep your distance from the CoVid-19,