For most people, their first body piercing is of the ear lobe. In my case, my first piercing was my ear drum. Until last week, I never had heard of a Tympanostomy. After many months with a blockage in my ear, I had a Tympanostomy tube inserted last week during a mildly painful procedure. If you have abnormal fluid built up and a loss of hearing for an extended period, it may be for you. Consult your doctor. No photos of my Tympanostomy tube or me screaming in pain at the Otolaryngologist’s office, but please join me on my photos of the week posted to social media.

The majority of the photos on this post features scenes from VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Canada. It’s not far from my home and I’m fortuanate to have a membership.

A whole lot of brightness…

This is one of my favourite photos of the beautiful tulip garden at VanDusen from last Spring.

bright Tulip Garden VanDusen Vancouver

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Ever since I began visiting the Tulips of the Valley Festival, about a 1.5 hour drive east of Vancouver, Canada, years ago, I have become enamoured with the rebel tulip. What exactly is a rebel tulip? It’s not a term you find in Wikipedia (not yet). Is it a tulip that has gone bad? Maybe one that indulges in too much tequila and fights with other tulips? Possibly a tulip that swears at you and gives you the finger, or, if I may, the petal, when you stand between rows too deep into the field while trampling on the flowers trying to get that perfect photo? Well, not really, although the latter would be justified!

My definition of the rebel tulip is one that is a little out of place. One that rises above or lurks below the crowd. The rebel is different than the others – colour, shape, size, or a combination of all of those. The rebel is resilient as many survive the Spring bulb harvest and subsequent Autumn planting. Some make their way into bins they shouldn’t before the fall planting. The rebel is not bad or evil, but certainly adds beauty to the fields of tulips. Finally, unlike some rebels, these tulip rebels brings peace.

You may say, “Randall, this is not a traditional way of presenting tulips!” Well, I don’t care, because I’m a bit of a rebel too. Now, please get really close to your computer, tablet, or smart phone screen and join me on my presentation of A Focus on the Rebels, Tulips of the Valley Festival :)


A bit of a contrast… With rebel tulips such as this brilliant orange one with the name of Oriental Splendor, contrast is all a part of standing out.

A bit of a contrast… With rebel tulips such as this brilliant orange one with the name of Oriental Splendor, contrast is all a part of standing out.

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This past week started off with my awareness that my name was mentioned in an online article in The Toronto Star. It wasn’t for something I did as a writer or blogger specifically, but for a tweet I made congratulating Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. It was nice to be mentioned anyway and you can see the article here: Proud Canadians tweet messages of support to new PM.

I also had a birthday and attended a touching Remembrance Day service in New Westminster, Canada. However, the week finished badly with the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday the 13th and Beirut the day before that left many of us saddened and in shock. Those events, especially Paris, have been covered in depth online, and will for the foreseeable future, so I won’t discuss them here. I really don’t have much to add except that I wish these attacks would stop, and peace would prevail in the World. I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon so I’ll try to brighten moods a bit with my photos of the week posted to social media.

A whole lot of Spring colour…
I thought this garden with the tulips, fence, and trees was beautiful!
From Roozengaarde Display Garden, Washington State, U.S.A. during the 2015 Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

RoozenGaarde Garden Tulips Skagit Valley Festival Washington

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After I left Albergue Eskerika in the village of Pepiena, I was greeted by a cute donkey in a field. Well, maybe it wasn’t a greeting, but she looked at me in an inquisitive way. If I only had an apple. I really enjoyed meeting many of the farm animals along the Camino and they helped brighten my days when I wasn’t feeling well!

I left my last post, On the Camino del Norte, Guernica to Pepiena, Spain, at Albergue Eskerika, about 8 kilometers and a steep climb west of Guernica. I had a pleasant sleep but it was very odd having an entire dorm with about 25 beds to myself. I hope more pilgrims utilize the albergue and keep the owner in business (it was open at the time of writing but always check prior to arriving).

Now, let’s visit the donkey. Good morning!

Pepiena donkey basque camino del norte

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This weekly post of my photos shared to social media will be out of character. Sure, there are photos of flowers, critters, sunsets, and mountains, but at the end I have included three spooky Halloween videos from my Instagram page. If you don’t want to see them, just stop after the cute birds. Now, please join me on my photos and videos posted to social media this past week!

This tulip may appear to be all cream, but if you look closely, there are spots and streaks of pink. It really is quite pretty. Taken last Spring, somewhere in Vancouver, Canada.

tulip white pink pretty

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When I first started these weekly posts, my goal was to publish by Monday. Then it went to Tuesday, Wednesday, and now, Thursday. I hope to post earlier next week, as well as publishing a new blog post. In the meantime, please join me on my photos of the week posted to social media.


A rainbow of colour at the Tulips of the Valley Festival, east of Vancouver, Canada, this past Spring!

tulips of the valley festival fields

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