piranha: red origami crane (Default)
yesterday, even though i wasn't feeling 100% yet, we really wanted to get out of the house and go somewhere new. since we've lived here for a while, that usually means at least a 2 hour trip one way. i'd already been eyeing routes into strathcona park, so we quickly decided to go that way even if we weren't gonna actually hike, but just make an exploratory trip.

so we went up north to campbell river, and then east towards gold river, but turned off hwy 28 at buttle narrows and took the westmin road along buttle lake. we got as far as the karst creek campground before it got too late to continue. stopped in campbell river on the way back because they have a new hungarian restaurant, the goulash bowl -- solid peasant fare; great homemade egg noodles. got home just before midnight; not bad for being lamers who didn't leave the house until 15:30.

click for pictures )
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
the paramour and i went to victoria yesterday. primarily to buy new boots for the both of us. i'd found out that mountain equipment co-op has a brandnew store there, which rules. and i was up early enough on friday to pester the paramour into a quick start. i remember enough of victoria from when we lived there to score free parking, and we checked out sports trader, ocean river sports, and capital iron on the way to MEC. the paramour hadn't ever been to the latter, and we didn't really spent much time browsing, boots being foremost on our minds. but even for somebody like me who isn't much into shopping, capital iron is a fun store.

boots at MEC was easy-peasy; the first pair i tried fit like a glove (salomon remains my friend); i tried a couple of others just to be sure, but those were it. turned around to see that the paramour had tried and liked the very same kind. amused the salesperson.

while the paramour paid i wandered around a little and saw that seaward has a cute little play kayak out by the name of intrigue. seaward is a local company, and i really like the underwater view panel. this would be a fun toy to carry along on the boat.

we were reaching the limits of our attention span for shopping and decided to head out to james bay where we used to live, leave the truck there, and walk back downtown to scout for food and decide what else to do. and lo, the pacific undersea gardens called to us. this underwater acquarium had always, always been closed when we'd felt like checking them out before, and even though we were sure it was gonna be relatively cheesy, it simply had to be done. and yes, it was cheesy, but still fun, because they sure did have a lot of local fauna. "kelp forest" -- not so much kelp as that i'd call it a forest, no; there was an occasional strand of kelp present. the "specially designed tidal pool" was the measliest touching pool i've ever seen, and the poor anemone did not wave its tentacles about -- who could blame it? but lots and lots of rock fish, a wolf eel, and a pacific octopus, and i communed with fish for a while. also, getting out of the sun was a good thing.

this is my favourite picture of a curious rockfish checking me out.

i really need to get off my ass and get windows installed; i tried to remove the noise caused by the low light conditions with the gimp and i just don't get the same results as i get with noise ninja.

after that we wandered along the inner harbour, casually looking at the vendors who were there for the annual ICA folk fest (more carvers than i've seen before, but rather less variety otherwise). the folk fest wanted money to get in to most of the stalls (and of course the main stage), but since it was late in the day we didn't really want to spend the money, and just wandered around downtown. went into the lush store, since everybody has been raving so much about lush. it made me want to eat. :) ended up at millos for greek food, which was fine, but not superb -- that was ok though, we were aiming for "fine".

dropped by dallas road and the shore to look at the sun casting pink setting rays onto the olympics

and then home, with just enough light to make it across the malahat.

i always want to stay longer in victoria. once we're on the boat i'm pretty sure we'll spend part of our year there.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i'm falling behind again.

it's hard to write when i am so busy. i've managed to keep cooking and doing chores, and even added some work back into the mix. also have been riding the bikes. and, the paramour and i went to meet an old friend in vancouver, and stayed for an extra day to go to the acquarium. i have lots of pictures which need webbifying. will write about that trip separately once i've done that.

the paramour left yesterday for 2 weeks with the folks back in ontario. that trip started well, with a quick trip down to the harbour to catch one of the seaplanes -- there are 3 different companies flying out of nanaimo to vancouver now. the one jill flew on is no more, but a new one has replaced it, and that's the one with which we booked. after seeing the paramour off, i went to buy tomato plants, and woops, a tiny lilac shrub jumped into my cart! syringa meyeri 'palibin' is a korean dwarf. i looked for it the last couple of years everywhere but couldn't find one. it will grow only to 6 ft maximum, and its other advantage is that, if pruned well, it'll offer a second bloom in late summer. yeah, i know, it'll still be too big for the boat, but i can always donate it to P&G. it smells wonderful. i have it inside right now, in my room.

