During one of my travels last Summer through British Columbia, Canada, I was very lucky to be visited by a couple of chipmunks at a roadside stop in the mountains. They actually came to the car door and, for a moment, I thought they were going to hop inside. For privacy sake of the chipmunks, I won’t reveal the location, but let’s just say it was somewhere in the southern half of the province. I have never seen such friendly chipmunks before, but I have a feeling that if I didn’t have sunflower seeds and acorns, they may not have stayed around.

Please bear with me with my captions, and if you have a better one, you can post it in the comments below. I have also posted my YouTube video from the same visit and please share if you like it. The video appears about half way down this post. Now, here is “Somewhere in Canada… Chubby Chipmunk Cheeks.”


Hello. Is that acorn for me?

cute Chipmunk british columbia

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Tulips in the Rain

March 10, 2016 — 2 Comments

Last Spring, I did something I never had before. I purposely went out in the rain to take photos of tulips. Please enjoy this collection taken in parks and gardens around Vancouver, Canada. This is Tulips in the Rain, and sometimes, after the rain.


I loved this double tulip with forget-me-nots… from the gardens of Queen Elizabeth Park.

Tulips rain forget me not Queen Elizabeth park

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You have a choice if you’re walking the Camino del Norte west of Lezama. Should you climb Monte Avril or take the lower route along the highway? Even easier is the bus that connects Lezama, Zamudio, and Bilbao. Since I was determined to walk the Camino, bypassing on an easier route or taking the bus wasn’t an option. If you choose to climb Monte Avril, ahead of you is about 300 meters of elevation gain along a road which completely wore me out on a hot Summer’s afternoon.

I left my last post, On the Camino del Norte, Pepiena to Lezama, Spain, just as I entered the town of Lezama with Bilbao just over 11 kilometers away. At the time of writing, Lezama had an albergue, but it was still early for me and I continued on what would be a difficult walk ahead.

The Lezama town hall or ayuntamiento.

Lezama town hall Euzkadi espana

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With a climate perfect for growing tulips, every Spring, the Skagit Valley of Washington State, U.S.A. is home to one of the most popular tulip festivals in the World. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival takes place between April 1st and 30th, and a can’t-miss attraction is RoozenGaarde. Well-known for growing tulips and other flowers, RoozenGaarde opens its gardens and fields during the festival with a breathtaking display of beauty. I had heard so much about RoozenGaarde and couldn’t wait to visit on what turned out to be a beautiful Spring day.

I would advise to plan ahead before visiting. In addition to the weather, Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate with the set date for the festival. Please check the current blooming conditions so that you’re not too early or late. Also note that sunny days, especially on the weekends, can be extremely busy. Now, let’s visit the gardens…

With scenes like this, it is no wonder that RoozenGaarde welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every Spring. Let’s take a closer look…

tulips bright RoozenGaarde Skagit Valley

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As I continue to catch up on these weekly posts before taking a break from them, I published one featuring the cherry blossom trees of Vancouver. If you missed it, please read, Scenes of Sakura, Plum and Cherry Blossoms of Vancouver. I really hope you enjoy it. Now, please join me on my photos of the week posted to social media, one week behind edition.


On the morning of my ear surgery… I’m off soon for a long anticipated / dreaded operation on my ear. Wish me luck. I need it!

No photos of me with a scalpel operating / dissecting my ear but…
Some Spring brightness at Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver, Canada.

tulips spring garden Queen Elizabeth Park

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Starting in February, Vancouver, Canada explodes with a vibrance of colour from many Spring flowers. For many residents and visitors, it’s the plum and cherry blossoms that are most awaited. As the city awakens after a usual dull and rainy late Autumn and Winter, the blossom trees are not hard to find. There are an estimated 40,000 cherry blossom trees in Vancouver with most being planted after the mid-twentieth century when the traditional, and very large, elms, oaks, and maples were replaced.

One of the most important moments of Vancouver history from a flora perspective happened in the 1930s, when the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama, Japan gave the city a gift of 500 cherry blossom trees. After that, the people of Vancouver fell in love with the cherry blossoms and planted them in parks, in front of homes, and along streets where the old trees once stood. With a lot of driving and some word-of-mouth, I discovered many beautiful streets in Vancouver, and saw some of the best blossom tunnels to be found anywhere. I wasn’t the only one, and, at times, would be among dozens of others at my favourite cherry blossom tunnel in East Vancouver.

For some who refer to a Japanese cherry blossom tree are actually looking at a plum. I’m a little confused myself so feel free to correct me when I’m wrong in the comments below. I often took the easy way out and just identified the trees as “blossoms.” I’ll work on my tree identification this year. Now, please join me on “Scenes of Sakura, Plum and Cherry Blossoms of Vancouver.”

No, it isn’t snow, but blossom petals. Taken on my favourite cherry blossom street in East Vancouver.

Vancouver cherry blossom petals snow

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