About Me

My photo
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Two recent outings brought ideas for the letter C this week.  First, on July 19th my daughter and I crossed the border to Point Roberts and toured around a bit.  One stop was to the local cemetery.  Some people don't like going to cemeteries because they think they're spooky or creepy.  But I don't mind wandering around, careful not to step on the areas under which the bodies lie.  I try to be respectful but find it fascinating to read the engravings on the stones.  There are some spots that I think to myself, "Oh drat, they got that spot first!"  Crazy, right?  For me, wandering around a cemetery is peaceful, sometimes sad, and at times even evokes a smile. It's pretty humbling to realize the countless beings who came before us, all of whom felt they were the center of the universe and now are just memories to those who loved them.

Here are a few shots of some lovely resting places.  You can tell these people were dearly loved. We'll start with the gate, but be sure to watch for the following - the Canadian flag and a Canadian football player, twin boys who lived only a day, and brightly coloured rocks at the Poirier gravesite.  Apparently, all their children and grandchildren made them, lovingly placing them there for posterity. I also smiled at the "Gone Fishing" memorial and the lovely angelic poem.

Now, on to classic cars!  On July 21st, daughter and I attended the Classic Car show at a local winery's annual "Summerfest."  We had a blast wandering around looking at the awesome cars while listening to classic rock music played by a live band called "The Centaurs."  We took in a quilt show and a model railway show in the barns and chatted with vendors at their little markets stands.  It's an outing that we will attend next year and I'll also go to their shop to buy Christmas presents in December.  Here's some of what we saw that day.  Be sure your speakers are tuned up so you can groove to the theme of "Peter Gunn."
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Finally, thanks to that classic and charismatic Mrs. Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday.  She and her team of capable, caring and clever teammates will charge over to your posts to comment on your conceptualizations.  See you all next week at ABC Wednesday for the letter D.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

B is for BEACHES

This is the best time of the year to share all the beaches in my neighbourhood.  I'm including all of the Greater Vancouver area, by the way.  My own local beach is called "Centennial Beach" and is located at the Boundary Bay Regional Park.  I showed you a bit of the area last week in my slideshow of the Dyke Trail there, but the beach has many benefits. You can never get bored there because not only can you swim or play at the beach, but also you can bike the trails, walk on the boardwalk, or go bird-watching.  It's not crowded and you can actually have a barbecue right there, too. So take your blanket, a picnic and a book and just relax while you enjoy the brilliance of the sunshine and scenery during any season because it can be almost balmy here, even in winter.

Just south of Centennial Beach, on the American side of the border, is Maple Beach and Lighthouse Park Beach.  While Maple Beach is great for swimming, Lighthouse Park Beach is best for dog walking, whale watching, sunset photography and kayaking and boating. I love going there whenever I head down across the border for gas.

Just south-east of where I live is another favourite destination - White Rock Beach. There's a 1,500 foot long pier that everyone likes to walk and you can get beautiful photos of the town hanging off the hills and gorgeous sunsets.  This beach stretches for miles and consists of the east, west, and crescent beaches. Sometimes, you can even see the occasional seal sunbathing at Crescent Beach.

Now we head north into the city of Vancouver.  So many beaches lie along the edge of Burrard Inlet, most of which give beautiful views of downtown Vancouver.  On the southern border lie Spanish Banks Beach, Locarno Beach, Jericho Beach, and Kitsilano Beach.  Right in downtown Vancouver itself lie English Bay Beach and Sunset Beach.  Also, on the western rim of our famous Stanley Park lie 3 beaches.  And on the northern border of the inlet are Cates Park Beach and Ambleside Beach.  There are lots of other smaller beaches in neighbourhood locales.

One beach you might be surprised to learn about is Wreck Beach, Canada's first and largest, legal, clothing-optional beach. On a summer weekend, as many as 14,000 visitors flock to this 7.8 km long beach, which is adjacent to the University of British Columbia and reached by climbing down a long flight of stairs. Here is where you'll find a bounty of bare bums and other anatomical bits, but don't go there to be a busybody.  Take part in the sun or beach bathing and don't worry about looking a bit bedraggled. If you behave properly, you just might befriend someone nice.

I know, you're all wondering if I belong at this beach.  Well, I have been there years ago as I'm an alum of UBC, but this was just before the beach became known as the "Nudie Beach."

I hope you enjoy this little slideshow of the various beaches in my neighbourhood.  Most are my own shots, but a few are courtesy of Mr. Google.  Enjoy, turn up your sound, and remember that"it's almost perfect here!"
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Blissful thanks to Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and her brilliant, but sometimes bizarre bunch of assistants. We have a blast bouncing around to everyone's posts to see what kind of bright, or baffling poetry, prose, or photography you share each week.  We believe that you buckle down so you can burst forth with brilliance about birds and beasts, summer barbecues, belly dancing,  butterflies and bugs, making jams and pies from summer berries, balls and balloons, or even your nagging backache. To contribute to ABC Wednesday, just click here and follow the prompts. Welcome to any new bloggers!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A is for ASPECTS

Welcome one and all to Round 11 of ABC Wednesday, the brainchild of Denise Nesbitt, assisted by her awesome and admirable assembly of assistants. Join in by clicking here. You will be amically accepted so we can admire your contributions.  Please be aware that there are a few rules by which we all abide, so we do ask that you click on the "Rules and Guidelines" bar on the left side of the site and read it over before posting.  Mainly, though, this is all about amusement!

