Shortly after I came out to British Columbia in early 2006 I had a case of severely high blood pressure. It wouldn't have been fair to an employer for me to work for them until I got my health situation sorted out. I was on medications to lower the blood pressure and it took until early 2007 to find the cause. I finally went to a naturopath who found that a microscopic parasite was the cause for all this.

While getting my health in order, I took up blogging to share my photography. This way I wasn't wasting time and others got to enjoy the photos, not just me and those close to me.

In May of this year I had a mini-stroke cause again by severely high blood pressure. I may end up gong to the naturopath again since the specialist and other MDs can't seem to find the cause. This has only been a problem out here. Before that in Ontario, the blood pressure was only marginally high, not severely high like in BC.

Knowledge is good because being forewarned is forearmed!

All that said, enjoy this blog and all the photos I share with you.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

Belated Merry Christmas to all. Its been business as usual even though there's a holiday. I'm off to work this morning but I thought I would post these photos taken in nearby Queens Park early yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. The children are at play on a hillside in the park, and if you remember from your childhood, you would spend hours outside with it seemed boundless energy. As you can see, we've had quite a bit of snow and more was falling as I was taking these photos. More snow is expected today. Have a safe and pleasant holiday!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


While Earth and the life on this planet certainly fascinate me, let's look at another interesting planet for a moment, Jupiter! Its long interested astronomers and since various spacecraft like the Pioneer and Voyager have brought us new and varied understanding of the planet and its moons, we are a long wayoff from understanding everything about this planet named by the Romans. A space flight to this planet doesn't come without its risks as you can see by the depiction of where asteroids are found enroute.

The Red Spot is familiar to most everyone in one way or another. Its a cyclonic disturbance that has been ongoing for centuries (atleast the 17th century). The images above and below, all from Nasa, give us an idea.

Then the Aurora borealis at Jupiter's North Pole is fascinating as well. I didn't know until I did this research that the Jovian planet even had one (Aurora). Then for a long time Saturn was thought to be the only planet with a ring but recent discoveries have shown this to be wrong. Jupiter does indeed have a ring, thin, but a ring none the less.

Now all sorts of discoveries are coming our way regarding the planets moons, 63 of them, though 47 of them have been discovered since 1975 and of the 47 moons, they are less than 10 kilometers in diameter. Will we find life on one or more of the major moons? If we do, it may not be as we might think it to be. Let's keep watching the developments and open our eyes and minds to greater things! All images are from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA). Check out Wikipedia and other sources for more information about this planet!!!

From Kitsilano to Point Grey Beach and back

In early August I did a walk from Vancouver's downtown to Kitsilano, past the beach and on to Jericho, Locarno, Spanish Banks Beaches before arriving at Point Grey Beach and then returning. That was not the only time. There was atleast one other such walk. Great exercise if summer heat is not a problem. These are just some of the photos that resulted from the trek.

Someone suggested these flowers might be Arnica montana, or Leopard's Bane, but I'll have to take a much closer look next summer. Looking at these cheery blooms takes our thoughts away from the cold, snowy winter we are currently into though.

After Labour Day, the lifeguards disappeared not to return again until next summer.
Do you ever have the feeling that you are being watched???

I love yellow flowers, in this case a bumblebee (Bombus ssp) on a tansy flower collecting nectar. I hope you have enjoyed these photos and that they have taken your thoughts away from winter for a bit to bring rays of sunshine into your life. Have a good Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Remembering a warmer season

Now that we are in the midst of a cold blast of arctic air and real winter here on the west coast, here is a photo of one of the beaches facing English Bay in Vancouver. The photo was taken in early August during the height of our summer here in British Columbia. Perhaps this will serve as a distraction from all the snow and cold that we are currently having. There will be more about the beaches, from Kitsilano, Jericho, Locarno and Spanish Banks Beaches to Point Grey Beach soon. Meantime, enjoy this diversion!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Late in the afternoon today just before sunset someone brought the colour of the clouds to my attention and had also asked if I had a camera. Well, I went outside with my little HP digital camera and took a couple of photos but the sun was setting fast, so the scene was changing quickly. Since this camera only has 6.2 megapixels, it would have been better using my Sony DSLR at 10.2 megapixels but it was back at home. Enjoy these photos nonetheless with the winter olympic village in the background, the setting sun behind that complex! - Volker

