Category Archives: Hiking

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?

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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.

damselflies

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

Whidbey Island Camping October 2015

Squeezed in a couple of days off with Yumi and we camped for two nights at Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island in Washington State. We love it there, and try to get down at least once a year.

Here are some photos from the trip:

blue sunset
Blue sunset

pink sunset
Pink sunset

orange sunset
Orange sunset

happy camper
Me looking forward to the sunset

heron in flight
Heron in flight shot from the Coupeville wharf

kingfisher in flight
Kingfisher in flight shot from the Coupeville wharf

harlequin duck
Harlequin duck off the west beach at Deception Pass. I think this is the first time I’ve “shot” one of these.

Otter eating fish
Yumi spotted this otter in the lake, and we saw it catch and eat at least three fish in ten minutes or so.

sea lion
Spotted this yawning sea lion way out in the ocean. Hi ISO, 450 mm lens handheld, so not a poster shot by any means, but still cool.

Fort Casey
Lovely sky at Fort Casey

Yumi tent
Yumi and our tent – playing with angles

Yumi log
Yumi at the end of this long log – playing with perspective

Paul breakfast
Making breakfast on the camp stove

wine fire
Relaxing by the fire with a glass of wine