ASPECT means the appearance to the eye or mind, the nature, quality, character of a situation, or the way in which a thing may be viewed or interpreted.  Today, I’d like to show you some aspects of the Boundary Bay Regional Park in which you’d also find Centennial Beach.  This is a place where I enjoy walking during each season of the year because there is so much to see with lots of photographic opportunities.  Last week, I went for a walk along the Dyke Trail from the new Centennial Beach washroom and concession building to the boardwalk that goes over the marsh area and back again. The new concession features green elements like natural ventilation and lighting and a green roof to provide wildlife habitat and insulate the building. (Check out the first photo in the slideshow.)

A hot July day found myriads of people from young to old enjoying the new playground, the beach, and the trails.  People were picnicking or barbecuing either on the sand or on the grassy areas.  Some people were in the water to cool off, and some were either walking or biking on the trails.  As I walked, I stopped to take photographs of wild flowers, wild raspberry bushes in full bloom, the views from the top of the lookout tower, and the various people enjoying the area.  

This week, I’d like to share with you one aspect of the area and what I photographed.  I ambled along about half of the Dyke Trail and in weeks to come, I’ll share other aspects of this area along with other areas to tempt one and all to come and visit this part of the world. Please note that if you click the bottom left "square with arrows" thingy, you can watch the video in full screen.  Enjoy!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Monday, July 09, 2012

Z is for ZOOM

Zoom-Zoom = the exhilaration and liberation from experiencing the emotion of motion.  (from Mazda's website)  As the last part of Round 10 for my theme of photography, I'm using the word ZOOM, which ties in nicely to Mazda's idea of it.  With the zoom feature or the zoom lens, the photographer is free to get up close and personal, be it an insect or your child out on the soccer field.  It also ties in a bit with my post on "telephoto" lenses (here). However, in my research on zoom, I found out that there is a difference between digital zoom and optical zoom

Optical zoom is true zoom. This function of a camera uses the lens within the camera to draw the image closer. Using the optics of the camera the image is bought forward much the same way as binoculars and other such instruments. When using optical zoom quality remains the same and the full resolution of the camera can be used on the zoomed image. Different levels of optical zoom can be achieved by changing the distances between the lens'. The motion of the front lens moving outwards on a camera is the lens achieving a greater level of zoom. The rating of optical zoom on a camera is measured like 2x 4x 8x etc. bringing the image 2x 4x and 8x closer respectively. The best cameras have a high level of optical zoom.  Here's an example of one of my photographs using the optical zoom on my camera:

Digital zoom is not a true zoom. The image itself doesn't actually come any closer as the optics in the camera stay the same. The way the digital zoom works is much the same way as it does on your PC at home. The idea behind digital zoom is that it takes a portion of the image and expand that image to the full size of the picture. What happens here is that the section of image that you are looking at becomes bigger, not closer. The image does look closer because it has been expanded however all that has happened is that the image quality has been reduced because it has been expanded with no new data for the image.  (from here) Here is an example of one of my photos where I used digital zoom:

This is a great (less than 2 minutes) little video explaining the difference very well. 

A zillion thanks to our zany hostess, Denise Nesbitt, for zeroing in on a niche for getting people from all around the world together in common interest.  Her zesty and zealous group of assistants zoom around the site to help her welcome everyone by commenting on your contributions.  We look forward to reading about zuchinnis, zebras, a history of the zither, how to sew a zipper, the mining of zinc, and even your zodiac chart.  You could even tell us about Zacharius, Zacchaeus, or Zechariah. Put some zing into your post to keep us from becoming a zombies zonked out from our visits!  To become a part of ABC Wednesday, click here.  Round 11 starts next week so I'm really looking forward to seeing old and new friends!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Y is for Photographing YOUTH

First of all, I want to take this opportunity to wish all Canadians a Happy Canada Day (July 1st) and all Americans Happy Independence Day (July 4th). 
Moving on to ABC Wednesday's round for the letter Y, I must say that I absolutely adore taking photographs of my grandchildren!  However, I've learned a major lesson from them - do NOT tell them to smile!  More often than not, they will either put on their "camera" face or run in the opposite direction.  I have found that the more I relax and let them just do their own thing, they will forget that I have my camera in hand and won't mind hearing the odd "click." "The best thing you can do to create beautiful art with a child is simply relax and be yourself. Kids are perceptive. They sense when you’re overdoing it and aren’t acting like yourself, and they’ll respond in kind." Read more: http://digital-photography-school.com/cut-the-cheese-5-tips-for-photographing-kids#ixzz1zD7nucfn

With a great deal of patience, I have been able to capture them as they are, in their own environment enjoying the things that children love to do.  I went through my old and new photos of my grandson and granddaughter and found some that I will share with you.  These particular photos show just what I mean about letting them relax and have fun with whatever is at their disposal.  I've also, in most cases, used the sports mode of my camera because they're always moving!  I didn't include any photos that clearly show their faces because their mom would
no, be mad at,
no, KILL me. 
Ansel Adams, photographer, said  "You don’t take a photograph, you make it."
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow