Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Canada Geese ~ McArthur Park ~ Kamloops, BC

We were driving through McArthur Park on a cold but sunny winter day when I spotted a flock of Canada Geese all having their afternoon rest in the waning sunshine.  We drove past so as not to disturb them then pulled over so I could get photos of the resting flock.

Canada Geese enjoying the sunshine
I quietly stepped down the grassy slope to begin taking photos when a few of them jumped up and started walking but what surprised me was that they were coming over my way.

They think I have food!
It wasn’t long and there were several following and before I knew it, they were all on their way.   I am quietly telling them I have no goodies for them but that didn’t seem to matter, they kept coming.

Getting closer
I stayed in place and they came within just a few feet of me as I continued talking to them.  They were pretty curious but at least they didn’t come right up to me, I would have been backing away if that had happened but they showed no aggression, so I stood my ground.

Settled in to find food in grass
They arrived, checked me out then all sat down, picking at the grass, I suspect, hoping they were going to find that I really did bring something for them to eat!  I admit that I did feel badly that they were looking for food and I had none, but I don’t think feeding them is the right thing to do although it appears other must, for them to come running as they did.

No food but more resting
The Canada Geese was near extinction in the 1950’s but there was a small flock discovered in Minnesota in 1962.  From this flock, a good production and restoration program began and by the end of 1981, more than 6,000 had been released at 83 sites in North Dakota.    The population in 2000 was said to be between 4 and 5 million in North America.

Canada Geese on McArthur Park Soccer Fields
The growing population of Canada Geese does create some problems for us, especially that they don’t all migrate further south anymore.  Some do but we seem to have plenty at all our parks and golf courses over the winter time as well as during the warmer seasons.

Thompson River at sunset
They were once protected from being hunted but the laws changed in June 2011 and that is no longer the case so that it is legal to hunt the Canada Geese, within hunting regulations, of course.  I am not an advocate of hunting and shooting any birds or animals but can understand the growing population is causing a serious problem in many places.  Culling is done in parts of the United States.

Ice flows in the Thompson River
The sun had slid down behind the hills but gave some final reflections on the river as the ice chunks flowed by.  So although I would rather all those Canada Geese were not leaving their mess in our park, I sure can understand why they would stay.  Winter or not, we offer such a beautiful location, how could they say ‘no’?

We love Kamloops, there is just no place like home!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Robbins Range ~ Kamloops, BC

I love us to drive through Robbins Range to enjoy the quiet with the beautiful rolling hills.  We’ve driven it a few times over the years and have taken my visiting sister and husband to see the Range; I could never tire of it.  The history remains a mystery to me even though our dad’s family spent a few years in this part of the country during his young years. 

Rest time for mom and calf
In days of old, there were family homesteads scattered throughout Robbins Range area.  There is still evidence of those days when we drive up there now, but little sign of life today other than some cattle grazing in the fields.  

The old homestead
The ruins of some of these log cabins which were once homes to the families who had lived in this area still offer some insight into what life may have been like back then.  The bare bones of a log cabin are nothing more than logs stacked together to create four walls then a roof.  Insulation as we know it was not used.
Drag harrow still sits
Old farming equipment can still be found sitting amidst the ruins of fences which may have been corrals for the horses and cattle.  This drag harrow was likely pulled by a horse as the attached wooden poles would have been used us a hitching device to harness the horse to it. 

Farm equipment of yesteryear
This old farm equipment may be from very early days as this company that originated in 1895 changed names in 1947 so it could be from those years in between and likely the 30’s.   I am guessing but perhaps this is a baler.   

Robbin's Range sawmill
These hills were also once part of the logging industry, although there are no signs of that now.  A sawmill was brought in by Ed Hughes, my grandfather, in the 1920’s-30’s who went into business and employed local men.    This worker is Reg Gardiner, a local man who later married my grandmother.  If anyone has information concerning this sawmill, I would appreciate hearing it.

