Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.



I have a confession to make. I’m a foodie. One of the best things in my life is having enough to eat.

Alas! The Missus says I’m putting on a bit of weight. She’s no spring chicken herself, and getting a bit plump. She should look into the birdbath one of these days and have a look at her reflection.

It’s a terrible time to try to diet, just when the larvae of the ten-striped June beetles are surfacing. When the next heat wave strikes, the prawn-like grubs will sprout wings and that will be it. No more delicacies for me.  As beetles, they will become the prize of raccoons and bats.


Anneli loves it when I help get rid of the grubs. This critter is putting up a bit of a struggle. I hate it when they fight back. It’s so pointless, and I feel like such a bully. There’s no escape once I find them. This one thinks he’s a boxer. Good luck with that, buddy.

He’s tickling my beak, but if he thinks I’ll put him down to scratch an itch, he’s dreaming. This fat “prawn” is so worth the razzing I get from the Missus.

Oops! I just caught my reflection in the sliding glass door of the deck. Hmm…. A tiny bit portly around the waist. Maybe I should have limited myself to just a few of those grubs. But they were so good, and Anneli’s yard is full of them.

But I’m still a handsome devil, don’t you think? I can’t just walk away from a feast. What would you do?


Man or Nature?

So many times when I’ve stood on my deck and tried to take a photo of the water, I’ve cursed the hydro pole that mars the view.

This time I found the power lines an interesting contrast to the lines created by the tidal movement in the bay.

I still find the man-made power lines to be ugly, but here they emphasize the beauty of  the soft curvy lines of nature.

Man or nature? For me, it’s no contest.


Hors d’oeuvres, anyone?

Near the mouth of the Campbell River, the Canada geese were having a wine and cheese party, mingling, gossiping, and chatting,  and looking for the hors d’oeuvre platter to come around.

Not far away was a flock of mergansers. When they saw the camera, they got upset. I thought I heard them squawk, “No pictures!” as they fled. But soon I saw that I had misread what was going on. It was the hors d’oeuvre platter going by and they all wanted some salmon fry canapés.

It was a team effort, rushing the waiter who fled with the tray of food. The head merganser called to the others of his team, “Get in a line, quick! Pretend you’re a fishnet and let’s rush the salmon canapés. Surround them if you can.”

“But they’re just small fry,” Alec, the smart one, quacked.

“Silly boy,” Mergan scoffed. “Don’t you know these tidbits are the best?”

“Duh! I guess…. I’ve heard that good things come in small packages.”

“Well, don’t just sit there bobbing on the waves. Swim like you’ve never swum before. If you want to eat, that is.”


Watch this short video, and while you may not see Mergan and her friends rushing the waiter while that smart Alec misses out by being the last – all talk and no action – you will see the water boiling from the onslaught of munching mergansers. The blood and carnage have been censored. I made sure it was all out of sight, under the water. It will help to have the video on full screen so you can see the water on the left, stirred up by the ducks.



Not that much to see, but under that boiling water, the body count will never be known. The mergansers are very good at hiding the evidence.


Not so rough, “roughing it”

If you like being out in the quiet of nature and don’t mind having very few people around, a fishing and camping trip on northern Vancouver Island might be just the thing for you.

Bringing along a trailer or a camper is not exactly roughing it, but who says you have to suffer to enjoy the outdoors. The Captain and a couple of friends are exploring new territory.

After a long drive on paved roads, get ready for a fairly long drive on dusty gravel roads. Everything in and on your vehicle will be covered in a fine layer of flour-like dust. But what’s a little dust when you end up on a serene lake like this one?

In the morning, you set out early before the sun burns off the fog over the lake and the wind blows away the last wisps of mist. Maybe it’s easier to sneak up on the trout if they can’t see you coming through the cloud.

Time for a nap after all that fresh air. It’s good to be refreshed in time for an early evening bite, when the trout are looking for their supper.

Next morning the lake is a mirror of beauty.

It’s mostly catch and release, but on the last day it’s nice to bring home a meal in time for a Mother’s Day dinner.

The trout were delicious.


Being Three

When you’re three years old … things look different.

Are the bundles of clothing your mom makes you wear bulkier and heavier when you’re three?

Is that ice slipperier when you’re three?

Is it harder to “be a man” when you’re three?

Does it take more guts to be seen by your buddy as being brave when you’re three?

Is that skating rink a mile wider when you’re three?

Do bruises from falling on the ice hurt more when you’re three?

Is life more exciting every minute of the day when you’re three?

Yes, yes, YES!



Being three and at the rink,

Is way more daunting than you think,

My buddy came to skate with me,

My fear I will not let him see,

The ice is gleaming, threatening,

And yet there’s adults beckoning,

Do they not realize how quick

A boy can fall? Oh, I feel sick.

I’m sure my buddy feels the same

We’re scared and brave, but don’t feel shame,

If I fall down, it’s no big deal,

My buddy knows just how I feel.

We contemplate, but soon you’ll see

How brave we are, though only three.





Drones – A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Flying a drone, or UAV (an unmanned aerial vehicle), would probably appeal to anyone who liked building model airplanes and flying them around their backyard. I think that except for the noise, I might enjoy flying one too.

Most of them have cameras  in or on them and probably can take some fantastic pictures from perspectives that are next to impossible for us to achieve any other way.

BUT.  What if you are on the other end of the drone’s intrusion? Here is one that is coming towards my house. What does it want?

Who is going to look at the images that drone is taking? What are they looking for? I’m sure it’s nothing sinister … or am I really so sure…?

It’s coming closer. I don’t remember inviting it into my space.

Now its beady little red eyes are scanning everything in my personal space, taking pictures of what’s going on in my yard. Maybe its camera can take pictures through the windows of my house. Who knows?

If I happen to be in the shower next time the drone comes by, I hope someone warns me not to step out until it moves on.

I confess to having a very irky feeling when the drone buzzed back and forth near my house and property. I kept thinking the drone was like the 13th fairy who came, uninvited, to Sleeping Beauty’s birthday party, bringing her an evil gift.

I understand they are used for 3D jobs – those that are too Dull, Dirty, or Dangerous – but my house is not (yet) a war zone, and I already feel like the drone was doing less than noble spying.

I know that drone-lovers are going to say I’m just a sour grape, but really, I don’t wish to own one and use it to go impose on someone’s privacy, so why would I want someone to do that to me?

And of course there are drone owners who have not the slightest wish to spy on anyone. Still ….

How do you feel about drones? Maybe your experience with them is different from mine. Tell us about it!


Loner or Groupie?

People are all different. If you think about it though, they fall into two main categories: loners, and groupies.

Are you a loner? Do you like your own company better than that of others? Are you independent, happy to spend time alone,  thinking and musing, or doing solitary activities? Do you like the quietness of nature? Do you easily amuse yourself with thoughts and puzzles, hiking, fishing, or walking alone?

A lot of well adjusted people are solitary types and love to be that way.

But some hate spending time alone. I’ve heard them say, “It’s too quiet. I’m lonely. I’m bored. I’m afraid to be alone, especially at night.”

Nothing makes them happier than when company is coming.


And then there are those who HAVE to be with a lot of “friends” or even just in a crowd. They say it makes them feel good when they’re surrounded by people. Life is one big party, and when the band goes home for the night, the groupies still want to continue being together, seeking each other’s approval in almost everything they think or do. “Wait for me! I just have to check how many ‘Likes’ I have on my blog.”

Photo: Courtesy of Paul Knettig.

Whichever category we lean towards, loners or groupies, maybe we’re just like the rest of the animals on this planet.