Saturday, August 31, 2013


The sun continues to beat down as our wonderful summer just keeps on going. And now it is a long weekend, outings, picnics, excursions to the USA, and maybe undertaking some last minute chores so that when school starts next week, the transition will go smoothly.
So in this land of peace and plenty, how many of us are watching the drama unfold as today President Obama announced that he has decided that a strike against Syria for using chemical weapons is justified. Do we understand just how dangerous this is, and what the motivations are behind this unilateral proposed action?
Obama is the first sitting president of the USA who has had zero military experience. He was a city planner, remember? So I suppose it does not occur to him that as the Commander-in-Chief of the vast US military machine, he should perhaps keep quiet about the plan of action against Syria. Hey, the guy from Wikileaks did not even do something this dumb. By announcing to the world where the strikes will take place, and what weapons will be used, he has just given the terrorist Syrian regime a 'heads up' as to what assets they should move and where they should place the maximum number of civilians, mainly women and children.
Lets recognise this move for what it is. He wants to proclaim to the American people that he is a strong and decisive leader. He wants to let Syria know that they are outside the norm of usual warfare and they need to be taught a lesson. But just a minute. Is this about a bad regime or is it about chemical weapons. If it is about a bad regime that tramples on human rights, then what about China, Russia, and North Korea. If you are going to be the policeman of the world, show a little consistency here.
He says he does not want chemical weapons to proliferate and get into the hands of the 'bad guys'. I have news. The bad guys already have them. He claims that he is not after a change in regimes, only sending a strong message that this behaviour is not acceptable.
Well, let's just watch and see what happens as the Syrians, whose autonomy and pride will be hurt, strike out against Israel. If we are lucky, the Syrians will make sure enough women and children will get killed and the USA will have such a black eye in the world's estimation that they will back off and learn to handle this conflict in another way.
Whatever happens, it will happen soon.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Spider Season

One of the signs of Autumn is the slow but sure invasion of spiders. You know how that works. You step out of your door in the morning and there it is, that nasty web that blocks your way and is all but invisible until you feel the sticky threads across your face.
I am convinced that all spiders attend the same summer classes on how to annoy humans while trying to trap unsuspecting insects. Apart from Webs 101, they are given instructions on placement. The webs should not only be as thin as possible to avoid detection, but they must be between five and six feet above the ground, ensuring that the mouth and eyes of humans make full contact.
There is a reason for this. The human is so busy extricating themselves from the sticky prison that they overlook the spider who has now managed to hide itself in the clothing and/or hair of the victim. The spider now has a means of transportation to the indoors where it is cosy and warm at night. One should never unravel from the confines of a spider web without following up with, and inspection of,  just where the spider is after you have destroyed its trap.
I made that classic mistake the other day and paid the price. It was in the middle of the night when the little hitchhiker finally decided to reveal itself. Well, actually, he did not reveal himself, and is still at large, no doubt weaving his web of destruction at will in some other location. He did, however, leave evidence of his appearance as I awoke in the middle of the night with a severe itchy spot on the south west quadrant of my person, just this side of the great divide.
After rousing myself to full wakefulness and applying some light to the area, I realised I was the victim of a spider bite. Would it creep you out to realise that you were harbouring a spider in your underpants for most of the day? That is a case for not wearing underpants. Or, for wearing Spandex. But that is another topic.
Now where did I put that ointment?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Desert Sunrise

We can view these properties from the lake, on a boat, or we can walk the back roads and get a different view.

The sky and earth were bathed in pastel hues.

The apples will be ready for picking in a few weeks.

There is a pretty little lagoon on the north side of the Deep Bay parking lot which many people miss.

Here we rested a bit as we waited for the sunset.

Just when I needed a bit of interest in my photo, a convenient sail boat slipped into the scene.

A dry and dusty field just needs a bit of barbed wire to make it even more resistible.

Without irrigation, this would be sage brush and thistle.

Back on our property, a hardy Hollyhock whose predecessors were planted by my mother-in-law many years ago.

Our last morning. I could not sleep well and when the light started seeping into the room at daybreak, I peaked through the blinds and was up like a shot, camera in hand. The geese were coming in for a landing and the sun was straining to break above the mountain ridge.

Most people slept through this.

And this ....

But the geese stopped their flight to take in the beauty.

I took photos for the next hour as the light kept changing and the sunbeams kept moving through the sky. It was the last morning and a great send off . See the photos in 'Large' to appreciate God's artistry.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Desert Moon

We were treated to a wonderful moonrise every night, two days before full, full, and two days after full. It began just as the sun was setting making for some spectacular skies.

It never truly gets captured in a photo, but I try. To sit on the beach in the soft evening air and witness this event is a spiritual experience.


My very creative niece spent a few days with us and when she started shooting fruit at sunset, I was inspired.

On our evening walk, we came across this butterfly. It was near the end of its life, not being able to fly more a few feet. How quickly will its beauty fade by morning.

We walked to 'the point' and the sky pastels were reflected off the lake. I looked at the time and announced that the moon would be coming up in three minutes and it would be "right there".

I was not far wrong. What a display as we saw it from a new perspective that night. I took hundreds of photos and it was very difficult to chose a few to represent the ever changing spectacle.

On our last evening, we walked to Deep Bay, along the orchard roads, and were again treated to such wonderful sights under fantastic lighting.

Tomorrow will be my last post on desert country and you will see why I jumped out of bed at the crack of dawn.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Week in the Desert

Our week in Oroville was laid back and I had plenty of time to do my hobbies of reading and photography. Being inspired by a photography book on landscapes I particularly watched the skies over the lake this year. I also concentrated on taking photos in optimal light situations, primarily at sunrise and at the end of the day. Viewing these photos 'large' will give you an appreciation for the artistry in God's wonderful creation.

Clear sunny skies are optimal for holidaying at the lake, but for good photos you need a bit of turmoil in the sky, and we had it most days.

It is unusual that one sees so much colour in the eastern skies at sunset, but here we do.

Looking almost straight overhead near sunset as a few threatening clouds passed by. They were bluffing. I think we had three drops of rain during the week.

As you can see by the sun dial, we did have a few hours of complete overcast.

Looking east at a promising sunrise. Getting up early here is a pleasure and the rewards are great.

Fire in the sky at sunset. There is a large mountain west of us so the sunset is very delayed after we lose our afternoon light. On a very hot day, this is a blessing.

Sunrise continued.

One tired tube after a hard day behind the Seadoo.

Sunset in the North!

Our little bay at the end of the day. It has become known as Mennoville Heights.

Seeking shade during the 35 C afternoons.

Our neighbour across the bay has turned his steep inhospitable lot into a little paradise. We know these people as we do the owners of all ten properties in the 'Heights'.  

Our view of the most southern section of Osoyoos in Canada.

The windsurfer needs a break too.

If you were a bug on a rock, this would be your view.

Mennoville mail with a full moon.

Our house looking North

Our house looking south.
Coming soon, full moon over the lake and the most spectacular sunrise.