John & Anne Wiley

2011/02/23

Secret in the Garden

It’s a bunny. A big bunny. It left tracks. We actually saw it at the hotel, and today after a somewhat brief sleep and a day helping with baby we came home before sunset to find these tracks outside our window.

5683 Bunny Trail

5683 Bunny Trail

Update: the bunny just hopped across the yard, so I jumped up and slowly pulled the blinds apart with one hand while snapping this:

5685 Big Bunny

5685 Big Bunny

I don’t know if you can get the scale from the corner of the fireplace, but this critter is big enough to pull a wagon. I haven’t seen a hole, so I guess it jumped over the fence.

Anne’s hopping like a bunny herself, excited at the prospect of donning our SuperBoots (Edmontonians know how to keep feet warm!) and hiking the river trail just beyond the fence.

5682 Beyond the Garden

5682 Beyond the Garden

The B&B we’re at now is named A Secret Garden, and as you can see by clicking on the name it’s a cozy place. We hadn’t realized until yesterday that it’s nestled right next to the large Blackburn Creek Park along Blackmud Creek. So the satellite view below shows what we’re seeing beyond the garden fence above.

Blackburne Pk. - Sat.View

Blackburne Pk. - Sat.View

That access path at the top-center of the sat.view is where my bunny wants to go hippety hopping sometime soon.

Well, I was offline last night so maybe I’ll blog again later to try catching you up on the fun we’ve been having. I’m also still behind schedule on sharing pix from the rest of our flight. Just wanted to share our backyard since I just now snapped it.

2011/02/21

Full Color = B&W

Filed under: Aviation,by Anne,Flying,Has Photos,Nature,White North — Anne @ 18:44
Studies in black & white – that’s my theme today, along with some swirling shapes.
I took this swirly b&w in between some bumps we felt along the valley between Butte and Helena in Montana:

1361 Frozen LakeRiver
1361 Frozen swirly LakeRiver

With views like this,  a friend wrote concerned we’d been freezing in our little plane on the way north. Admittedly in anticipation of the trip, I imagined shivering with blankets stuffed all around me. However, like a car, heat is generated by the engine, so we were totally toasty for the whole trip.  In fact more toasty than the heat coming from the Nissan Sentra we’ve rented for driving around Edmonton. John actually flew in his sandals, & I wore thin socks without shoes!

Lethbridge was our “port of entry” into Canada, and this was the runway that greeted us. Fast-flowing  drifts of snow felt like being in the middle of a river flowing all around us.  The video I took (see photo page link on the right) shows it better than the still. Great landing by John as usual:

1375 Snow river on runway

1375 Snow river on runway

Here’s a view back at Lethbridge as we left the next morning on the 10th. More b&w, some swirling roadways and river. Swirling shapes, frozen rivers and lakes abound – I had images of ice skating on natural ponds while here, but as people here say, it’s “too cold to skate” now!

1393 Lethbridge Valley
1393 Lethbridge Valley

All these photos that look b&w are all actually in full Color. It’s just that there is NO color in Alberta in winter. The only thing that stands out as color is red:

1364 Red farmhouse on white

1364 Red farmhouse on white

Below is the most b&w of all, and the impetus for my study. Though in full color it looks like a b&w etch-a-sketch, as though if you lifted up that gray cellophane paper, the lines of the town would disappear:

1397 Black&White Town, Alberta

1397 Black&White Town, Alberta

Overhead Edmonton was b&w too – the houses all have snow on the roofs, so you only see the outside razor-thin edges of black that look like pencil outlines.  My ending photo today is this – b&w, swirls – and Pyraminds for your pleasure.  I haven’t yet discovered what the pyramids are about but will update when I get their story:

1404 Snowy pyraminds Edmonton

1404 Snowy pyraminds Edmonton

Currently we are at 0 degrees (-18c) and that is warmer than yesterday, and we’re off to move from hotel to our B&B!

~by Anne

To Town

Before sharing more pix of our flight to Oil Town, here are some pix of the town itself. Giving the “kids” a day off and since we’re on call for tonight in case baby’s restlessness interferes with their sleep, we drove to downtown.

1514 Driving In

1514 Driving In

We stopped by Tripp to check on her and sweep off the light dusting of snow. I turned the prop through a few times to move the oil around, then we drove back through town past the capitol.

1517 Seat of Power

1517 Seat of Power

We drove along the river to cross on a different bridge back South toward our hotel in the Ellerslie suburb.

1522 River Park

1522 River Park

We’re back “home” in our hotel now, so here are a few more pix from our flight from Boise. We landed in Dillon (MT) for fuel and to begin the border dance, calling both the Canadian and U.S. customs folks to let them know we mean well.

1355 Dallying in Dillon

1355 Dallying in Dillon

Soon after takeoff the changing landscape and climate was evident, with vast snowy expanses giving way to bare ground and deep frozen ponds.