the good news ended when i got home. the neighbour's son had mowed the lawn and apparently forgotten that it's a bad idea to ride the mower down the driveway with the blades going. it had kicked a stone right into the sliding glass door, shattering it. i spent a couple of hours cleaning all the glass out of the carpet and outside. caught the cats and checked their paws too, since this is where they go in and out of the house. nobody seems hurt, though i haven't managed to catch bang yet.

then the paramour called, and the rental car company was not answering their phones. ended up having to take a hotel room. fuckers.

it got cold last night and i berated myself for not putting some plastic over the missing door. and then, just after 1:00 in the morning i heard loud meowing which didn't sound like any of our cats. indeed, the non-existing door had apparently attracted a tan-and-white kitten who looked emaciated and sick. *sigh*. i tried to convince her to go outside, but she ended up hiding on the shelf unit in my room, behind the cookbooks. ok, fine. too late to do anything much. i chatted with her for a while, so she'd let me look at her. at first i thought she was blind in one eye, but it turned out to be all pus, and the eye is probably fine. both eyes were crusted with fluid. i tried to clean it up, but she would have very little of it, so i just gave her some wet food and convinced her that she was safe by keeping all the other cats away. in the end i put her in bacchus's cage with food and water, so contact between her and the others would be minimal. after meowing for a good while, she finally settled down and we all went to sleep.

this morning i called the SPCA, which was of course closed. they gave me the emergency number for the animal control officer on duty, who told me that they really shouldn't take a cat from outside the city -- apparently there is an ordinance that they have to take dogs, but nothing about cats. i convinced him that this one was sick enough to merit an exception, and i said that i'd drive her to the pound myself. which i did; she gave me no trouble going into the carrier. *whew*. glad she wasn't a feral. with two people cleaning her up it wasn't quite as difficult, and it did indeed look as if her eye can be saved. i left her in good hands.

when i got home, i was worn out already. i vegetated for a while, and finally managed to put plastic up over the door, though of course i waited until it started raining, *rolls eyes at self*. so tonight no stray cats can wander inside, and i am not freezing.

i am working on modelling "visemes" - visible mouth movements that look like somewhat realistic speech.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so today we took the new bikes out for our first ride away from home. and it was great! we were going to hemer park originally, but when i got to cedar road, i remembered that when playing with google earth i had looked at the nanaimo river estuary, and that there was apparently a road from cedar leading right into it. for some reason i had always thought raines road just went into a native reservation. which it does, but it also leads to a small parking place that gives access to the estuary and its marshes, complete with a lookout. so on impulse i suggested we drive down that road and see what it looks like.

that was a good idea. the estuary is beautiful back in there, and while we're too late for spring migration, this is obviously a place to come to in fall as well. and we found wild asparagus! there wasn't much opportunity to ride the bikes inside the gated area, but this'll be great to come back to with rubber boots and binoculars. saw a bunch of killdeer. i think some of the area was probably once dyked for pasture; we saw what looks like the remains of dykes, though not really high enough. maybe they have been destroyed to allow the water to flow more naturally again.

when we got back home i went back into google earth and plotted the path we took. :)

note to the *poing* -- the peninsula to the right is duke point where we walked all the way up to the tip.

estuary ride estuary ride
4.7 km round trip, along most of raines road, and through the gate into the estuary itself. (clicking brings up 300k large version of image.)

raines road was a perfect ride -- almost entirely level, and just enough distance to get all the unused muscles to start working. i think we're gonna also try for the nanaimo side of the estuary; we went there once last year starting at the campground and got a little lost trying to bushwhack our way out to cedar road, but i can trace a map of the path network off google earth.

note to self; interesting land use information: integrated land management bureau special initiative nanaimo estuary.

(hrm. lj's auto-formatting seems to be broken.)


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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