Saturday, June 20, 2015

Is That You Hiram?

This is a bit of a mish-mosh entry. It covers some several things from a few different days, but they are in order.

This young fellow greeted us silently the other day. Silent, because he is a cast statue. Faithful? Yes. Reliable? No doubt. Can he fetch your slippers....no he cannot!


We had an appointment with some representatives of our respective Federal governments, in a low rise nondescript building. It was located in a shopping mall. Weird? No doubt.


There was a turtle which was not in any hurry to reach his destination.


There were 2 children at perpetual play. Go figure...


Two other children were also engaged in some sort of play. They weren't talking about the details of their juvenile pursuit.


This time of year is redolent with color. Floral displays of  God's handiwork are everywhere. When I pulled into a local shopping center these were on full display. I am loving this!!!


I walked several yards closer and took a close up. They look hand painted.


Someone had recommended the Club Sandwich at a local eatery, and I felt duty bound to give it a try. They bake their own multigrain bread. The verdict is in. Delicious. The bread was perfectly toasted and the ingredients fresh and delightfully arranged. Coupled with a Caesar Salad, altogether a pleasure.


Yoho, SODO. To the incognoscenti, this area is south of the Dome, which no longer exists. This is a popular spot for folks heading to the Mariners games.


After our donut break we went to one of our favorite places, the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard to watch a few boats "take the elevator".


Upon our arrival, we wandered through the gardens which are adjacent to the locks. There was a Hydrangea, just coming into bloom.


One of the residents looked at us quizzically, as though we might have a nut or other tasty morsel for him. We were unable to oblige.


We ended up at the top of a staircase which leads down to the Promenade adjacent to the locks. Her is my smiling beloved, the Trippin' Sista!


The stairs are very pretty in themselves. Dappled with shade, lined with specimen trees they present a very pleasant flight down to the ground level.


Prior to descended the stairs, I took a picture of the Cavanagh House. This is the residence of the Officer In Charge of the US Army Corps of Engineers who operate and manage the locks as an essential marine service to the industrial and pleasure traffic in the area. This officer is changed every three years, then presumably the Colonel gets a new posting.


At the bottom of the staircase was a Redwood tree. This healthy specimen is something to see for the locals, who haven't been to the Redwoods in California.


The small lock is 30X150 feet. For those keeping score it holds 247,500 cubic feet or roughly 2,545,714 gallons of water.


At the time we were there Obsession was locking through. She is a 70 foot Sparkman ad Stephens custom sloop that looks as fast as she is sleek. The owners use her for cruises and sailing lessons in the Puget Sound area.


One never knows when beauty may surprise you. This Rose Bush is growing adjacent to a lock keepers shack, that is in the center pier between the two locks.



The larger of the 2 locks measures 80 X 825 feet. Again the volumes are stupendous for those interested. 37,337,142 gallons!! 

While we were there a towboat, one of the Foss fleet locked through headed upstream. Pacicfic Knight was built in Houma Louisiana and is a twin screw 1,700 HP vessel, that looks like she's been "rode hard and put up wet".


The deckhand looks like he's had about enough for one day, and is ready to tie up and find a tall cold one.


We started back to the car and came across this bed of lily varieties. Each varietal was labelled with the genus, date of release and breeder.


Some of them were truly spectacular, none of them were mundane.


There was a bed of Hosta. I counted 6 different varieties. They thrive in the cool wet climate and love shade.


I first saw Birds of Paradise flowers growing in Southern California. Apparently the climate has changed enough to allow them to thrive here in the Pacific North Wet.


On the way back to the gate there was this planting bed. The mix of color, height and specie was very pleasing.


By now it was after 7 p.m. and time for a bite to eat. Sadly this crab offered only decor, not delicious.


Behold the Trippin Sista. She's the best looking dish in the joint.


This salty gentleman looked like he was waiting for a berth to become available for a trip home.


The eatery for dinner was the Lockspot Cafe. It has been serving up Chowder and Chips for the past 90 years. Bit of an institution really.


It is busy all day long, but we fortunately picked a good time, both the Mariner's were playing and the US Open was on, Therefore patronage was slow, and we got snappy service and our food was sizzling hot from the kitchen.


I will leave you at this juncture. It is now already tomorrow, and I must sleep. until next time, I bid you a la prochaine. (until next time).

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Good Day For A Walkabout

Hello friends and neighbors. I feel like a bit of a heel having gone this long without dispensing a bit of wisdom, or at least some useless but entertaining bit of information so here goes...

The afternoon was long and sultry, too long in fact. Since action is my middle name, I decided to live up to the moniker and lace up my sneakers. Bidding a fond farewell to my beloved, I set out in a northerly direction.

