Born on July 1, 1867, AM came to Manitoba at the age of 26 years of age.    He arrived in Hartney on August 13, 1895 on a harvest excursion train.  In the spring of 1897 he bought his first section of land and broke 60 acres using 3 horses and a walking plow.  Two years later, he bought this homestead.  He worked summers in the fields and winters at his camp in the Turtle Mountains.  One winter fire took out his camp.  He lost everything, including his horses.

In 1909 he built this big, beautiful brick house.

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In 1912 he purchased an E.M.F. car, one of the first in the area.  And on January 1, 1914 he married Grace, a registered nurse.  They had three children, 2 boys and a girl.

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The same year this big barn was built and has been a familiar landmark since.  In 1932 the original barn burnt but another was built on the same foundation that same year.

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He 1916 they built a large granary with horsepower installed to elevate grain.  The same year they had a 16 volt lighting plant installed in the home.   There was a building there, close to the house that I assumed was the granery.  Unfortunately I did not take a photograph of the building.  Dang.

I have to admit that driving out to these properties, I was a little annoyed the that sky got clearer and clearer as we got closer.  Not the skies I was hoping for.  I don’t typically research the property before I photograph it with the hope that I can pick up all the key parts I sometimes find in the history with the naked eye.  Guess I missed this one.

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Mr & Mrs. passed in 1962 and 1965, in their nineties.  Their son took over the farm where he farmed the land many years with his wife J, who married in 1957.   R & J had 4 children.  J was married previously and lost her husband at a young age to diabetes.  She was a teacher in the area and remained with her two children. She took great comfort in having her in-laws living on the farm in a separate house.  She eventually met and married R and her and the children moved to this farm.  J stopped teaching to raise her two youngest children.

R & J were both active in their community playing sports, hosting 4H Rally’s and club events.   When farm work was caught up the couple enjoyed travelling.  They travelled to western USA, Hawaii, Europe, Ireland, England and across Canada.

The diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease forced R to quit farming in 1996 where him and J built a retirement home in town.



One of the things on our to-see list for our trip was a ride up to the Sea to Sky Highway to ride the gondola and see the Shannon Falls.  Well once the clouds roll in, everything “socks in” and ruins the views of the ocean and mountains.

Drizzling, we headed up the highway anyways.  The ocean was completely covered and I couldn’t see anything on the way there.  When we finally came upon Shannon Falls, it started to rain just a little bit harder!  Go figure.  Thankfully the trails to the falls are treed in so the rain was more of a drizzle.  This was not what I wanted to see as we headed up!  It certainly brought back our trips to the Grand Beach Campground as a kid, being paranoid of coming across a bear on the trail.  It was at this point that I announced to my family that if a bear was to come, it was each man for himself!


Shannon Falls is composed of a series of cliffs, rising 335 metres above Highway 99, making it the third highest falls in the province.  The tumbling waters of Shannon Falls originate from Mount Habrich and Mount Sky Pilot.

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In 1792 Captain George Vancouver set up camp just west of the falls. The falls were named after Shannon who in 1890-1900 owned the falls and surrounding area and used the clay deposits to make bricks. He then sold the land to Brittania Copper Mines in 1900. In the 1930’s, the area was used as a relief camp for the workers building Highway 99. In 1976 the area was purchased by Carling O’Keefe Brewery, who used the pure mountain water to brew their beer, and made the area a logging show park. In 1982 O’Keefe donated the land to BC Parks. Throughout the park area there is evidence of logging activity that occurred here roughly 90 years ago. A number of excellent spring board notches on old stumps are scattered throughout the forested area and much of the deadfall also exhibits evidence of the logging techniques of this period.

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This park holds significant spiritual value to the Squamish First Nation, the first people to live in this area. They told of a two headed sea serpent, Say-noth-ka who lived in and around Howe Sound. According to legend this beast travelled both on land and in water. Some versions say it was Say-noth-ka who formed Shannon Falls by slithering and twisting his powerful body up the mountainside on repeated expeditions, Say-noth-ka gradually wore down a spillway for those cascading waters.

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We only went as far as the third view point of the falls as the higher we went, the thicker the cloud cover became.  And because of the rain, the trail got muddier and muddier and of course, more slippery.  This would be a place I’d like to go back to on a clear, warm, sunny day.


Many moons ago I met Grandma & Grandpa Phillips for the very first time. We went out to their home out Henderson Highway where they had lived since the 60’s.

In the dining/living room was what I thought was a gorgeous cross stitch of a bowl of poppies. No one else shares my enthusiasm. The Phillips’s have many grandchildren, etc so I figured the chances of Cade ever being gifted that art was slim to none.

Many years later my BIL and I were clearing the belongings from the care home where Grandma was living when she passed away. Low and behold, there it was. My BIL looked at me and said, that thing is not coming to my apartment! I couldn’t believe it was now mine.

It must have been important to Grandma too cause of all the things in their large home, this was one of the personal effects she chose to take with her.

For many years it has hung on my walls, dusty and dated. A large part of my hesitation was what would happen to the cross stitch when I opened it. Would it fall apart? Every framed item in the Phillips’s home was done at Eaton’s, where Grandpa worked for many years in the shoe department. I should have known it was framed well.

Yesterday I took it apart and it came apart easily with no damage. The glass was very dusty but easily cleaned. I decided though that the frame needed to be changed and so, out came the chalk paint, again.

This piece was something Grandma started when they moved into the house in the early 60’s. My MIL figures she finished it a couple years later.