Remnants of the wagon
We can see how far transportation has come when we see carts like this.  I don’t think this would be the main transportation for family outings but it sure would have done plenty of hauling hay or other chores on the farm.  A close look shows there are skis rather than wheels so it may have been used to slide across the field whether there was snow or not.

Fencing still stands
There are many ranges for the cattle up in this area today but there are very few signs of life other than the cattle.   You’ll see more homes as you drive through the other ranges and Barnhartvale, which are all part of the beautiful countryside just outside Kamloops.  

Views of the valley
Elevation is higher up in the trees and offers quite a view as we head back home after a great day of enjoying all the views.  Robbins Range is still that special place for me and even though the best I can do is imagine what life was like here in the 30’s, it is a lovely afternoon drive.

There is more on Robbins Range, if you wish to see that, click here.

Just another reason why we love Kamloops, there is no place like home.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Remembrance Day 2014, Kamloops, BC

November 11th is called Remembrance Day in Canada and has been recognized since WW1.  It was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth.  Originally called Armistice Day, as it was to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended WW1, it was celebrated on the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day of the eleventh month.   It is observed around the world on this day but most countries still call it Armistice Day.   The Americans celebrate Veteran’s Day on November 11th.

Kamloops Cenotaph
We stopped by the Kamloops Cenotaph and poppies decorated the monument and some wreaths were left.  Cenotaph is a Greek word for “empty tomb” and laying of wreaths is a traditional means of signalling high honours in Greece, so the Remembrance Day follows with that tradition.

Large crowd gathers at Riverside Park
As in most cities across the country, people gathered, at Riverside Park in Kamloops, BC, to honour the veterans who fought in the wars of yesterday as well as those who still do today.   2014 proved to be a special occasion by the numbers of people who came to watch the ceremony today.

RCMP lead the way, Veterans follow the flags
The parade made its’ way into the center of the crowd by way of a temporary corridor set up and everyone in the crowd applauded as they passed by.  The RCMP in their red serge march by to much applause and they are followed by more uniforms, the Rube Band, the Pipe Band, and last but not least were several veterans to end the march.

Remembrance Day in Riverside Park
Uniforms joining those who had passed by our spot could be seen in the crowded field to honour fallen soldiers including the Rocky Mountain Rangers and Cadets.  Our national anthem was sung then the Last Post was played on the bugle, a familiar yet rather sombre sound.  This was followed with a two minute silence.

Fly over at 11:04am
 The Fly Past was done by two from the 419 Squadron out of Cold Lake, Alberta then followed by “Reveille”, also played on the bugle.  Prayers and blessings were given then followed by placement of wreaths by various representatives of the government plus many others.  Everyone is welcome to add their own wreath at this time.

Remembrance Day in Kamloops, BC
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Sombre moments during Remembrance Day
We are the dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Kamloops Pipe Band
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
IF ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Fields is a poem written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae with a powerful message.

There is more Remembrance Day from past years, click here to see one and here if you'd like to learn more about the 419 Squadron.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Autumn Leaves ~ Schubert Drive ~ Kamloops, BC

The many colors of autumn often make the prettiest views of the year.  I do not know how many shades of yellow there are but to look at these trees along the banks of the North Thompson River, there appears to be many.

Leaves of Autumn
Schubert Drive is named after the Schubert family who were part of the Overlanders.  They were the first settlers to arrive at Fort Kamloops from Ft. Garry in 1862.  Catherine Schubert was the only woman to make that journey; they are true pioneers of our area.

Trail to North Thompson River
On a sunny day in the fall, the leaves brighten up the drive along the river and the fallen leaves remind us that it will not be long and winter is on its’ way.  Taking time to enjoy the fall season is easiest when the sun shines but that doesn’t always happen the way we want it to.  One day, it seems the leaves are there and the next day they are all down.

Mt. Peter and Mt. Paul
The barren trees make it much easier to see the river and that offers a whole new view and the birds who are normally hidden within the leaves can also be seen.  Mt. Paul and Mt. Peter sit above where the two rivers meet at Kamloops.