Squamish's maritime history is evidenced by the chip conveyor ( that reddish thingie) visible on the far shore where Mac& Blo's  lumber mill occupied this site starting in the late 1920's. Who knows how many board feet of lumber, how many miles of timber shipped from here throughout the years to the four corners of the globe.


The maritime tradition continues although it is mostly pleasure craft instead of industrial marine traffic these days.


As always the Stawamus Chief rests in the background. From this vantage point it is easy to see his head/headdress and his chest as he continues his perpetual
slumber.


A little more difficult to see is this art installation. If you look closely you can ascertain the intention of the artist.

Hint: It is a wolf, standing between 2 trees.


I only knew what to look for because I had glanced at the description at the bottom of the display. There was some effort required on my part to participate however.


One must needs climb this creaking rattling contraption that swayed gently in the wind with each additional step ascended. Even though we are only talking about 30 feet or so the noises were disquieting as one ascended, and the platform at the top seemed insubstantial adding to my dismay.


Once back on terra firma, I thought it my civic duty to check out the Farmer's Market although the artisans and merchants, (nary a farmer in the bunch) were packing up for the day. A quick cruise of the stalls was all that was required since I brought no money with me on purpose, so I would not return to the rig laden with fresh baked goods and other comestibles.


Just south of the market is Block 19, which was set aside as parkland when Squamish was a fledgling burgh. Many civic events take place here over the summer. At some point about a decade ago, someone decided some art would enhance the plot, and they invited local sculptors to submit work.

I think the carvers were under the impression that there might be at least an honorarium involved, and civic acrimony abounded when this turned out not to be the case. The artists went away empty handed, bad mouthing the Municipal authorities in the process.

This is some sort of thing. I cannot make heads or tails of it. It ha s some sort of meaning attached to it which completely escapes me.


This is the obverse side...or perhaps the face of the aforementioned "thing". I imagine at least that this could be used as a bench if one were so inclined.


Here we have some other sort of thing. Perhaps one of you could enlighten me? I am at a loss to even speculate.


This particular one has some design carved into it, and the rest is left unfinished. Perhaps it was at this point that the sculptor realized no cheques from the Municipality were forthcoming.


This last is equally mystifying to me. I am neither offended nor enlightened, uplifted or depressed upon viewing it. It does make for some darn good head-scratching though.


As I continued down the block I though to take a picture of this mural. I can see this one quite clearly. Thanks and kudos are due the artist for that.


Even though the Rhododendron are fading, you can still come across pockets of them in full bloom. I thought the Iris at it's feet were a nice touch.


It is nice to know that former BC Ferries which have been pensioned off are finding new homes by being repurposed. I think this one had a life of service on the MacMillan Island run or perhaps Fort Langley to Albion or some such 5 minute run. Someone has obviously put a lot of thought and effort into making it their home.


Another view of the vessel, shows that they are not finished yet.


Across the narrow channel is a building that was built by a local architect Peter L., who only started to construct this 3 story edifice, which is his office and home, as well as local artist live work space, after he broke his back crash landing an ultralight plane. Quite the individual.


Nearing the end of my walk I offer this picture of myself with my arm upstretched. I am merely using this as a yardstick, or Chris stick if you prefer to give scale to the next picture. If you notice the pattern of rust behind me you will be easily able to extrapolate dimension.


Here is the long view. This machine lifts a load of logs weighing somewhere between 70-100 thousand pounds from a truck when it arrives at the dump to be classified, sorted and scaled.


Here's another "Chris stick" view. I can reach to about 8 feet. This tire is a little taller.


This is the view from about 20 feet back of the same tire.


The machine is quite imposing from a distance, and even a little eerie from close up. I would have been "freaked all the way out" if it had rumbled into life while I was standing there.


I paced the distance back in until I reached the closest part of this behemoth. It was fourteen full paces so 60 -65 feet until I was at it's side. Here is an "art shot". The sign adjures me to KEEP BACK. Yeah...too late.


I return again to Grace, resting in her marinaside spot, and to my beloved who was waiting for me. I understand I must refer to her now as "Trippin Sista". For those of you who want to see more you can find the videography at Patricia Carpenter


I will leave you now with two additional photos. The first proves that even a "roundabout " sign can be pretty in the right circumstances.


My parting shot is of the "Alpenglow" which comes when the valley is already in the shadow of the evening and the mountains still retain the fading light of day.
This is an always pleasant if ethereal moment which is easy to catch if you are patient and fleetingly gone if not. I always appreciate God's handiwork at these times, since He paints the world with a fine hand which man's cannot counterfeit.


I will bid you all a pleasant good evening and look forward to the next time we have together.