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.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Buntzen Lake trails

Normally, I start hiking in May and keep going through the summer. With the mini-stroke I had in early May this year, things were delayed but I've done the best I can with the season that is left. Seeing the view from Eagle Bluff last weekend has been inspirational but do some homework before you go out hiking, where ever you are!

Before you go out on a hike, familiarize yourself with the area and the lay of the land. Be sure to dress for the weather. Read about what others have done in the way of hiking. Invest in a topographical map for the area of interest. Be sure to take along some water and something to nibble on. Even a good flashlight can come in handy if your hike is longer than planned. You can find a lot of useful material online that will help keep you from having search and rescue sent out to find you. The trail map above is just one of many. If you do get lost, stay put and call for help! Its a safety issue at that point and may prevent you from getting into some real trouble that'll give the search and rescue people a nightmare! Don't let your ego get you into trouble! Good luck, and stay safe! - V

Note: For those challenged and unable to find their way around the landscape easily, invest in a compass, so that you map can be pointed to the north. Some of us can find our way by the position of the sun during the day and the moon and stars at night. Easily memorizing the landscape is a great help.

If you want to avoid bears, wild cats (such as lynx, bobcats and cougars) and coyotes, avoid hiking when the animals they prey upon are around (at night and in the early morning). True, you won't see deer or rabbits but you won't have a black bear breathing down your neck. If such things are not a concern to you, then carry on! Regardless, be aware of your surroundings!!! - V

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eagle Bluff - photos

Here are some photos of Saturday's hike on Eagle Mountain. The goal was Eagle Bluff which I reached without incident. Enjoy the photos and the scenery! The hiking route took me up the Coquitlam Crunch Trail once again, to a view of the lower mainland and then on to Eagle Bluff. I couldn't have asked for better weather. I plan to post some more photos taken during the beginning of the hike but these will suffice for now. Enjoy!
That's the approach to the bluff above and tread marks in the sand from trail bikes in the photo below.
Here's another beautiful shot of Buntzen Lake above and a shot of the trail from where I came.
The image above looks down to Burrard Inlet and Burnaby Mountain. The photo below shows the top edge of the Eagle Bluff. Its a significant drop down from there.
Finally, this is a shot (above) across the top of a rock found near the edge of the bluff. The view alone was well worth the effort in getting there! - V

Sunday, August 21, 2011

view from Eagle Bluff

On Saturday, rather than hike up the mountain I decided to complete the original hike to Eagle Bluff and the view from there of Buntzen Lake was more the worth the effort to get there. More photos are coming as soon as they are edited. Meantime, savour this one! - V

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eagle Mountain hike - photos

This past Saturday afternoon took me to Port Moody by a combination of bus, then train and then a bus once more (B-97). Then I walked to the start of the Coquitlam Crunch Trail in neighbouring Coquitlam. It turned out to be a much nicer day than I had originally imagined. It was bright and sunny, not to mention very warm. It was so warm that I took off the t-shorts I was wearing. I didn't need them, nor did I need the sweater I brought along in case it was cool. Part of the trail was sponsored by someone named "Mr. Bear." I saw neither Mr. Bear nor the furry creature, so all was well. Anyway, the weather was peerfect!
Going up the trail there are some courts of one description or another. The one pictured was used to play a sort of field hockey.
Raspberries and such are in season. Canes are found in many places. The photo above gives you an idea. Then the rules were posted for the safety of those using the Eagle Ridge Greenway.
The photo above looks south and the one below shows a bee visiting a buttercup (flower).
Rugosa-type roses are to be found with plenty of flowers or buds about to open and the rose hips that I found are large and plentiful.
Another wildflower to be seen is the Goldenrod, a sign that autumn is getting close. There is a close-up of a bee visiting one above and then a grouping growing along the trail in the photo below. The yellow blooms look lovely against the blue sky.
There is tall grass dried from the recent dryness plus vetch and crown vetch grow in the grass as well.
That's Yarrow in the image above and a view of the Golden Ears Bridge across the Fraser River in the photo below.
There is another field and a lovely view plus a photo of daisies in bloom on a hillside in the photo below.
I found a clump of Western Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea var. occidentalis) growing at the base of a tower. Below is a close up shot of one of them.
Eagle Mountain is off in the distance. Below is a shot of one of the mileage and elevation markers along the trail. The one shown was the last one at the end of the Coquitlam Crunch Trail.
I encountered several guys on motorbikes and trail bikes during the hike up the mountain and back down. On the way down I encountered a group of three I had seen earlier plus one other that stopped to ask permission regarding biking on the trails, then yet another before I made it back to the road.
There are all sorts of wildflowers along the trail if you take a careful look (see above). Eagle Mountain is ever closer as I proceed further up in elevation.
Thistles are associated with summer time and as I hiked up there were more and more of the Western Pearly Everlasting to be found along the trail.
There was moss-encrusted rock along the road. Below is a close-up shot.
It wasn't all Western Pearly Everlasting. I found some yarrow growing along the road and trail as well. Something that caught me by surprise was finding the bed of a railway freight car along the trail. I keep finding surprising things. Now how did that get there?
I encountered three streams on the hike. The one pictured is just one of the three.
Again, I couldn't get over the weather. We normally get such weather much earlier in the summer, but not this year. Huckleberries are in season now. A bush is show below and a close-up of the berries below that. The shrubs are related to the blueberry. I was nibbling on them as I hiked along.

A short trail is shown in the photo above. It lead to a wonderful surprise, a beautiful vantage point to see the area from the height of Eagle Mountain.
That vantage point is near a microwave tower. And again, lots of the Western Pearly Everlasting are to be found.
There was another vantage point looking west, southwest. Here you see Burrard Inlet, then downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park plus English Bay behind that. The photo below shows where Indian Arm meet Burrard Inlet at Burnaby Mountain (looking southwest).
The above photo looks west toward the mountains around Buntzen Lake. There is fireweed as well (below).
I had intended to hike to Eagle Bluff (image above). There is a view of Buntzen Lake from there but time ran out and I had to turn around to return home. There will be another attempt on the Labour Day weekend.
Then there are fish habitat signs posted, in this case regarding salmon!
I saw a nurse stump on the way back down that I had missed on the way up and on the road I found this big black slug crawling along! Enjoy the photos and feel free to comment or ask any questions! - V