Category Archives: Hiking

Spring is in the Air at Campbell Valley Regional Park

We enjoyed fresh air and lots of signs of spring on a 2-hour ramble in Campbell Valley Regional Park today.

We’ve always enjoyed hand-feeding chickadees in the park, but this is the first time we pulled in a Red-Breasted Nuthatch.

The feeling of a wee bird’s claws clutching one’s finger is pure joy!

Doing the wormhole space-jump thing. . .  : -)

A sign at a trail crossing said flooding ahead, but we had to go see for ourselves : -)

Trilliums — I think these are protected in BC

Budding salmonberries!

Campbell Valley Regional Park
Busy as a . . .

Good to See Some of my ‘Elders’ Out on the Creek Trails

Happy to see a couple of Byrne Creek Ravine Park trailwalking “elders” out and about now that the snow and ice are gone.

Ran into Dave on the creek trail today, and it was good to chat. He’s 87, and always has a good tale to tell about what it was like growing up in the area. If I recall, he was a boxer in his youth, and he keeps telling me to keep moving!

Saw Ron the other day, too. Ron’s a retired stonemason also pushing 90, if not there already, who had a hand in some of the magnificent greystone work at the University of Saskatchewan where I did a couple of degrees. He speaks with a hint of a lovely Scottish burr, and also has tales to tell.

Good to see you, gentlemen, and hope I’m still walking the ravine 30 years from now!

Burnaby Lake Birding Walk

Yumi and I joined birder George Clulow’s bird and nature walk today at Burnaby Lake, one of the City of Burnaby Parks Department nature tours.

The day began moody and grey, but by the time the three hours were up, the sun had broken out and skies were blue. We are so fortunate to have this gem of a park right in the middle of our city.

I left the DSLRs and big lenses at home, bringing a pair of binoculars and learning as much from George as possible, for he’s a fount of knowledge about birds and the natural world.

All these shots taken with my wee pocket Canon SD520HS.

Burnaby Lake

Forest Walks Rejuvenate Muscles, Mind

A brisk afternoon below-freezing walk in Byrne woods in SE #Burnaby does wonders to rejuvenate one’s stiff muscles and overtaxed mind.

Byrne woods Burnaby

Nature in general, and forests in particular, are my lifeline. They alleviate general blahs, stiff muscles from sitting too much at the desk, brain stupor from too much office work, and more. Get the blood pumping, muscles moving, and it’s amazing how much better you feel.

We are so fortunate to have this wonderful ravine park just out the back gate to our townhouse complex.

Celebrating an Accomplishment

I’ve lost nearly 50 pounds this year, or about 22.5 kg. That’s about a pound a week. A slow, steady, disciplined approach of counting calories and exercising regularly worked.

I had help from an app called My Fitness Pal to count calories and track exercise, and there are lots of other apps out there.

I never felt horribly hungry, and I always ate well from all food groups. This was no fad of only certain foods, or oceans of liquids, or anything like that. And it wasn’t about completely eliminating anything from my diet. I still ate meat, potatoes, bread, pasta, and still enjoyed beer and wine.

It was just a healthy, well-rounded diet with a combined calorie target not to be exceeded every day. And about an hour of aerobic exercise a day five times a week. I simply walked — a lot! And I greatly enjoyed those walks, too, exploring various parks and neighbourhoods.

I’m down two pant sizes and am wearing jeans that hadn’t been touched in ten years.

Feels great!

Ode to a Knife

OK, let’s get one thing clear off the top. I love this knife, but I’m not homicidal. I just have a long history with this sturdy implement, and I admire its durability.

It’s a US Boy Scouts sheath knife circa 1970. I bought it when I was living in New York City, and was active with the local troop in my ‘hood, so it’s at least 45 years old.

It’s all original, including the leather sheath.

It has been much used, and, for a knife, abused. As you can surmise in the scars in the detailed photos below, it’s pounded nails, stripped 14/2  wiring, split kindling when an axe was not available and a rock was used to pound the blade into the wood. . . In addition to more “knifely” duties such as cleaning fish.

And it’s still solid, still takes a good edge, and will long outlive me. I may ask to have it buried with me when I depart, just in case there are zombies on the other side :-).

If you check the BSA online store, it appears nothing like this is available anymore.

I still take it hiking and camping, though I’ve retired it from streamkeeping — I have an excellent, inexpensive, plastic-handled stainless-steel knife from MEC for that duty now.

Beauty, eh?






1960s US Boy Scouts Sheath Knife

Refreshing Ramble ‘Round Rice Lake

I couldn’t resist that alliteration  : -).

It was a super morning for a walk around Rice Lake in North Vancouver.


At one point I crouched on the shore and fired off over a hundred shots at dragonflies and damselflies, and heard this exchange.

Female voice, whispering behind my back: “What’s he taking so many pictures of?”

Male voice: “Dragonflies in flight. Good luck with that, eh?”

Me later at my computer: “Why thank you. One out of a hundred did turn out OK. Patience, grasshopper, um, damselfy shooter…” : -)

Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Rice Lake, North Vancouver

Rice Lake, North Vancouver