Carved Cedar Poles
There is a small parking area along Schubert that also is host to three sculptures by Giles Kent of Great Britain.  The tallest one stands 7-6 metres (25’) tall.  A gazebo is there to sit and enjoy the view from.

North meets South Thompson
The South Thompson River joins onto the North Thompson just beyond this point and continues down to Kamloops Lake.   The river is still fairly wide here but as the water level decreases during this time of year, there is lots of sandy beaches to walk on, and many do.

River Walk of Kamloops, BC
Schubert Drive is a lovely walk at this time of year.  It is part of the River Walk that spans 40 km. that covers many areas of Kamloops.   All the River Walk but McArthur Island Park and Riverside Park is dog friendly so Schubert Drive it is a great place to take the dog for a walk or run, too.
Another reason why there is no place like home.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Boating the South Thompson River

What better way to spend a sunny summer day than on the beautiful South Thompson River for a boat ride.  We spent many summers doing this, but those days are past and this day is a great reminder of great family boating days.  The view is so different from here on the river.

Boating on the South Thompson River

We travelled upriver with family and friends in a couple of boats with the plan to stop on Banana Island for a picnic and fun.  The sun was shining, the river was calm and the sights were relaxing.
Eagle eye view
The hoodoos and clay banks line the South Thompson, and create some very interesting shapes as well as viewpoints.  It is more likely we’d see an eagle in a tree but this one was happy to watch everything from the bank’s edge.  See more eagles here.

Grazing the green grass
The river is still high the beginning of July but that doesn’t seem to discourage these cattle from grazing on the riverbank.  I’m sure that green grass is tastier than sagebrush and they’re checking it out.

The Pritchard bridge
Pritchard Bridge has historic appeal, it is rare that we see anything old anymore, hopefully it lasts another many years.  It has the strength to allow a logging truck to pass over so it should be.  There was a ferry crossing at this point before the single lane bridge was built.

Historic Pritchard bridge
I have not found much history for this bridge but it was built in 1920 when sternwheelers would travel up and down the river, hence the room to pass under.  There was also a busy wharf and a train station here.

An osprey in the nest
We see these nests on our travels but rarely do we see an osprey in there so this was a surprise.  The river hawk, as they’re also called, always nest on high platforms near fresh water and live mainly on fish.   They are a large raptor with a wing span of 180 cm, which is almost 6 ft. Osprey are the only living species that live nearly worldwide, the only place they are not found is in Antarctica.

Alpaca herd shows little interest
When we passed by these sheep, we were far enough away to not realize we weren’t looking at sheep.  Photo close-up says their necks are too long…….I think they are alpacas!  Research says they are quiet and peaceful, hum to one another to communicate and they look pretty darn cute, too!

The bald headed eagle
The bald headed eagle is such a majestic looking bird and I do not seem to get enough photos of them, in my humble opinion. (: This one was watching the passers-by and waiting for his lunch to appear.  There are more of this eagle to see here. 

The South Thompson River offers some great scenery and sights to enjoy.  We will never tire of these sights and hope to see them again.  There is just no place like home.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Show and Shine ~ Hot Nite in the City ~ Kamloops, BC

Mix together Kamloops, hot August days and a car show and you’ll have one of the biggest and best car shows our city will see called the Show and Shine Hot Nite in the City!  This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of this show. 

1932 Ford 2 door sedan ~ Kamloops, BC
Hot Nite in the City did begin as a Thursday night show but it later became a two day event, growing as it did over time and having many from other places come to show their cars, too.

1934 Ford wrecker  ~ Cache Creek, BC
Friday night is the registration and Poker-run which was added eleven years ago for participants to get involved and see the city.  The last stop of that run is the A/W, the annual hosts for this evening.

1942 Ford cavover pickup ~ Kelowna, BC
The show once took one city block but now covers thirteen blocks.  Victoria Street and the avenues on either side are closed for the day and allows cars to line the streets for everyone to see and enjoy. 

1950 Ford F-100 ~ Washington, USA
 I would say that by the crowds always gathering around this beauty makes it the star of the show.  The crowds are large and music fills the air, the shops are open to welcome visitors in to make the downtown experience a great one. 