Monday, November 24, 2008

A view from Burnaby Mountain

Saturday afternoon took me to Burnaby Mountain and I was there early enough to get in a few photos before the sun set. As you can tell, the cherry trees behind the Horizon Restaurant have been completely stripped of leaves. Of course, that's the case with other deciduous trees in the region. There is a close-up shot of one of the cherry trees below. Once winter sets in I'll likely have more photos of the trees surrounded with a blanket of snow. This elevation does get snow in the winter months!

The rosegarden looks like its gone to sleep for the winter and below you can see the view from the edge of the mountain looking north across Burrard Inlet.

Tankers are seen in Burrard Inlet with refineries nearby (photo above). Then there is the view looking west-northwest toward Vancouver. Capital Hill is in the foreground with downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park behind that.

Then I've long found cloud patterns of interest, such as the one above as an example. It resembles a fledgling needing to be fed by its mother, or it could be a terrible monster sucking in the energy from the area above Vancouver and its environs. You decide for yourself. There is a larger pic below.

Here is a view west from the art sculptures on the western end of Burnaby Mountain with yet another view below looking toward the northwest (Stanley Park, the Lions Gate Bridge, Bowen Island and the northshore to be seen in the distance).

The last two photos feature the sunset on Saturday. Here we are looking toward the southwest with the sun setting behind Vancouver Island. The Pacific Ocean is on the other side of Vancouver Island. The body of water in front of the island is Georgia Strait with the city of Richmond between us and the strait. I hope you've enjoyed these photos. Expect more to come, weather permitting! - Volker

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas 2008 coming

With Christmas a little over a month away I thought I would make an early Christmas purchase before the good plants are sold out. I took this photo after giving the new plant a good soaking. Keep watching for some new posts to come very soon! - Volker

Monday, October 13, 2008

Autumn colour and more

Autumn colour is evident in Sapperton in New Westminster and the photo below shows a street scene with the Fraser River in the background.
Then there is autumn colour in Vancouver as well, such as on West Georgia Street near Stanley Park.

Since coming out west after years in Ontario, I could watch the water action on the rocks for hours and have had a long fascination with this. Or watching boats and ships on the water, in this case Burrard Inlet.

Or how about seagulls and starfish? What is it with them having starfish in their mouths? Any ideas???

The 3rd beach at English Bay is getting rather deserted these days and will become more deserted as the winter approaches. A day of sunshine seems to change all that to a degree. Hope you had a great summer and you have enjoyed your Thanksgiving weekend (Canada)! - Volker

Friday, September 12, 2008


I love bees of all sorts including bumblebees as seen above. They are so important to humanity but we often just take them for granted. Bees, and other flying insects such as butterflies for an example, help pollinate flowers on trees and plants of all kinds. What would we do without them? Probably starve! One reason alone to bring our environment back in order from the current mess its in. Something to think about!!! - Volker

Saturday, September 6, 2008

UBC Botanical Gardens - Moon Garden

Last Sunday I made a trip out to the UBC Botanical Gardens on the campus of the University of British Columbia, a visit I had long wanted to undertake. The Moon Garden had to be my favourite. The photo above shows the scene just inside the main gate to that garden and the tunnel to the moon garden proper. To follow are a number of photos that resulted from this trip.

Cardoons are related to the artichoke. The ribs are edible in the case of the cardoon and the flowers (unopened) in the case of artichokes. The cardoon flower above has visitors: bees!

Then there are fruit trees on half barrels or on tied up as espalier fruit, both good for small spaces.

As I have mentioned, the moon garden has to be my favourite at the UBC Botanical Gardens. The centre focal point is the garden plantings of fruit, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. The the African garden outside this centre point is another favourite. Brad and I plan to visit later when the autumn colour is at its best. Oh, and can you imagine the scene in the moon garden on a full moon? Have a look at the gardens when you're up this way. Every season has something to offer. Have a great weekend! - Volker