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, December 2, 2012

brain cancer

My friend Kevin Lerant from Jakarta, Indonesia has been fighting brain cancer through the summer (and as long as I have known him).  He has undergone several operations to remove the cancer and is now on chemotherapy.  Kevin will return home after 3 or 4 months if he gets better (i.e. the cancer in remission).  He is only 19 years old and has been attending college in Jakarta.  The death of his parents a year ago followed by the recent sudden death of the dad that adopted him has all added to the trauma, so much for a young man to bear.  Please give Kevin your prayers and well wishes!  I will pass them on to him whom I am certain will be cheered by this.

Kevin is the best friend (and brother) of my adopted son, Wahid, also of Jakarta.  I chat three times a day on average with my son who also lost his own parents and older brother in the same accident that killed Kevins parents.  Attending to my son and his needs has kept me away from blogging for a while.  Well, I fit this all in between working, eating and sleeping and all those mundane chores that need doing.  I hope all is well, and that you are getting ready to wind down for the year now that we are in December!
- Volker

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Circumstances over the past few months have kept me occupied with other activities.  First, my old laptop died after four years of service.  Then I got a new notebook through a new IP but in the mean time I had to set up things with the new computer, which took time.

Then some weeks ago I adopted a 15 year old boy, who is now 16 since his birthday came along since, but this has kept me away from blogging since we chat online daily.  He is in Indonesia and I am in Canada.  Wahid lost his parents and his older brother in a car accident in the mountains.  They were on vacation and the car ended up in a mountain ravine with all occupants dead.  So the 15 year old (now 16) came looking for someone that would fill the roll of a father.  He found me and neither of us has looked back.

The weather has improved, so I have been back to hiking over the past few weeks.  I hope to post some photos soon from some of the recent hikes which include the Fraser River near home, Barnston Island in the Fraser River between Surrey and Pitt Meadows, British Columbia plus some from Hollyburn Mountain in West Vancouver (that hike is planned for tomorrow).  Look for some interest new images soon!
- Volker

Saturday, March 31, 2012

a view on and from Burnaby Mountain

 Late last Saturday afternoon I went up to Burnaby Mountain along the south side of Burrard Inlet in the city of Burnaby to the north of where I live.  It was a short bus trip to hook up with the SkyTrain station, then a short trip by train (two stops) and then a longer bus trip to get to my destination.  Its always worth it.  The above image shows some of the shrubs leafing out.  The top of the mountain is about a thousand feet above sea level.  These are just some of the photos I took while there.  Enjoy!
 The Rose Garden near the Horizon Restaurant on the western end of the mountain looks rather lifeless but even there there were signs of spring with plenty of spring flowers in bloom, such as crocuses and spring heathers.  This will soon change as temperatures warm up.  Roses have begun sending out shoots!

 The mountains, part of the Coast Mountain chain, are snow-capped and look stunning against a clear blue sky on a bright sunny day.
 There were plenty of boats out and about on the Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm, as you can see in the above photo.  The above image look toward the north where Indian Arm is disappearing off into the distance.
I even saw a lone sailboat on Burrard Inlet just to the north of the mountain.  It was a beautiful day for a leisurely sail, don't you think?  I hope you've enjoyed these images as much as I enjoyed appreciating the view while up there!

~ Volker

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

signs of spring

Its now well into March and here on the west coast of Canada (Vancouver/BC) there are signs of spring everywhere if you look closely.  I took a shot of an Azalea shrub in full bloom this morning.  It is located on West Hastings Street at Burrard where I took the photo in the previous post.

We're struggling to reach 8 degrees Celsius while places in eastern Canada will see summer-like temperatures like Montreal, Quebec at 22 and Halifax, Nova Scotia at 24 degrees Celsius.  Oh well, with the clearing skies here, we get to enjoy the view of the snow-capped mountains in the distance against a blue sky.  And at the moment, the mountains is where the snow is staying!  What's the weather like where you are?

~ Volker

Friday, March 16, 2012

city lights

I took this photo in downtown Vancouver the other week after I left work.  This view shows the traffic and the look of the downtown at West Hastings Street at Burrard Street at sunset with darkness approaching.  What attracted me here was the reflections on the buildings, the lights and the dimming light.

With the weather getting warmer there will be more photo opportunities as we get into spring.  I walked past St.Paul's Hospital on Burrard Street late this afternoon on an errand to see that some of the early flowering trees are in bloom.  The crocuses and snowdrops are in flower as well.  There is more to look forward to.

~ Volker.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

East Hastings Street - Burnaby

This is a view of East Hastings Street in north Burnaby, British Columbia looking west toward Vancouver.  The road is anything but straight as it would appear on a map.  This image was taken on the western end of Burnaby Mountain this evening at sunset.  This is why the lights of all the vehicles are so clear.  So, that's something to remember the next time you compare what you see on a road map with what you are actually seeing in reality. - V


This was the view of the sunset late this afternoon as seen from the western end of Burnaby Mountain.  The sun is setting behind Vancouver Island to the west.  The temperature was warm (nearing 10 degrees Celsius), so with the water still on the cool side, a low-hanging mist formed over the water while the sky in general was clear except for the odd cloud.  Those were very high in the sky.  Enjoy! - V