1951 Ford pickup ~ Quesnel, BC
 350 cars were expected to participate in this year’s event and they varied from vintage cars to semi-trucks and everything in between. They come from far and wide and are welcomed with Kamloops hospitality to the Hot Nite in the City Show and Shine.

1937 Oldsmobile Touring Sedan
What a trip down memory lane this offers for many whether it is an old family car or otherwise, you will hear people sharing a story of the past when they see a special car.

1929 Ford ~ home built ~ Summerland, BC
This show brings people from all over the western provinces to participate as well as from Washington, Oregon and Colorado.  The car club communities enjoy sharing their pride and joy and many make their return yearly. 

1961 Buick Bubble Top ~ Nanaimo, BC
We, the people of Kamloops do enjoy seeing these vehicles, some of which are absolutely vehicular works of art!  The support and enjoyment shows with the crowds that walked the streets of Kamloops on Saturday. 

Ribfest at Riverside Park, Kamloops, BC
Ribfest is now a big part of the Hot Nites in the City weekend and the Daybreak Rotary Club of Kamloops biggest fundraiser of the year.  Several vendors come from out of town to sell to people lined up for hours to taste those delicious BBQ ribs.

Music can be heard from every corner of the park and Music In the Park at the Rotary Bandshell had an audience of thousands enjoying their entertainment of the evening. A large kid zone with lots of free attractions were enjoyed, too.

These events take hundreds of hours of volunteer work to happen and the work of these volunteers is applauded by all.  The success of these events are shown both by the turnout of locals and the thousands of dollars donated to our organizations as a result of this. 

Thank-you to all the volunteers who played a part in this week-ends festivities, a great job was done by all.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Blind Bay Centennial Celebrations

Blind Bay, BC, originally called Trapper’s Landing, is the community nestled into a beautiful corner of the Shuswap Lake east of Kamloops with a view to enjoy year round.  Blind Bay celebrated their Centennial this year and hosted a special day to bring everyone together to enjoy the occasion.

Heart of Blind Bay, BC
The celebrations hosted by the Blind Bay Hall Association were held right at the hall with an outdoor platform for the musicians to perform on, there were car awards given that were made available by donations from local businesses and a silent auction to be viewed and bid on.  A day full of celebrating events.

Days of old delivery truck
The Blind Bay hall is the location of the very first school built here and opened 100 years ago.  Many visited in the available seating, taking in the events and enjoying some great hamburgers and hot dogs donated by the Blind Bay Village Grocer and prepared by volunteers.

Don Hart entertains
Opening ceremonies began at 10am and the celebration kept everything hopping for hours.  The talented performers could be heard from afar with everyone enjoying the music and little ones dancing to their hearts content.

1936 Ford Tudor Touring Sedan
There was a car show that had some very special models on display, many of which are from Blind Bay, but visitor cars were made welcome, too. 

1949 Studebaker truck and 1959 Studebaker Silver Hawk
The Blind Bay Rd was closed for vehicular traffic at this location and used as a display location for the many cars.  The road was busy with locals and visitors walking and enjoying the shine and polish of these collectors.

Show and Shine at Blind Bay, BC
The lake made a great backdrop for the cars and the weather was perfect for such an event.  With the overnight showers having cooled the hot temperature down a bit and a nice breeze blowing across the venue, the weather cooperated perfectly.

Aaron Halliday is "Almost Alan"
The musical star attraction of the day was Aaron Halliday, who does Alan Jackson music right down to his appearance.  Almost Alan does a great job and drew a good crowd to enjoy his show.

Blind Bay Centennial Celebrations
There were zillions of volunteer hours put into organizing and working the celebrations which did not go unnoticed by the visitors and locals who came to enjoy their day.  Great job done by Dave and his crew.

Blind Bay Hall Association, Cedar Heights Community Association,  Notch Hill Town Hall and Shuswap Estates Community Association all participated with different venues and attractions.   The community that began 100 years ago still has the community spirit that would make the pioneers proud.

Happy Blind Bay Centennial celebration!