5352 Ice Water

5352 Ice Water

When we reached Butte, the pass looked dodgy in the distance, but we decided to go look more closely since we had plenty of options including an easy return to the nice airport there. Though a bit bumpy, the visibility stayed good on our route along the highway. We were treated to many beautiful scenes along the river.

5360 River & Range

5360 River & Range

Well, this has grown long so I’ll close for now. Hope you’re enjoying these daily updates and reviews of our adventures in getting here, because it’s lots of fun for me to do them. :)

2011/02/20

Brownies ‘n Boondocks

Today was lazy. It never seemed to get over -21C outside, and we just seemed to lose the will for discomfort. We watched tv, ate junk food, and at last were pulled from our cozy room by the promise of sweet time with family. We brought the dessert, chosen by Anne from a place that caught her fancy with the name Good Earth. Not really brownies, more like that size and shape of dark chocolate cake, and scoring perhaps a 7.3 on the cakometer. Of course, they might have suffered from the journey between Good Earth and Great Family in our sub-freezing little rental car apparently designed for Winter in Los Angeles. Good conversation, laughter, staring at Baby, and a humor/action movie with Boondocks in the title. No photos to share, so I’ll revert to our flight here for that.

In our last episode we dealt with Boise frost and then flew East along the highway to pick up I-15 North. Not that we suffered all the twists and turns like those hapless drivers, because from our vantage point (and with verification from GPS) it was easy to smooth all that out into a nearly straight line. At the same time, I kept within gliding distance of either the freeway or places with good landing options and lots of people. Mr. Cautious as you’ll recall from our last episode. Something we soon learned is that color vanishes in hard Winter.

5335 Sci Fi Landscape

5335 Sci Fi Landscape

Anything sticking up from the flat snow prairie catches your attention, and any color surviving the overcast sky is a feast for the senses. Coincidental shapes take on alien and futuristic qualities of surrealism. It engenders respect (and hints of incredulity) to imagine the people living in this white vastness.

5336 Context

5336 Context

Yes, that’s the same farm with more context. This angle shows the distant mountains, but (aside from the highway) the other three directions are more bleak. Occasionally there would be some creek or undulation accentuated by drifting snow to create subtle snow sculpture.

5342 Drift Art

5342 Drift Art

The austerity of the natural beauty seeps into you, floating above this remarkable landscape.

5346 Winter Window

5346 Winter Window

The steady drone of our engine and the warmth of our little cabin in the sky made this all the more magnificent. sigh…

2011/02/19

More Memories

I didn’t snap any pix today, so while waiting for Anne to bring me her camera I’ve been looking at more memories from our flight – now out of Boise toward Canada. We got to the airport at sunrise for an early start, and it was spectacular!

5326 Boise Airport Sunrise

5326 Boise Airport Sunrise

Unfortunately there was a very light coat of frost on Tripp. It was most noticeable on her tail.

5328 Frosty Tail

5328 Frosty Tail

Now in case you don’t know about such things, ice can be Very Bad for flying. See, even a thin coat of ice or frost can dramatically change the way air flows over an airplane and that flow is what makes them airplanes rather than cars with really big fins. In short, enough disturbance of the airflow and they don’t fly. So needless to say, Mr. Cautious (me) wanted all the frost off before starting the engine.

5329 Subtle Killer

5329 Subtle Killer

I don’t know if you can make it out, but there’s a very thin coating of beautiful fluffy frost on Tripp’s wing. It actually got thicker until the sun was up, so getting her all spiffy for flight actually took over an hour of work with the special soft-bristle push broom the airport guy lent me. Then I wondered whether she’d start in the below freezing air, but she fired right up. As warned by another pilot though, the gyro-equipped instruments didn’t like the cold and they complained loudly for perhaps 15 seconds.

OK, looking at today’s pix by Anne I’m going to share my two favs. First is the expression you get from a two month old girl forced to wear a monkey hat and endure being strapped into a somewhat challenging car seat mechanism.

1505 Fashion or Furniture?

1505 Fashion or Furniture?

I think it was the car seat process rather than the headwear style that had her upset, but she has a reputation for disliking hats of all kinds. Once she has more motor control, it’s probably going to be interesting trying to keep hats on her. In this climate (-25C at the moment) she’s certainly not going out with bare head if her Mom has anything to say about it. Maybe we’ll be gone by then. :)

Anne was so taken with a row of shiny lights in the bare trees of a parking lot she tempted fate by standing outside framing this shot. Hope that context adds to your enjoyment rather than simply raising questions about why I went ahead into the store to watch her creative moment. Please keep in mind that at this temperature a couple of minutes produces a feeling not unlike having your face chewed by small animals with very sharp teeth.

1509 Cool Art

1509 Cool Art

I guess it’s partly that I’m old and soft, partly that the thick beard and long hair have faded to dim memory, and maybe partly that my memory itself is starting to dim. Whatever the reasons, -40 when I lived in this climate didn’t seem cold all those years ago.

« Previous PageNext Page »

Theme: Rubric. Get a free blog at WordPress.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 223 other followers

%d bloggers like this: