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One of the most breathtaking experiences that I have had was visiting The Butchart Gardens in the Springtime. The grounds were immaculate and the flowers planted by gardeners experienced with presenting true beauty.  2016 was my first year with a Butchart Gardens membership and it was the first time that I visited in the Spring. With Spring of 2017 delayed on the West Coast, and while I recover from a little operation, I wanted to finally publish this post. Please join me as I look back to my visits from last Spring to The Butchart Gardens.

The Butchart Gardens are located in Brentwood Bay near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and are a 1.5 hour ferry sail and short drive from Vancouver. The gardens were established by Robert and Jennie Butchart and have been in existence for over 110 years. The Butchart family owned a quarry on the grounds and when the limestone was exhausted, they embarked on turning the site into what is now known as the Sunken Garden. The Japanese Garden predated the Sunken Garden and over the years, much of their property was turned into various gardens under the guidance of Jennie Butchart. The gardens were named a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004 and currently have about one million yearly visitors from all over the World.

This is a long post but I could have easily added another 30 photos. Let’s get started. What do you think of this scene from the Italian Garden? We’ll get there very soon.

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As we wait through an extended Winter on the West Coast of Canada, I wanted to finally publish a post from last Spring’s Abbotsford Tulip Festival. The festival is located about an hour’s drive east of Vancouver, just off of the Trans-Canada Highway in the Fraser Valley. 2016 was its inaugural season and the organizers and gardeners did a brilliant job with densely planted fields of many varieties of tulips. It rained on two of the three occasions that I visited but I didn’t mind. The tulips were beautiful and lush. I love taking photos of flowers with natural raindrops which is the theme here. Please join me on Tulips in the Rain at the Abbotsford Tulip Festival.

I don’t have the names for all the varieties of tulips but if you know of any that I missed, please leave a comment below.

I believe this pretty one is Miss Elegance.

tulip pink Abbotsford Festival

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The New Year started off with a dump of snow in Vancouver and that would be the theme for much of January. The atmospheric stream that brought much-needed precipitation to California continued to travel up the West Coast and brought us more than we needed. Coupled with the politics in the United States, it was a stormy month indeed. Despite the title of this post, you can find a little brightness here. This is a selection of my photos posted to social media in January.

 

Sunset taken on the pier in White Rock, Canada.

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Top 50 Songs of 2016

February 16, 2017 — Leave a comment
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Originally, this was going to be a top 25 chart but I had many more songs under consideration. My top 25 became 30, then 40, and finally, 50. As you’ll see, I’m enjoying new Country Music, with less of an emphasis on new pop and rock. I heard a lot of pop, though, and a few songs are here. As for new rock, except for very few songs, I didn’t hear much that made me interested. For the most part, Country is my new pop and rock. I love live music and guitar!

As for this chart, I only included songs that were released in 2016 or the end of 2015. I made a couple of exceptions for songs that were slow to be picked up by radio and their major exposure was in 2016. Additionally, two songs were not released as singles. An important note: The copyrights belong with the artists and their publishing companies, as I don’t imply any ownership. If you enjoy any of these songs, please buy and stream them, and request them on your favourite station. This is a long, long post so let’s get to it. These are my Top 50 Songs of 2016.

 

1. Black – Dierks Bentley

Make my world go black, hit me like a heart attack… “Drunk on a Plane” from Dierks Bentley’s, last album, “Riser,” was released about the same time as I rediscovered Country Music two years ago and I was a big fan from the moment I heard it. I eagerly anticipated Dierk’s new album, “Black,” and wasn’t disappointed. You’ll find three songs from “Black” in the top 25 of my chart but there were two more that fell just outside of the top 50. The title track really hit my emotions. Such a beautiful song, it’s my #1 of the year. This is Dierks Bentley and “Black.”

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What a year! 2016 will be not easily be forgotten, especially with American politics. And the craziness is not over yet! Anyway, don’t worry, there aren’t any photos of President Trump in this post. This is a selection of my photos posted to social media in December.

 

A snowy scene… and a frosty one too. Facing Mount Baker from along the Mount Seymour trail above North Vancouver, Canada.

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With so much absurdness and negativity in the World — and I’m only talking about the real news — I thought it was time to publish something light. I hope you don’t mind. Last Spring, I unexpectedly met someone for the first time on the grounds of the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Such a pleasant, peaceful visit. Please meet…

Roger the Marmot 🙂

Roger is hiding here. Maybe he’s a little shy… C’mon Roger, come out and say hello.


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