I love the blue heron.  Last Spring the one in town liked getting its photo taken.  The bird hanging around this year, does not feel the same and really is quite shy.   I’ve hidden in the tall grass but as soon as he sees me, he takes off and watches me from across the bay, on the dock where I am just out of range with my regular 300mm lens.

Well, the heron is B.C. aren’t shy.  I found this one in Stanley Park on my first outing out with the new lens.

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This bird was very photogenic.  I had to group this photo as Speedo clad swimmer stepped into my viewer!  I got a lot of shots of him but this is one of my favourites.  This bird stood in the ocean, not far from swimmers.  And I saw a few more when we were out fishing for sturgeon on the Fraser River in Chilliwack.

Regardless, I was happy with the shot and am looking forward to taking was more photos with this lens.  This photo was handheld and I must say, while the lens is heavy, its not out of this world and impossible to use without a monopod/tripod.


Araucaria araucana or commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, monkey tail tree, piñonero, or Chilean pine is an evergreen tree that grows from 1–1.5 m (3–5 ft) in diameter and 30–40 m (100–130 ft) in height. It is native to parts of Chile and Western Argentina.  The monkey puzzle tree is the official tree of Chile.  This one grows in my parents front yard in Burnaby, B.C.

The origin of the popular English language name “monkey puzzle” derives from its early cultivation in Britain in about 1850, when the species was still very rare in gardens and not widely known. Sir William Molesworth, the proud owner of a young specimen at Pencarrow Garden in Cornwall was showing it to a group of friends when one of them remarked, “It would puzzle a monkey to climb that”.  As the species had no existing popular name, first “monkey puzzler”, then “monkey puzzle” stuck.


Known for its longevity, it is described as a living fossil.  It is suspected that they can live up to 1000 years.  Saying that, tts conservation status was changed to endangered in 2013 due to the dwindling population caused by logging, forest fires, and grazing.

The leaves are thick, tough, and scale-like, triangular, 3–4 cm (1.2–1.6 in) long, 1–3 cm (0.39–1.18 in) broad at the base, and with sharp edges and tips, rather similar to the leaves of the unrelated succulent.  The leaves have an average lifespan of 24 years and cover most of the tree.  You can see some of the brown branches in my parents tree.


The monkey puzzle tree is dioecious, with the male and female cones on separate trees, though occasional individuals bear cones of both sexes. The male (pollen) cones are oblong and cucumber-shaped and approximately 1.6 in long at first, expanding to 3.1–4.7 in long by 2.0–2.4 in broad at pollen release. It is wind pollinated. The female (seed) cones which mature in autumn about 18 months after pollination, are globose, large, 12–20 cm (4.7–7.9 in) in diameter, and hold about 200 seeds.   This is a seed pod in my parents tree.   I would say that my parents have a female tree.


The cones disintegrate at maturity to release the 1.2–1.6 in long nut-like seeds which are edible AND tasty.  The piñones are similar to pine nuts but larger; these roasted seeds are 3 cm and 5 cm long, from two different cultivars.  We found some of the little brown seed pods on the ground but when we opened them, the nut inside was tried up and only a powdery substance remained inside.

We seen a couple more of these while we were in B.C but none were as full and mature as the one that grows in my parents yard.  Most were spindley and small.


For sometime I have been contemplating the purchase of this lens for many reasons.  First off, eventually I am going to run out of abandoned homes in this area, secondly, I love wildlife and thirdly, I wanted it.

I have been seeing all sorts of photos online of these amazing bird shots and I developed a severe case of lens envy.  I know that its not the camera and not the lens that makes the photos!

I found a good deal on one before I left for B.C. and decided that I did not want to go there without it in case I saw whales in the ocean or bears while up on the gondola.  I had it shipped to my parents place and it was there when I got there on Saturday evening.

I did a lot of searching when I decided I was going to take the plunge.  No one is selling these lenses.  I tried to rent one while in B.C. but most of the rental places were to far and the rental rate was a little high.


Its heavy but not heavy enough that you cannot hand hold it, which I did with my first day out with it.  I will need to buy a monopod to get the best I can out of it though.  I also need to purchase a new camera bag.  While it does have its own case that fits inside the bag I’ve been using, its not ideal.

And not only that, it comes with its own manual which is okay for days like this when its too hot to go out.  Good day to read and get ready.

As I get aquainted with it and learn how to use it properly, I’ll write more.

Its so big I feel like I should name it.


We’ve spent most evenings down along the Fraser River, fishing.

There are a lot of tugs. Busy, busy River.

There’s an eagle that flies around but he’s to fast and once we spot him he hides.

So instead I take photos of the tug boats, this once towing a HUGE barge.


This is Helen. Helen is an approximately 31 year old Pacific White Sided Dolphin.

Helen has partially amputated front flippers due to her being entangled in a fixed fishing next. She was rescued and rehabilitated and then deemed unreleasable.

Helen was highly entertaining and is the only whale/porpoise remaining at the Vancouver Aquarium.


My Aunt loves lilacs. So much so that she goes out in the middle of the night and cuts them so she can have them inside. The problem is, she doesn’t have a house, therefore, she doesn’t not have a yard or a garden. She’s an apartment dweller!

A couple weeks ago when my lilac bush flowered I took this picture for her.

Now I have to share with you that this is a learned behaviour. She got it from my Grandmother who always had fresh cut flowers in her apartment. She lived in downtown Winnipeg so she had to buy them from the local florist at The Bay.